Ghana has taught me and continues to teach me so much. I came here with an open mind and heart and allowed the journey to guide me and it has not failed me.
Travelling alone is hard and travelling to your home country after 14 years feel a little different. I came to Ghana with no agenda aside from training during my stay. With these open arms my life was a sailboat that God directed me where to go.
Because I came for Easter many things weren’t happening. A lot of parties but the country was quiet because everyone was on Easter break. Spent time with family, visiting my extended family, went to the beach (an experience I will talk about later) and most of all rest. After 8 years of a prosperous career this was the first break I’ve ever had. I’ve pushed myself to the limit and back and I’m proud that I’m still standing. But rest truly has taught me and given me so much. The greatest lesson is acknowledgement of self. This trip taught me to remember myself. Take care of myself. Most of all sets my goals even higher.
Out of everything that’s occurred from my time here in Ghana since I arrived authenticity seems to be the one thing keeps coming up. As a Ghanaian-Canadian child I place a lot of pride in my African heritage. But my time here has had me questions the foundation that I stood so strong on. Yes it did…
Although I’m Ghanaian I don’t speak the language, eat a lot of the foods but I danced the traditional dances and for many years I thought that was enough. Coming to Ghana on my own challenged me in ways worse than expected. It tested the ground I stood on and forced me to feel more secure in myself.
Knowing your language is a gateway to understanding the sense of community. Something that truly is sacred and it is something I wish that I could be apart of it. By not speaking it put me on the outside of this community looking in. Which makes me feel like an outsider and often has people judging and telling me to learn it. That is often the first question they ask when the conversation gets past hello how are you? You are likely wondering why I don’t know it. Long story short I wasn’t taught and chose not to learn. It is officially on my bucket list to learn it but it did take me coming here to value it more. Don’t get my wrong, people speak english so I can communicate fine but it’s not the same. There’s a difference if you don’t know twi over ewe and ga. People look at you differently because you lack something. And every bit that you lack makes you less credible. One woman explained it as your birthright. She said english is not your language so you must know your language. With that statement I felt my history and lack of knowledge hitting me. And with that statement I knew that I had work to do….
These photos were taken in Aburi – in the mountains in Ghana. Red dirt and beautiful rocks plus the view of the city below made this day very memorable.
Toronto! If you didn’t catch it the first time, here is your chance to to see the show that got rave reviews at this years Kuumba Festival for one more day at The Citadel! Join the cast of ZAYO as they take you though a journey of traditional African heriage, music, dance and fashion. This show is guaranteed to have you dancing in your seat. Tickets can be purchaced on Eventbrite link below seating is limited so don’t wait!
See you there!
ZAYO: Directed & Created by Esie Mensah
I’m excited to announce that in 8 days Zayo will be coming to life again at The Citadel at 304 Parliament Street at the corner of Dundas St E and Parliament in Toronto, Ontario.
From all the great responses from people that attended the show at Harbourfront Centre, I thank you for everyone that came and supported that weekend. Because of all the great encouragement Zayo is happening again on March 10th at The Citadel. This is definitely a show that is not to be missed. So save the date!
March 10th | The Citadel | 304 Parliament Street | TWO SHOWS | 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM | $20
Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Come and check out a weekend of dance with me and The Black Stars at this year’s Kuumba festival at Harbourfront Centre. This is a weekend of dance presented by me!
Come and watch a timeless portrayal of Afrofuturism created and choreographed by Me…Esie Mensah
Saturday February 7th at 8pm
Sunday February 8th at 2 pm
The Black Stars
A performance and interactive dance show
Sunday February 8th at 430 pm
Check out bits of my classes over the past few months! Afrofusion is a style of dance that combines multiple genres from traditional and contemporary African Styles and Hip Hop, House, Dancehall, Burlesque, and more!
Check it out!
Save The Date! August 10th Esie Mensah is presenting the second series of #BEinsprd in conjunction with the charity Windfall Basics. BEinsprd is a night of art that showcases dancers, singers, musicians, visual and spoken word artists. It is a night of art, discussion and inspiration that showcases some of Toronto’s most talented artists. Artists like Sara Golish, Vaness Alegacy, Shameka Blake, Allison Bradley, Enuma Messam, Andrew “Pyro” Chung, Wolf J McFarlane, The Black Stars and many more.
We are asking people to donate personal care items to Windfall Basics. They are a charity that works to end poverty in the city of Toronto. I ask you to donate personal care items that you would bring to the show and help support Windfall help those in poverty.
August 10th 2014
City Dance Corps
489 Queen Street West (SW side of Queen Street W beside Bang-ON)
firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
AfroFusion Class with me!
Mondays 8-930pm at The Underground Dance Centre
Tuesday 7-8pm at City Dance Corps (All levels)
Thursday 4-5pm & 7-830pm at City Dance Corps (All levels)
Stiletto Hip Hop Class with me!
Wednesday 6-730 (intermediate) at City Dance Corps
If you asked me 10 years ago if I knew I would be in this position now…I’m not sure if I would be 100% surprised. I prayed and dreamed that I would end up in the entertainment business somehow but I had no idea how. This journey these past few years has been overwhelmingly beautiful. I never really got a chance to notice the process of how I got to where I am because I went through years of my life with blinders on and only coming up to breathe for air. No one saw me or heard from me…I lost friends but gained true friends that would soon be ok with my absence.
When I decided to dance, something in me changed. By making the decision to pursue this career, unconsciously I found myself. This industry tested me in ways I could never imagine; questioning morals, my beauty, who i am and what I would stand for. This industry is made to make you or break you but you decide which way you go. I’ve seen many of my friends and fellow dancers get out of the business because it’s too much to bare…or they weren’t happy. The love of what brings someone to the art form isn’t always what keeps them there. That too seems to be a cause for many peoples’ departure. You start dance because you love it but for many that love dwindles over time because of the “reality” of the industry.
Through the good, the bad and the ugly…I got stronger. I got stronger and wiser and analyzed my person when my friend Grace (also known as Shugamai Johnson) asked me what my purpose was. Until that point I thought my purpose was to dance…but it’s not. I realized that dance is merely a vessel to help me fulfill my life’s purpose. I know I’m here to help inspire people and this journey of life and dance will help me get there.
I will continue to dream beyond my eyes…past the stars…deep into galaxies. The height of my being is seen through God’s eyes and I will continue to do my part to help realize that.
Thank you for taking the time out to visit my page! Please search, like and comment on anything you see as I would love to hear from you. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Youtube @esiemensah
If you were inquiring about classes come out to City Dance Corps every week for:
AfroFusion Tuesday 7-8pm and Thursday 4-5pm and 7-830pm