Written by Oral Ofori, edited by Arakunrin Lekan. Originally published on April 27, 2022
Grace Tsotsoo made a salient reputation for herself after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with first-class honours from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) in April 2022.
The twenty five-year old Ghanaian accorded appreciation to her father “who didn’t get the opportunity to go to school,” but has valued every bit of education for her she said.
In her words about sponsorship for her education, Grace admitted an indebtedness to a Czech Republic-based non-profit organisation, Humanitas Afrika (HA) which came to her aid during the pursuit of her G.I.J. education.
Although H.A. was initially established in Prague in 2000 to promote peaceful coexistence between Africans in the Czech Republic and Czechs, it has also huddled peculiar interests in sponsoring the education of African children in rural communities and urban slum regions, as well as empowering women through a micro-credit plan in rural communities.
Grace’s accomplishment which has been praised by H.A. was publicised with pride by the organisation, who became impressed with how she utilised her sponsorship opportunity. A Facebook post quoted how the group “cannot keep calm!” in the wake of Grace’s first-class honours.
In an interview with Oral Ofori of theafricandream.net, Grace recounted every struggle that emboldened her tenacity during schooling till graduation:
Tell us your full name, educational and career background.
My full name is Grace Tsotsoo Quaye, I’m a twenty-five-years old lady from Asabaade in the Ga South District in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. I attended Obakrowa D/A primary school and went onwards to study at Wesley Grammar school for my Senior High School certificate. From there I gained admission into the Ghana Institute of Journalism where l majored in Journalism and graduated with First Class Honors this April 2022.
While in school, l worked part-time as a shop attendant to fund my education, which coupled as an extra source of cash that supplemented the efforts of my sponsors, Humanitas Afrika. Currently, I write stories to media houses via their emails but I am not paid for that. I am also doing my National Service as a teaching assistant at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
Who inspires your tenacity?
My father, Mr. Joseph Amartey Quaye who didn’t get the opportunity to go to school because his parents passed away when he was young. The non-profit organisation, Humanitas Afrika also inspire me a lot and these two give me reason to aim higher because I didn’t want to waste their sponsorship efforts.
What is peculiar about you and how do you stand out from others?
I always try to attach a high-level of diligence and focus to anything l do; and because of that, l am always selected among the best in any field, although for me it’s not always about being the best, but making a positive impact.
Who are some of the people you have worked with or would love to work with and why?
I have worked with Mrs. Comfort Boateng, she manages a Goil supermarket at Kasoa, and I have also worked with Onua FM. I will love to work with TheAfricanDream LLC, a Ghanaian-American Communication Research Consulting firm in the United State because of their communication background. l will also love to work with Kwame Sefah-Kai at Peace FM in Ghana because he knows more about media ethics.
However, the Ministry of information in Ghana seals my work interests because l love everything that relates to communication, just as the ministry does it.
What was the hardest moment for you on your journey that almost made you give up and why did you keep going?
Scaling through school for me was more difficult than I imagined, mostly for the fact that I hustled through many days on an empty stomach.
Although I would count myself fortunate, I had my father and my sponsors helping me through with my tuition fees, I was barely pulling through to sustain my schooling – personal upkeep, and feeding at the very least. Keeping hunger to myself almost made me quit school, I do not eat on campus because sometimes I was unable to afford to buy food.
These were tough times for me, but I kept on going because I had my future in view and I was hungrier for success.
What can people expect from you this year and what tips or advice do you have for people that already do or want to do what you’re doing?
This year I am hoping that immediately after my National Service l can get a permanent job so I can save more and build a future career for myself. To those who still believe l can do more in life, I promise all that l will continue to make you proud.
I have a dream of traveling abroad to further my education, hopefully for a Masters in Law which I believe by the grace of God will be one of my accomplishments.
To those who find themselves in my situation, l will urge them to take any sponsorship or scholarship as a big opportunity for them to learn hard towards achieving their dreams.
How has COVID19 changed things for you and what has it also taught you that has been positive?
I have realized that anything can happen at anytime, so in life we have to always prepare for anything positive or negative. The world did not know we will be facing such a calamity in 2019, rest in peace to all those we lost, for those of us who are still here, we must remain kind and thankful.
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Source: Written by Oral Ofori, edited by Arakunrin Lekan