Entertainment of Saturday, 15 October 2016
Rumours of rapper, EL dating Media Personality Berla Mundi can finally be put to rest. The LIVE FM Presenter claims to be in a relationship with someone who “is not in Ghana.”
Mundi spoke to NEWS-ONE ‘s Halifax Ansah-Addo about her career, challenges, future goals and more. She told the Journalist that she was dating but won’t reveal specifics. “Yes, I am dating but as for who I am dating, I don’t have to be forced to reveal.”
She added that her man is not a Ghanaian “and he is not in Ghana.”
Read full interview below.
Berla Mundi is a perfect combination of brains and beauty. She is a charming television and radio presenter with a strong passion for excellence in all she does.
Berla works for both GhOne Television and Live 91.9 FM. She opened up to NEWS-ONE about her life, career and future prospects.
Berla Mundi does not sound Ghanaian; is it your brand name?
It is my brand name.
What name is on your birth certificate?
I am Belinda Addardey, even though everyone calls me Berla at home. Berla is my name, but Mundi is just an aside. Belinda is just as Berla.
You just popped up one day on TV and caught our attention.
I did not just pop up. I have gone through the mill and paid my dues. I have said this story several times about how I also had my learning days. I am still learning though.
We have not heard the story. We still think you popped up.
I have had my very humble days and I still do. I did Miss Malaika in 2010 and I placed third. So I told the organisers, Charterhouse, that I wanted to do TV. They had just started GhOne and they agreed. When I finished university, I went to do my national service there and there was an opening because Naa Ashorkor had to go to school and I stepped in and it was good.
Then, they tried me once on Rythmz TV because it was just Blackboy and they wanted a balance so I went in just to do entertainment. The first day, I was shaky but they encouraged me and I had to continue to do that on TV.
Pretty easy ride to the top. That is almost like popping up.
Listen, let me tell you what I used to do before I went on TV. I was a chaperon for Miss Malaika and I remember I was carrying boxes of water into the bus; I was making sure everywhere was clean and it was some way. When the time came for them to travel, I was left behind. But, I did not let go. I kept serving. I remember I was in the marketing department for six months and I did not sell a thing!! I was that terrible as a marketer and then I was shifted back to TV. I did not pop up. I remember seeing all the stars take photos and I admired them and said to myself that soon, my time would come.
What gave you the courage to decide to do TV?
Well, this is what I have always wanted to do.
But Ghanaians criticise a lot.
Well, Ghanaians were receptive towards me.
Because of your beauty?
Not exactly. Because I have heard people who have said it was more about my personality. You know what, when I was in school, I made my peers laugh a lot. I was more like the silly one among them. When I got on TV, I decided to be myself. I took a risk and decided to be as natural and real as I could ad I resolved that if people do not accept me, that was it.
Your strategy was not to fake.
I can’t fake. If I try to fake an accent, you would die of laughter. I am as natural on TV as I am in real life.
How long have you been on TV?
For about four years. I started in 2012 and we are in 2016.
Is this what you expected to see and experience after four years on TV?
Honestly in four years, I thought my pace has been slow. But, that is because I faced a lot of challenges in the beginning and people thought I was new and could not take on certain jobs. So they would hire someone else and I would later see the job and say to myself that I could have done better than the person.
I realised it was a do-or-die situation. You either succeed or you go home so I decided to succeed. I have always had to be a step ahead of myself. It has been a difficult journey but I believe there is more coming. I have learnt to be patient, to take my time and to work harder.
What did you study at school?
I studied English, Linguistics and Psychology for me first degree. I have not done my master’s yet. I hope to do that soon.
Where did you attend secondary school?
Achimota School. I am an Akora.
Berla, you would have made more money as a corporate person or a banker or a lawyer or even a PR executive.
Perhaps, you are right hat I would have made more money but would I have been happy doing something I don’t love doing?
Happiness is relative.
For me, happiness is about doing something I love and being paid for it. I think there is nothing more worthwhile than actually doing a job you love and also being paid for it. I have always said that if I had worked in a bank, I would have quit after two days. I am not the regimental type of person and I think most creative persons are like that. As it stands now, I think this is what I was born to do.
It is not as lucrative here in Ghana as compared to people doing the same job we do in other parts of Nigeria. I have done some comparison between Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and other places and I realised entertainment or media work in Ghana is not lucrative.
I am comfortable and content and I believe if God has started this, He would take me far.
You don’t sound materialistic.
Don’t get me wrong, I would drive a Range Rover if I had one. But I guess it was the way I grew up. I have learned that having material things does not determine how happy you would be. Sometimes, the simple things in life makes you happier. Yes, I wish I could own those things and I am working towards that. I might look flashy but it is because of my work and I like to dress up. I am not exactly materialistic as I look on TV.
Would you agree that your brand is misconstrued by some?
Honestly, a few people misconstrue my brand and what I stand for but I am only four years on TV and relatively new. I had to start off with entertainment and unfortunately people do not really have much respect for entertainment.
I am in transition and I think by the fifth year, people would have understood what I stand for.
What puts you off?
What puts me off? Several things put me off, including bad breath and people who do not know what they want in life. I try to tolerate such people but I do not like people who are not focused in life and say one thing but end up doing the opposite of what exactly they said or planned to do. I do not like inconsistency.
What sparks your mojo?
The cameras. I could have a bad day but when I am before the cameras and I hear ‘action’, I get my adrenaline running and I am fine.
Do you have competition in what you do?
Sure I do and competition brings out the best in you. But the people I see as competition are not in Ghana. I mean I follow many South Africans and Western TV presenters and stuff I feel they are international and doing it big because they know what they want. Look, if I go to Nigeria or to South Africa, I am not sure people on the street could make me out and say ‘oh that is Berla from Ghana’. I want to go international and I see people who have an international appeal and audience as competition.
What are the prospects for the future?
Positive things and I am sure I would own a show someday. A show as big as or even bigger than the Ophrah Show,Windy Williams…
It is not only about being on TV but also about touching lives. I look at really influencing the lives of people positively and I have already started that.
Oh okay. I have a charity foundation I set up last year. I had my first activity where I organised a sporting activity for three orphanages at the same time. My idea was to help under-privileged children.
I wanted to adopt a child from the north and I remember when the process was almost complete, her biological father comes and says he wants to maintain his pride and respect from his society so he would rather have the daughter stay with him and not go to school than get adopted to have a better life. The adoption process was truncated.
Berla, why are you hiding you love life?
I am not. I have just decided not to talk about it. It is my private life.
Berla, are you dating?
Yes, I am dating but as for who I am dating, I don’t have to be forced to reveal.
Is he a Ghanaian?
No and he is not in Ghana.
What are your fears I life?
I am scared of reptiles, I am scared of losing my mother, and I am scared of failure.
Is there anything you may want to say that I have not asked you?
Yes, I want to talk about my foundation. The Berla Mundi Foundation. This year, we are focusing on the Osu Borstal Home. It is supposed to be a vocation training school for the inmates. When we went there, their technical and vocational workshops did not have tool, and had no learning and teaching materials. It lacked equipment. The health insurance card of the children there had expired for over a year, making healthcare very difficult to access and all that.
We are trying to organise a health screening exercise for them and also equip them with some tools and equipment that can give them a vocation. We need sponsorship and partnership to enable us to help the children. The main event is in December and I am hoping as many people as possible can get in touch with some help for the needy, clothes, food, money, drugs, wood, vocation and technical tools and equipment.
It was lovely talking to you.
Yes, it was nice talking to you too.