In Ivory Coast, a lot of things were different. They regard people with disabilities as people. Everywhere I traveled, they accepted me. The police didn’t worry me. In Ivory Coast, a car would see me and ask me where I was going and pick me and drive me. In Ghana, nobody cares.
I started my life in 1991, and I became a contractor. I worked for four to three years when I had a problem with the company. They took the contract from me.
I traveled to Monrovia, Liberia, and I stayed in Liberia for three months, and then I moved to Guinea. I started coming back to Liberia when I had an accident, 3 km away from town.
I fractured my waist. I was driven to the military hospital in Ghana, and I was there for one month. They took me to Ridge Hospital for nine months. They discharged me to the house. I was in a wheelchair three months before I could walk on my leg. But when I was walking, I had a problem in my waist, so they took me to a herbalist. I was at the herbalist for six months before I could walk.
My leg was swollen. When they applied the herbal medicine, it reduced it in size.
I was there for one year, and I went back to Ivory Coast for four good years. I managed a life there. Then I came back to Ghana, to stay in Ghana.
Here I saw a lady called Sarah, and I loved her. We have three children, but her family didn’t accept me. They said I was disabled. She agreed to marry me, but as we are speaking now, the woman is not living with me. My wife is gone. When her family sat down and said she should not marry me, she packed her things about one month ago. She left the children to me, three children.
I was just talking to her. Now she says she is not going to marry me, she is going to find another man to marry.
Do you suffer any discrimination in this community?
No. People are friendly to me. They love me.
You said you lived in Ivory Coast. Could you compare your life as a person with a disability there to your life in Ghana?
A lot of things were different. They regard people with disabilities as people. Everywhere I traveled, they accepted me. The police didn’t worry me. In Ivory Coast, a car would see me and ask me where I was going and pick me and drive me. In Ghana, nobody cares.
What are you abilities?
I want to do farming. That is my vision. The government of China was training people how to fish, so I went to a training three years ago. I’ve been trained as a fish farmer.
What is the most difficult experience you’ve had in life?
I have a problem financially to pay my rent and take care of my children, their school fees. What I earn each day is not plenty. I gave my wife the capital to start a grocery shop. She still operates it, but she doesn’t support me or the kids.
If a person with a disability comes to you for advice, what do you tell them?
I encourage them not to go on the street to sit and beg.
What is your hope for your life and for people with disabilities in Ghana?
I have hope that it will be good, that good will come in life.