“And I couldn’t figure it out. It might have been a season for my business but to me it was a tragic turning point. I got so worried that I couldn’t properly take care of my business anymore. Not that I had to close my shop but I couldn’t be there full-time starring at an almost empty store that was the foundation I thought my life stood on.” – Dzaka Mawufemor (34 years)
I was a hairdresser – owning my own studio. Happily married and content about the directions of my life. I’ve always been a quiet and introvert person. In 2014 I got into a season where my business was stagnating. Back then I had a lot of apprentices. So I was able to even teach people the craft I loved so much. So when the number of customers decreased it got me thinking. I was trying to reason why people were not coming again. Constantly asking myself: „Why is my work going down like this?”.
And I couldn’t figure it out. It might have been a stagnating season for my business but to me, it was a tragic turning point. I got so worried that I couldn’t properly take care of my business anymore. Not that I had to close my shop but I couldn’t be there full-time starring at an almost empty store that was the foundation I thought my life stood on.
It got to a time that I used to leave my apprentices alone at the workplace and I would come and just sit at home – starring at nothing. What I didn’t know was that people were observing me and figured that me frequently running up and down wasn’t just a phase but a condition they knew I couldn’t handle myself. My husband left his workplace to stay home and take care of me. But I needed professionals. I was brought to different hospitals. Given medication -but I refused. They needed to force me to bath and to eat – I still refused. There was nothing they could do to help me feel better. I even got to a stage where I didn’t feel cared for but rather oppressed.
I ran from the first hospital I was in. It was during the night that I left the St. Anthony Hospital in Dzodze (Volta Region). My sister then showed me a psychiatric hospital in Accra I then went to. It was then when I was ready to receive help. I did not just leave it to physicians but I sought God and tried to do my part as well. After staying at that hospital for a month, getting medication and being treated I was discharged and could return home.
Being broken, depressed and at my worst. I wanted to believe that things can still change for me. So when I returned to my husband and my family my hopelessness turned into joy when the news came: I am pregnant. That’s the chapter I entitled: New beginnings!
I am one of eight testimonials sharing my story. Still being young my life has already been very bumpy. But at my worst people thought of me and cared for me. They still help me work on my depression. And although I am still on medication and things are not perfect I choose to rather smile than frown. For I’ve been given the gift of life (again).
My name is Dzaka Mawufemor – thank you for listening to my story!
Dzaka Mawufemor was diagnosed with depression in 2013. Within the collection we reflect the stories of eight individuals who have been diagnosed with mental disorders and share their experiences of stigmatisation and rejection. The collection is dedicated to them.
A collaboration with On The Move e.V. A charity that furthers brain awareness activities all over the world and opened the first holistic Center for Mental Health, including vocational skills training and rehabilitation programs, in Ghana. Mawufemor participated in several therapy sessions and she is back to her hairdressing and petty trading.
Proceeds of our collections are furthered into a fund to support their vocational training.