After I completed the JSS, I moved and worked in mining. I joined a diamond mining company, small-scale mining, so I was sponsoring a group when they would go to dig. I would buy food and tools for them, and then if they found a diamond, they’d give me money. Since my parents couldn’t further my education, I became the gate-man collecting money as a promoter for entertainment programs. I used to hire the instruments and the players. I would take care of the tickets. That was how I used to make ends meet. I did that for five years and saved some money.
My story is that I was born in the Eastern Region. I started my school there. After I completed the JSS, I came back to my parents in Accra here. Because of my low level of education, I had no business to do, so I decided to work with my wife, who was selling kenke. I used to help my wife make kenke together. I myself I didn’t have different work apart from the kenke that my wife does.
By the grace of God, we have five children – as of now. That is the only job we’re doing, but what we’re doing, I’ve decided to create my own business. I know how to barber hair, so I want a container to create my own workshop. That is the only plan I have in my mind now.
Since my childhood, I’ve been told by my parents that measles attacked me, and they sent me to a hospital. The doctor injected my left side, and it left my left side paralyzed. That’s my problem. I became a disabled person, physically challenged.
My parents did a lot. We had a doctor. They took me to various hospitals, and then later, they sent me to a herbalist. He used herbs, but he couldn’t help me.
What I saw I was the only disabled person among my class, they used to play with me, and I used to play with them, and I didn’t find anything difficult. Besides, my disability. I was accepted in the class, but my parents didn’t further my education for me because of financial problems. Many of my siblings were able to go to school, but the financial problem was great.
After I completed the JSS, I moved and worked in mining. I joined a diamond mining company, small-scale mining, so I was sponsoring a group when they would go to dig. I would buy food and tools for them, and then if they found a diamond, they’d give me money. Since my parents couldn’t further my education, I became the gate-man collecting money as a promoter for entertainment programs. I used to hire the instruments and the players. I would take care of the tickets. That was how I used to make ends meet. I did that for five years and saved some money. The money I got I used to go into mining.
I spent six years mining. I married.
I met my wife at Church. I told her I wanted to marry. I told her, how my life is, since I’m a disabled, I know if I don’t take care, people will come and chop my money and go. I didn’t want any lady to chop my money and go, so immediately, I found that I loved this girl. I went there straight, and I told her I wanted to marry her. She told me I should come and see her parents and perform the necessary rituals.
What caused me to come here was I got five fine children, and I decided not to let my children stay at the mine area. I had to bring them back to Accra, so they could come to school. By the grace of God, they’ve gotten education. The first one is an engineer. He’s working at the National Petroleum. The second one is a nurse. The third one is practicing medicine. The fourth one is at Accra senior high. The last one is a little girl, eight years.
Through doing the kenke with my wife, we were able to cater for all of them.
If you are asked to advise a person with a disability, what would you say to them?
I would encourage them to work, not to depend on their relatives. If you depend on your relatives, no one will respect you, but if you work hard, the able person will come to you for advice and try to get something from you to eat.
What are your happiest moments?
I’m always happy. I have my wife I have my children. They’re all schooling. They’ve got better, better education. I’ve got my father’s house.
As a chairman who gets to know a lot of people with disabilities, why do you think your experiences have been more positive when others have had other discrimination?
Whenever we meet, I advise them. I ask questions, but I don’t find anyone whose facing discrimination in their homes. All of them are living well. We are living happily together.
What do you think is the hope for people with disabilities in Ghana?
There is hope. The reason is when I see a member is facing discrimination or a problem, I find a little way to help him or her. We in our own small way support each other. Our main problem is our businesses are very small. We don’t have enough money to raise our money high. In fact, we’ve only received the Common Fund once – 500 GHS each.