Growing up in Ghana I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. Teaching always came as second nature to me. In 1992 after I got married, my husband convinced me to relocate to South Africa to come stay with him and start a new life with our children. At first, I was very hesitant to leave everything I know behind. I was worried about having to adapt to a new culture and new environment. But somehow I knew it will be an opportunity for me to continue with my teaching and further my studies.
Arriving in South Africa with my Diploma in teaching my first job was in the Eastern Cape where my family and I stayed. The first few months were the hardest. I missed home and everything about Ghana. As the years went by I managed to settle down and got used to the new environment. The humbleness and friendliness of the people were what kept me going.
After seven years we were forced to move to another province to find more opportunities. Being a migrant means that you cannot hold a permanent employment position. With that, I found myself moving from one school to the other. With all the ups and downs of looking for work, I finally decided to open my own business.
I opened a salon as a way to make a living. It sustained me for some time but my burning desire to change lives through education was always alive and kicking. The privilege of being in South Africa gave me an opportunity to further my studies in what I love.
I completed my Masters Degree and went on further to acquiring a Ph.D. in Environmental Management. I continue working as a research lecturer at the University of South Africa and my dream to change lives through education is still continuing and I am honored to be doing that in this country.
South Africa today is no longer the same as the South Africa I arrived into 22 years ago. I believe people back then took us in as migrants and they understood that being a migrant does not make you any different. We are all humans from different countries combined in one world. The generation of today still needs to be educated and informed about the importance of social cohesion which is one of my priorities in my line of work.
It saddens me that to this day we are still experiencing xenophobia, police harassment and people looking down on us as migrants. Although I love South Africa and I have adapted very much into the culture, I still dream to go back home in the next years. I feel that this will enable me to pour back my skills, knowledge, and experience to my community that I received in South Africa."