Actress, producer and author, Juliet Ibrahim stays winning!
Her career is thriving in a season marked by job losses, death and delay of projects brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Even challenges caused by the pandemic instilled in her the need to continuously brave the odds, and keep a positive mindset.
“The lockdown made me look at life in a whole different view,” explains the award-winning actress.
In September 2020, her directorial debut ‘Every Woman Has a Story’ premiered on Showmax, the video streaming service from pay-TV giant, MultiChoice Group.
The drama series follows the lives of five women (played by Juliet, Pascaline Edwards, Beverly Afaglo, Sonia Ibrahim, and Vanessa Gyan) from different walks of life as they journey through challenges of everyday women in the city of Accra, Ghana. Through it all, they have gained the power to tell their stories of joy, happiness, heartbreak, pain, disappointment and love.
Her memoir ‘A Toast to Life’ released in July 2019 is also still receiving rave reviews.
She spoke to us about ‘Every Woman Has a Story,’ and her memoir.
Can you share details about how your production ‘Every Woman Has a Story’ was acquired by Showmax? What should viewers look out for?
Ifactory Africa distributes a number of quality movies & TV shows globally.
The founder has a penchant for championing modern African women across multiple mediums internationally. After watching an episode and understanding my vision, ifactorylive Africa facilitated increasing the reach of my drama series by distributing it and ensuring it was on a Showmax, a Pan African platform whilst also making sure it is one of the key shows MultiChoice Group (parent company of the platform) spotlights to promote its launch in West Africa.
I am a woman of many stories – which is reflected in my books ‘A Toast to Life.’ I have been through a whole lot of experiences that I felt I had to share with my ever-growing fan-base. I drew inspiration from the fact that too many African women share similar stories and way too much in common but have no medium to share these stories. It is always a case of women being judged or stigmatized in most cases. By telling such stories in society, I believe I will create an avenue of advocacy, sensitization and help make an impact in the world.
The series features several well-known and first time Ghanaian actors and actresses that were handed the opportunity to showcase their talents.
It is a great privilege for me to have my content featured on Showmax. It is one of the best way to have my content reach so many viewers across Africa right in the comfort of their homes and whilst they are on-the-go using their gadgets. By so doing, the message will be passed on. More so, it is an affordable and safe way for viewers and followers to stay glued to my content during the COVID 19 pandemic; especially now that certain gatherings are prohibited due to social distancing.
What influenced the decision to chronicle your life and share your experiences via the book?
Writing my memoir ‘A Toast to Life’ was very therapeutic for me. I honestly didn’t realize how strong I was until I put together all my experiences collectively in this memoir.
I’ve survived experiences that would probably break the average person. Hence, the inspiration behind my book is my life. There are so many experiences I have had and life lessons learned along the way. The book is a deep and personal narrative of my triumph over adversity faced at different stages in my life, and my journey to true self-love. By telling my story through my book, it is my intention to uplift readers and remind them that despite the many challenges experienced, there truly is always light at the end of the tunnel.
The book offers readers a dive into my world, the ‘Juliet Ibrahim’ not seen on the screens and one that the media has no idea about. It is my hope and belief that my experiences shared in ‘A Toast to Life’ helps readers understand that they are not alone in the world. And how to use their personal experiences to become better instead of dealing with it alone and thinking of said issues as the worst that could happen to them.
My book is intended to motivate and inspire everyone irrespective of gender about the possibilities in life, and the future.
It can be purchased anywhere in the world on www.atoasttolifebook.com, available in bookstores in Ghana and Nigeria, and online via www.amazon.com.
What has been the most memorable testimony about memoir that you’ve heard so far?
The most memorable reviews and testimonies about my book so far will be when a guy walked up to me during the London ‘A Toast to Life’ book tour and told me how glad he was about me speaking up boldly to sensitize others after all I have been through. He felt liberated and disclosed that he was molested by women as a child but can’t speak about those experiences because of the fear that his friends and family would see him as a weak person. As a victim of rape, I understood him completely and he was glad to open up to me by sharing his personal experiences.
During one of my book reading events in Accra, a 20-year old after listening to me speak, walked up to me with tears in eyes and hugged me because what I said was what she needed to hear. She was being abused by a relative but had no one to talk to and share how she feels because people don’t understand her perspective. I advised her, and she shared details about what she was afraid to mention to her mother.
I am grateful to God that I can use my book and life stories to motivate and be an avenue for discussion and speaking one’s truth.
You’ve shared your frustration on your Youtube channel about been ‘grounded’ in Nigeria because of the corona virus pandemic, did you experience any positives during that time?
I spent exactly three months in Nigeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic mandatory lockdown of airports. I wasn’t frustrated that I was locked down in Nigeria. I was more frustrated about the fact that not enough flexibility was given to citizens and tax payers of Ghana to return home as stated in my YouTube videos.
The price to return home was outrageously expensive for the ordinary person to afford especially because it wasn’t anyone’s fault to be locked down in another country. There were no prior warnings and information regarding dates of closure – everyone had less than 24 hours to all return home or face the no-return option until borders.
However, I made very good use of my time during the lockdown to study, learn new skills and rebrand my Shades by Juliet Ibrahim cosmetics brand. The lockdown made me look at life in a whole different view. There was so much positivity, time to reflect, build new friendships and plan for greater opportunities.
Location: Aqua Safari Resort
Written by Gameli Hamelo