Elsie Asiedu-Appiah, 60, has recently graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
Her inability to pursue a degree earlier is attributed to several reasons, but mainly the fact that she chose to sacrifice and put her family on a higher pedestal while giving them every possible support.
Elsie married her husband who was a colleague at a bank they both worked in as high school leavers.
She later supported him to get a first degree from the University of Ghana, and later took care of their children while her husband travelled for his Master’s programme abroad.
She quit her job at the bank to start a business in order to take better care of their children.
She paid their fees while their dad was away for two years; ensured they were well cared for, fed them and remitted her husband so he could complete his Master’s degree successfully.
Her husband did complete his Master’s after the two-year period and returned to Ghana, progressively landing great jobs and doing well for himself.
According to their children, he always has and still places high value on their mum – which warms their hearts.
As the kids grew, Mrs Asiedu-Appiah supported them the more. Her daughter explained that her mum has cushioned her failures and been a strong pillar for her successes as a career woman and mother.
She would travel with her daughter in her roles that required travelling while her babies were still nursing; and as such, she could not leave her babies behind.
Her mum has accompanied her on work trips across Asia, the Middle East, West and Central Africa, and rural areas in Ghana to care for her babies while she worked: because “My mum didn’t want me to halt my career for a moment, and even insisted on buying her own tickets on such trips.”
Mrs Asiedu-Appiah and her husband also supported their son’s study abroad to become a pilot; and apparently, he flew her for graduation pictures at KNUST in Kumasi together with his cabin crew as a surprise flight for his mum (she had no idea he was the pilot of the flight).
Finally, it’s her turn to shine too after years – or better still, decades – of putting herself aside so her family could excel, and after watching people rise up the academic and career ladder while she cheered them on.
She took a decision which her husband and two children supported. She decided to pursue her Bachelor’s degree as a grandmother after halting with her high school diploma from Okuapeman and Wesley Girls’ for decades.
Inasmuch as her family knows her to be smart, they worried she wouldn’t be able to do this; yet they stood with her as she had done with them.
According to her family, she had many sleepless nights studying for exams, attended lectures religiously; and had to come up to speed with the latest technology, and so wasn’t too available as a grandma (which we missed so much).
She almost gave up at a point as she struggled to keep up, but today she graduates with a Second Class Upper in Sociology in her 60s.
She doesn’t need this degree for a job, as her business is still running well – but she is fulfilled and that makes her family and her many loved ones rejoice with her, too.
Her family quotes: “Indeed, by all means, no matter how long it takes to pursue your dreams and be accomplished. Here’s to hoping someone out there sees this, picks up their bridle and gallops on to achieve”.