If you are one of those who yearn to learn more about something you have been doing practically your whole life, then you might be interested in Nunya’s story.

Nunya-Nelike Apetsi was in 2nd year at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), working with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) as a radio show host when she joined EKMCC’s Kasanufo Public Speaking Training and Contest (KPSTC).

As someone who was doing a lot of public speaking even before she turned 16, one wonders why Nunya enrolled in the coveted training program.

“Basically, I joined Kasanufo to just increase my knowledge base in public speaking,” she stated, adding, “I also joined because I wanted to do something in GIJ. I was getting tired of just lectures.”

Nunya described her experience in the training as “interesting times.”

“I had an amazing time. Kasanufo was nice to me. It was a time when I felt I had a purpose in GIJ. The people I met were amazing, they made the experience what I envisioned it to be. We had great people who came to speak to us including Kafui Dey and Emaline Dartey,” she said.

Nunya’s Kasanufo Experience

Nunya shared some of the lessons that she picked from the various training sessions which have become useful to her long after Kasanufo.

In her own words, “Swanzy taught us about PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint presentations are an essential skill for your ‘uni’ life, so I remember taking that extremely seriously. Even long after his training, I went back to him to ask him, ‘Could you please help me put my PowerPoint together,’ because I remembered how beautiful his PowerPoints were. And he did help me; I think that’s how I got into graphic design. That was a very great skill, very useful. Even now, I still do use tips that Swanzy taught.”

According to her, the first winner of Kasanufo, Perpetual Asante, spent some time with them and pointed out that managing filler words is critical in public speaking. That, added to the random tips that trainers and guests chipped in every now and then such as posture, tonation and emotional intelligence among others made the entire experience worth her commitment.

Interestingly, Nunya studied Counselling Psychology after she won the contest in 2020. She shared how her prowess in public speaking positively enhanced her work as a Counseling Psychologist.

“You know, counselling psychology is a lot about speaking. Emotional intelligence as they taught us played a big role in it. So, when we had to learn emotional intelligence in my counselling psychology studies, that was something I could relate to because I had already picked it up from Kasanufo.”

Nunya also worked with an NGO for a short time where she used to do community outreaches. There too she applied her learning from the Kasanufo project. According to her, “You’d speak to even larger crowds of people on some very basic psychology tips. Public speaking definitely played a role. Kasanufo definitely enhanced the work that I did and still do in terms of counselling psychology.”

A year after she left Kasanufo, Nunya returned as a trainer. And since she has been a trainer on the project.

“In 2022, Efo called me and said he wanted me to be a trainer. I was stunned. I was also a little scared because I felt I wasn’t the best shot. I remember he asked me to teach The Typology and Psychology of public speaking based on the fact that I had recently studied counselling psychology. It was amazing. One thing that made me a little less scared was that, the trainer of the very first session of Kasanufo in my year and she did great,” she expressed with a mix of pride and excitement.

As part of the winning package for the KPSTC, winners are made to choose mentors to groom them more, and EKM Communications Consulting ensures that the winners get to have a personal relationship with their chosen mentors. Nunya, after winning, chose Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, wife of the late vice president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.

“She’s one of Ghana’s oldest librarians, a publisher and an author. So basically, she’s a lover of books, and we have that in common. I remember a couple of weeks after we met, she gave me a basket full of some of my favourite books! That’s a gesture and a gift I’ll never forget. She’s been such an inspiration, a great career guide, and a friend to my entire family since then,” she said with so much admiration in her eyes.

Nunya and Mrs. Amissah-Arthur have engaged in projects together, including setting up book clubs and building libraries.

She says her all-time favourite thing to do is to read. She loves children and has a strong passion for promoting literacy in any way possible. She owns a book club for children, the LIT Book Club. She is currently pursuing a Software Engineering program at ALX Africa, after which she hopes to create software to address the issue of illiteracy in Africa.

Nunya says, “It can be quite difficult to find your purpose in a world that’s increasingly fast-paced and full of uncertainties. But I’ve come to realise that it’s easier to thrive when you find what you’re passionate about, and go after it.”

According to her, “the best way to be a good public speaker, is to speak. And now more than ever, the world needs people who can speak up, for themselves, and for others.”

By: Mawuse Abla Agbolosu

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