PRISCILLA AKWAGU: A single mother’s journey from food hawker to first-class graduate
Priscilla Akwagu is a single mother of two who overcame many challenges to achieve her dream of becoming a graduate.
She recently completed her four-year Bachelor of Arts in Twi Education at the Faculty of Ghanaian Languages Education, Ajumako Campus of the UEW, and graduated with first-class honours during the first session of the 26th Congregation of the University.
Priscilla’s journey was not easy. She had to balance her studies with her work as a food hawker, selling buffloaf (also known as bofrot), a popular snack in Ghana. She also had to take care of her children and pay for their education. Despite the hardships, she never gave up on her ambition.
After finishing junior high school in 2008 and having her daughter, Ms. Priscilla Akwagu began selling “bofrot” with GH 50. After earning a living for four years and accumulating savings, she enrolled at Atebubu Senior High School (SHS) in 2012.
She struggled during her time at Atebubu SHS to balance academic and entrepreneurial endeavours in order to support herself and her younger brother’s educational expenses. She eventually finished SHS in 2015 and started working full-time on her “bofrot” company.
“I always wanted to further my education but I did not have the financial support. I had to work hard to save money for my fees and other expenses. I also had to study at night after selling bofrot during the day. It was not easy but I was determined to make it,” she said.
Priscilla’s story is inspiring because it shows that nothing is impossible with hard work, perseverance and faith. She is one of the few women in Ghana who have attained higher education despite their socio-economic background.
According to the World Bank, only 18% of women in Ghana have completed secondary education or higher, compared to 28% of men.
Priscilla is also a role model for other single mothers who face similar challenges. She encourages them to pursue their dreams and not let their circumstances limit them. “Being a single mother is not a curse. It is a blessing. You can still achieve your goals if you believe in yourself and work hard. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it,” she said.
Akwagu hopes to further her education and become an entrepreneur. She also wants to help other less privileged people in her community. “I want to use my knowledge and skills to create opportunities for myself and others. I also want to give back to society and support other people who are going through what I went through,” she said.