The woman possessed a brutal self-awareness. Beauty, wit, gift, intimidatingly articulate – all sewn into one voluptuous body of beauty and presented as a gift to the world.
Meet Nana Abena Korkor Addo.
A woman who is looking for the man who said ‘what you don’t know doesn’t kill you’. Just so she can tell him, ‘ look, you lied’.
It was exactly that little jigsaw of ignorance about her condition that caused her life to snap. A downward spiral of the prize-collecting Aburi Girls graduate began after she was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder.
It means her life could be 24-hours of emotional extremities. Highly excitable, happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care attitude in one moment and a dark gloomy depression with suicidal tendencies in another.
It means she is mentally in Las Vegas in the morning and any moment after, at an African funeral in the evening. It means she lives with the Sun one moment and the gloomy-looking moon in another.
Her emotion is one hell of an inconsistent weather. Life was one hell of a roller-coaster ride.
That was how come she had to drop off her studies in the second year at the University of Ghana and later temporarily abandon her studies again at the University of Cape Coast in the Central region.
That was how come, her strip-teasing videos and erotic 10-second clips turned up the University of Cape Coast (UCC) on its head. The videos touched a raw perverse nerve of the sexually excitable youths and set social media on fire.
This was a third-year UCC student and an SRC presidential aspirant.
Abena remembers that day in February 2015. It started with the sunny side of her – excited and hyper. She felt a lusty urge to look up all her near-naked videos. They were a lot on her Mac book.
‘Who wants to watch?’ an over-generous thought slid in and held firmly in control that 17 February morning. And she punched keys on the laptop to dispatch her packages to friends, social media groups and even lecturers she respected and admired.
“I was mad at the whole world,” she told a fascinated host of JOY FM Super Morning Show Friday. Unresolved and unprocessed break-ups and heart-breaks and her failure to make it to medical school at the University of Ghana had gathered up huge emotional weight strapped to her life – depressing her.
And while the mouth-watering packages were getting ‘wow’ and ‘eeiii’ and ‘omg’ ‘lemme see it again’ reviews, Abena said she felt unwell and desired to go home.
The best decision in the moment of weakness. She was sent straight to the Accra Psychiatric hospital where every symptom, every story confirmed her mental condition.
She destroyed two TV sets at home before she went to the hospital and in there a nurse or two may have felt the full force of a blow or two or lost a tooth or two as she battled extreme aggression.
‘I could beat up the nurses’ she narrated her ordeal that needed four security guards to restrain.
For more than two weeks at the Accra Psychiatric hospital, Abena had to contend with poor food, dark, stinking, overcrowded wards, waking up to find another woman on top of you and a 6’4″ woman whose aggressive episodes was a double portion of her condition lying on her.
The moon side of her lurked in her mind frequently because the place was a lonely and depressing environment. “There was nothing to while away your time,” she said. “It was scary”.
Outside the confines of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, the world had sat on its judgment seat to point out the parenting mistakes of her heart-broken mother.
“People were so quick to judge,” she said as she remembered some of the ‘findings’ people threw about after using her life as ‘case study’. Some said she had lost her mind because she refused to meet her part of the bargain after meeting a spiritualist to help her win the SRC elections.
Abena agonised for her mother’s helplessness and desperation. “She was always talking to God. It was really heart-breaking,” she said.
After an episode of bipolar aggression, she would become so weak and deeply depressed, her mother had to re-do the nursing mother routine she thought was done and dusted some decades ago.
“She had to feed me, bath me and simple coordination of teeth was difficult,” Abena remembered.
Weeping weeks of a weak mother for her wound-up daughter have gone by since February and Abena is doing better. Her life is managed by a team of professionals like a superstar’s backroom staff.
She has a psychologist, her psychology lecturer, the Dean of students and three friends who play many roles in helping her stay in the middle of her emotions.
Abena is not supposed to do too much of anything and she has daily targets she writes down and works to meet them.
She has found courage to let a heavy weight of her past roll off like John Bunyan wrote in Pilgrim’s Progress. Her confidence is back.
“I have to always explain myself and my past when a guy tries to get close to me. “Is he going to accept me?” “Am I even a woman?” she reveal her battles against inferiority complex.
“I am living above that now” a sense of victory flashed through her smile. Her confidence is back, her wit is back, her gift is back and an intimidatingly articulate woman sewn into one voluptuous body of beauty is back. She is now ready to be that gift to the world again.