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Anita Erskine Celebrated by Forbes   
 
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30-Apr-2019  
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Anita Erskine has lived the dream of every young person sweeping stages, copying scripts, or fetching coffee at a studio. She was a lowly intern on a talk show, “The Bold & The Beautiful,” when the host of the live show called out sick. Erskine was dressed for a day behind the scenes, not her TV debut, but before she knew it, she was sitting in the host chair thinking to herself, “This lady is never coming back.” And thus, at 18, Anita Erskine started her career in front of the camera.

This story may seem fantastical to the reader, but after spending just a few hours with Erskine is becomes believable. She puts in the time to do the hard work and has a natural aptitude for building a personal brand.

Now, back in Ghana, she’s focused on something bigger than her personal brand. She is focused on using the media to promote the African brand and is doing it in a real and nuanced way. The two prevailing attitudes towards Africa’s brand are nicely portrayed by two editions of The Economist. The May 2000 edition included an article titled Hopeless Africa which cites flood, famine, and war summing up its laundry list of ills with, “No one can blame Africans for the weather, but most of the continent's shortcomings owe less to acts of God than to acts of man.” Ten years later, we had The Hopeful Continent: Africa Rising which described the continent as being, “home to millions of highly motivated entrepreneurs and increasingly prosperous consumers.” 

Famine or the next China; for many there was not any option in between for Africa, but perceptions are beginning to shift. According to the March 2019 edition of The Economist, we are now in The New Scramble for Africa. The original scramble was orchestrated by a group of powerful white men, sitting in Germany, dividing up the continent for themselves. By the end of the 19th century, only Liberia and Ethiopia were still independent. In the new scramble, the players may be different (China and Russia primarily), but the goals are the same. Foreigners taking advantage of a power and wealth disparity to take Africa’s riches for themselves.

Erskine is working so that in this scramble, it is not the colonialist or the foreign investor who ultimately wins, but the African entrepreneur. Since 2012, Anita has championed entrepreneurs by filming over 100 of their stories through the TV series, "Making Of A Mogul," as well as female heroes from the continent with "Sheroes Of Our Time." She is focused on not only those entrepreneurs born and raised on the continent, but also people like herself born in Africa and educated abroad. She is a siren calling others to follow her path home.

 
 
Source: www.forbes.com
 
 

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