Interview Series “Journey to Success” – A Journey of Faith & the Pursuit of Purpose – An Interview with Rev. Mrs. Selikem Acolatse Apaloo

Embark on a transformative journey with Rev. Mrs. Selikem Apaloo as she shares her life’s narrative filled with faith, resilience, and purpose. From her roots in Germany to her impactful work in Ghana, Rev. Mrs. Apaloo reflects on the lessons learned from her upbringing, the challenges faced in her career transitions, and the profound moments of spiritual growth. Through candid anecdotes, she unveils the importance of trusting in God’s guidance, stepping outside comfort zones, and embracing adversity as a catalyst for personal and spiritual development. Rev. Mrs. Apaloo’s unwavering commitment to living a purpose-driven life serves as an inspiring beacon of hope for both youth and women, urging them to cultivate resilience, pursue their calling, and make a lasting impact on the world around them.

Beatrice: Dear Mrs. Apaloo, could you please share with us a glimpse of your background and life journey?

Mrs. Apaloo: I was born in Germany, specifically in Cologne. My father, Mr. Cyril Acolatse, worked at Deutsche Welle at the time, but shortly after my birth, we returned to Ghana. Growing up, there were five of us siblings. My father instilled strict discipline and faith in God in our upbringing, while my mother, Mrs. Appolonia Byll Acolatse, a teacher, also contributed to our disciplined upbringing.

Beatrice: Reflecting on your upbringing, how did it shape you as a person?

Mrs. Apaloo: Our upbringing made us independent but restricted our freedoms as children. However, it taught us valuable lessons in relating to people and adapting to various circumstances. Despite the limitations, it contributed to shaping our characters positively. Our home environment was stable and peaceful. I attended St. Mary’s Senior High School and later studied Development Communication at the Ghana Institute of Journalism and International Relations and Development at Nyansapo College. Additionally, I obtained a diploma in Ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic to deepen my understanding of the subject.

Beatrice: Reflecting on your life, can you share a significant lesson you learned from a mistake or failure?

Mrs. Apaloo: When I transitioned from broadcasting to ministry, I idealized those in ministry as angelic figures, failing to recognize their humanity. I approached ministry with zeal and excitement, only to realize that individuals in ministry are susceptible to flaws and imperfections like anyone else. This realization taught me the importance of not idolizing people over God and not placing undue expectations on human beings. I learned to observe and understand my environment before deeply involving myself in it, which has been a valuable lesson in my faith journey.

Beatrice: Could you kindly describe a moment when you faced a difficult decision in your pursuit of life purpose and faith? What insights did you gain from navigating such a situation?

Mrs. Apaloo: Certainly. In 2016, during my maternity leave from BBC, an unexpected opportunity arose. My boss informed me about the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, including an interview with former President John Dramani Mahama. Initially, I thought I would handle audience questions, but to my surprise, I was chosen as the main anchor for the presidential debate over my male colleague. This unexpected turn highlighted the challenges women face in leadership roles and the importance of challenging societal norms, a value instilled in me by my mother. Despite my initial doubts and societal pressures, I decided to embrace the opportunity with the support of my husband and counselors. As a nursing mother, I relied on prayer for strength and trusted that God had equipped me for the task. Despite my apprehension, the interview was successful, and thankfully, my gender was not a topic of discussion afterward. This experience taught me to trust in God’s timing and to seize opportunities, even when feeling unprepared. Like Moses, who doubted his abilities but was encouraged by God, I learned that readiness comes from trusting in God’s provision and stepping out in faith.

Beatrice: Mrs. Apaloo, have you ever faced a period of adversity, and if so, how did you navigate through it?

Mrs. Apaloo: Oh yes, I have! I faced a period of depression where I felt hopeless and lost. Through prayer and immersing myself in the Word of God, I found hope and strength to emerge from that dark place. We are reminded that even in the darkest valleys, God is with us. He provides resources such as prayer, His Word, supportive people, and inspirational speakers to guide us through adversity. Instead of solely focusing on the situation or others, it’s essential to introspect and learn from the experience. By examining our actions and attitudes, we can glean valuable lessons from adversity and grow spiritually.

Beatrice: Have you ever been forced to step outside your comfort zone?

Mrs. Apaloo: Stepping out of my comfort zone was a pivotal moment in my life. Initially hesitant to pursue a career in media due to my father’s influence, I eventually found myself in the radio newsroom as a reporter. Despite attempting to avoid visibility by expressing interest in becoming a DJ, I found myself on TV, reaching audiences nationwide. Another significant step was resigning from my media job to pursue my purpose in 2020. Despite the expectations of being heavily involved in the election year, the onset of COVID-19 prompted me to take action to alleviate suffering. Thus, I founded the Jesus Hope Mission, providing both spiritual and physical support to those in need, particularly focusing on women and children. This decision was not without its challenges, as pursuing purpose often involves facing misunderstanding and skepticism. However, standing firm in my vision has allowed me to see it manifest into something impactful. As for purpose, I believe it transcends traditional career paths and educational achievements. Each person has a unique role to play in making a difference in the world and should seek to be a solution rather than merely adding to the population.

Beatrice: Mrs. Apaloo, you often speak of a purpose-driven life. What is it, and how can one achieve it?

Mrs. Apaloo: Having a purpose-driven life means understanding why you were created and how you can impact society positively. Your purpose is not merely about fulfilling personal needs but about making a difference in the lives of others. It’s about living out values and instilling them in your family, setting a vision and mission for your household, and guiding your children to be responsible citizens who contribute positively to society. Even if you feel limited by finances, resources, or connections, it’s essential to step out and pursue your purpose anyway. Impact is not always measured by quantity but by the transformation of even one life.

Beatrice: Mrs. Apaloo, what is your final message for the African youth and women?

Mrs. Apaloo:  My message to the youth and women is to embrace who they are, cultivate supportive relationships, and trust in God’s guidance, knowing that He will provide peace amidst life’s challenges.