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23.05.2007 Commentary

Bad Company Corrupts

Papa Kofi Kumi and his wife Abena Nyamewaa lived in a village called Nyamebekyere. They had a son whom they affectionately called Kennedy. Kennedy was brilliant, respectful and diligent.

Papa Kumi and his wife were not well-to-do but they vowed that they would educate their son to the highest level possible to enable him to have a good future.

For that reason, out of the little profit they made after each year's harvest, they set aside some money to buy Kennedy's books and other materials needed for his education.

Even though the school fees were costly, his parents did additional jobs like cleaning other people's houses, washing clothes and working as casual labourers on big farms to see him through school.

His mother also made sure that he had enough to eat, even when the family meal was little.

Realising the toils of his parents to enable him have a good future, Kennedy promised them that he would not fail them. It was, therefore, all joy when he came out with flying colours in his BECE and gained admission to a secondary school in the big town near by.

His parents, out of their meagre resources, were able to buy everything on the school's prospectus, pay his fees and fill his chop box with provisions.

They even arranged for a car to pick him up from the house. Since Kennedy was the first child from the village to attend secondary school, everybody in the village was happy for him. Everybody was in Papa Kumi's house to help Kennedy pack his things into the taxi.

Kennedy was an extraordinary student in secondary school and his academic work proved so. Keeping his background in mind, he did everything possible to stay away from trouble and bad influence.

Because of his intelligence, everybody in the school wanted him to be his friend so that he could assist them with their studies. As kind-hearted as he had always been, he readily gave his assistance to such students.

Then, one day, a group of students approached him and asked him to assist them with their studies. That group of students was known as "The Mighty Conquerors" by students of the school.

They were mischievous and caused all kinds of trouble, such as pilfering items which belonged to their mates and assaulting tutors who tried to discipline them.

Although Kennedy knew who they were, he gave them his assistance because he thought he could change them if he got closer to them.

Unfortunately he could not. With time, Kennedy became so attached to them that he began skipping classes, just as they did, and joined them to cause mayhem in the school.

His teachers were not aware that he had joined bad company but they realised that his academic work had fallen. They talked to him to change but anytime they did and he made up his mind to heed advice his friends managed to convince him and brought him back to their fold.

It happened that one day one of the members of the group was punished by the headmaster for reporting late for classes. In retaliation, Kennedy and his gang of Mighty Conquerors planned to vandalize the headmaster's car at night.

When they were discussing their plan in one of the classrooms one of the students overheard them. He reported them to the headmaster, who organised the security men to lay ambush so that they could catch the gang red-handed.

Indeed, Kennedy and his friends' plan came on that night, but just as they entered the headmaster's garage and were about to smash the windscreen of the car, the security men who had laid ambush surrounded them and managed to overpower them.

They were later handed over to the police, after which they were expelled from the school.

Everybody was surprised that Kennedy was among that notorious group of students. His parents were so disappointed, in view of the several sacrifices they had made towards his education. The inhabitants of the village were also disappointed in him.

This story teaches us to do our best to maintain our good behaviour all the time and not to allow anybody to influence us negatively or ruin our lives.

Kwasi Danso Amoah,

TOPP Preparatory School,

Twifo Praso.

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