Our farmers work hard but yield less. Our fathers have several wives and give us many siblings for good companionship but to fend for ourselves. Our mothers do not give up on us. Our uncles are mentors, surrogate dads, and disciplinarians. The entire community has the right to discipline if we misbehaved, especially if we treated the elderly with disrespect. Our strengths are born out of challenges yet some of us refuse to allow our barriers to become prison walls detaining our dreams for brighter future.
Born in Ghana to a single mom, I attended a Catholic school with some of the brightest. I like to say that my middle school and its limited resources would make it one that most Americans would not recommend for the children of their enemies. Some of my peers at Katanga came to school hungry. Others bare footed. We wrote with chalks on slates from first to third grade. We studied with kerosene lamps and candle lights at night. Our village had no electricity. Only a handful of us were able to go past Middle School. Most of my peers did not have the means to make it to High School. Whenever I imagined what would have happened if someone offered to pay for High School education for ten teens in my middle school, I could see faces and name names of who would have been thriving at the moment by the grace of God.
Where are they? Some had children at sixteen; others settled with subsistence farming. Some are pressing forward under difficult circumstances with real resolve to succeed. Poverty has killed the dreams of many and reduced some of my closest friends to hopelessness. I was not better than them—I had help and they did not. My friends were not (or I should say are not) lazy by all counts. They are talented people born to the right family at the wrong place. Their lives would have changed if someone dared to give a helping hand. Africa Potential seeks to inspire, break the prison walls and unleash dreams to flourish. Do you think it is a worthy cause?