Primary tabs

"I wanted to use my education and skills in whatever way I could to contribute to Ghana’s development."

“Growing up in a liberal, middle-class household in Canada, I was taught that I could do or be anything. My father was black and my mother white—coming from Ghana and Britain respectively, but it was widely accepted to be of mixed-race descent and I never thought twice about it.

From an early age, my father’s passion and love for his country planted a seed and fueled my passion to one day discover my African roots. That’s why, in my early 20s I decided to travel to my father’s home country of Ghana to volunteer at a local hospital and connect with this side of my racial identity—or so I thought.

As a naïve young adult, I expected that I would quickly identify with Ghanaian culture and way of life, however, I soon learned that my cross-cultural and liberal upbringing set me apart. What I experienced instead were moments of culture shock and extreme feelings of rejection.

Twenty-seven years later and I’m still in Ghana. It was never my plan to permanently reside in West Africa, but the more I discovered about this beautiful country, the more I came to appreciate and recognize its potential as a developing nation. Despite some of the social challenges I faced as a bi-racial woman, I wanted to use my education and skills in whatever way I could to contribute to Ghana’s development.

During my volunteer placement in primary healthcare, I saw the gaps that existed in the healthcare industry as potential opportunities. I began by providing simple services that promoted fitness and as things took off, I expanded to include services that promoted health, nutrition and overall well-being.

While my business was doing well, it didn’t come without its challenges. At times I wondered if it was worth it; if I was really making an impact on people’s lives. But then something small would happen that would reaffirm my path. A stroke victim would thank me for helping him recover; a ballet student would give me the biggest hug after returning from summer break; or a gym member would say to me “my wife would have left me if it weren’t for that conversation we had after yoga class.”

Nearly thirty years have passed since I first came to Ghana and I’m still going strong. Not only am I an entrepreneur—I’m a wife, a mother, a philanthropist and most importantly a proud Ghanaian who sees Ghana as home and is committed to ensuring that this country… my country lives up to its potential. Now that I think about it, I realize that regardless of where I chose to settle (whether it was Canada or Ghana), I was going to have to adapt in order to grow as a professional and as an individual.  

I’ve learned that you have to relish in the positive aspects of your migration journey to turn the challenges into triumphs.”

10,217 kmfrom home
Current Country: 
Country of Origin: 

Share this story:

This migrant's life story touches on the following Sustainable Development Goal(s):