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23.09.2019 Article

Who Said Puppies Can't Bite?

By Roland D.K. Jnr.
Who Said Puppies Can't Bite?
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I remember how after my Junior High School Education, a family member told me I would never attend Senior High School. I also remember how some of my mates used to tease me because they thought my ambition for selecting Pope Johns Secondary School was too high, though I had a good grade.

Nonetheless, fate took me to Ghana Secondary School (GHANASS). Again, I was teased for not gaining admission to my dream university; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). I wept and starved myself for days all because I could not gain admission to further my education at KNUST.

At this point, discrimination set in when my mates who obtained admission to the various universities started feeling big and thought they had nothing to do with me because there was a social defining moment. This went as bad as some treating me like a stranger anytime we met and some also pretending not to recall who I was. Others would actually go ahead and ask about my level of education and upon hearing the answer, their facial expressions indicated how they perceived me. In fact, I was down and thought that was all for me. 'A secondary school graduate with no hope in my educational pursuits', I thought to myself.

I virtually gave up until I heard a voice speak to me in the middle of one night as I slept in a kiosk somewhere in Madina. I heard "do you know you can actually change your life and move forward"? "Do you know you have a unique life and your timing is different from others"? "Do you know you can fight on and acquire what you want"?

A lot of questions kept resonating in my mind then.

The next day, I had a strong conviction that I could achieve whatever I wanted if only I am ready to pay the price for the prize. I walked all the way from Madina to Ashongman Estate that very morning to see my best friend Daniel Asante Mireku, to have a heart to heart discourse with him and confided in him on how I was on a verge of giving up. Daniel then asked, suggested I apply to the Teacher Training Colleges but I quickly declined because I was not interested in going to a teacher training college. After I had a meal in his father's house, Danny walked me to the road thinking I was going to board trotro back to my kiosk home in Madina. As we walked to the roadside, I wanted to ask him for financial assistance to cater for the fare but I was shy. Fortunately, he rather asked if I had some money on me and I quickly responded in the negative and he gave me some money to board a vehicle back to Madina. My dream of getting back to school still lingered on while I was under apprenticeship as a signage designer in Madina. One day, Danny and I met again and I told him I had thought of applying to the Polytechnics rather, to consider my fate.

For the first time, I went to the Volta Region, Ho Polytechnic to buy admission forms. I wasn't enthused much about the courses offered so I gave the admission forms to one of my friends who applied. A week later, I was introduced to my desired programme of study at the Takoradi Polytechnic, so, I applied. Graciously, my friend got admission to Ho Polytechnic and I got admission to Takoradi Polytechnic.

Upon completion, I was in a dilemma of continuing to the University or getting employed. I chose the latter and worked for sometime after my National Service. Something happened at my workplace and that triggered my desire to go back to school. I opted to study at the University of Education, Winneba. I went through the process as a mature student but unfortunately, out of the 7 applicants who sat for the entrance exams and interview, I was the only person who could not gain admission. I was worried and made some follow-ups. I met one of my lecturers; Dr. Joseph Essuman (Alhaji), who taught me at Takoradi Polytechnic and happened to be part of the interview panel. He was surprised when I told him I wasn't granted admission because according to him, he personally recommended me to the other panelists for consideration. He walked me to the Head of Department's Office and told him about my issue.

The Head of Department asked me to wait and later drove me in his car to the registrar's office to iron things out. There, I was asked to present my relevant documents which I quickly obliged. The registrar looked at them and was surprised my name was not in the admission list. He asked me to make photocopies of my documents and leave them in his office so he could work on them for me. On my way back to Accra, a voice visited me and said; 'This is not where I want you to be'. I got to know that voice was God speaking to me but within me, I fought it and started rebuking it for I thought it was some demon that spoke to me. For days I kept calling the Registrar but he wouldn't answer my calls or return them. Any time I dropped the phone after I called him, I would still hear the voice say; 'I don't want you to be in Winneba', I got so confused.

Before then I had again applied to KNUST but I did that without any hope of being admitted. To my utmost surprise, I received a call from KNUST to come for an Entrance Exam and Interview for mature students. I was actually reluctant because I had lost interest in KNUST. I intentionally spent all the money I had on me just to have an excuse that I couldn't have money to board a vehicle to campus. Yet, 'the voice' spoke to me again and said; 'This is where I have prepared for you. Go to KNUST.'

Again the fight in me began but I lost at the end and went back to lodge with my best friend, Daniel Asante Mireku in Kumasi to prepare for the interview and exams.lo and behold, I gained admission!

Alongside my degree programme at KNUST, I did some short certificate courses. I gracefully graduated from KNUST and later landed at the University of Ghana to study a Masters programme.

Those who thought they had gone ahead of me and that I did not merit their association now see me and begin to rethink. Some ended up with a degree and could not continue, some are still unemployed and moving up and down with their certificates and those who said I would never further my education after Senior High School got it all wrong because they did not determine my destiny.

I want to encourage you, reader of this piece, to exercise some patience and not give up on yourself and don't kill your dreams. Remain focused and continue to allow God to work on you.

Forget about those who never see anything good in you and work on your dreams. Pick up yourself and be resolute that no matter what, you shall achieve your dreams. Be like the eagle, hide and work on what you seek to achieve.

My vision is big, and gradually I am working towards achieving it. I am not in a competition with anyone than myself, poco a poco, that dream will be realized.

Today, to some, you may be a "nobody" but one day God will make you "somebody".

You are seen as a puppy today but remember the "biting" tendency in you. Catch your dream in your hands and "bite" it...You can bite.

My name remains Roland D.K. Jnr. and I am on a mission.

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