Ebony died at 20 years old, pursued her music career for a little over 2 years, made history, got a nation mourning and left me with 20 lessons I am happy to share as part of her legacy to this world.
I pray these lessons empower you to pursue your dreams, impact lives, restore hope and positively influence your society.
These are my 20 Life lessons inspired by the life of Ebony Reigns…
1. What you call yourself is very important and very likely to reflect in your life. Her parents named her Priscilla Opoku Kwarteng but she called herself Ebony Reigns; she was black, bold, beautiful, and talented and she truly reigned!
2. Follow your conviction regardless of predictable and unknown circumstances. Ebony left school because she was convinced that she had found the essence of being in school in her music dreams; so why waste any more time in school instead of pursuing the purpose of being educated.
3. It is never too early and you are never too young to defy the norm and shutter the status quo. You can achieve anything you put your mind to and completely focus on. Ebony was only a teenager but possessed an admirable boldness not seen in majority of adults.
4. You may not be the best or the brightest but when you dedicate your life to the pursuit of a dream and avoid distractions, your breakthrough will not elude you. Ebony didn’t have the best of voices or even the most desirable of lyrics, but her songs never failed to top the charts.
5. Possessing a unique and unfamiliar identity demands more than a though skin and a resilient demeanor. Most people naturally frown on and vehemently oppose what they are not used to or what contradicts their beliefs. Ebony wanted to be unique and regardless of excruciating opposing forces, she persisted relentlessly.
6. Being different comes at an unbelievable cost especially in an environment overly used to a status quo mostly informed by religion, culture and entrenched in lethal self-righteousness. Oh Ebony had every doctrine thrown at her, unsolicited advice and emphatic counselling she was inundated with but yet she was faithful to her quest to be different.
7. Most people say they have big dreams and some day they will get around to pursuing them and when they do, they will blow the world’s mind away. Ebony had big dreams too but some day for her was mostly now. As a result, her hits were constant, her thrills where consistent, her impact was commanding and her fans were growing by the millions worldwide. If you want to do, do it, dreaming and talking about it is certainly not enough.
8. No matter how high the ladder you go or how big the influence you command, humility and a pleasant personality will ensure you secure a permanent place even in the hearts of your enemies. Ebony was a big artiste and extremely famous but she never forgot to carry an adorable smile and a sweet personality everywhere she went.
9. To forgive is indeed divine. Any one that forgives even when they are not the guilty party frees their spirit and allows their soul to be at peace. Ebony’s mum left her but her last act in the world was a demonstration of forgiveness, love and reconciliation.
10. Instead of seeking to be liked and admired, dedicate your pursuit to the polishing of your talents, acquisition of requisite skills and the perfection of your craft. The world needs your gift more than you. Ebony was not the most liked or the most admired but her songs were not avoidable and their impact too obvious to miss. From the east to the west, from local to global, she thrilled every ear that cared or didn’t even care to listen.
11. It is better to exit this life with a bang than to bang your head in regret at a place only known to the dead. Ebony may have had a lot more in her but she certainly left this wicked and cruel world with a huge bang.
12. Some call it serendipity, others call it destiny but the people we encounter daily have roles Lawrence Tetteh, Ebony to play in our lives and in the pursuit of our dreams and purpose in life. It may have been by chance that Ebony met the evangelist Dr. Lawrence Tetteh few days before her demise but destiny was certainly at play. Glad she took advantage, secured an audience and most importantly a prayer.
13. What matters most in life is pursuing our purpose, touching lives and inspiring hope. Ebony chased her dream at the expense of her schooling, she found fulfillment in experiencing the intense bliss accompanying the singing of her songs everywhere and she enjoyed thrilling audiences large and small.
14. People may not like you, they may backbite and despise you, laugh and mock you, wish you doom and gloom but they will not be oblivious of your value and impact. Ebony was certainly not liked by all but her songs were widely known and sang by even the most religious and self-righteous individuals.
15. Consistency pays. Consistency feeds expectations. Consistency in versatility guarantees success. In the pursuit of your dreams, what will matter most is your ability to grab attention, sustain the attention and exceed expectations. Ebony was certainly consistent with her hits and her versatility was impeccable.
16. Ebony Reigns6. Indeed two heads are far better than one especially when one is Ebony and the other is Bullet. In the pursuit of your dreams, finding and establishing the right partnerships will certainly determine the rate of success and the extent of your impact. Her music career will certainly not have blossomed as much as it did without her able management.
17. Parenting is about providing a haven were your children will have the opportunity to experiment, make mistakes, identify their true potential and blossom. With an active support system, the pursuit of your dreams and the surmounting of challenges become less dreadful. Ebony had a father who loved her and with his endorsement and support, she cared less about the bombshells of this world.
18. Life is indeed not about the duration but the donation. Holding on tightly to your dreams, talents, potential, gifts and desires does not guarantee a fulfilling life. She gave her all and a little bit more at every given chance. Ebony had only 2 years duration but her donation could span a lifetime.
19. We are humans but we are not the same. What differentiates us mostly is our dedication to giving to this world our very best and the countless lives that we touch. Ebony died with two other human beings but she will forever be the most mourned for and certainly the most remembered.
20. Life is unpredictable and often times cruel. If you’ve got something to do, get on with it now! Ebony reigned regardless of how short. The question is; are you reigning, desiring to reign or planning to reign? Get on with it already!
My heart is broken by Ebony’s demise but I am comforted in the knowledge of the lasting legacy she left and the lessons she taught us all. I have learnt mine and I hope you have learnt yours too.
Demirifa Due Ebony!
Indeed, you REIGNED regardless of how short!
Rest in Peace Priscilla Opoku Kwarteng
By Ekow Mensah, Founder – WomanRising / TANOE