Jenga Africa to host mental health concert next year

Will bring in international personalities.

In Summary
  • Organisation committed to improving the health, education and livelihoods of children.
Sheila Akwara
Sheila Akwara
Image: File

Sheila Akwara of Jenga Africa will bring international artists for a concert in 2020 to highlight the issue of mental health.

Jenga Africa is committed to improving the health, education and livelihoods of children.

Akwara has spoken about her journey to self-awareness after an attempted suicide. She told Radio Jambo’s Japani Massawe, “I had a lot of problems in life. I went to a school where we would be beaten a lot to get good results. [At home] I wasn’t happy but I had good parents.

“My uncles would come to our home and influence a lot of things. I wasn’t talking at home and at school and so one day, I attempted to take away my life.

“I thank God because it didn’t work. I passed out for many hours, like eight to 10 hours. When I woke up, I threw up. I had a headache that lasted for like two days. God healed us over the years.”

At the age of 16, Akwara flew to the US where she finished her high school and college education. Her eyes were opened to the huge difference between the US and Africa

“There are so many things like relationships and there is stigma. People think others want to get attention. But no, there is life pressure. When I went to the US, things were different. Here in Africa, men are told to be strong, not to cry, so they grow up not feeling as they should express themselves.”

“I overcame because of my faith. I’m a Christian. I grew up thinking that I’m not loved and that my life didn’t have a meaning. I had many mentors and I was introduced to Christ. I beg the families to listen to your kids. 

Akwara said she found herself in 2013 and forgave everyone who had wronged her. Akwara has previously worked with the UN.