Reflecting on the Year and Looking Ahead to a Healthy and Prosperous 2015

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It is my absolute favorite time of the year. Christmas to me is a very special time where we are obliged to spread love and be reminded of the perfect love of God through the symbolism of the birth of Jesus Christ.  I also use this opportunity to reflect on the year- accomplishments,  significant moments, lessons, opportunities missed and those taken- and use them to draw an outline for my goals the next year.

I especially miss home during this time of the year. My last Christmas in Ghana was 15 years ago, but I never forgot how special it was. Christmas was a season filled with so much love, joy, and laughter. I hold those memories very close to my heart because in all my years abroad, I am yet to experience Christmas like I did at home in Ghana.

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On the set of of the SA show with Master Chef Eric Adjepong for my first cooking episode.

2014 has been an incredible year. There were so many memorable and life changing moments, the most significant being the completion of the pilot season of my talk show, set to debut in January. I also remember F2FA Weekend, and the incredible, courageous trailblazers who give me the motivation to continue doing what I do. In world news, I remember the Ice Bucket Challenge, and how it was able to bring everyone in all corners of the globe to stand in solidarity for something. That was a rarity.

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With Alek Wek at the FACE List Awards in July

All the same, I also recognize how challenging of a year this has been. We witnessed treacherous acts from Boko Haram as they massacred and kidnapped innocent people, including women and children mostly in Northern Nigeria. We also witnessed the spread of a  horrifying, life threatening disease in a few West African countries that took several thousand lives. Currently, streets in the U.S. are filled with angry protesters who are fighting for justice due to the ongoing reckless killings of African-American men by white cops.

I recently hosted a sensational Nelson Mandela benefit in Toronto to honor the one year anniversary of the passing of one of my personal icons and somebody who consummates the idea of love, the great Nelson Mandela. Through his exemplary life and leadership, he taught us the importance and necessity of love. When others cried for vengeance, he spoke calmly for reconciliation; when others beat their chest for war, he reasoned for peace. With his silent tenacity and unyielding courage, he bent the arc of history and changed the world in more ways that can be counted.

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With some special guests at the Nelson Mandela benefit. L-R: NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo, first black African Miss Universe Mpule Kwelagobe, and VP of NBA Africa, Amadou Fall.

So as we come to the end of a very difficult and challenging year, I leave everyone with this message: Just as Mandela turned a small cell on Robin Island into the nest where the future of post-apartheid South Africa was dreamt and formulated, let’s also make 2015 the year that we stand strong together in harmony, love, and compassion to overcome the challenges facing us today.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a revolutionary new year!
Happy Holidays