You may know her as the gorgeous and talented TV personality and actress in many Ghanaian and Nigerian movies, but, Joselyn Dumas is more than just an entertainment personality. Joselyn is a consistent award winner, coveting the Best Actress awards in both the Ghana Movie Award and the African Movie Academy Award. She is firmly rooted in the entertainment industry as a TV host and secured her place further, through her production company- Virgo Sun Company Ltd and her Joselyn Canfor-Dumas Foundation (JCDF) that helps underprivileged children.
Joselyn has also recently launched the Xcholera campaign in response to the current outbreak of Cholera in Ghana. Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal illness typically contracted from infected water supplies, causing severe vomiting, dehydration, and death in some cases. Since May 2014, over 5,000 citizens have been affected by Cholera in Ghana.
The Xcholera campaign is a social media campaign aiming to raise awareness about the unsanitary conditions that lead to cholera, and to find ways to eradicate it. The campaign requires that participants take a picture covering their mouth with their right hand to signify the blocking of contaminated food from entering one’s mouth. The pictures are then uploaded to various social media portals using the #Xcholera hashtag. The campaign has amassed an overwhelming following and is set to be a successful campaign.
The “Xcholera” team also collaborated with Forces Help Ghana (FHG), a Foundation set up by Ghanaian born British army officers, on a massive clean–up campaign on the 5th of November 2014, as part of celebrating veterans in Ghana.
We at GUBA have taken great interest in the campaign and in Joselyn’s work with autism through her JCD Foundation; GUBA gives her the platform to tell us more about her ventures.
What prompted you to start the cholera campaign? I had a sense of urgency to start a cholera eradication campaign when Ghana was hit with the worst epidemic in the country’s history in June this year. I witnessed the staggering levels of cholera cases being recorded and found it very unfortunate, considering that cholera is a preventable disease caused by poor sanitation practices. I was saddened by this as it projected Ghana as a dirty country. I felt the responsibility to do something about the situation as a citizen and a public personality. The first thing that came to mind was social media, considering it’s a powerful tool in most successful campaigns.
Tell us a bit more about the campaign and the progress so far? The ‘Xcholera Campaign’ which means stop / eradicate cholera, began as a movement on various social media sites, as a way of raising awareness about the causes and prevention of cholera. The concept was for people to take a picture with their right hand covering their mouth, to symbolize they would rather starve than eat contaminated food. They then had to post the pictures on the various social media networks with the hashtags; #Xcholera and #KeepCleanGh. This went viral on social media. The campaign was endorsed by many public figures in the media, entertainment industry, government and corporate Ghana. Lifebuoy Ghana and Ernest Chemist Limited came on board as sponsors. Sadly, finding sponsors for a project like this, which I consider a national agenda has been very difficult but nevertheless, my team and I decided to introduce phase two, which is more practical. The second phase of the campaign involves market storms where my team and I with the help of volunteers go into markets to educate traders on good sanitation practices. The first one was held at the Okaishie market followed by the next at Kaneshie market. Both events were very successful, reaching over 10,000 participants per event.
What measures would you suggest needs to be implemented to tackle cholera? I believe education is the way forward, the ill practices that lead to cholera outbreaks would only cease through behavioural change among the people. The government should reinforce Public Health Education on cleanliness. We must instil discipline in members of the public by reintroducing the “Town Council” system that was being used previously, where people were sanctioned for failing to keep their environment clean.
How can people get involved with the campaign? Everyone is welcome. All you have to do is call or send a message on WhatsApp to register as a volunteer on 00233279555380. We’re inviting individuals and organizations to come and support this worthy cause in cash or in kind. Contact us on 00233279555380 for further inquiries.
Do you have any related upcoming projects you would like to share? On the fun side, everyone should watch out for my new intriguing series “V – Republic” showing from 31st October on www.sparrowstations.com and “Silver Rain”, a Juliet Asante movie where I played a Kayayo.
What do you think about GUBA? GUBA Awards is a great initiative and I applaud Dentaa and her team for their immense contribution in projecting Ghana positively, bringing amazing Ghanaian talents into the limelight, and serving as an inspiration for the younger generation.I also support the GUBA Foundation, which the JCD Foundation will be working closely with for a week of Autism awareness campaign in Ghana. GUBA is a pacesetter and I support all they are about.
Cholera must be eradicated and we at GUBA fully support the Xcholera campaign. We urge you all to support using #Xcholera and call/message 00233279555380 to volunteer and donate to The ‘Xcholera Campaign’.