His friends nicked him Valdes; but his parents named him, Hansel Ngwane, a name which is gaining grounds in our communities and regions in a whole. Hansel Ngwane is an industrious, devoted and delectable Son of the soil, with a great drive and passion for community development. Skilled at his domain of work as Digital Communications Engineer, he made it a point to find different ways to use his gift to make the world a better place. Earlier on, he had devised a more traditional approach to amending an already collapsing society. He is said to have discovered the importance of humor, happiness and laughter in the lives of people and how it positively affected productivity. This concept led to the creation of “THE HANSEL SHOW” which gained great recognition and attention from the public. Still in an attempt to enable a healthier society, he came forth with a more advanced approach to obtaining a well-engaged society: FIGHTING DEPRESSION. His point of focus was going back to address the problem before enforcing a cure.
Depression is a constant plague in our societies in a whole. Nevertheless, there’s a stigma attached to what could be an inevitable, that needs to be addressed and erased. It isn’t okay to let it be a one man’s burden or responsibility, we all need to be a part of it. We are calling on people to speak UP! LOUCHAT is creating a safe Haven for you…
Hansel Ngwane on Passion fruit today:
Passion Fruit: Hey Hansel! Welcome to the Platform!
Hansel: The pleasure is mine! I’m honoured.
Passion Fruit: Wait… first of all, a big cheer on your new creation, LOUCHAT. Actually you are introducing a theme most platforms seem to avoid including ours. What happened, Hansel? What prompted you to take this bold step?
Hansel: You know, depression affects millions of people in Cameroon. Unfortunately, we avoid the topic. But we see people going down the drain. I had to do something.
Passion Fruit: Depression is often brushed away as the “white man’s” illness. Bringing it up in not only the most culturally inclined part of Africa, which is West Africa, but also the most culturally attached community in Cameroon, which is the Anglophone zone, how did you prepare yourself for whatever the outcome will be?
Hansel: Anyone who is depressed will find a constructive solution. Depression is different with respect to cultural, regional and legal backgrounds. But the disastrous effects are the same everywhere. I prepared myself for challenges, but so far, all is good.
Passion Fruit: What does Depression mean to you? You know, most of us are oblivious of the word either because we find it too grievous or because we find it lame.
Hansel: Depression is a mental illness that occurs over a period of time. It renders us incapable of achieving our potentials, because due to depression, we become shadows of who we really are.
Passion Fruit: and thennnn, there’s the stigma, that’s to those who truly pay any attention. The better part of us run away from this term. Escapism is commonly defined as means of avoiding what could be true. You as a man whose career path has put you before so many people, would you say depression lives in alot of people?
Hansel: People will always escape from the truth. Even if it’s there to help them. Depression is hidden in most people. They know it, but chose to ignore for various reasons. Escapism becomes a way out for them, rather than facing reality.
Passion Fruit: (follow up) what are the major signs of depression?
Hansel: The signs of depression vary from person to person. But there are some similar symptoms. For example, if for over 2 months, you are constantly sad and unhappy, you might be suffering from depression. Other signs include being easily irritated, not engaging in previously good activities, etc.
Passion Fruit: Today, our millennial generation is addressing difficult conversations, which could be equally perceived as societal plagues – there’s the conversation on & the line drawn between the Feminist man & woman And the non-feminist man & woman, feminine & masculine toxicity, Relationships and what could be done to make it healthier, politics.
Hansel: Social tolerance is the key. We are humans with different beliefs and ideologies. We can hardly reason the same. If we practice social tolerance, we can happily accept others and allow ourselves be accepted.
Passion Fruit: We are equally talking on self-orientation, entrepreneurship & education for all… These are signals of an existing DEPRESSED society seeking for a way out. Would you say most of these issues existed way back with a generation that was in denial( talking about our parents) ?
Hansel: Depression in Cameroon is a cultural thing, mainly. The people of the past had their issues, but society frowned if you tried to address these issues. For example, arranged marriages for underage girls was the norm in old days. The poor girls were unhappy, but who cared? Fortunately, we are having such discussions now.
