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#IWD2021: Samuella Serwaa Sakyi: I Choose To Challenge

I am not the most exceptional person or the greatest “something” or the first when it comes to this or a top-notch in that. I am just a very ordinary lady who is asking for more. Mind you, I did not even spend much time in planning my life so I do not have a well-tailored one.
My life is centered on a regnant cluster of activities. It is either I am volunteering with AIESEC, participating in a conference, finding an activity by the African Union youth on COVID-19 interesting or, of course cannot stand but join a protest, campaign or rally. Funny enough, I firmly believe that someday history will be fair to me.

Growing up, I did not get the privilege of having my dad around; he had to move to the city to find a well-paying job in order to fend for our low income family. So, together with my two younger sisters we were homely raised entirely by Mum. The way Mum will disburse house chores in relation to sweeping, scrubbing, cooking meals and washing dishes or clothes was the same way she will disburse them in pounding fufu, weeding and planting in the backyard farm, carrying heavy stuff and washing a neighbor’s car for a paltry sum. I actually learnt from friends in school that the latter category was for males and the former was for females which is chiefly common in an African setting. However since we did not have any male in our house, we had to do it all the same. That was how my mother sowed the seed of strength in us, that we could do everything all by ourselves without any man’s help.

As a primary school teacher, my mother believed that the only way to get access to the best high schools and probably end up in college was to move to a school in the city. She felt that, that was how we could fully realize our potentials so against Dad’s will we moved. We later found out that we could not agree less with him. At that time, everything seemed expensive; we could get into good schools but we could not afford a modest accommodation. We could only live at the center of the city where the bustling was at its peak because accommodation was cheaper there. This means that we lived at the peril of excessive robberies, rape, drugs and child trafficking. The suburb we lived in which had been nicknamed ‘Colombia’ was particularly known for drugs. Till date, how I managed to finish high school and end up in college to read law amazes Mum. The rest is not history; it consists of hard work, a few hitches and consecutive failures. I have failed at my goals, got up, dusted myself, tried all over and still failed!  

Most of my peers think I have got life on a silver platter and grow green with envy when issues about me crop up. The hard truth is at this tender age of twenty-five, I have contemplated suicide thrice. That should tell you how much of a failure I have thought of myself but failed to give up. I am an embodiment of the “regardless factor.” During community outreaches, I educate young girls that they do not need to be of a specific gender, caliber of person, particular background or live in certain vicinity in order to achieve their goals. I use my life story to motivate them that they only have to pursue, endure and persevere.  I may not have come all the way all by myself; I had to rely on my family, friends and loved ones sometimes. However, it had taken a great deal of will-power when I felt like giving up the most and courage to stand against all odds to truly feel self-fulfilled. 

I want to encourage all women on this day (Yes only women…the men can take their motivation from Anloga junction). When you look at yourself in the mirror, reminisce how far you have come through it all. Despite the struggles, silent fears, visible tears, unnecessary critiques, hit-and-runs, you made it because you are here. Now, challenge yourself to draw a plan for that goal you laugh at in your head. I know that because I also have goals that I laugh at. Place the plan by your mirror, take a look at it anytime you dress up and ask yourself; “What can I do today to realise this dream?” Do it every day! It is high time that we get more of the Director-Generals, the Chief Executive Officers, the Presidents, the Vice Presidents, the multi-billionaires and what have you? We did not come this far just to get this far. 

And if you think you are not the right person for this job, I want to borrow the words of Michelle Obama from her best-selling book ‘Becoming’; “You’re good enough.” You are good enough to realise your potentials if only you believe. Believe in yourself, be your own cheerleader and love yourself enough to know that you deserve more.

My name is Samuella Serwaa Sakyi; the next best thing to happen to this world. Yes!! I am a woman and I #ChooseToChallenge.

Happy International Women’s Day.




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