Wow! Look what I stumbled across in my mother’s “treasury box”. I have very few baby photos so you can imagine my excitement when I saw this. What’s interesting is that I could probably say a thousand things about this photo. It perfectly represents my childhood years in Ghana.
I had just about turned one. That’s my mother to the left, and the man- no, that’s not my father. That’s my uncle, my mother’s younger brother. He was the father figure in my life. My dad was not one of those runaway fathers. He hadn’t abandoned us- at least not by choice.
I was born in 1989 at a time when the youth of Ghana were “hungry” and desperately seeking opportunities elsewhere. My father got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to Italy when my mother was 6 months pregnant with me. If you had to instantly choose between a better life and your family, what would you do? Well, my father chose to pursue that opportunity because he says he knew that my mother would have everything under control. Well, he was right. The first time we saw him was 10 years later, but never in my childhood years did I feel like something was missing.
For several years, my mother did not hear from my father. She didn’t even know if he was still alive. But she managed to take care of her two children without ever complaining. She put us in private schools and never missed tuition. I saw her wake up every morning, go to town, and return with groceries and items my sister and I needed every single day. My mother had only completed Junior high school, so I know that she didn’t have a fancy job. Whenever we asked her about our father, she would say that he traveled abroad and is making preparations for us to come and join him soon (that’s all we needed to hear off course).
Although back then women were repressed and limited, I saw a different type of woman at home. My mother was a superwoman. She could do it all. She was strong, courageous, hardworking, and kind. She was undefeated. My mother was my first archetype of a woman. She is my foundation. She is my hero!
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