As part of STA Africa’s 2nd year anniversary themed: Celebrating African Arts, we decided to launch one of STA Africa’s initiatives for the year 2016 which is the “STA Africa- Pursuing Your Dreams in Arts (SPYDA)”. This initiative was launched on 28th October, 2016 at the University of Ghana Basic School with the members of the Girls’ Guide section of the school.
The main objective SPYDA seeks to achieve for young beneficiaries is to clear up misconceptions about pursuing arts as a life-long career, highlight professions students can pursue right from a tender age and emphasize on how students can leverage on their passion and make a living from arts and still be change maker.
Members present were the C.E.O. Nadia Owusu, Mandy-Doris Teye, Shadrack Victor Kwetso, Mandie Adom-Bamfi and Williams Agyemang Dua. We also had three external volunteers to support us. They were Gift Onyinye Ekeh (marketing student, singer, song writer and artist), Elisha Boie (marketing student, fashion designer, creative director and C.E.O. of fashion brand Elisha Boie) and Norah Abena Stone (student, child welfare advocate and gender activist)
A brief introduction about STA Africa was given by the general secretary, Mandy-Doris Teye after which she invited the C.E.O to begin the official launch. The C.E.O. spoke about the purpose of SPYDA. She cleared misconceptions relating to arts stating that a career in Arts was equally important as any other career.
She had an interactive session with the girls where a few girls admitted to having a desire to be fashion designers but have not been able to tell their parents. She encouraged the girls not to give up on their dreams and also take their education seriously as good grades is a propellant.
Norah Stone then spoke on the topic for the launch ‘’ Relevance of Arts- not just as a co-curricular activity. She highlighted on how young ones can build a strong career in arts, how arts can positively impact the world, how arts can bring about peace and how young ones can use their talents beyond generating income but also impacting lives.
This was followed by an Inspire Session where we had Gift Onyinye inspire the girls with her story. She told the girls how her road to pursuing arts has been so far, the successes and the challenges as well. The inspire session was well participated by the girls and got them prepared for the final session, the breakout session. We had the girls grouped in three different groups for fashion, poetry and drawing.
This session was taken by Elisha Boie, Shadrack Victor Kwetso (H.O.D. Poetry and Drama Department) and Norah Stone respectively. In this session, the facilitators addressed individual challenges the girls were facing in relation to arts. They also spoke on how young ones can build their confidence and how they can achieve their dreams.
The program ended with a photo session and a vote of thanks by the club President. The club patroness Madam Anas also thanked us and encouraged STA Africa to visit on regular basis for a more effective result.
We are grateful to God for a successful launch. We would also like to use this opportunity to thank our resource persons Gift Onyinye, Elisha Boie and Norah Stone. A special thanks also goes to all Staff members who made it to the launch or supported in any way.
We will continue to preach arts everywhere and inspire young individuals.