Mr Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi - A Self-Made Man
Right from the onset, Young Emmanuel who had been separated from his mother while still a baby, made up his mind to study to the highest level possible.
So strong was his resolve to obtain quality education that even when his father could no longer finance his schooling, he fell on the benevolence of his father's relatives who offered to assist him.
The good gesture of his family members motivated him to study harder and today that determined boy, is a Marketing Communications Consultant and the flag bearer for the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP).
Mr Ansah-Antwi, the DFP flag bearer is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Marketing Communications at the De Montforti University in Leicester.
In an interview with the Junior Graphic about his childhood Mr Ansah-Antwi, a native of Effiduase, said he was born on June 1965 and attended the Juaso Experimental School, now Juaso Day Senior High School.
Emma, as he was affectionately called, attended the South Suntreso, SDA Senior Secondary School where he wrote the GCE Ordinary Level Examination in 1985. He continued at the Juabeng School of Business for the Sixth Form course, offering Economics and Mathematics.
Like any other child, Young Emma helped his father and stepmum with the house chores and didn't hesitate to do any tasks assigned him.
Life was okay for him until his father retired from active service. Just when he was about to enter secondary school, his father asked him to choose between schooling and business.
“In fact, I was shocked and realised how bad the situation was. I told my father that I loved studying and would prefer being in school to engaging in business", he said.
According to him, some relatives and friends of his father offered to help him and that motivated him to study very hard in order to justify the confidence they had in him.
Young Emma met his mother for the first time when he was 17 and in secondary school Form Three. That was a joyous moment for him and later he traced her to Koforidua, where she lived.
“I had difficulty locating her but that didn't discourage me. I was very determined to know my roots. On meeting my mother, I found out that I had five other siblings which made me very happy,” he said.
He said his elder brother, now Bishop Ansah-Antwi of the Methodist Church of Ghana, wanted him to stay in Koforidua and school at Wesley College to become a teacher. “But I declined the offer because I had no interest in teaching”.
Young Emma returned to Kumasi only to realise that his father had moved to another town. “I found myself all alone in Kumasi so I took up appointments as a teacher in various secondary schools to be able to fend for myself and also to save some money to continue my education.
He said he wrote books and pamphlets which he sold to students while teaching and later gained admission to the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI). Emma was lucky to be awarded a scholarship in his second year at NAFTI and also became the Local President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS).
Recounting some of his fond memories about his childhood, he said "living alone was quite boring so I used to cut pictures of footballers from newspapers and kept them till I had 11 players. Then I would mount small poles on a table in my room, control them with strings, then the match would start".
"Sometimes I invited friends to play football behind our house since there was a big yard there.”
Not satisfied with his qualification, he decided to leave for Switzerland for further studies but had to cut short his dream of earning a Master's Degree in International Business because life there was very difficult.
He moved to London, where he gained admission to the London Metropolitan University. There, he engaged in all sorts of menial jobs to survive and complete his course.
Mr Ansah-Antwi returned to Ghana in 2001 and became the Managing Director of the Ghana Advertising and Marketing Ltd, Accra.
Touching on his political career, Mr Ansah-Antwi disclosed that he had friends in political circles and had been studying the system until he finally decided to join the Democratic Freedom Party because he shared its sentiments and ideologies for moving the nation forward.
“I am a social democrat and being in politics is to motivate the youth and make Ghana the star of Africa,” he said.
“Today, many people have dropped out of school because of money, but that should not make them lose their focus in life. Life is like a game of soccer, your ability to succeed depends on how you dribble your way to score a goal”, Mr Ansah-Antwi advised.