Barrier Breaker of The Month of December 2020
The Barrier Breaker of the month of December Is….
Bernard Acquah also known as Tall Blaq Ben a Ghanaian Gambian residing in the Gambia. He’s a professional Photographer, an Auditor and a Graphic Designer. Can we please encourage him to go into videography too lol.
Have you always wanted to become a Photographer.
Bernard: Yes. I actually started editing photos on my phone. Once upon a time all I had on my phone were editing apps for no reason. I did not have a good phone to play any games. All I could do was edit photos. It was something I did for fun. Eventually everyone started sending me their photos to edit. I had learnt how to cut someone’s picture and paste them on a white background and I was like WOW. I had learnt so much about editing pictures that my phone at that time was not really helping so I got an iPhone 6 which was amazing and I started taking more pictures and posting them on Social Media but they were mostly black & white photos.
You can follow his Black & White Page here https://instagram.com/tall_blaq_ben?igshid=1tniq2zxrwr5l
Not all violence is physical
Bernard: I grew up in a home where everything looked perfect and later realized that things were not as perfect as it seemed. Most times we associate violence with hitting or slapping, that’s also violence but there are other people going through stuff in their relationships. It’s not just marriage. Some are going through stuff they can’t really talk about. It could be a mum hating their child. You can’t really tell anyone that your mum hates you. Unless you come with scars, people will not believe you. What if the person does not come with scars? There’s more to violence than just the physical hitting.
Not all Violence is Physical
Jois: You may not hit someone but your words can break them. Words are very powerful. There is a saying “Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can shatter souls. Words matter, choose wisely”. This is very true; there are a lot of people going through stuff that are not showing physically on their body but their souls are being affected. There are definitely violence that are physical, If you find your self in any please seek help and also LEAVE. Its not worth staying, we need you to survive.
Was Graphic Designing a passion too?
Bernard: I am a Jack of all a trade. I want to learn everything and so I got into graphic designing by accident. My friends and I started Tall Blaq Bois; we were printing T-Shirts etc. We asked someone to create a logo for us and he did a crappy job, so I took it upon myself to try making one and so I started downloading You Tube videos and learning and enjoyed creating something out of nothing.
Jois: This was you stepping out on faith. At Barrier Breakers Corner we say step out on Faith and defy the odds and sometimes you may not really like what you’re doing but just step out. Opportunities will always present themselves. You may not know where it will take you but just do it. You may most likely enjoy it later or it will create an avenue for you to be where you actually want to be. For example I am not a social media person, I don’t like to be out there, putting up pictures and doing videos. I like to be behind the scenes but because of Barrier Breakers Corner I need to step out on Faith. I don’t know where it’s going to take me but I’m glad I am being an inspiration by helping others. Sometimes you do not need to look at where it’s going to take you, look at who’s been inspired at that moment. You’ll see people loving what you do and you can turn it into a business.
Bernard: Exactly, we have been programmed to believe that it is only when we become a Doctor or a Lawyer, Accountant, Engineer, etc. that’s the only way you can make money but that’s not true. You can make money out of what you love to do, your hobby. It is actually fun too. You can commercialize anything and social media helps too with showcasing your products. If you’re good in something just keep doing it and commercialize it because one day someone will need your services.
He created our Podcast Art. Very very talented and has grown so much in his work. You can contact him via email at TallBlaqBen@gmail.com or via Instagram on his main page https://instagram.com/tallblaqben?igshid=132l7vvmrcipy
Getting equipment is a big challenge for me because we do not have a proper photography store in The Gambia so whatever you need you’ll have to order from outside plus Covid19 did not really help at all.
Bernard: Do not do anything for free. Even with friends, I can bless you with my talent but any cost associated with my coming to you, example, transportation you will have to pay for it. I will not charge you but give me something.
Jois: Yes! We need to support each other, especially family and friends. You may not have the money but support them by spreading the message about their business, sharing their business page and if you can invest at least monthly for a brief period too that’s fine.
Bernard: One of the biggest things I have also learnt in life is finding happiness. We were never taught to be happy. As a kid even when we went out to play, we were beaten for that. We’ve been taught how to make money, how to raise a family but never how to be happy and we follow this trend of going to school, get a job, get married which is good but as a young person, you could never tell your African parent that you want to go on a vacation or do anything for yourself. Money and success will come but learn to be happy and find something or do something that makes you happy. Not happiness that comes from others but happiness that comes from you. I used to suffer from depression but I have finally come to a place where I appreciate myself for who I am. I used to think I was ugly but these days I tell myself how cute I am and I don’t care what people think about me. I do not own a mirror in my house anymore. I wake up in the morning and I make sure I look good.
Find yourself and be happy
Jois: That is you finding your self worth cause you getting up and having that mindset will attract people to you. People with a positive energy will be attracted to your positive energy and those with a negative energy will be attracted to someone with a negative mindset which in return will cause more problems for them. Nobody wants to be around someone that’s always negative (maybe some people do).
Bernard: The most important thing is trying and not giving up, nobody started out perfect or being world number one in something. They started from somewhere and kept going and became number one. I tell my siblings if you love something and believe in yourself, just keep doing it. A lot of people focus on the financial aspect of things where for example they start a business and it’s not booming and they become sad. I also hear people complaining about social media and how many likes they get. For example I got 20 likes or 10 likes. These are 20 people that actually loved what you did and if you do not appreciate them then how will you get 300 or 1,000 likes. Also learn how to celebrate the little wins. We don’t have to wait for milestones to celebrate. Most of the time we are so worried about where we’re going, we do not realize how far we’ve come. When you look at how far you’ve come, that should motivate you to keep going.
Jois: Absolutely. When you look at where you were a couple of months ago, a year ago, 5 years ago, there should be some sort of growth that should encourage you to keep going. Sometimes it’s not just that but the encouragement you get from different people should let you know you’re on the right track. To whom much is given, much is required Luke 12:48 and so for me I always say take good care of the little that you have and more will be given to you but if you do not take good care of it, even the little that you have will be taken away from you Matthew 13:12. Barrier Breakers Corner started in 2015 as a retreat/camp for Youths, 2020 was our 1st year having a Social Media Platform and it’s been amazing. There were days I did not feel like posting anything but those were the days I got encouraged by someone’s text or call or received more comment/contribution on the post. There are people watching you that you may or may not know, do what you do and do it well, one day they will call you or recommend you to someone. One day you’ll get the Breakthrough that you’ve been waiting for. One day you’ll look back and see that you Broke Barriers.
Thank You Bernard aka Tall Balq Ben for doing this interview with me. I really appreciate it.
You can listen to the whole interview on these platforms – ITunes, Spotify, Audiomack, TuneIn, Google Podcast, Stitcher, Amazon, Podbean, Castbox and Podbay.fm.
Audiomack Podcast Link – https://audiomack.com/barrier-breakers-corner/song/barrier-breaker-of-the-month-of-december-2020