I mentioned in my last blog how excited we all are for the African Cup of Nations, and to celebrate the start of the tournament, today Sulley and I are launching a competition where you can all show support for the Black Stars on Twitter and have the chance to win some great prizes.
My husband Sulley is currently in Gabon preparing with the rest of the Ghanaian international team ahead of their kick off match tomorrow against Botswana. Show your support to our boys for the chance to win a trip for two to see the Black Stars play in their World Cup qualifying game against Lesotho in Accra, Ghana, on Friday 1st June 2012 as well as signed Muntari football kit! All fans need to do is submit a picture or video of how they would celebrate a Sulley Muntari goal as fans. They can submit their entry by posting a link to my Twitter feed, @MenayeDonkor, with the hash tag “#GhanaToWin”.
The competition will run throughout the group stages, closing on 1st February 2012 as the final whistle is blown in the last group game against Guinea. Sulley will personally pick his top 3 goal celebration acts and the winners will be announced on the 3rd February on Twitter, so start getting creative and upload your best goal celebration to win some fantastic prizes!
Let’s go Ghana!
Sorry I have been away for so long – Christmas and New year were incredibly busy and I have a lot to update you on.
So, Sulley and I went back to Ghana to spend Christmas with our families and it was so great to see them all together. Christmas day was the one year anniversary of marriage so it was awesome to have all our family members around to celebrate with us. Sadly however, during my stay in Ghana my Grandma was not well and I’m sad to say she passed away on New Year’s day at the age of 95. It has been a very sad time for all of us but we thank God for putting her in our lives and now resting in perfect peace with God in heaven. The remainder of our stay in our home country went pretty quick after that but was great to have all our little nieces and nephews around to brighten up the days.
Whilst we were in Ghana we also got the chance to officially open up the new ICT suite and library at the Menaye International School. It was a great event and hundreds of people turned up for the celebration to marvel at the new facilities. The kids were really delighted and it was so nice to see all their little smiling faces again.
I have now come over to London for the week to see to some business and am back to Ghana on Thursday . I am so looking forward to being back in a warm country again as London is freezing at the moment!
Sulley is now away training for the African Cup of Nations which we are very excited about and I think Ghana have a really great chance. I’m so excited to head out to Gabon soon to support him and even though the tournament hasn’t kicked off yet, I already miss my husband!
Come on Ghana!
Love Menaye xxx
I had such an exciting week last week. On Sunday I flew over to London and on Monday I began a week’s worth of acting lessons! We had a really great director and there were only three of us in the classes so it was really intimate and we got some real quality teaching time. It was great fun, especially as I also had a former Miss Malaysia in my group who knew some of the girls from my 2004 Miss Universe competition, so we had a great laugh.
It was not all fun and games though. I took up the class because I really wanted to test myself and find out whether I could really have a career in acting. On Thursday as the course came to an end, we produced a show reel each which included different video clips to show off our different acting skills. I felt quite confident, thanks to all my modeling experience, so being in front of the camera as well as a big group of people and bright lights for hours was not intimidating at all!
I did however learn a lot, especially from the very experienced director, Brian Deacon, who taught me that acting comes from with-in and you have to be yourself and be honest with the camera. He gave me loads of homework to be getting on with when I am back in Milan including a list of books to read as well as a couple of pointers for the future.
It was a really great week and I am so glad I took part in the course, but I am so glad to be back in Milan not only as I got to see my Sulley after he played such a great game on Saturday, but because it was absolutely freezing in London!
Love Menaye xxx
So the last two weeks for me, were all about giving back to the community and I want to say thanks to everyone who helped raise awareness for HIV/AIDS around World AIDS Day. I really hope we helped to make a difference but don’t forgot it’s not just for one day, this is a cause that we always need to remember and work together to support.
