15. Janet

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When I got to the age of twenty, I met a gentleman, who I was dating, and I had one child with him. Unfortunately, his family asked him to reject me because of my disability. The family was complaining so much that I wasn’t strong enough to support him. They said if he married me, I would be a burden on him. This compelled the guy to leave me.


When I was three years, I was walking all right. I wasn’t sick. I had no disability, but then a sheep knocked me down. From then on, I couldn’t walk anymore. I was living in a village in the Ashanti region when it happened, so I was taken to a herbalist who helped me.

I couldn’t walk until ten years. When I walked, I was still limping on one leg. I couldn’t walk properly like before.

Before I was ten years, I was carried by my mom on her back. My daddy rejected me and left my mom because of me. My daddy didn’t like me.

I had other siblings, but due to financial constraints, they all left for another town in search of jobs, so I was the only child staying with my mom. One day, my mom went to the farm and fell over, and she became sick. When my mom became sick, nobody was helping me. We used to make ends meet only through the help of neighbors.

When I got to the age of twenty, I met a gentleman, who I was dating, and I had one child with him. Unfortunately, his family asked him to reject me because of my disability. The family was complaining so much that I wasn’t strong enough to support him. They said if he married me, I would be a burden on him. This compelled the guy to leave me.

I decided to travel to Accra to find work to do because I felt dismayed and stranded and like a very worried and disturbed woman.

When I moved to Accra, I found a friend in Accra who I stayed with, and we were doing a fried yam business. Unfortunately, I was ejected from my home, so I became stranded in Accra. Fortunately, I met one guy who directed me to my brother, who was then living in Accra. He is the one who I am presently living with – with my daughter.

My daughter is in school now. Her dad is taking care of her. He is a good man and is taking care of the child – just that his family didn’t allow him to marry me.

What are your abilities or strengths?

My ability is hairdressing. I want to be a hairdresser. I have the potential. I don’t have the money to begin now, but that is what I intend to do. I want to learn hairdressing.

What is the most difficult moment you’ve experienced in life?

I went through so many challenges. I don’t know my daddy because he rejected me as a child. My mom became very sick and wouldn’t support me. I was fighting on my own until I met this gentleman, and I thought life was going to be better with him, but unfortunately, things became worse when he refused to marry. I even wanted to commit suicide because I thought I should end it all, but then later when I moved to Accra, I tried to encourage myself. But still now, I am going through that difficult moment in life.

Who do you look to for encouragement?

Only God – I look up to God. He is the one who helped me to get onto my feet. Nobody was able to help me. The herbalist tried. The hospital tried. It was to no avail. Through prayer, I finally got up. It is only God who helped.

What is your happiest moment?

When I became a Christian, that was my happiest moment. Anytime I am among the congregation, it encourages me and makes me happy.

How do you think we can improve the lives of people with disabilities in Ghana?

If persons with disabilities are empowered financially and given some job to do, it will improve their lives. And education is a vital thing that should happen. If I had gone to school, my life would have been better.

What is your hope for your own life and for people with disabilities in Ghana?

My hope is that my life will be better. If I can find some job to do, it will be better – likewise for my disabled counterparts.

What lessons have you learned through your disability?

Persons with disabilities suffer. We suffer galore. In Ghana, persons with disabilities go through too much suffering, which shouldn’t be so.


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