Vincent Owusu Appiah is a level 400 BSc Nursing student at the University of Ghana (Legon). He is the second born of his parent’s five children and hails from Obuasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. To become a medical doctor and a philanthropist are what the young man dreams to achieve in the future. As he is a resident of Ghana, he chose to attend the local university. However, most aspiring doctors are tempted by the opportunity of studying in another country, that’s why most of them seem to apply to Carribean medical schools or American medical schools, as these are often seen as the ones with the most opportunities. However, every medical university course leads to becoming a doctor, so the location of the university is just a personal choice.
Madam Mary Appiah is the mother of Vincent. She is a regular trader in Obuasi Market but does everything in her power to make sure her five children attain the best of education in life. Very smart and brilliant young girl, Madam Mary did not get the support from her parents to further her education, hence, ended up selling in the market. This, she does not want any of her children to experience, so, she fights to the extreme to give them all the education they want.
Enrolled at Tutuga Methodist Primary School, brilliant Vincent had his dreams at the back of his mind, so, he studied restlessly and passed out with aggregate 13 in August 2000; climaxing as the best results the school had ever evoked. He later continued to Obuasi Secondary Technical to pursue Science as a course.
His enthusiasm towards studying changed drastically during his secondary school education as a science student. He was peer pressured and did not have time for his books. Passionate about football and a very good player at that, Vincent thought of becoming a footballer instead. He misused all his study hours to play soccer and failed brutally when his SSSCE results came in 2003.
Vincent could not further his education into the tertiary institution with his failed results. “I knew my preparation towards the examination was not equipped, so, I didn’t even want to register for the exams because I knew my results wouldn’t come out successfully. My mother and my other siblings were all very disappointed in me. This is because though I am not from a wealthy family, I must admit that we are blessed with intelligence”
“My mother then proposed that I go back to secondary school because she felt enrolling me into a remedial school would do me more harm than good; due to my passion for football. I declined to her suggestion because I couldn’t stand the embarrassment, especially, to be in uniform again for my colleagues to see me”
Knowing that all his colleagues were enrolled into tertiary institutions, Vincent felt rejected and took an advice a friend gave him and applied for a six months course in Air Ticketing and Reservation at the Global School of Aviation in Kumasi. Even though the school fees was very expensive, his mother didn’t hesitate to strive to get some money to register him when Vincent told her about his plan.
Graduating in July 2005, Vincent got employed as a Ticketing officer at Westlife Travel and Tour in Kumasi but resigned from the low salary paid. “Looking at where I stayed and where the work was, I spent all my salary on transportation since the pay wasn’t good and again, they refused to pay us. So, the workers started leaving and I also did same and returned to Obuasi”
Life in Obuasi became unbearable, being jobless and difficult to further his education with his poor SSSCE results, Vincent decided to go into teaching. On the day of his job interview, there was a miracle. “I met qualified and professional teachers who were all present for the same job interview and that got me intimidated. But I decided to give it a try since I had taught before I enrolled in the Aviation school. Every one present was given 30minutes to teach but I was asked to stop when I had only spent 15minutes. We were all asked to go and that we would receive a call later. I didn’t even get to the entrance of the school and I received a call from the proprietor to return. He told me that he stopped me because I was the right person he was looking for despite my poor results. So, I got employed at Abusco Royal International School in Obuasi ‘one of the best schools’ and taught english”
The proprietor of the school realised how dedicated, hardworking and intelligent Vincent was, so he advised him to register for the November/December Private West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to better his grades and further his education.
He took the advice and registered for Nov/Dec examination in 2006 but failed all the three subjects he wrote. He didn’t give up. He went in for the second time the following year and failed all subjects registered. In 2008, he again registered for three subjects and passed only in the English language. Though he failed in almost all his SSSCE papers, Vincent thought writing in bits would help him reduce much stress and also help him pass the exams well. But he kept failing.
As determined as Vincent had become, he didn’t give up but registered again in 2009. He failed to write the exams because he knew he would fail.
In the mid-2011 when Vincent was about 25yrs, he woke up one night with the dream of going back to secondary school when some of his colleagues from secondary school had already completed from their various universities, whiles, some of the pupils he had taught had also entered into various universities including his younger brother.
“I was asleep one night and my dreams of becoming a medical doctor kept pestering me. I woke up the next morning with a ten year plan to become a medical doctor. So, I overlooked shyness and resigned from my teaching job and got admitted in (Form 2) at Angel Educational Complex in Kumasi. I almost used all the money I had gained from teaching to pay for my fees and extra classes. I was very determined and nothing could stop me. I met one of my juniors in secondary school who had become a teacher in the school and sat in the same class with some of the pupils I taught in Abusco Royal International School”
For the two weeks that Vincent spent in his new class, one of the teachers was very convinced with his performance and took him to the headmaster to promote him to (Form3). The teacher believed Vincent’s performance was better off to sit for WASSCE, so, together with the proprietor, he was promoted to (Form3) and wrote his final exams in 2012.
It was a joyous moment when Vincent passed the WASSCE with 6As and 2Bs and got admitted to pursue BSc Nursing at the University of Ghana (Legon). Currently in Level 400, Vincent, who will turn 30 in September, still remains a first class student and he is also the incumbent president of the University of Ghana Nursing Students Association.
He plans to further his education into the graduate medical education after graduation.
To Vincent, his mother has been the greatest part of his success and expressed gratefulness to Mr and Mrs Abu Bonsra – owners of Abusco Royal International School for supporting him financially in the tertiary institution. What is your story? #MotivateGhana