Secondly I just wanted to tell you about this amazing charity event I attended last week in support of the Pangea charity in a beautiful theatre in Milan. The charity helps to empower women and provides support for women in abusive relationships and marriages around the world. I have worked with the charity for a few years now and actually provided a testimonial for the organization a couple of years ago as I have always felt strongly that no man women or child should have to live in fear.
This year in support of the cause, myself and a load of my friends including Georgette Eto, Susana Werner (wife of Inter Milan goalie Julio Cesar) and Houssine Kharja’s wife bought a table at the event and then I bid for a prize in the auction where the proceeds went to support an inspirational women in Afghanistan who wants to set up her own bread factory. I bid for a one-off designer bag donated by some of the world’s top fashion designers including Louis Vuitton and Moschino who joined together to create bespoke pieces for the charity. I am so excited to pick up the bag and so delighted to have been able to contribute to help this amazing woman fulfill her ambitions.
Check out the pictures, it was a truly amazing night and for a really great cause!
Love Menaye xxx
I wanted to take some time today on World AIDS day to talk to you about why AIDS awareness is something I feel so passionate about.
Firstly, some pretty shocking statistics. At the end of 2010 there were 34 million people in the world living with HIV or AIDS. In my home country of Ghana, over a quarter of a million people are infected with the disease, and whilst education and medical provision is improving all the time, the condition continues to devastate lives and families. Hundreds of thousands of children in Ghana have lost at least one parent to the disease and many more have been left as orphans.
The numbers are truly staggering, but behind each statistic is a personal story of tragedy. Hearing these stories first hand from orphans that I have met in Ghana are both heart-breaking and incredibly moving.
My charity, the Menaye Charity Organisation, has, over the years, provided financial support to a number of orphanages across Ghana. A few years ago, when I was visiting one of the orphanages, I met a little boy who was infected with HIV after his mother passed it down to him. His mother and father had both already died of the disease and so the little boy was left to fight each day without the support of his family. The orphanages in Ghana do incredible work, literally saving lives every day, but they are no substitute for a healthy, happy family life. The fact that the possibility to grow up with these basics of human life had been taken away from this little boy before he was even out of the womb, is truly devastating.
What is worse, is that it is so unnecessary. With better education, screening, and medical care, so many more lives could be saved.
One of the major problems in Ghana, and again something that I have witnessed firsthand, is the lack of knowledge about prevention of the infection spreading. In some areas the use of contraceptives as a solution is not only not known about, it is sometimes actively discouraged. There is also a lack of awareness about the way HIV and AIDS is spread to unborn children.
What is needed is more education, easier access to protection and better medication. It is not an easy task, but together, we can improve the situation.
No child should be born in to this world without hope. Spare a thought for the millions of children across the world who suffer every day at the hands of this disease and do what you can to help raise awareness wherever you are in the world.
God bless you all,
Firstly, I just want to thank everyone for your concerns and caring messages after Sulley got injured playing for the Black Stars last week in France. I am delighted to be able to tell you however that he is well on the mend and is almost back to normal now!
Sorry it’s been a long time since my last post, I have been so incredibly busy with different interviews and shoots, also trying to juggle sorting everything out for mine and Sulley’s new home in Ghana! I have been shipping lots of our belongings over to the new house and trying to decide what to send there and what to keep in Milan has been really difficult. I hope I get the chance to go out there soon and see our new place and also see how my school and the new kids that I met a few weeks ago are getting on!
As some of you might know, the 1st December is World AIDS Day which supports a cause very close to my heart. I have done a lot of charity work with kids affected by and infected with AIDS and HIV, so I really wanted to travel to Ghana this week and spend the day visiting some orphanages that work with these kids. Unfortunately, I am unable to make the trip to Ghana this time around, but I am planning to visit on the 19th December to make a donation to an orphanage in Somanya which I have extensively worked with in the past. I can’t wait to see the smiles on the kids faces! I am also anxious to know how they are getting on with school and just their daily activities in general.