Passion Fruit: Hmmmm… we getting Deeper here. So to speak, the talk of Depression by LouChat isn’t only limited to ensuring healthy individuals but has as a general goal, the objective to impact social, economic and political productivity?
Hansel: Exactly. We cannot have a healthy community with unhealthy individuals. It all begins with you.
Passion Fruit: Still about depression, it is proven most people are prone to experience depression atleast once in their lives & usually it stems from emotional traumas, disappointments, feelings of loneliness, joblessness, low self-esteem, the crave for validation, competition, lack of knowledge of purpose and so much more and primarily having to bottle up these feelings & stifling up these hurts. Would you say letting out our emotions, as in, Vocality could be one of the major cures to DEPRESSION?
Hansel: You know, LouChat provides its users with “Listening Therapy”. This is because we realized most people just want to talk. Talking helps in reducing the emotional load. However, the problem was on the issue of confidentiality. That’s where we come in.
Passion Fruit: (follow up) So is it accurate to say there is safety in being outspoken, in sharing our thought process, in being a little open to confrontation, to vent?
Hansel: It is necessary, but one needs to be very careful. Not everyone can keep a secret.
Passion Fruit: (follow up) And are we also saying the fight against Depression co-exist with the Fight for authenticity, individuality, uniqueness?
Hansel: You cannot be happy with yourself if you don’t become true to yourself.
Passion Fruit: We live in a society that labels anyone with a different thought process. We are built to think and behave in a particular way and many people comply because they fear rejection; and Authenticity & our true selves or feelings cannot thrive in a hostile environment so to speak. What are your plans on educating people on the importance of accepting people and their different opinions and stances and the importance each individual in the society plays in managing depression?
Hansel: As I earlier mentioned, Social Tolerance is very important in our society. People create hostile situations because they don’t understand this concept. If we live to accept each other, we can thrive as a community.
Passion Fruit: Funny and sad thing as mentioned above is: every one is prone to depression. Even the most seemingly socially engaged individuals – activist, motivational speakers, great mentorship figures, entertainers have been diagnosed of depression. We often ask ourselves: how come? I often thought, it is the societal pressure to be perfect & conform by action without consideration these people are human. Is this true? And please tell us more about it?
Hansel: If you listen to Chapter 1 of the audiobook “Understanding depression”, you will realize that depression comes from 3 main areas: Pressure, failed expectations and Fear. People constantly live in these negative emotions, and it weighs on them. Society pushes us to become different. In the long run, most people succumb to pressure and become afraid to disappoint others. The cycle is vicious.
Passion Fruit: oh oh oh… Social Media! Please tell us about the effect of social media on Depression?
Hansel: I wrote an article on the LouChat website, “Happy Online, Sad Offline”. In this article, most people want to project a false image on social media, which unravels many problems for them. You cannot be in love with a false you.
Passion Fruit: We’ve mentioned traditional approaches to curing depression. What are the more conventionally and medically approved ways to overcome depression? Alot of Sex or No Sex ???Tell us please!
Hansel: Hahaha. Sex? Well, it’s an unorthodox treatment. It depends on the individual. But don’t let the sex become another source of depression!
Passion Fruit: LouChat is doing a fantastic job with podcast and audio books! What do we look forward to? Is this a long-term platform or short-term goal?
Hansel: With time, the audiobooks will be based on different themes that affect people in their daily lives.
Passion Fruit: But then… we knew a Hansel before LouChat still doing great work for the community. How would you describe your journey?
Hansel: The journey isn’t always all candy and all. But I have always believed in helping people, which lifts the community to greater heights. People will always look at you different, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong!
Passion Fruit: Anything more you will like to say especially to our public?
Hansel: I would love people to understand that depression is real. We might beat about the bush, but we see people who suffer in silence. We need to help others and help ourselves.
Passion Fruit: Thank you so much! We are especially passionate about this topic & feel honoured to have had a discourse with you. All the best and we are watching!
Hansel: I should be thanking you for this immense exposure. I wish you all the best!
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YOU CAN FIND HANSEL NGWANE ON:
instagram: @ngwanehansel – https://instagram.com/ngwanehansel?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=491g8erxffik