After a much needed hiatus, we have been busy meeting and lining up what WCA would look like for the new year. We are so excited to present our next Bosschique Ms. Bernice Antwi. WCA believes highly that women should be involved in health and fitness, meaning having healthy eating as part of our lives and a healthy workout regiment. Be it running, zumba, yoga or self guided at home workouts we need a routine to remain healthy fit Bosschiques. Our Bosschique for this month is changing the health and fitness landscape in Ghana. I met Miss Antwi at a recent summit I attended called the Women 2.1 summit, she gave a talk during the summit about making health and fitness a part of our lives as African women. Her energy ignited the entire room, and not to say her cool and colorful workout gear. Miss Bernice taught the entire audience a quick at home workout and also provided sample juices she created to her audience as well. Ladies and gentlemen we hope you enjoy hearing from Ms. Bernice the God fearing, hardworking, and sassy entrepreneur as much as we did.
ON BERNICE THE WOMAN
Q: Who is Bernice in One Word?
Q: So you are Ghanaian? Where are you currently based and tell us when you started training people to be healthy? How long have you been in this industry?
A: Yes, proudly Ghanaian and currently living in Accra I started training during my university school days. My programme of study (BSC. Sports and Exercise Science) required that I complete certain hours of clinical internship. I took six months (2 semester breaks) to learn and work in a very known orthopedic hospital in Ghana. It was there in the hospital that I learned the real practical skills of my theory based study in class and of course under the supervision of an exercise therapist. I had the privilege of drawing workout programmes for stroke patients and amputees aimed at rehabilitation them to near independence of performing regular daily activities. This was the best days of my learning life. I have officially been in the fitness industry for 5 years.
Ms. Antwi at the Woman 2.1 Summit
Q: Please share with us what a typical day looks like for you in your work and tell us the many hats you wear as a woman?
A: Ha! My typical day starts at 4am ( or 4.30am depends on how well I fight the urge to give in to sleep) I tell you every working day of mine looks like a battle against time. Between seeing an early morning client, to finally dragging my usually very tired yet fulfilled self home to my bed. I am a regular TV guest on one of our TV stations morning show as a fitness coach (which usually takes up my morning) I manage a health page and fitness page on Facebook (My Health Page) where I go to answer questions for people I direct to my page. By noon I attend a meeting or two concerning my field of interest, all the while answering calls (which come intentionally) from men and women with fitness challenges.
By late afternoon I have to be in my work studio to meet prospective clients as well as prepare for evening workout bootcamp sessions. By this time, I'm nearing end of my working day.
ON FITNESS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Q: What is one thing you enjoy about your work and how do you take time for yourself?
A: I am a shepherd to church members in my home cell group. I'm the guardian/sister to my 10yr old sister who lives with me, A Coach to my clients and Motivator to all those who reach out to me through any media available. I love my work most when I meet people with similar passions (It chives me to give them my best). I love to research and piece together articles about lifestyle and fitness related articles. I am excited to see people work hard and see results. I do take time off though, every other while when I claim a day off - just lay in bed with a glass of lemon grass tea flavoured with pineapple or end up at the beach for a solemn still with my best friend.
|Ms. Antwi at her studio in Osu, Accra training clients |
Q: Please describe some challenges you face in the health and fitness industry as a professional and personally as a woman and explain to us what you learned from them?
A: Some of my challenges include definitely the inadequate awareness of health and fitness issues and how it affects society. The high cost of a set workable studio (workout space). Limited skills training for advancement in carrier path in my part of the world. In my country Ghana fitness coaching is directly equated to bulky men, it is such a surprise to many (and some even find it hard to accept a woman -tiny (5'4")- not bulky and a fitness coach!! I have however built my strength through these obstacles. I have learnt to be persistent, passionate, professional and focused. These drive me from strength to strength.
Q: What would you say sets you apart from others as a fitness expert?
A: I constantly review feedback information from clients to further enhance my delivery.
I stay updated always, through my affiliate organisations. The most recognizable being American College of Sports Medicine ranked the best and first in Sports and Fitness education and resource.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to go into the health and fitness industry in Ghana?
A: Be technically equipped and ready to add knowledge always (form affiliations with world renowned fitness and exercise associations)
ON AFRICAN WOMEN
Q: Can you tell us the top 3 things every woman needs to be successful in your industry that you currently work in?
A: Be courageous, Create your own works specific to your environment and be original
A woman knows best what other women need to stay fitspired, so do not be afraid to stand out.
Q: 10 years from now where do you want your brand to be and where do you see yourself?
A: 10 years from now, my brand should be domesticated and reachable to all. Just as one wakes up in the morning and walks straight for her toothbrush, so will one treat exercise.
My life and journey will minister to young and older women alike, boys and men too through training from a school I will set up for fitness professionals.
10 years from now, my nation will be more receptive to Healthy eating, exercise and fitness.
Q: How do you think your work impacts women, any short testimonials you can share ?
A: Women need help with all that we go through as women. Pregnancy, Post Partum, Weight gain and loss due to hormonal in balances, and so much more.
My work fits every woman, and I know this because 98% of my clients are women.
I draw fitspiration from all the women my work impacts (from all works of life).
A testimony to share from my first client. She had her wedding coming up in 3 moths and came to me for assistance. She's now happily married, pregnant with her first baby and still having fun exercising. She had these words to say about my work,
"Maabena as I affectionately call her is an excellent trainer who helps in achieving your aim of keeping fit. Her job ethics is a combination of firmness and friendliness. She is a motivator and does not give up on you easily when the going gets tough. She encourages by saying '1 last one don't give up', Her warm and approachable nature gives the right environment for each session. Because of her effort and zeal at work I now see exercising to be fun but not a pain. I am and will continue to recommend her without any reservation"
Q: So in this day in age with so much going on, what keeps you going as a woman?
A:My spirituality drives me. I'm a very spiritual woman; I believe in Christ Jesus and His saving grace, and I believe in the ministry given me to be a change maker and to impact the lives of women in Africa through fitness. There is no better driving force than a positive mental platform. I make a conscious effort to see the good in all situations. It's very difficult for me to dwell in a negative environment.
Lastly, my family is my rock and cushion.
Q: If you were asked to train 3 African women who are famous or not who would it be and why?
A Stay at home Mother of 2 children
A President of an African country and A Board Chair of a multi million dollar company
I will train all these women because they all have one thing in common, WOMANHOOD, and every woman of all origin and shape needs confidence to unleash her power.
Q: Finish the sentence “Women Change Africa because…..?”
A: Woman Change Africa because we are the ones who must!
For inquires on her services contact Miss Antwi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also contact her via her facebook page My Health Page
Also contact her via her facebook page My Health Page