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Africa on the rise: mental health

On December 7th at the Africa Centre in Southwark, Ekua Haizel will be hosting their 4th edition of Africa on the rise, with the focus on mental health. It’s a panelled interactive discussion focusing on the role of the African diaspora in challenging the stigma of mental health in Africa. Panellists include Tomilola Awosika  who is the executive director of Eternal Ages a production company that uses biblical foundations to highlight the epidemics within the afro- Caribbean society in an unorthodox manner. She is a firm believer that biblical teachings can be adaptable to any era or age. 

As a millennial of African heritage, it was important to me that I addressed the prominent acts of misconduct within our society. Also, practices that I believe may have passed through generations in the name of culture and/or religion. As Africans, we have come from a lineage of regency and as a result of what we have been through and where we have come to, a lot of us develop a strong sense of pride. In many aspects this pride is warranted but in some respects it can be detrimental to our growth as individuals. Being proud can sometimes teach us that when something is ‘wrong’ we must mask/ suppress the symptoms rather than treat the cause. In the UK alone it was found in 2007 that 39% of Africans were suffering from some type of mental health disorder, over half of which were did nothing about it. In 2013, 6 years later AHPN (African health policy network) found this had increased by 3%.

Considering this and my own personal experiences with mental health. I decided that Eternal Ages’ first production would be a musical on mental health. Eternal Ages The Musical – Mental Health Edition. Which took place at the Shaw Theatre in Central London in September 2017 and sold out to audience of 500.

I am excited about the opportunity to be a panellist at this event and hope the conversations on the evening will spark bigger initiatives to come forward in this much needed topic area.’

Ekua Haizel is an organisation focused on engaging Black British Africans to create a community and sense of cultural identity; allowing them to contribute more effectively to the rising African legacy.

It holds regular networking events in the UK and connect Black British Africans to internships in Ghana.

Ekua Haizel also works with corporates, business and individuals who want to travel to Ghana to heighten their understanding of a different culture through cultural immersion.

Tickets and further details are available on eventbrite

Tomilola Awosika
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