Saturday, 16 April 2016

Juliet Ibrahim: Life Beyond The Screen

Juliet Ibrahim is a woman of many parts: an actress, a singer, producer, film director and compere. But Juliet Ibrahim is touching more lives off the spotlight. Her Juliet Ibrahim Foundation is impacting lives by creating awareness on kidney cancer, malaria, HIV-AIDS and Ebola.
“So far, so good. Our primary target at the Juliet Ibrahim Foundation is people with kidney related ailments but it’s gone broader than that now and we reach out to practically anyone suffering from any kind of ailment too much for them to handle on their own,” she tells Guardian woman. We actually need to do more and this can only be achieved if we get supports or grants from appropriate quarters.
The Juliet Ibrahim Foundation started work in Ghana but has registered in Nigeria and the United States of America and would soon start operating there.
With representation in Ghana, and the United States, Juliet, through her foundation, hopes to build a network of resources that would help the people in Africa suffering from these sicknesses and other related diseases.
“We get new patients every week from both Ghana and Nigeria. My NGO has over 10 patients that we help on a regular basis to pay for their dialysis treatments weekly,” she says.
Juliet-Ibrahim2But, sometimes, her help is sought when it is late for her to make stronger impacts.
“Unfortunately, we had 3 patients who passed on due to complications of kidney transplant, she tells Guardian Woman. “One was a 4-year-old girl who had tumour in the eye but unfortunately my NGO was called in too late. She passed on when we started the surgical procedure and these are very sad experiences.”
In addition, Juliet Ibrahim Foundation has Save A Life Fund, purposely established to encourage donors to contribute to saving the lives of people suffering and End it Now!, a health campaign programme which brings together music, movie and TV stars to support to save lives. Her foundation also organizes SEALED!, a concert aimed at raising funds to support JIF in its operations. SEALED! is mainly purposed to help the less privileged.
In line with work with the foundation, she recently produced and directed and acted in a short film, ‘Hope’ which is a story on HIV. The film also stars actor John Dumelo.
I intend to use it to educate the public about HIV and on the life and survival of HIV patients. The film talks about the life after contracting HIV and how significant it is to get detected early to be able to live a healthier life living with HIV.”
However, Juliet refuses to be tagged an advocate of the rights of women in spite of the fact that her debut directorial work focuses on the vicissitudes in the lives of five women.
“I’m an advocate for everyone’s rights, women, men, children and what have you,” she says.
“The series is just about the everyday experiences of women. It’s something almost every woman would be able to relate to. It talks about what women live with, their fears, expectations, ordeals and what more.
But she says the television series – Every Woman Has A Story – has nothing to do with her personal experiences. She says, “It’s not my story.”
She notes that she faces challenges as a human being, but nothing peculiar to her as an individual or as a woman.  “Being a human being in these present times is a challenge. I don’t think I have ever had to deal with that kind of challenge anyway.”
In spite of those challenges, Juliet says she finds inspirations and strength in her family and in being a mother.
“Family means everything to me, my family are my best friends,” she says.
To her, motherhood is like a school where life-changing courses are taught. “Motherhood is a very big deal. it opens you up in ways you’ll never imagine, she says of the impact it has on her personal life.
“It’s a school on it’s own: you learn how to give without expecting anything in return; how to be tolerant, patient and more sensitive.
“All these of course have helped in shaping me to be a better person.”
We get new patients every week from both Ghana and Nigeria. My NGO has over 10 patients that we help on a regular basis to pay for their dialysis treatments..
Lately, the award-winning actress has been focusing on her career as singer, though she became well known as an actress. Contrary to popular opinion, she said she is not shifting to singing, and she says her debut album as a singer is in the works.
“It’s not a shift so to say, considering the fact that it’s pretty much still within the line of my profession,” she states.
“I had always wanted to be a singer, music was my first love since childhood and I’m happy I finally got round to doing it. It’s something I’m passionate about so it’s serious business and I’m working on my album.”
Juliet is also breaking new grounds apart from her career has an actress and a singer. She was a compere at the last GLO/CAF Football Awards, the same event where she was once an usher. How did she feel about that?
Juliet-Ibrahim-4“It felt great! I never dreamt of hosting CAF awards when I was an usher; I was simply there to do my job. But if God is for you who shall be against you? Whatever is meant to be will be. I simply advise people to be determined and work towards achieving your goals. Your luck is under your feet.”
She believes that her multicultural background – read, colour of her skin – has nothing to do with her successes. Whatever achievement she has enjoyed is due to her personal efforts.
“People think as a mixed race person, you are automatically favoured or doors just open for you without you making efforts but that is so not the case.
“I go through due process like every other person, regardless of their race or colour, I’m not privileged or accorded preferential treatment because of the colour of my skin.”
In spite of the misconceptions, she tells Guardian Woman that her background is a well-grounded African. “I’m in love with Africa. I am African. I am partly Ghanaian as well as partly Liberian and very soon partly Nigerian who knows.”
To better develop her directorial skills, She says she will be furthering her education on filmmaking. She also intends to produce and direct as many movies as she can that will keep putting Africa on the map as well as use them to educate the public about real live situations and solutions. She also hopes to debut a reality show titled “The Perfect Assistant” soon.

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