By Oral Ofori
Over a year ago in 2013 #TheAfricanDream had the opportunity of chatting with Jemila Abdulai, winner of the best blogger award in Ghana at the first ever social media awards organized by Blogging Ghana. This year the baton is passed on and we have the privilege of speaking to the 2014 best Male blogger in Ghana in the person of Emmanuel Gamor.
Emmanuel Gamor is a social Entrepreneur and an online engagement guru whose multi-talented persona also makes him a radio show co-presenter on Mpwr in Ghana. As a lover of photo and videography he is owner of itp85 In Motion, a reporter/blogger and University of Florida Alumn. We encourage you to later on follow his exploits at?http://eagamor.com.
For now, we invite you to join our conversation with the 2014 best male blogger in Ghana who was also nominated for the best photoblog in 2013. Get to know what drove him to Ghana from the USA, his feeling about winning the bloggers’ award and his vision for the youth in Ghana and Africa:
Q.You lived in the USA for almost a decade, what made you return home to Ghana?
A. My father, Emmanuel Francois Gamor, was ill so I decided to relocate and come be with him.
Q. When you look back at your decision, do you feel your return was perfectly timed or would you have wished it was done earlier?
A. Perfectly timed is relative. There is a saying that “hindsight is 20-20” so yes, I was blessed to come early enough to spend my father’s last moments with him. Could I have come earlier? Possibly, would I have willingly made the decision to come earlier if it weren’t for the circumstances requiring me to do so, no I don’t think so.
Q. In just about a year after your return, you were nominated for and won awards for your work, tell us about that and how you feel about it?
A. In college I started my photoblog to develop my craft as a photographer. I enjoyed celebrating young students’ successes and started off with graduation photography. My photojournalism professor encouraged us to try out photo projects, blog about our work for honest feedback just to keep track our growth. To have my photo blog nominated in 2013 in the Best PhotoBlog category with Nana Kofi Acquah and TJ Letsa was indeed an honor. In 2013, Nana Kofi was the winner. It was a double honor to have my blog nominated for Best Blog (amongst the likes of?www.AdventuresFrom.com) and I nominated for Best Blogger in 2014 (with Ameyaw Debrah and Efo Delah-Amegaxi).
Q.The African renaissance: what is it to you as a young entrepreneur?
A. I briefly touched on my take on the African Renaissance in a Google Africa Connected Video and as a ?multimedia journalist I believe “…the African renaissance is about young people taking their future in their own hands and being able to do so collaboratively…with us sharing organic stories, of us by us for us because it is now more cost efficient to do so…”
Q. Do you feel the average Ghanaian youth or for that matter African youth today has enough opportunities needed to live out their dreams, given the fact that social media has made the world much smaller?
A. My personal views are that there are plenty challenges facing the African youth in terms of access to funds for creative ideas, lack of employment opportunities, changing global economy on skills required to succeed. And yet, there is also immense opportunities for those who are adaptable, internet savvy and are open to new opportunities. It is an exciting time to be youthful even in the midst of financial challenges.
Q. What do you say to those Africans who are living in the diaspora and are torn about returning home for fear of regression?
A. Everybody’s story is different, the continent needs as much professional expertise, locally and from abroad as possible to accelerate development. As many Africans in the diaspora who can, should come back and let’s build home. I am cognizant that it is not everyone who is in the best circumstance to relocate though, and some may be better off being ambassadors of Africa abroad as well.
Q. What do you see yourself and Africa becoming in the next decade?
A. Whew 10 years is a while. I look back 10 years ago and I was in Presec – an all-boys-boarding school in Legon, Accra. Would I have predicted any of my challenges or successes thus far? I don’t think so. I think in the next decade though, Africa will feature a lot more globally aware and progressive young leaders who demand more of their nation, their communities and themselves; and I will definitely be one of them. We would be striving for growth, accountability and development, and hopefully a better legacy than what we came to meet.
Oral Ofori of #TheAfricanDream