Christabel Ofori is a young lady in her 20s and works with Unilever as a Process manager at the company’s foods factory. Enjoy our chat with her.
Christy, how will you describe yourself?
I am an enthusiastic and out-going person. I am adventurous as well and I like to explore new opportunities and places. I love reading, listening to music, singing, traveling and taking photos, and currently I’m trying to learn to dance as I really suck at dancing. I love the Lord and I am a strong and committed Christian. I am the executive director of IHAV foundation.
How is a normal day for you like?
A normal day starts right from bed, waking up to a message about production update, going to work to get things sorted out, going through long hours of production processes, staying in contact with my IHAV team through emails and whatsapp every chance i get, coming home and spending time on IHAV activities, sleeping, waking up in the morning.
How are you able to combine your seemingly busy schedule with your social life?
You are right on point about my busy schedule. It is however relatively easier to maintain balance when there is discipline and passion. The passion drives me even when I am tired from work, and discipline helps me stick to my plans and schedules.
Do you tend to have any form of frictions at the workplace with your subordinates?
Not exactly. We have a respectable relationship. They are all much older than me and I accord them that respect, and though young, I am their boss so they give me that respect. There have been a few occasions though that there were a few issues because sometimes it is just really hard to take instructions from a young girl I think, haha. But in totality, there isn’t any friction.
What is IHAV and Pieces for Peace about?
IHAV is a nonprofit organization i started to bring young Africans together to dialogue, share ideas and collaborate to bring about changes in their communities. The goal is to see the African youth work to tackle and reduce youth unemployment whiles improving the quality of life in our communities through innovative and sustainable actions. So it is more about improving the quality of life around us, by inspiring and challenging young people to be the change they want to see.
Pieces For Peace was an initiative of IHAV to bring on board young African talents in fashion to sew voluntarily to clothe 200 orphans across 5 orphanages in the greater Accra region of Ghana. We aimed to achieve two things; showcase our beautiful African prints and fabrics, donated by well wishers, and give back to the community by putting smiles on children’s faces.
What is the motivation behind these projects
My motivation is passion to see a positive change around me, especially in the quality of life in our societies. I am also greatly inspired by the stories of great achievers and entrepreneurs making impact in their societies and feel I owe it to my country to help nurture the next generation of leaders by positively influencing them with a new mindset of possibilities.
Where do you see yourself five years from now
I see myself making a lot of impact in the lives of young people everywhere. I see every role I occupy challenging other people to do more and be more. I see IHAV being the hub for youth development in Africa, being a whole training center on its own, nurturing young entrepreneurs, providing internship opportunities and helping communities develop. I see participants of our conferences initiating social change programs across Africa.
How do you think the Ghanaian youth can use social media to his or her advantage
IHAV started through social media and is being coordinated and sustained through social media. People just need to use it the right way; for networking, staying connected, staying abreast with news, finding like-minded people to collaborate with, just to name a few. And the Ghanaian youth needs to keep his profile interesting but smart, serious and professional.
What makes up your ideal man?
My ideal man is someone who is knowledgeable, adventurous, smart, tall, athletic and has a good sense of humour and good manners.
How should a lady position herself to be fully respected by men?
I go with this in mind: think like a boss, be strong like a man but act like a lady and be gentle like a mother. It will never be easy working with men, and especially heading or managing them but aside being stern and strict, we should also respect their opinions and egos.
As a young budding Ghanaian, what do you think are the challenges that confront the youth of this nation?
Well I think it is bad leadership leading to bad decisions and ineffectiveness of certain organisations and authorities. This directly impacts our cost and standard of living and makes it a bit more difficult to thrive. Nonetheless, i think there’s some amount of support for those who work hard and approach the right entities. Another challenge is our own commitments towards the things we say we will do.
How do you propose we surmount and deal with these challenges as a country?
I think the first step is working on ourselves as individuals. We need to keep to our promises, we need to be fair and non biased and we need to be disciplined. Whatever we do in the position or role we have now is how we’ll act when put in government or a major leadership role. And we also need to move away from this partisan kind of voting and elect the right people for the right positions.
Is the black man adequately capable of managing his own affairs?
Certainly! We just need to be more assertive and read and research more. And we need to have the right people at the right positions. We cant have people with arts backgrounds leading projects on power or oil drilling for example. Or people with little knowledge about arts leading a focus project on arts exhibition. We need to put away nepotism and elect the right people.
What do you do in your pastime ?
I like to read, listen to music, surf the internet and spend time with my family and close friends.
Does your work the take sunshine(fun) out of your life?
Not exactly, but it does restrict the kind of things i would have loved to do otherwise. It makes my schedule really tight.
What advice do you have for the young lady out there trying to tie the knots and make a living for herself?
Don’t give up too easily. Life will give you a lot of lemons to teach you to make different recipes out of it. Envision what you want to do and where you want to be, and take the first step in putting it into action. Work hard and pray hard, you cannot do it all on your own.