In some societies, it’s a hard nut to crack but there is now one exception to the rule, she is breaking the socio-cultural and religious barrier and liberating women with a strong voice through her work.
UAE’s first female film director/producer Nayla Al Khaja and Ghanaian Preacher, Pastor Prince who received a divine call at age 15 are our specials for the cover of pleasures magazine in the Sept/Oct 2019 edition.
The September/October 2019 edition of the Pan-African Entrepreneurial magazine, PLEASURES MAGAZINE is serving two juicy reports that you will find irresistible. The exclusive reports unveil the energy and strength inherent in the concept that we are much powerful when we work together in spite of religion and cultural differences. Barriers are instantly broken as unity becomes a more compelling reason and a defining factor as we discover that we have more in common than what our differences are.
From climate change to homelessness, the challenges we face locally and globally are too big for any one country or individual to address. The idea that government alone can solve complex problems has long been on the wane—so much so that many people today think the government cannot solve any problem, regardless of its complexity. In reality, effective governance takes collaboration between government agencies, the private sector, and community groups to make progress on social problems, whether large or small.
Those who work in the trenches on social issues understand that, because our future is interdependent, we cannot solve problems by retreating to our bunkers. The language of collaboration —working across differences, breaking down silos, creating cross-sector partnerships, and building bridges — permeates our national culture, from interfaith initiatives and disaster preparedness to economic development and community policing. In this issue of Pleasures Magazine, we present the positive strides of a Ghanaian Christian leader And an Arab Muslim Film Maker blazing the trail in pursuit of a harmonious and peaceful world.
The most relentless and delectable first female film Director/Producer Nayla Al Khaja, from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), spoke to Pleasures Magazine about her drive and passion for the screen. Churning out award-winning films that cut cross various spectrums, her films have over the years, promoted a strong concept of change, a consistent voice for women’s emancipation and delivering a statement for reforms. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Nayla Al Khaja Films and also the founder of The Scene, Dubai’s first film club.
Nayla Al Khaja has over the years become a reference point for women’s positive outlook in a society where male dominance thrives. But for Nayla Al Khaja, the tales of her success is best described as veracious, fighting through thick and thin to change the narrative about women and need to hold them in high esteem and as partners in defining an integral part of every society’s social-economic development especially in the Middle East
Nayla’s philosophy and ideals are deeply rooted in her passion to influence global opinion to accept women as agents of positive thinking and catalysts for a better society. Coming from a humble background, the young assertive audio-visual film director and producer of Arab descent has over the years strived passionately to break the chains and shackles of subjugation and discrimination that has confined women to the backseat. Nayla now clearly stands tall as the much-awaited change agent, whose work and voice is a source of great courage for women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Her works have attracted nominations in major film festivals and awards from across the world. Nayla is a cultural consultant, a brand partner and motivational speaker. Her dedication to developing the UAE’S film industry and her advocacy for women in cinema has helped her reputation and earned her enormous trust. Al Khaja has worked closely with international film and TV broadcast stations. She has written and directed several films, all presented and won awards in many international film festivals.
Nayla works closely with the Dubai Film and TV Commission to promote Dubai as the fastest growing hub for filming in the Arab peninsula. She is also actively mentoring local talents. No doubt Nayla Al Khaja is a reference point in the Middle East when it comes to Cinema promotion and women empowerment.
Nayla Al Khaja Film:
Since 2005, her production house has been focusing on projects fully developed and produced locally. Producing for local and international brands promotional films and television commercials. Nayla Al Khaja’s film outfit was in 2015 contracted and hired by DISCOVERY STUDIO, for a TV show about Dubai’s Housewives of which an American Reality Channel bought and paid for the rights.
The same year, the Dubai Film and TV Commission asked Nayla Al Khaja’s company to shoot a behind the scene film for Star Trek Beyond, in order to highlight Dubai as a regional filming hub.
Nayla Al Khaja holds a degree in mass communication from Dubai Women’s College, having graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor in Image Studies and Film Making from Ryerson University. (Canada) Her works include a documentary film titled:-“Unveiling Dubai, which premiered at Dubai International Film Festival.
Nayla has shot several debut films with 8mm called Sweet Sixteen, which was entirely shot in the desert and immediately followed by “The will, which was released in 2003. She also experimented with the documentary style with 3adi.com followed by 2 narratives “Cockroach (2004), and “The Loss in 2006. With several awards to her collections, Nayla Al Khaja at one point received the Jury’s Special Prize for Best Short Fiction Film at the Italy Movie Award in Pompeii in 2017.
A Motivational Speaker:
Nayla Al Khaja speaks fluently in Arabic and English and has been registered at the London Speakers Bureau for more than 10 years. Based on her extra-ordinary true-life story as the first female filmmaker.
In the UAE, She tackled taboo topics, during TEDx Talks, like breaking down the Arab Women Stereotype, on how to stand out in a male-dominated industry.
Al Khaja is a captivating storyteller and a motivational speaker revealing fresh perspectives in contemporary tales. She deals with a wide range of topics, ranging from entrepreneurship to cultural differences and women empowerment.
Nayla’s accolades include being ranked amongst the Top 50 most powerful personalities in Arab cinema and 100 most powerful Arabs under 40 by Arabian Business Magazine.
Her exploit has earned her awards like the visionary of the year at Arabian Business Awards and as a brand ambassador for Canon Middle East. The Youngest Entrepreneur of the year from Global businesswomen and leadership summit Awards. These and many more, no doubt has positioned Nayla Al Khaja as Pleasures Magazine Sept/Oct 2019 edition’s beacon of hope for women across the Middle East.
