Francisca Kakra Forson | Freelance journalist | social activist and campaigner
Francisca Kakra Forson is an international freelance journalist with Voice of America and West Africa Democracy radio based in Ghana and a consultant for the Institute for Statistical, Social & Economic Research at the University of Ghana. She is also fast becoming a powerful social activist and in-demand motivational speaker with a passion for matters concerning the youth and women and is a big campaigner in Ghana, particularly for free speech and the rule of law.
My Definition Of Success | Success has been so many things for me, from getting good grades as a kid to doing jobs I dreamed of. Of course it has changed as I have got older. Right now it’s the ability to learn the lessons that life brings your way. So it cuts across; religion, love, academics, everything. Failure for me is stagnation, a lack of growth, progression and development.
I Am Driven By | A hope and passion to be a better Francisca tomorrow; that God will give me a gift to wake up and compete again with my biggest competitor – myself. Mistakes do happen and every day comes with new opportunities to do it better. That’s what keeps me going.
The Difference Between Good And Great | People who are good at what they do sometimes discover gold and stop there, that’s it! But to be great you have got to move from the complacency of the good strike to a place where you work out what you can do with it for yourself, as well as others and your society.
A Key Talent | I am a person who cannot exist without learning, self-discovery, evolving. I love to learn. I always want to know, “how is it done?” I didn’t go to journalism school but had the opportunity to start as an intern in the newsroom of the biggest English radio in Ghana, Joyfm. I moved from running errands for senior journalists to hosting some of the biggest news programs on radio and TV in about 5 years. How did I do that? I associated myself with the best in the industry and learned from them. So, do not spend a day without asking yourself: “what did I do and what can I do better tomorrow?”. Allow yourself to make mistakes and try not to fuss over them. That’s the best way to learn. Complacency is the enemy of growth and success and young people often fall into it after they taste a mere drop of success and they eventually kill their dreams by not developing the necessary talent and skill.
The Characteristics Of Success | Successful people keep on learning, continue innovating, they never stop! It’s not a destination where you arrive and say: ” Here I am!” We are born curious and should not let the stress of life take that away from us. Our curiosity must be a catalyst for success. You’ve got to want success and endlessly work towards achieving. Practice we know makes you a master of your craft.
Even when you are blessed with old age and have done it all you share the priceless life experiences and lessons with the younger generation. This is why I love the company of older folk. They share life stories that you may never find in a book.
Reading is a habit of mine and one that I am convinced benefits everyone. All great people and high achievers read. There are people I have met who have read their way out of poverty. Reading was a key attribute of one of the greatest Ghanaian journalists to ever live, Komla Dumor.
I believe in Jesus and in prayer. I talk to God about everything; my job, men, everything. There are things that happen in your life that cannot be explained: they’re miracles.
Complacency is a cancer that finds its way into a person and takes its time to spread, causing irreparable damage. It prevents your full potential from manifesting into greatness. It cripples you after the first few steps towards higher achievements. Sadly most people don’t even realize it, until it’s too late. Among Ghanaians it’s called the “I have arrived” attitude and feeds into the erroneous perception by many that success is a destination. Kill the complacency!
I believe attributes such as honesty, diligence, desire, thinking on your feet, originality and perseverance all make a good mix.
Lessons I Have Learnt | Working as a journalist and TV/radio presenter I have learned a few things about life generally; opposition feels like sandpaper on your skin but in the end you become smooth. Nobody is worthless, no matter how little or irrelevant their contribution appears.
Dealing With Doubt | In Ghana there are aspects of our culture that hinder creativity and assertiveness. Confident people are mocked and tagged as “know it all”. In such a climate self-doubt and fear, as well as mediocrity, prevail. Growing up my Dad implanted in me a belief in myself and to challenge myself and my Mum taught me to always want more and to be the best. Being discouraged and doubted by others is pervasive but I take it up as a challenge and aspire to achieve success, not to prove whoever wrong but to grow and build myself. I criticize myself so I can do and be better. I do not doubt myself.
On Inspiring Others | I ran a social media campaign with the hashtag #kaykasa. Kay is short for Kakra (my middle name) and kasa is twi (a local dialect) which means talk or speak. I am relentlessly encouraging people to speak up and deviate from the Ghanaian culture that encourages silence and no opinions and discourages assertiveness. My purpose is to encourage Ghanaians, especially children, not to wear society’s straitjacket. The great Lord Denning said “silence is not an option when things are ill done”.