Interview by Visual Collaborative
May 2019 7 min read
Berla Addardey Mundi is a Ghanaian media personality. She currently hosts The Late Afternoon Show’ on GHONE TV in Ghana. As a special feature in our Voyager interview series, we discuss the steady rise of her career, her Foundation and advocacy of other African women in the entertainment industry.
(VC) You have a considerable social media following, but you have been on the scene much longer than that. How have you managed to navigate the industry where many loose steam after a few years?
(Berla) Thank you. My career was born out of a deep-seated desire to inspire. At a very tender age, I dreamt of using my voice to impact generations and as I matured, I discovered that my purpose in life was only going to be fulfilled if I charted the path chosen for me by God: Media. I believe that is the reason why I have managed to stay afloat all these years because I enjoy what I do and watching lives transform through my works has become a continuous reward I cannot do without.
(VC) After Miss Malaika in Ghana and its experience do you miss that period of your growth or its was just a right of passage in time now you look back?
(Berla) I certainly do miss the moments when I didn’t have so many responsibilities, which is something you can’t wish away when growth comes knocking. However, I am grateful for the position I am in now and for the experiences from my past because they have moulded me into the person that I am today and now more than ever, I believe my younger self taught me a lot that I would never have learnt if I had missed that period of my life. So for me, it was a much needed rite of passage to help sharpen and smoothen the rough edges in preparation for my adult life.
I knew it was time to fly and I wasn’t too sure If I was ready. Fast forward, it’s been an eye-opener as I have been introduced to various talents and incredible people who are changing the world
(VC) You recently served as a panelist at Columbia University here in New York City. How was your overall experience?
(Berla) Grateful for the opportunity first of all, and also humbled to have interacted with some leaders and future leaders. In the last few years of my career, a part of me has always wanted to push me ‘off a cliff’ to see if I could make it back up alive and when the Columbia University opportunity was thrown at me, I panicked because I knew it was time to fly and I wasn’t too sure If I was ready. Fast forward, it’s been an eye-opener as I have been introduced to various talents and incredible people who are changing the world in their own small way and it’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one concerned about our generation and what we can do to make the world a better place for us all. Thank you to Doyin, Founder of MZUZAH Africa for the opportunity, and Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh for the mentorship.
(VC) Outside the political scene on the African continent there are still very few movements making room for women entrepreneurs and progressive woman rights all over. What more would you say can be done?
(Berla) I believe women in general are fully awake now to the realities of the systems that have left us marginalized for many centuries and have taken up the mantle to change the narrative by being who they’ve always wanted to be. In Africa, we have many movements that are empowering women to channel their energies into ensuring equal opportunities and progressive women’s rights and it’s time to take it to the next level, where more young women jump on board and teach the girls their worth, teach them what it means to truly love themselves and to be fierce and unapologetically ambitious in a world full of troubles. I have started that with my B.You Project, a mentorship and career guidance project, that focuses on the mental, emotional, and psychological wellbeing of women in the tertiary institution, and the opportunities available for them to succeed.
Photo courtesy of Berla Mundi
(VC) As a beautiful black woman in Africa who is well traveled and perhaps a little privileged, what do you tell the aspiring young woman or entrepreneur about success and risk?
(Berla) You can never begin your journey to success if you only focus on what you have at the moment, and not what you can have in the future. A lot of people blame their inability to progress on their current situation, past failures and lost opportunities and they’ve been left stagnated due to this. I started my journey with virtually nothing but just a dream. If I did, then no-one has an excuse. The problem with many is that they want to start their businesses with a smiling bank account, or their careers only after a Master’s degree, or only after they have managed to jump certain hurdles, but need I remind you, that time waits for no man, and if you can’t be disciplined enough to start in your low moments, you many never be able to recognize and appreciate the bigger moments.
(VC) At this stage of your professional career and accomplishments, If you could collaborate with any brand or public figure in business who would it be and why?
(Berla) I need to work with many accomplished African women to inspire our generation and provide real opportunities for them to succeed. We are doing a lot of talk with very little action. I need people who would open up their spaces and allow us to learn from them and intern with them. I believe in collaborations and if Oprah Winfrey is open to that opportunity, I would certainly jump in because her success story is an inspiration and there are still millions of young people out there waiting for that opportunity to share their ideas and stories with her.
(VC) What kind of work or impact can the African continent and its diaspora expect from Berla Mundi within the next 5 years?
(Berla) I am currently working toward making the B.You Project a global phenomenon, that would provide scholarship and internship/job opportunities to as many young women across the continent as possible. That is my main goal and my team is working fervently on that.
I vowed to help as many people as possible. The Berla Mundi Foundation was set up to support underprivileged children in order to give them hope and a brighter future
(VC) Tell us about The Berla Mundi Foundation and the challenges. Many critics or the uninformed would say its a fad to get more notoriety.
(Berla) I have always been conscious of never forgetting where I came from and how my career began. I may never have reached this level in am career if someone had not reached out to me. As a result, I vowed to help as many people as possible. The Berla Mundi Foundation was set up to support underprivileged children in order to give them hope and a brighter future and it’s a project that keeps me grounded and grateful for the blessings an opportunities I have received.
(VC) In your quiet or noisy moments how do you get inspired. What makes Berla create the work she does. Do you seek religion or get psychological like others in the creative industry for inspiration?
(Berla) God is my source of power and in my quiet moments, I run to Him. I would never have succeeded without his favor and I never take it for granted.