Parents, Counselors, Teachers, Siblings, Uncles... You could be wrong. Before you think you're being falsely accused, let me share this with you.
In Kojo's second year at Saint Augustine's College in Cape Coast, a good friend of his told him, 'you should have pursued a program in General Arts. You write, you sing, you read a lot, you're creative, why then are you wasting your time doing business?'
Kojo was angry, he could not hide his resentment, and after rebuking his good friend, he made him understand, that he was in school because he himself chose the course and was capable'.
In Kojo's final year, time had taken it's faithful turn, never wrong. In a conversation with his friend, this same one, Kojo made a statement, 'I should've been a General Art student. After years of struggling to fit in, I realised my square pegged body would hardly fit in the round hole.
Kojo's friend stared at him and smiled, he took no offense, he only felt accomplished, he spoke the truth. Kojo was influenced by his family. His uncle told him art is weak, you would not have job opportunities. Teachers disturb art students, they call them notorious and noisy.
Kojo had to choose the Business and after he met Accounting, hugged Economics and Cost Accounting he realised, though they were not too tough he would fail, he struggled with passion for the programme.
The same story for most Ghanaian youth. Parents, Counselors, Siblings, Relatives would want their children and family members to pursue a particular course because of the 'prestige' and benefits associated with them.
For this reason, a desperate mother would go any limit to find school fees to pay an amount of ten thousand Ghana Cedis to enroll their wards in a university's fee paying medical programme, whilst the student may have gotten a regular slot in Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science.
The most despicable of all stories I have heard are the ones parents claim, 'Daddy was a doctor, uncle Jo is a doctor, your brother in UK is pursuing a medical degree, please don't disgrace our family'. And this young girl has to enter the university, always coming home with terrible results and repeating for years before completing.
Honour your parents, the good Book says, but concerning the choice of a career, parents could be wrong. Motives, personal dreams and reasons known best to them could be the major motivation behind their actions.
In one of the motivational quotes I saw, the writer spoke of doing what you love, and you would never have to work a day in your life. Today, Ghana hosts nurses, doctors, media men and women, actors and actresses, who may have been enviable successes in their real field of study. The most difficult thought is trying to figure out how effective a doctor who doesn't have a passion for the profession would interact with patients and be more pragmatic in handling health issues.
It's true, some people divert. There have been uncountable examples of people who started a first degree program and are no more in the field, basically because they had to follow their real dreams. For some, it's the money, for others, it remains the social status. Come to think of this, watch how two seamstresses sew a piece of cloth. You are likely to pick one over the other after careful observation. Although the finished product may be made, there's still a level of difference and originality in the true seamstresses' work. Maybe after a background check, you would be surprised to learn the other seamstress wanted to be a doctor, or a farmer. The truth remains, life's fulfillment remains in the fruitfulness of one's true and genuine passion.
Musicians, artists, fashion designers have wowed family members over the years. Proving people wrong has been a delight to their personality. With perseverance, confidence and obedience to what their inner being tells them, they realise how they are able to become millionaires and billionaires by following their dreams.
Friend, it's not too late. You may have started full time banking, but love baking, full time lecturing but love farming, start, part time with what you love, keep a positive mindset, and when you have your hands on what you love, you realise how passion and blessing land on your efforts.
Parents, siblings, counselors.... You may regret hanging the career chain on a person's feet and neck, you may watch your child sink in a pool of stress and unfulfillment, because you also believed in the myth, 'first degree is insignificant'.
It's a world, it's large and we learn. Let's not repeat the mistakes made. There's nothing rewarding than making a child complete in virtue and accomplishment.