Veteran Journalist, Afia Pokua has recounted challenges she went through as a teenager when she had no choice than to live with others to further her secondary education.
Sharing her life story at the Resolution Youth Summit in Accra yesterday, February 29, 2020, she narrated how she used to carry foodstuff from area to area for households to buy so she could make some money for her family’s daily upkeep.
According to her, many people in her vicinity eventually began tagging her as a ‘maid servant’ who was merely ‘serving’ and helping her ’employers’.
Giving details, she said, “one day, I won’t forget that experience, it was around 1:30 and it subsidised slightly but then it was still raining. I was supposed to go and sell and my mother was of the view that I relax that day but my father asked me to go and sell saying, when it rains, people don’t go out to buy so my goods will get finished. I was so hurt, crying whiles going to sell”.
“I met this woman on my way to sell, she said, are you the maid who stays with the cassava seller? I tried to explain that I was not, but she barely believed, asking which mother will allow her child to sell in the rains”.
Not too soon after going through the house drill, she got a distinction in her Junior High School basic examination but securing a boarding house at the secondary school of her choice; Labone Senior High School was a challenge.
Though her name was the first to appear on the school’s long list, she given the day school option. Due to poverty that had entangled the family at the time, her parents could not afford to pay for her transportation to and from Tema Community 3 to Labone hence, staying with a supervisor at the Osu Children’s home as a maidservant was her only option, after teachers on campus ‘rejected’ her.
Staying with people comes with its own ups and downs as usual and the case of the vociferous presenter wasn’t different.
She stated that despite waking up at 3am to clean the house before her ‘madam’ wakes up, the woman always found reason to punish her. She had to endure all of this and still stay mute because if she reacted, she would be sacked from the children’s home and moving back to her father’s house will be worse.
Encouraging the youth participants at the program through her story, she said, “I learnt how to wash properly in that woman’s house so some situations can be bad but in that, God can use it as a blessing, as a footstool…for something greater”.