Here Jackie Morrison, founder of We-Stap, writes about how a six day visit to Ghana turned in to a 150 day stay as the pandemic broke and inspired her to write her first published book The Overstayer, a collection of poems.
Jackie, aka Mama Adjua, from Thornton Heath, set up We-Stap in 2017 to combat period poverty supplying toiletries and menstrual products to women in need in Croydon.
My first trip to Ghana was in October 2019, The Year of Return, which honoured 400 years since our enslaved ancestors were stolen from Africa and transported against their will to the Americas.
Its aims were to promote tourism, while encouraging people of the African diaspora to reunite and return to Ghana.
It was a life-changing trip; a truly spiritual and inspirational journey for me and I knew I had to return!
I booked a short six day visit from March 13 to 19. The main reasons were to explore the possibility of living or working in Ghana, to attend the International Women’s Conference and visit a school in the Eastern Region to educate female students about periods; teaching them how to sew their own menstrual pads. This was linked to We-Stap.
Instead my trip lasted 150 days due to the pandemic and worldwide lockdown. During this time, I rediscovered my creative skills in writing, poetry and painting. I wrote over 100 poems and published my first book, The Overstayer,
a collection of poems, in November.
The poems detail my experiences during the lockdown, missing family and friends, falling in love with Ghana, enjoying my freedom, the sunshine, fresh foods and Ghanaian culture.
The overall title of my Ghana Project is ‘The Overstayer’ because I overstayed the initial 60 days granted by Immigration. The book is published under my pen name Mama Adjua.
Adjua, is usually spelt Adjoa and means Monday born. My daughter is also Monday born and I’m her Mama.
The Overstayer is available on Amazon Prime at £11.37. You can purchase a signed copy for £14.99 or £17.99 in a gift bag by contacting Mama Adjua at Hi@withlovefromghana.com or via
A £1 from the sale of each book will be donated to the villagers of Krodua, in the Eastern Region for their Bridge Project. This is my commitment to the PowerSis Foundation, a non-government organisation, founded in May, as part of the #StopTheSilence UK GoFundMe campaign.
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