Africa is still the most conservative continent with regards to culture and tradition. In some cases, one’s fate is determined wholly by one’s lineage, place of birth, or even a family tradition. In others, the elders spell out whatever career one is slated for, without considering the person’s desire or choice. I was born in Ghana, a country in which most of the communities hold superstition in high regard. At the age of six, it was prophesied that I would become a medical doctor in my adulthood. For a long time, this prophecy and many other cultural beliefs held by my people influenced my decision, and I was inclined to take up medicine in college so that I could fulfill it.
However, I had another side of me that appreciated creativity. For instance, when I was young, I could construct toy cars from milk and Milo tins. Whenever any gadgets broke at home, I was always available to try to work on it, and could never rest until it I located the problem and resolved it. Despite my innovative energies, my parents did not give me the opportunity to explore other interests apart from medicine; believing that it was probably a ‘bad omen’ to go against the decisions, advice or recommendations of the elders. For the most part of my life, I almost believed that I was cut out to become a medical doctor, and regarded passively my desire for tinkering electronics, or even lurching into the world of programming. My mind was totally clouded with the superstitious beliefs to the extent that I could not see what I loved to do.
Joining High School presented me with the chance to delve into a universe of diversity, learning that subjects such as physics and those related to information technology; ones with which I had no prior encounter. I was instantly attracted to them, and they are the classes that I could never doze off despite the morning laziness or afternoon heat after a sumptuous meal-I loved to attend those classes. In spite of my obvious affection, I did not think about them seriously regarding career.
After a high school, when each of my former classmates was joining college, I stayed at home since my parents could hardly afford tuition fees for a course in medicine. I was forced to take up a job at a local mechanic shop. Most of the work to which I was assigned required computer and engineering techniques to solve the problems. I was learning most of the skills on the job, and my outgoing personality allowed me to make friends with people who knew more about the disciplines. They taught and encouraged me to follow my passion. At that point, I began to realize that I was not cut to become a doctor, but rather I was meant for a career in engineering and technology.
As my interests in engineering rose, I found myself reading diverse materials about creating different equipment and appliances. I have managed to make many things so far, but I hold one of them as my largest achievements; building a 100 Watt wind turbine early this year. I have since rediscovered my true passion, and I would love to work in engineering for longer, inventing many more solutions to societal problems. I can only do that with adequate knowledge. I would thus like to join a college so that I can learn more.