4 highlights from my trip to Ghana as an international volunteer.

From February until March, I had the privilege of travelling to Ghana for the first time, thanks to an organisation called Challenges Worldwide. They bring together young people from around the UK, Ghanaian youths and entrepreneurs from Sub-Saharan Africa to help grow businesses that generate income and achieve sustainable economic growth.

I spent a solid portion of my time in the vibrant garden city of Kumasi, where I lived with a Ghanaian host family. It was an incredible experience to meet, share and hear from many talented, diverse and passionate entrepreneurs. However, I have to say that my most memorable experiences happened when I ventured out of my comfort zone and explored all that Kumasi has to offer.

Here are 4 highlights that made my trip to Ghana unforgettable:

1. The Street food!

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Ghanaian volunteer and Grill master, Eben.

Street side grills and food stalls were an everyday thing in Kumasi,  I often treated myself to local delicacies such as roasted plantain and the infamous ‘Kelewele’ (fried plantain coated in spices). I loved the grilled sausages, which were prepared using an authentic ‘Soya’ spice mix and served with raw onions. They were good on their own but tasted even better when washed down with a warm Club beer. The traditional Ghanaian staple foods get all the buzz, but the street food is considerably underrated and definitely worth a shout out.

2. The History.

I traveled to Ghana as part of a group of young British nationals, we worked together with Ghanaian counterparts to

img_8901support small to medium sized businesses. During the Easter holiday, we took a trip to the former European colonial capital of Cape Coast, where we visited the infamous Elmina castle.  Elmina was one of the biggest slave and trade castles on the Ghanaian coastline, today it is a historical museum. We were taken on an intimate tour through the slave dungeons where we experienced what life was like for the prisoners. We learned that unsuspecting slaves were stolen from their homes, taken to the castle and held in dungeons. They were eventually sold on the Trans- Atlantic slave trade, never to return. Ghana was the first of Britain’s African colonies to gain independence, and in doing so, triggered a freedom movement that swept across the entire continent and eventually led to the fall of colonial rule in Africa.  As a young group of British and Ghanaian volunteers, we found the tour emotionally powerful and oddly liberating. But speaking as a Black British -African,  it was a truly humbling experience, one that I will never forget.

Standing on the castle balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, next to an old cannon.

3. Volunteering with Challenges Worldwide.

I know I mentioned Challenges Worldwide before, but it’s worth mentioning twice. After completing university, I decided to take the next step on my journey towards greater success, by volunteering with ICS Challenges Worldwide. They support the development of small/medium sized businesses that do not have access to crucial support systems needed to help them grow. With the help of volunteers like myself, the businesses are able to improve their services, support their  communities and contribute to the development of their economies. It was so much fun to meet and work with other volunteers who were eager to learn and get stuck into the Ghanaian way of life. Through this programme, I discovered a new way of life, met amazing people and got to work in one of the most exciting economies in the world. I definitely miss Team Kumasi!

If you want a great experience, CLICK HERE TO APPLY!

Team Kumasi, Cycle 10!

4.  The people of Kumasi.

I mingled often with the locals during my time in Ghana, they were all so friendly and welcoming…and curious! Often people would ask me where I was from and how I ended up in Kumasi. It was all very interesting , especially because my TWI (the local language pronounced TREE) wasn’t so good. Thankfully most people spoke English as a second language, so communication wasn’t really a barrier (most of the time).  I’ve managed to stay in touch  with my friends in Kumasi, and for that I’m very grateful.

I feel so fortunate that I got to see and experience Ghana the way I did, and I can’t wait to go back soon!

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A letter to my role model, Bonang Matheba.

Hi Bonang,

First of all, thank you for being you.

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Source (Instagram: bonang_m) | Bonang at her 30th Birthday Bash.

Many people have role models, or people they look up to in life but I choose to emulate you. You are someone I’ve never met. Yet, when I think of what I want to be, you always come to mind. You are an extraordinary achiever, and your life story has acted as a guide on my own personal quest for excellence.

“THE FUTURE IS NOT CREATED BY WHOEVER, IT’S CREATED BY YOU – Bonang Matheba”

In many ways, our stories are similar. You were born on the coldest Thursday on June 25th, I was born on a chilly Tuesday morning, June 28th. We share the same star sign and we’re both Southern Africans.  We both know the heartache of having divorced parents from a young age, heck, our mum’s have both been nurses! There’s many more similarities, such as the fact we both studied Marketing at University. Having a similar background has made you real to me, a role model I can relate to.

You are confident in yourself, which is what I aspire to be. You taught me to TRUST ONLY MYSELF. In this world, everyone puts themselves first, I should trust that only I can put myself first.

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Source (Instagram: Bonang_m) | Bonang at a Photoshoot in Namibia.

You challenged me to take control of my life.  The world owes me NOTHING! You reminded me that success is my own responsibility,  I should take responsibility of where I am and what I want to achieve, starting with this blog. I can only rely on myself. In your words,  even my own mother does not owe me ANYTHING. Sadly, and without being aware of it, I have always expected people to help me, that stops now. Your words have resonated with me, and I am now a self-sufficient person because of it. If I don’t work hard and prove myself and SHOW them I am worthy, success is not gonna come to me.

 

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Source (Twitter: Bonang_M)

Work hard. Make money. Travel the world. That’s how you live your life. By simply living your life, you have forever changed mine. Your lifestyle is characterised by a strong work ethic, gratitude, luxury, family, faith and education. You advised me that I am on this earth to inspire and empower others through example. Bonang Matheba is always on the look out for the next opportunity to do BETTER than the previous day, but ever grateful and PRESENT for every.single.moment. Because of you, I have learned to make the most out of what I have now. You always try to be your best self, so now I always try to be my best self.

Thank you for being you, so that I could be me.

Sincerely,

Siba Munsanje.

 

WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

Firstly, I would like to say thank you for visiting! I’m excited to share my blog and tell you what I’ll be blogging about.

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FINANCE

When I look into the future, I can see myself earning enough income to pay my living expenses for the rest of my life without having to work full time. Through this blog, I aim to educate myself, those I love and whoever else may be interested; to take care of themselves financially.  This way, we are free to do whatever our heart’s desire without money standing in the way.

CREATIVE

I like to appreciate exciting, innovative and ground breaking stories that capture the attention of the world through great stories. Here, I write about films, books and shows that change the mainstream narrative, join me. I love writing, and I want to better my writing skills through this blog.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Born in Zambia on the coldest Tuesday morning in June, I was eventually raised in Botswana and lived in Zambia for nearly two years before moving to the UK.

I want to travel the world with my family and live the lifestyle that I love. By exploring the world, I hope to break old habits that may be holding me back, and embrace new ideas and ways of life that help me achieve excellence in all that I do.

 I started SIBASVIEW to share all the knowledge and inspiration that sprouts from this exciting journey, so that it can perhaps empower others to love learning and bettering themselves.

Thanks for visiting, and always feel free to comment and ask me questions! Can’t wait to hear what you think of Siba’s blog.