Erefua Yanney is a friend of mine and she is about to make history. Only a ‘mad’ person will do what she seeks to do. Since I’ve always known Erefua to be ‘mad’ in so many ways, I wasn’t exactly surprised when I heard that she was about to embark on such a journey.
I first met Erefua a little over ten years ago. We both worked on ‘Radio & TV Reviews’ – a ‘little’ magazine which caused a lot of waves about the airwaves in the late 1990s. At first sight, she’s all prim and proper. But it didn’t take long for me realise that she is one of the most free-spirited Ghanaian women I will ever know. She’s witty, very sarcastic and extremely daring. It’s the dare-devil in her that has put Erefua up for this challenge. Sarcasm won’t take her far but she needs all her wits about her for this adventure.
Erefua seeks to join a small group of very brave women from seven other Commonwealth countries on a skiing expedition to the South Pole – one of the coldest places on earth, where temperatures can go as low as −80°C. It’s called the Commonwealth Women’s Antarctic Expedition and the participants will ski over a distance of 500 miles. If their butts are not immobilised by the frigid climate down under, they should hopefully reach the South Pole on January 1, 2010.
Why does she want to do this?
“Being a part of this of this expedition, just having the chance to represent my country, will test my mental and physical abilities and push me far beyond anything I have ever done before,” she says. “This is truly an exciting opportunity that comes with great responsibility and total commitment to teamwork to ensure the success of the expedition. I wouldn’t trade places with anybody in the world right now.”
Erefua is one of two Ghanaian women shortlisted for possible participation in this unusual adventure. The other lady is Sheillah Boachie-Danquah, a graduate of the University of Cape Coast. The final selection takes place in Norway next month and there is no need for me to spell out where my bias lies. I will certainly be proud to have a woman who froze her butts off in the icy cold of the South Pole in an adventure of stamina, endurance and strength – just to make history – as a friend. That would make her the first Ghanaian (woman) to reach the point where the earth rotates on its axis and at the end of it all, I know she would show a lot of us that it pays to be ‘mad’.
Erefua needs all the encouragement she can get. Do send her an email at email@example.com
And for more on the Commonwealth Women’s Antarctic Expedition check out www.commonwealthexpedition.com