For Pastor Prince, it all started as a passion with Assemblies of God Church in Ghana when he first had an encounter with God. Recounting how it all started Pastor Prince said: “I gave my life to Christ at the Assemblies of God Church and from there, my grandmother handed me over to a Seventh Day Adventist man called Mr Acqaye Ebenezer and he took me to the church where I spent eight years in dedication to following Christ.
He recalls that before then, a man came from Malawi and poured oil on my head and said I will be a great Apostle and servant of God. A few years later, I had an encounter with a man of God Who spoke into my life, anointed me and said God is going to use me to change lives. That was how the journey through God’s vineyard started”.
Indeed, mortals do not have the clairvoyance to determine his or her greatness through life journey. True to the prophesies and weathering through the storms just like the biblical Samuel who was ordained even before his birth.” I’ve always seen myself going somewhere based on the principles of God. And also based on what God told me when I heard and heeded his call on the 24th of April 1994. I was sleeping in my grandmother’s room when I saw myself in a stadium. I saw that I came out of a car, and the type of car I came out from has never been manufactured till date. Suddenly, I heard a loud voice saying; let’s welcome Pastor Prince and people shouted thunderously while others, were falling under the anointing as I was entering the stadium.
Pastor Prince is in the business of doing two things, changing lives spiritually and materially. He explained that his approach is embedded in the directives and approach God gave him.” When I was called, God specifically told me that he will use me to bring dignity to the prophetic ministry. And I dared from that day to be different from other men of God. Though with series of challenges, but I have surmounted those challenges with faith and firm belief in God’s word.
When God called Pastor Prince, he was instructed to stay only in his native country. “ I had an encounter with God sometimes in 2008 and I saw myself in a vision and in that vision, I was in a place and a man came to me and said I should not go on radio or television for the next 10 years that God has brought me here to train me. And when God is done with me, he will show me forth to the world.”
Many men of God are somewhat subjective and selective in their various callings. The calibre of (people) they feel they should deal with. But for Pastor Prince, his position in God’s vineyard is different. ” If you watch most of my videos on YouTube, (Pastor Prince Official) you will see the name of my ministry, Springs of Grace Executive Ministry. Everyone that comes around me is a diplomat. You automatically become an executive person in my presence. I deal with the low and mighty. The rich and the poor, everyone is equal in the sight of God”.
By every standard, Pastor Prince, is a life coach, a motivational speaker, an author of 10 books written dexterously to positively uplift and impart lives. His approach at changing lives for better has become incomparable amongst many men of God in Ghana.” I am a life coach, and anyone who comes across me can make it, no matter what I encourage and teach about. I will make you know that if I, who was once a house servant can be transformed and rise to where God has placed me presently, any person can achieve the same.”
Like every mortal created by God, there is a dream and vision to the next level. However, for Pastor Prince he sees his ministry, his country and Ghana, attaining higher ground in the next five years.” I see my ministry, Ghana and Africa becoming bigger than it is now. In the next five years and by the grace of the Almighty God, I would have acquired a big land and built a nursery and a university in one compound. And for my country, I see (Ghana) going forward politically and economically. I believe God has a good plan for Ghana and Africa.”
It is a known fact that the church has a larger stake in the building of nations. While evaluating the role of the church in shaping society, Pastor Prince strongly believe that it is the duty of the church to build nations and not the politicians. It’s unfortunate that the church has for some reasons withdrawn and is afraid to step up in the building process of our nation. At first, the church was in charge, we own schools and built them on God’s Morale and principle. But the case is now different as the government has now taken over society.
Springs of Grace Executive Ministry is not just a church, but an institution of God with initiatives for young people.” In our church, we are implementing an initiative to get a child, help and guide him/her to prioritize education. It is an educational plan that encompasses scholarship scheme that caters for people who want to further their education. We have also come up with catering for one kayayei (Ghanaian term for a female porter or bearer) every three months. We pick them from the street, guide them and resettle them with a thriving business. We have an organization called the praying Ladies and I am in charge.
“Marriage is two things: man love your wife and woman submit to your husband. That’s what we are doing in this house. I am loving my wife and she is submitting,” – Pastor Prince
The vibrant servant of God is a well informed and educated Apostle of Christ. A university graduate who had a stint with the insurance sector. Pastor Prince believe in education and that every servant of God, should strive to be educated.” I am not just a Pastor. I am an author with 10 books. The fact is, education is very important and I believe every man of God should be educated. If you are educated, that is when you will be able to express yourself and interpret the word of God very well. You see, speaking in tongues does not make you an anointed and a Pastor, because even the satan can speak in tongues and he is never afraid of your anointing. Satan is afraid of your dignity. If you walk with God and can interpret his word through your exposure in education.
The inspirational pastor who recently published a blockbuster and an award-winning bestselling book, “Discovering and Unearthing the Hidden Treasure Within, gave concise advice to young people of Ghana, Nigeria and Africa. He said all young people should find something meaningful to do; stay focused and be determined which is the key to success. Avoid controversies and stay dignified especially young Pastors.
Pastor Prince interpreted marriage to be of two great things. A man must love his wife and the wife must be submissive to the man. Pastor Prince constantly posits that God is in the miracle business and lives are going be changed.
This edition also focused on how Henry Tuffour, founder of Virtue Konsult, a Leadership and Marketing Communications Consulting firm is helping local and global corporate organizations and personal brands enhance their image and reputation.
And of course, this edition will not be complete without the profiling of Top 20 African Interior Designers who are shaping global perspectives with elegance, swiftness and gorgeous styles. Not also forgetting startling revelation of Nigerian clergy and entrepreneur, Jide Ogunsakin, the man of God who loves and believes his country has all the potentials to be the best amongst the best nations. To him, his country comes first and what about the quest for sustainable energy that guarantees 24 hours power supply.