Resource 4: Who is my father?
Example of pupils' work
My brother’s name is Kofi Boateng. He is 18 years old and he is like a father to me. My father died a long time ago. He plays a major role in our lives though he is a very young boy doing Grade 11 at senior secondary school. He is responsible. He takes good care of us. He cooks food and cleans the house. He looks after baby because my mother passed away a few months ago. Every afternoon he closes the gate so that we are safe inside. He supports us in every way. We don’t feel that our mother is also no longer there for us. My brother always gives us that love we used to get from our parents. Every Saturday, he bakes cakes, does shopping as my mother used to do. My brother is like a father to us. We trust him, we love him.
My dad was born and raised in Asamankese where he later moved to Nkawkaw. He attended Nkawkaw Anglian School and within those two years, his mother died. His father left him and his two younger sisters. He lived with his grandparents and then his aunt before being moved to an orphanage.
During his years in the orphanage, he had to face many adversaries and learned many lessons. He was exposed to bullies and often had to protect his sisters. Although it seemed that he had a hard time, he appreciated all that he had at the orphanage. The hardest thing for him was not having his own family.
As a result of his upbringing in the orphanage, he learned to fend for himself. He was made Head Boy at his senior secondary school. He also was very popular and took part in various cultural activities as well as sport.
After sixth form he did his national service with the Ghana Armed Forces and saw many parts of Ghana. He often shares stories and events that he experienced during his national service in the army. His experiences in the orphanage helped him cope with life in the army and he was made a leader of his group. My dad has always had very good and special friends and has always been in some or other leadership role. It was during his national service that he developed a special interest in teaching. After doing his national youth service, he went to a Komenda training college to study to become a Certificate 'A' teacher.
At college he met a girl who became a very special person in his life. After his studies he became engaged to her. It did not work out and it was at this time that my mother came to work on the same staff as my father. They became friends and were later married.
In 1990 I was born. Ever since, I have been close to him.
My father has played an important role in my life, and I someday wish to pass on this gift he has given to me. He has been my teacher, my sports coach, my mentor and most of all, my closest friend.
Extract adapted from: ‘Children First’ (1999), pp.5-7