Michael's Story





Great Things Never Come from Comfort Zones

I am from the Eastern Region of Ghana. I was born and raised in the Greater Accra. I resided with my grandmum who served as my guardian during my stay in Ghana. I began schooling when I was 9 months old. This sounds unbelievable, but due to the busy schedule of my grandmum, I was  handed over to a headmistress to be taken care of. My mum was then in Europe. I grew up seeing education as my only means of becoming successful in life. It sounds quite exaggerated, but it was actually made to seem so by my grandmum. My grandmum is a very important personality in my life because she played an important role by managing me while I was a kid and also being a strong anchor to my education. She is a teacher by profession and everything about education appeared to her as a deity. She was very popular in her vicinity and also very energetic in nature. There was no blessed day I would see her at home without her spectacles, preparing lessons for her students during her free time. She is a woman of fashion and style. She often tells me, “Medeε mepε life papa.” [I like to look good, in Twi] She is very strict in nature and attracted the attention of everyone wherever she went. She assured always that I took my studies seriously. I was known for winning quiz competitions and I was one of the friends of every teacher.

My grandmum once said to me, “My grandson, you have to make me proud by turning out first in every examination or else, there will be no Ourday for you.” Ourday was the last day of every academic term and I could not afford to be present at school on this noble day without a chicken or a soft drink. So I actually had to learn hard and give out my best. I partook in the B.E.C.E. [1] and I came out with one of the most outstanding aggregates. My grandmum was proud to hear my name all over and I normally heard people say, “Teacher Nana no deε, waben papa.” [Teacher's grandson is very intelligent, in Twi]  I had to learn in order to achieve such amazing grades.

It was my dream of becoming an artist in the future. But then, my grandmum tried several times to terminate this dream. She preferred that I’d become a doctor by profession. She said to me frequently, “I need a doctor in my house and woe betide you when I hear you say that you’d like to be an artist. You would have to pack your belongings and leave my house!” She said this often to get me frightened. I grew the passion of becoming an architect, because I was passionate in Arts.

Few months after my education, I had the chance to travel abroad through a rich friend of mine whom I helped in school in order for him to excel in his education. His father took interest in helping me travel abroad since I dedicated myself by helping his son succeed in the examinations. I moved into Europe through this friend of mine and through that, I had the opportunity to join my mum.

Everything appeared new to me. I actually arrived in the month of December and the weather was very cold, as I expected it to be. The streets were designed with beautiful Christmas lights and it really looked adorable and felt like paradise. I really admired the city and could sometimes just stand at a junction, just watching how the vehicles and trains moved. I felt I was in Heaven because there was a vast difference in comparing this city to where I came from.

My mum played a very important role by assisting me in adapting to the new environment I found myself in. She also enrolled me into a school in order for me to continue my pursuit after education. I learnt the German language in a year and later partook in the Middle School Examinations, of which I later came out with outstanding results. I now have the chance to further my education. My dreams are gradually coming to pass through. It required a whole lot of self-dedication and determination to achieve whatever results I have. There’s always light at the end of every tunnel. I am very grateful for the presence of these two women in my life, who gave massive contributions in order for me to continue my search after education. It is my wish to someday complete the University and work professionally as an architect in order to put up a wonderful dwelling place for my grandmum. I feel she might be disappointed I couldn’t become a doctor as she wished, but I know at least she would be proud when she gets to realise I succeeded in becoming an educated individual.

Thank you.



[1] The B.E.C.E is the Basic Education Certificate Examination, the major exams at the end of Junior High School in Ghana.


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