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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.



Library of Articles

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5 Minute Interview – Terhas Berhe, MD, Brand Communications


The best advice I ever received is…

…’Don’t look back’.

I was educated at…

…The University of Life.

Private schools as a child from a band of strict Catholic nuns; then the local mixed secondary comprehensive in Beckingham; followed by a brief spell on an English degree course at Birmingham University before leaving to set up and run The BetterDay Company.

Playwright, essayist, editor, and entrepreneur; Paul Boakye has written for theatre, radio, film, the Internet, academia and magazines. He is the recipient of a Shell National Livewire Business Award, and a member of The Writer's Guild of Great Britain, and The Institute of Project Management.

Boakye's debut play Jacob's Ladder took the UK Student Playscript Award in 1986. In 1991, Hair received the BBC Radio Drama Young Playwrights' Award. In his self-produced Boy with Beer (1992), Boakye chooses to deal with hitherto taboo subjects including black sexuality and AIDS.

His provocative and existential writing comes of age in Wicked Games and this conflict between ‘the British, American, and African Dreams’ is also explored in Boakye’s Darker Than Blue: Black British Experience of Home and Abroad published in Britishness and Cultural Studies edited by Kris Knauer & Simon Murray (Poland: 2000). He is also author of the dramas No Mean Street for Red Ladder Theatre and the video Safe for APT Film & Video.

Boakye was the editor of the groundbreaking In the Family (2001) and In the Family 2 (2002), and co-authored The Good Practice Guidelines for HIV Health Promotion. Paul was manager of the health charity, The Network, before setting up and running Drum Media Limited, publishers of DRUM magazine (inspired by the famous Drum of South Africa in the 1950s). He joined The Power Inquiry in 2004 as one of ten Commissioners conducting an independent inquiry into Britain’s democracy.

Boakye has lived and worked in Britain and abroad. He has traveled extensively across Europe, Africa, South and North America and the Caribbean. Paul lives in SW London.
 
My first job was…

...one of the most boring things I’ve ever done.

I was a US-dollar Currency Disposal Clerk at Midland Bank International Division in the city. And I still hate banks! If I’d known then how big a role a mortgage would play in my life, I might have stayed. A peppercorn mortgage rate was about the only real attraction the job had going for it in my estimation. Some of my colleagues at the time would agree to disagree, however, and are now managers of their departments earning small fortunes. I was never the stick around and sit it out type, preferring adventure and a challenge to humdrum monotony. But we’re all different, aren’t we?

What I do now is…

…I get the job done.

Call me a project manager, if you want, but I’ve also been called a writer, editor, businessman and health promotion specialist. I’m the guy you call in when you want to plan, coordinate and control a project from start to finish, and all on time to specification and budget. In my own mind, I don’t have a title, unless it’s something like ‘Renaissance’ man.

What I learned along the way is…

…very simple. “Do your best.”

My greatest influence has been…

…without a doubt, the old man. Without dad, I wouldn’t have the foundations and the values I hold dear in life. Dad taught me to be independent and self-sufficient.

In the public eye, there are also the examples set by people like Kwame Nkrumah, Bob Marley, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Richard Branson, and Oprah Winfrey, all of whom I admire. It might no longer be politically correct, but I also have a soft spot for the sacrifices of Winnie Mandela.

The best advice I ever received is...

…a collection of memorable gems from my late mother.

Mum taught us the beauty and importance of words and left me a suitcase full of her diaries to publish. “Walk as if you know where you’re going” is a particular favourite, as is, “gentlemen wear shoes.” She should know, dad was a cobbler, and mum loved her shoes handmade. “People always need good loving, housing, food and shoes,” he would say. Not far wrong in my judgement.

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