Opinions of Sunday, 17 November 2019
Columnist: Ben Dotsei Malor
Just six years ago, this wonderful young sister was stuck in one of Ghana’s worst slums, Agbogbloshie, serving as a bartender in her father’s drinking joint, despite attaining highly admirable results in Science – seven As and one B2 – with a great desire to become a medical doctor. “Can anything good come out of Agbogbloshie – one of the ‘worst living spaces’ in Ghana?” – some would ask.
Olivia Agbenyeke’s parents and family simply did not have the means to help their bright daughter to move forward and higher. A good teacher in her secondary school Ketasco, Foga Nukunu, took the significant life-changing initiative of asking a top journalist, Kofi Ambidextrous Yeboah of the Daily Graphic, to write and publish Olivia’s story to garner support for the realization of Olivia’s dream. Mr Nukunu still raves about Olivia’s academic brilliance, her humility, her discipline, and respectfulness.
Some of us saw the stories of “Olivia, the glitter in the Agbogbloshie slum,” written nicely by Kofi Ambitextrous, and shared these on our Facebook pages and contacted others to chip in. The Phoenix Life Assurance Company stepped in, in a big way, to support Olivia. Indeed, IT TAKES A VILLAGE …
Just yesterday, SOME SIX YEARS ON, (“like-joke-like-joke” as we say in Ghana,) Olivia graduated from the University of Ghana as A MEDICAL DOCTOR. HALLELUJAH. Glory to GOD. Hurray. DREAMS DO REALLY COME TRUE.
CONGRATULATIONS, Olivia. Well done. Your achievement is a great inspiration to us and to many people. Many thanks to everyone, especially Phoenix Life Assurance, Foga Nukunu, and Kofi Yeboah, plus the Daily Graphic others not name now, for helping and supporting Olivia on this great journey. We pray for your greater success. Continue to be a blessing, Olivia. Continue to inspire.
SOME QUESTIONS TO SELF (- AND POSSIBLY TO YOU):
1. How many other Olivias do we have around, hidden in plain sight, missing their opportunities and getting left behind?
2. Do we have some bright, hard-working, and determined young women and men in our local/community schools, who are diamonds in the rough, needing just one act of kindness and a gesture of mindful investment, to help them achieve their great dreams?
3. How can GOD use me (and you) in any little but significant ways to be a blessing to the Olivias in our midst?
[PS: I’ve just been alerted by Mr Nukunu that we must give a lot of credit to our departed brother, mentor, and friend Dzidzeme Sedanu-Kwawu, a.k.a. Ho-Chi-Minh, who provided the right kind of leadership, discipline, and push for excellence as Headmaster of Ketasco, to produce and nurture such gems as Olivia. I understand two other old Ketascans graduated yesterday as MEDICAL DOCTORS. We thank GOD.]