Another month, another new edition of Twenty for Twenty, and this month’s guest, Hailing from the magnificent land of milk and cocoa, shittoh and jollof, formerly known as the Gold Coast, I’m proud to have my Ghanaian colleague Benedicta Barnor. Currently pursuing a masters degree in her chosen field, I sat down with her for a candid conversation about her life, career, spirituality and her experience in Algeria. She also has a few tricks up her sleeve, a major shareholder to her joint startup with another colleague, we discuss all that and more, enjoy!
TB: Hey Benedicta, I’m so glad to have you on here. First things first, what’s your full name and how old are you?
BB: Hi, I’m glad to be here too. My full name has got the initials BENAAATB, hehe but you can just call me Benedicta Akweley Barnor, for short. I’m 24 years old.
TB: Woah that’s a lot of initials haha, it musn’t have beeen easy to write your name out in primary school. Alright so where did you grow up and what was it like growing up there?
BB: I grew up in a community called Greenhand, North Kaneshie in the capital of Ghana. It was a quiet community which developed to having more people over the years. Growing up there was amazing cause you get to keep to yourself in a manner and also having the chance to meet up with other kids to play. It was fun
TB: Do you have any siblings? And if so how is it like being the (first born/ middle child/ last born)?
BB: Yes. I’ve got 5 siblings, specifically 5 brothers(2 step and 3 biological) and yes, I’m the only girl. I stand between the positions of 4th and 5th cause of my twin brother and I must say it’s not always rosy. There are days where I’m treated like a princess and other days where most of the work is done by me( sighs playfully !)
TB: Well it’s never easy being the only girl in a family full of boys. So what are you studying in university right now and was there any specific thing that drew you to that program?
BB: I’m currently a student in biomedical engineering, specialising in bioinstrumentations. I’ve always wanted to work in the health sector, physiotherapy or speech and language therapy to be exact and because my field combines biology and physics to help in those areas, I was drawn to studying it.
TB: Why did you choose to come and study here in Algeria?
BB: I don’t think I have a particular reason to why Algeria but I wanted to have the experience of studying outside of my home country.
TB: Staying in Algeria has it’s up and downs for sure, how would you rate your experience here ?
BB: Hehe, how do I answer this? Errm I’d rate my experience here as an adventurous one.
TB: Staying in Algeria is quite an adventure for sure haha, moving on to a different topic, is it safe to say you’re a spiritual person and how big is spirituality in your life?
BENE: I think it’s safe to say that I’m a Christian and Christianity is the biggest part of my life.
TB: Apparently there’s a difference between being religious and being spiritual, can you shed light om the differences between the two?
BENE: I believe spirituality is following what you believe in on a personal level and religion is following what you’re being taught.
TB: What’s your take on Christians nowadays, are we good ambassadors of the faith?
BENE: I believe we are growing from a place of misunderstanding to manifesting in the full purpose of God.
TB: On a lighter note, if a crazy man weilding an assault rifle budged into church and declares that whosoever claims to be God’s child should step up and he’ll send you to your Father right there and then, are you raising your hand then?
BENE: I have no shame saying that I’m a child of God and I’m going to raise my hand but it doesn’t mean I’m putting my faith into a man with a rifle hahaha.
TB: So my readers don’t know this, but you’re actually a small business owner, enlighten us about BenGert
BENE: BenGert is a company that’s trying to develop to greater heights. The name comes from the initials of Benedicta and Gertrude. We bake and provide our customers with drinks, giving them the taste from home. Things like cakes, biscuits, spring rolls, meat pies etc for all occasions and in any design.
TB: Having had several of your cakes I can attest that y’all don’t play games im the kitchen. How do you come up with the creative designs on your cakes, and does it in anyway compromise how good it’s gonna taste?
BENE: Thank you for the compliment. The designs come from our cherished customers and the designer herself, Gertrude. Every cake design actually comes with its own unique flavour so the shape, size or design doesn’t affect its taste at all
TB: What’s your favourite cake design that you’ve made so far, and do you think you’d stand a shot on Cake wars ?
BENE: This is a hard choice but my favourite cake design is a cake which had my face on it for my birthday. You’d be surprised the picture was edible, and I think I’d make it past the first round for sure haha
TB: That’s quite impressive!You’re quite a fan of music , do you play any musical instruments?
BENE: You’re right, I love music. I play the guitar or lemme put it this way, I’m learning to.
TB: I’m quite sure you’ve named your guitar hahaha, does it have a name and what’s your favourite tune to play on it?
BENE: My guitar is called Benny😉and I love to play worship tunes on it
TB: What’s your take on feminism , and is gender equality actually a thing?
BENE: I’m not a feminist and yes, gender equality is a thing that can be acknowledged on different levels.
TB: 2 out of 3 foreign female students have been sexually harassed here in Algeria, how best can we tackle this issue and somehow protect the girl child?
BENE: We can tackle this issue by advising ladies to move around with guys when going out. Moving out at appropriate times and I believe it will help.
TB: For sure. Let’s talk about culture for a bit…paying dowry is important in African culture, do you think it’s still relevant in this day and age or we can do away with it?
BENE: Even though its important to show appreciation, the dowry, I believe, is something that can be done in a reasonable way.
TB: HAHA key word being reasonable, say you’re given a million dollars, what’s the first thing you’re buying?
BENE: This is tricky but I’m going to get an apartment. Yes, that’s the first thing I’m getting
TB: What advice would you give to someone who’s losing faith in God?
BENE: My advice to that person would probably be to never give up,that even though it looks as if things are getting out of hand, there’s light at the end of the tunnel and God is with us through it all. Keeping the person in prayers as well
Well there you have it,that’s a wrap on all things Benedicta, and I trust that at this point you probaby know about her as much I do haha. As always feel free to share your opinions in the comment section and if you have any suggestions on who you’d want me to host on next month’s edition of Twenty for Twenty. Have a great week y’all.