Small as the campus of the Ghana Institute of Journalism [GIJ] is, the bearers of the rumor succeeded spreading it across all corners the way a smothering fire does on a refuse dump. Trust me, it was a big news! When journalists – people trained to be professional gossipers – get hold of your secret information, you are better a dead person.
“She is pregnant!” was the infectious chorus. It was on every lip.
The girl who received the torrential blows, the way falling mangoes hit the ground in a windstorm, was Auguster Asantewa Boateng.
A very beautiful girl and the crush of many guys on campus, Auguster came to school after the rumor mongering with a protruding stomach. She was indeed pregnant. For those guys who dreamt of dating her, she had not only disappointed them but herself.
“How could she get pregnant? Who scored that goal [impregnated her]?” were but few of the questions that followed after the rumor was confirmed.
Auguster was not that a close friend of mine. We only exchanged pleasantries whenever we met. This account happened during our days at GIJ while studying Diploma in Communication Studies. Five years later after surviving the silent but loud troll for being pregnant, I have always wanted to tell her how brave she was.
This was a young lady who braved the bulging eyes of gossipers to sit in the lecture halls to complete her course. Many of us wouldn’t have been able to survive such an unwanted attention.
Auguster, a professionally trained journalist, holds a mini MBA (Leadership Development) from the Accra Business School. I am convinced that it will interest you to know she has an initiative dubbed SHERecovered and also the founder of the Butterfly Effect.
“SHERecovered seeks to mentor teen mothers by providing them capacity training, skill acquisition, vocational training, counselling and financial empowerment,” she tells me in a WhatsApp chat.
Auguster says SHERecovered empowers these teen mothers discover their self-worth, self-esteem and confidence and also to make something out of themselves. Our elders say, “We do not tell the child to go play on the refuse but when they do and get themselves injured, we do not leave them to their fate.”
SHERecovered has been Auguster’s support to teen mothers after they went ‘playing on the refuse’. She understands them better after going through the ‘ordeal’ herself though she was not a teenager when she conceived.
For young children, especially girls who have not gotten pregnant, Auguster’s Butterfly Effect comes in handy to assist them progress steadily in life.
The Butterfly Effect, Auguster tells me, is a registered not-for-profit organization and human rights advocacy initiative. It was founded with the aim of using effective and sustainable strategies to promote and protect the rights of the African child/youth. It focuses on their health, education and self-empowerment.
Auguster says, “The Butterfly Effect aims at creating an environment that supports children/youth and increases educational and health opportunities for the vulnerable in rural communities. This is done through viable social schemes and an informed knowledge that contributes to a higher standard of living.”
Today, Auguster Asantewa Boateng has been mounting one platform after the other telling not only young girls but women how she turned her lemons into lemonade.
I have for some time now monitored Auguster’s exploits on social media, specifically Facebook. Like Qatar Airways, Auguster is going places together with her empowered youth.
On March 20, 2018, Starrfmonline.com carried a thrilling story with the headline: “Butterfly Effect founder adjudged ‘Most Outstanding Female Personality in Education.’ Auguster won that award at the 4th Feminine Ghana Achievement Awards.
The award-winning social entrepreneur is also a teen personal development counselor and life coach. She is a teen mom mentor and child health and education advocate.
Auguster is also the Executive Secretary at the International Youth Parliament and the country representative of Youth Volunteering for Sustainable Development Goals. She also volunteers for several other organizations and recently volunteered as a rapporteur and protocol for the 2nd National Adolescent Reproductive Health Summit held in Accra, Ghana.
“I believe that there is enough hidden inside everyone and it is important that we find that unique thing, work on it to become better people and also inspire others to do same,” Auguster says.
She has an upcoming program dubbed Power House Series that looks at inspiring the next generation of girls through the lens of outstanding women in society.
Indeed, Abraham Lincoln was right when he opined that, “My great concern is not whether you have failed but whether you are content with your failure.” Auguster might have failed along the line but she was not content with her failure.
She had lemons but was creative enough to turn them into lemonade that, today, hundreds of children across the country are enjoying a sip of that juicy ‘drink’.
If you thought of giving the fast-rising young lady a present for this Christmas, Auguster says that what she will appreciate most from you is telling her you are determined to also turn your lemons into lemonade for it is possible.
The writer, Solomon Mensah, is a broadcast journalist with Media General [TV3/3FM]. Views expressed here are solely his and do not, in anyway, reflect the editorial policy of The Probe/his organisation.