Akosua Dardaine Edwards

Let's Share Lessons on The Journey

Akosua Dardaine Edwards - author, writer, coach, gender specialist, speaker

 

It Toughened Me Up

"If you are to free yourselves you must break the chains of oppression yourselves. Only then can we express our dignity, only when we have liberated ourselves can we co-operate with other groups. Any acceptance of humiliation, indignity or insult is acceptance of inferiority." Winnie Mandela

When I turned 13 ,my granma gave me a book called “Part of My Soul Went With Him” by Winnie Mandela. 

Confessions on the Journey, I had no idea who she was! My granma told me to read it as she thought I could do with some “toughening up”. I read it. I read it again. I read it once more.
I marvelled at this woman’s courage and resilience and was I outraged by the system called apartheid.
The book planted a seed. 
I did not know if it toughened me up then but it certainly peaked my interest in Women’s Rights and in this far away land called South Africa.
When I got the opportunity to go to South Africa for the first time I jumped at it. I learned more about how women were the backbone of the struggle. 
I never in my mind believed that I would end up spending time in South Africa but I have had the absolute privilege to go a few times and Anytime I got the opportunity to go, I took it. 
Last year, when I returned to SA, I reunited myself with Winnie through books and visiting Soweto and asking questions to any elder willing to answer me. 
It gave me that extra motivation to stay on course despite my own challenges which, really, were pale on comparison to what those women went through. 
As Thando Dlomo says For many of us, Winnie Mandela was the first time we saw the black woman as powerful and fearless and impactful. Her imperfections aside, she led us to our strongest selves. 

I have seen some news reports as well as posts on social media which have painted a picture of her as a witch, a killer, and any manner of uncomplementary descriptions. That may be there memory of her, however for me, she embodied a type of courage and authenticity that made me want to be a brave and true woman!
Thank you Winnie. You kept it real.You shaped your own mind and you toughened me up.

 

Peace

 

Have you Read Akosua's Books?

What Did I Learn Today? Lessons on the Journey to Unconditional Self Love

Nyabo (Madam) Why Are You Here?

Daily Lessons on the Journey - A Journal

Your story is inspiring, your delivery is real
— Barbara Ince, President - Maloney Women's Group
The students who attended the function were so inspired by you they want all their friends to be exposed to your story.
— Cherisse Rawlins - Teacher Moruga Secondary
I must thank you for your presentation, many people were blown away by it.
— Sharon Christopher, Dep CEO First Citizens Bank Limited
It was a pleasure hosting you. Your reading from Nyabo (Madam) Why Are You Here? - was both thought provoking and insightful, thank you.
— Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago - New York
You are an inspiration to us all
— Marlene Charles, YWCA President
I can’t stop telling people about your presentation. You changed my life forever!
— Michele Celestine, Executive Director Heroes Foundation
What an honour and priveledge it was for me and my wife to host you during your stay in Washington DC
— Anthony WJ Phillips-Spencer, Ambassador Extraordinary Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Unveiling was exactly what I needed, thank you.
— Participant at 2017's Unveiling- Looking into the Mirror of Self
Akosua, congratulations and thank you for that fabulous and thoughtful sharing from your book. I did NOTHING for the weekend but read your books. Madam, I found your story telling light and entertaining, true Trini style but DEEP.
— Sandra Ferguson, Agency for Rural Transformation, Grenada W.I
After hearing Ms. Akosua speak, I now know that I am everything and that I have everything to become who I want to be.
— Jenna Marie Bharat, Student- San Juan South Secondary School
Madam Akosua was awe inspiring. Excellent motivational skills. For me as a new retiree her words encourage me to “give back to the village”
— Anthea Doyle
Inspirational for both year groups. Forms 3 and 5. They were at the edge of their seats. prodding them to plan and even when things do not go as planned... to never give up when faced with life’s challenges
— San Juan South Secondary School