"l Willl Tell My Story" - Ms Amina Montia
2005-10-12 12:24:31This article has been read 2533 times.
The bitter and sweet experiences of Ms Amina Montia's childhood succeeded in toughening her to face the future with loads of confidence.
At an early age, she learned how to be independent by fending for herself.Life was sometimes so tough that she periodically had only water as her meal for the day.
â€œYou know I used to fill my stomach with water whenever I was hungry. This happened when both parents were away and were not aware of her situation.
Sometimes when things got even worse she went to bed on an empty stomach. Little Amina lived through all those difficult times and determined to work hard despite her toils.
Today she is a Chartered Accountant and holds different positions in various organisations. Narrating her childhood experiences to the Junior Graphic, Ms Montia said she was one of the fortunate ones to benefit from the free education policy which was introduced in the Northern Region.
â€œHad it not been for that policy I would not have reached where I am todayâ€, she said. Ms Montia started schooling at an early age at Yendi Primary School.
That was because she followed her elder half-sister who also bore her name to school each day. She said she sat next to her sister in Class One and copied everything she wrote down.
When she was about to go to Class Two,her mother fell ill so little Amina had to stay with her in Tamale for some time.
When she returned,she joined her sister, Amina Senior, who was then in Class Two. This time round she had her own exercise books and therefore, did her own school work.
According to her, she enjoyed those days when she lived with all her 12 siblings in the same house and said despite the fact that she was born into a polygamous family, she and her siblings were very united.
She said while they lived in Yendi with their father, their mothers, who where then residing in Tamale, took turns every month to take care of them.
She continued her education at Dapkema Primary School in Tamale when her father was transferred there.However, those memorable times were cut short and the family bond paritially disintegrated when her father was again transferred to Wenchi and had to leave with some of her siblings.
As if that was not enough, her mother fell ill and was sent to another village for treatment, leaving her in the care of her elder brother.
â€œThis time round, my stepmothers could only take care of their own children,â€ she said.
That was when little Amina found herself without food most of the time and was forced to drink water whenever she felt the pangs of hunger.
She recalled that she sometimes slept on a pillar infornt of her fatherâ€™s hut, hid her face and sobbed silently to herself .
When things got so tough for her, she visited her elder sisterâ€™ s friend who often gave her one cedi and dresses to wear.
Ms Montia said she managed with the cedi for a whole month and altered the dresses given to her to fit her size, since they were very big.
The alteration she made regularly on the dresses as well as some assistance from one of her big sisters helped her to acquire some basic skills in sewing.
She recalled that during those hardtimes, whenever it was breaktime she would isolate herself from her friends, since she had very little to spend and felt embarrassed.
One of her friends who brought plenty of food however, always insisted she shared her food with her. â€œI was very grateful to her, and still amâ€ she said.
In spite of the difficulty she was going through, Ms Montia received a lot of encouragement from her mother and her elder sister who was then in the United Kingdom (UK).
For that reason, Ms Montia said she never played with her books and was one of the best in her class. She said things, however, when her mother fully recovered from her ailment and moved to Tamale, while her sister in the UK started sending them money for their upkeep.
Her mother was able to start some petty trading and Amina helped her to sell her wares after school and during weekends.
â€œEven though I always came back tired after selling, my mother insisted I finished with my homework and also studied before I went to bed,â€ she recalled.
Ms Montia said she stopped selling when she went to Tamale Secondary School, where she had so much fun. She made good friends and her two brothers who had then joined her elder sister in the UK provided her with all her needs.
â€œSo all I needed to do was to study,â€ she said with a smile. â€œI always wanted to become a pilot but out of peer pressure I opted for pure Arts, even though I was very good in Maths,â€ she said.
After completing Sixth Form, Ms Montia pointed out that she moved to Accra to live with one of her sisterâ€™s friends.
â€œIt was in Accra that I learnt how to use a gas cooker and also cooked different kinds of dishes at the same time,â€ she recounted.
After Ms Montia had stayed for almost a year, she returned to Tamale and had a traumatic experience. Her father accused her of not visiting for a long time and stated, â€œIf you have old folks, you donâ€™t abandon them just like that.â€
Ms Montia apologised and promised never to repeat that. She said a few hours after her father had made that remark, he went out and was brought back dead.
She said her fatherâ€™s statement remained vivid in her memory. Ms Montia gained admission to the University of Ghana, Legon, but spent only a few weeks of the semester there and joined her siblings in the UK.
While in the UK, she switched from Arts to business studies. She attended the North London University (now the Metropolitan University) to study accounting.
She did various kinds of jobs to pay for her education and later became a Chartered Accountant. After having her first child, she returned to Ghana in 1996.
She is the Managing Director of Shemon Aluminium Company, which is a family business, a member of the Board of Directors of Graphic Packaging Limited, among others.
She advised children to work hard at their dreams and also pray to God, no matter the situation in which they found themselves, since He is the only one who will help them in their endeavours.