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Bernice’s Digital Diary: A Ghanaian girl’s take on London
NEW YORK, USA, 23 November 2007 – Bernice Akuamoah, 21, lives in Accra, Ghana, where she has just started her third year at university. She was the first person to create a Digital Diary with UNICEF Radio and Voices of Youth (UNICEF’s online community for young people), using recording equipment to tell her story of teenage life in Accra in a six-part series.
This past summer Bernice worked as an intern at the Al Jazeera network studios in London. She had met some of the network’s staff members when they travelled to Accra to do a story about life in the city for the Al Jazeera English programme, ‘48’. They hired Bernice to help with the programme, providing insider information about Accra.
That experience led to the internship in London.
Comparing London and Accra
During her time in the British capital, Bernice recorded another Digital Diary for UNICEF Radio and Voices of Youth – a two-part story about living and working for an international news outlet in London, seen through the eyes of a young woman from Ghana with very few experiences outside of her home country.
In the first part of the story, Bernice talks about her impressions of London and how it differs from Accra.
“One thing I love about London is the parks,” she says. “They have lovely, large green parks where you can sit out. Another thing I love is the old architecture. There are all these old, lovely buildings that people still use, and it makes London very distinctive.”
Getting girls ‘back into education’
At times Bernice misses her family, but overall she’s having a wonderful time, she tells her diary. In a conversation with an English friend about differences between London and Accra, she observes: “If you go on the train [in London], everybody has the newspaper, but if you are in Accra and you go on a public transport you make a thousand friends by the time you get to your stop.”
Bernice talks with two friends who are living in London but are originally from Ghana. The young women discuss the cultural distinctions of life in the two places. “I think you should establish yourself first before you get married, especially as a woman,” says one of Bernice’s friends.
“Nowadays everyone wants to go to school and further his or her education, and I think for a woman it’s very important,” the friend adds. “I just think a man will respect you more if you are educated. When he takes you out and he talks, you can talk as well. And sometimes you will be more sensible than the man sitting beside you!
“I just think its better and I would encourage any and all girls out there to get back into education.”