University of Ghana
University of Ghana

Life could be difficult such that you need to go the extra mile to achieve your vision.

That explains the life of a level 400 student of the University of Ghana (UG) who doubles as a bus conductor popularly called ‘Mate’ here in Ghana. She offers Information Studies and Psychology at Ghana’s premier university, University of Ghana.

Jocelyn Akorfa Atsoribo is a mother of two who has tried suicide on several occasions, owing to the difficulties she has faced in life.

She became pregnant at the age of 17 after Junior High School education in Hohoe in the Volta Region of Ghana.

Regardless of the difficulties she has faced over the years, she is determined to work hard and improve the lives of herself and her family.


According to her, the bus conducting journey began approximately six months ago when she met Kweku, a bus driver who takes her home from the market on a regular basis whenever she goes there to buy things.

She pointed out that she was into food business, but her landlord advised her to cease selling in front of the building because his sister wanted to use it for something else.

“I started almost six months ago, I was doing a good businesses in front of my house; my landlord gave me the place, but later came saying that his sister will use the place for other businesses. I was home and thinking of what to do because I had bills to pay, my kids are there and my school fees is also another issue.

“On my last day to the market, the driver’s mate didn’t show up so I helped him throughout the day and told him I will work with him. He said I can’t do it but I insisted he gives me three days and see; if I fail to perform he can sack me”, an emotional Akorfa said.

She went on to describe some negative feedback she received about her work, but was not bothered

“My landlord went behind me to tell the driver to prevent me from working with him, but I told the driver, I will do the work and cater for my needs,” she opined.

On combining her education with the job, she said it’s been very demanding, but she believes she will thrive at the end of the tunnel.

“At times I go for lectures, but sometimes I don’t. I try reading…its okay doing this because at least it puts something [money] on the table”

Ms. Atsoribo, who spoke with zeal, said that one of the most difficult aspects of the job was dealing with derogatory words from passengers.

“Definitely you will meet some bad nuts, but with this work you have to be tolerant though I lose my cool sometimes but I mostly ignore them,” she said.

Akorfa’s employer, Kwaku Boafo (trotro driver), described her as “a very hardworking woman” and supportive.

However, Akorfa’s biggest concern right now is how to pay for her final year’s costs, hoping some philanthropists will come to her aid.

She had previously relied on her meager savings and loans, but the current economic environment has made issues difficult for her.