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  • Writer's pictureMichèle Newton


If you understood the struggles and the hardships that still continue today for some of us, then you would get it.—Nana aba

womand with glasses and hoop earrings sitting in front of CBC microphone at desk

When you are authentic, you create a certain energy....people want to be around you because you are unique. —Andie MacDowell

Thoughts on Black History Month

I think Black History Month will endure. I see it maybe changing in different ways, but it's kind of like celebrating International Women's Day. Do you think we're going to stop celebrating International Women's Day even if things become dramatically better for women? I still think that we will celebrate women as we will continue to celebrate black history and people.

I think Black History Month is necessary. But I think I would understand if a person who was not black might be thinking, ‘oh my gosh, here we go’. If I was to hear about something a lot, maybe I would get tired too, but the thing is, that I don't. If you know black history, then you wouldn't really get tired. If you understood the struggles and the hardships that still continue today for some of us, then you would get it. —NA.


By Michèle Newton

Why is it so hard to just be who you are?

Is it the constant streams out there,

filled with images of perfection

that lead you to chase a lie?

Or is it something deeper

inside of you,

where you question

your worth and value?

It’s time to let go of all

limitations you set on yourself.

No more accepting false beliefs

or comparing yourself to others.

Believe in what you have and who you are.

Bring it with pride, with joy and enthusiasm

to the world.

Then you’ll find the path made just for you.

Who is NANA ABA?

Enthusiastic about life, love and so many things, Nana aba is the radio host of CBC’s Fresh Air, a weekend morning program in Ontario. That's where we met during Black History Month in 2018. She has pride in coming from Ghana and is connected to her "Ghana-ianess", so much that comes out all the time. Her family says she talks about Ghana a lot and even though she may not make it "right", she loves cooking traditional foods!

Her passion project is a personal podcast, Media Girlfriends. It's supports and amplifies the perspectives of diverse women who work in Toronto's media. She celebrates a lot of her friends who are doing great things.

She's also the proud mama of a boy and a girl, raising them in Toronto's east end with her husband.

“Everything about who you are is good. There's nothing bad about being a woman or short or brown skinned or you have long hair or short hair. All of it is just a fact of who you are and you must know that it is good.”—Nana aba

How about Role Models?

Born in Ghana, Nana aba came to Canada at age two with her parents, whom she always looked up to.

By constantly asking her, “What are you going to do next? What are you going to do next?”, Nana aba's ambition came from her father. He had faith in her and pushed her. Although he’s no longer with us, he would be so proud of her. “I believe my father wanted me to be committed to excellence.”

In looking back, she recalls her mother as “super confident” and someone who didn’t appear to worry about anything.

She didn’t really grow up with a group, but today Nana aba’s got a tight knit group of media girlfriends. All successful women in media, they are truly there for each other to listen and provide support with mentoring and encouragement.

“No matter what endeavor you're going for, you have to be yourself. And try to stay true to who you are and not go trying to change yourself. I think the older we get, we start to know how true this is, how true it is that you have to just be who you are.”—Nana aba

Photo by: Michèle Newton


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