“Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
When ever I get to talking about Ghana and why there’s still hope for our continent and motherland, Ashesi eventually comes up. Why? It’s the epitome of what Ghana is, could become and will become — if more of us follow that strong conviction to do something more than live our lives; even if it means leaving a US job with Microsoft on nothing but that conviction.
I got introduced to Ashesi University during its early days and while I was in high school. My father was a computer science lecturer at the university and during vacation I’d usually tag along with him to “do research”. When I started applying to universities, Ashesi was my top Ghanaian school – even though they didn’t have an IR or economics program. Why? The liberal arts curriculum, the questioning, the critical thinking, the novelty of it all.
The Ashesi students I knew then had at least two years on me at the time, but it was great interacting with them. It was also inspiring – many Ashesi graduates have gone on to do amazing things like start their own business (See. DreamOval) – and now, two of my siblings are at Ashesi (one of whom will be graduating this summer!) and I’m proud of the people they are becoming. A bunch of Ashesi students are also in the running for the Hult Prize – in the company of institutions like Tufts University and the London School of Economics – to finance their project Food Alert on addressing food wastage.
I visited Ashesi’s ‘new’ campus at Berekuso some summers back and although I’d completed college by then, it made me want to be back in school all over again. I’ve also interacted with Patrick Awuah on numerous occasions and what strikes me is his openness and willingness to talk, listen. Stories like the Ashesi one are the kind that keep you pushing towards your dreams. To Mr. Awuah, the Ashesi staff, students, supporters – i pang i manga pam (You have done well!) More vim!
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.