Everyone please try to do something, no matter how small, to help raise awareness of AIDS and HIV on 1st December – even posting a tweet could bring one more person to join the fight against the disease.
Love Menaye xxx
Phew have I had a busy but very exciting few days! I flew back to London on Friday for an interview with Inspirational Women’s Magazine who have revealed that they want to feature me as their Inspirational Woman of the Month in December! I’m really excited as they also want me to be on the cover of their magazine in the New Year, so watch out for that!
On Sunday night I attended the Ghana UK Based Achievement Awards (GUBA Awards) at the Park Plaza which was a truly amazing event. It’s really fantastic that so many people gathered together to celebrate great achievers from our culture. I had the great opportunity to present the award for the Best Radio Presenter which I was delighted to award to the talented Kwaku Owusu Frimpong of Rainbow Radio.
I’ve included a few pictures of me all dressed up from Sunday!
There were loads of great personalities at the event including a number of top footballers such as Anton Ferdinand, Asamoah Gyan, John Paintsil and the new Arsenal player, Emmanuel Frimpong, so it was a real pity Sulley couldn’t make it due to his training commitments.
I also got to meet His Excellency Prof Kwaku Danso-Boafo, the high commissioner representing Ghana in London, and Dentaa, the Founder of the GUBA awards, which was a real honour.
A great weekend, but now it’s time to get back to work. Yesterday, I had an all day photo shoot and an interview for a magazine, and today I am leaving London behind again for the time being and flying back to Milan… Will update you again soon!
Love Menaye xxx
Hey everyone, I am finally back in Milan and have enjoyed spending time with Sulley after not seeing him for such a long time! It’s great to be back but winter is definitely beginning to approach and the days are getting colder – unlike in Ghana!
I know that this relaxing and quiet period will not last for long though. I already have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline and a busy few months ahead. I am travelling back to London later this week for the Ghana UK-Based Achievement (GUBA) awards on Saturday night which should be really fun as I’m presenting an award and a lot of my friends will be there. Next week I have a photo shoot for a magazine and an interview with another publication to discuss the Menaye Charity Foundation which I am really looking forward to.
Busy times ahead but I am excited to share my exciting experiences with you guys all the way.
Love Menaye xxx
I am now back in London for work after a busy trip to Ghana trying to finalize the condo in Accra which is still not complete! I do try to make it a priority to be really involved in all my projects, so I like to see and feel everything that is going into making these comfortable homes for families and I have to admit that I am a little bit picky. I am even considering making trips to a few places to choose the final fixtures and fittings!
When in Ghana I am still living at my parents, staying in the room which I grew up in! As much as I love staying there because it is literary five minutes away from all the cool places in Accra and it is a real family hub where we all come together to eat and socialize, I can’t wait for mine and Sulley’s new house to be ready. We are really excited!!!
Today I am travelling back to Milan and can’t wait to see Sulley again. I’m hoping to stay there for at least two weeks but you never know what could happen as I have a very busy month coming up in November. I will let you all in on the secret very soon…
Love Menaye xxx
So, this week I am still in Ghana, working as many hours as I can find in the day to finalise all the different fixtures and fittings for the condo. It is finally near completion and the long hard slog is ending with the nice task of adding the finishing touches to make the properties homely for the new occupants.
I’m so busy finishing this project to provide nice homes for others that I am yet to get a proper night’s sleep in my own new home! As you all know, Sulley and I recently moved back to Milan after staying in hotels for months. Then a few weeks ago we were finally able to move into our new apartment, but so far I have only managed to spend one night there… and I had to leave at 6am the next morning to catch a flight! I am really looking forward to getting back home, settling in properly and spending some quality time with Sulley enjoying our new apartment.
On Thursday I am going to visit the Menaye International School and I am very excited to meet all the new students that have started this term. I am also looking forward to seeing first-hand all the great renovations and the new IT suite and library at the school, which will contribute enormously to providing a quality education for these underprivileged children.
Off to London for a busy week next week– catch up then!