Smooth transfer series
My name is Bernard Forson. I was fortunate to have been blessed with three elder sisters, who contributed to give me a smooth tertiary education. My dad had taught Economics in senior high schools all his working life, mostly in the Central Region and my mother had worked as a matron or catering officer, either in the same school with Dad, or in senior high schools and polytechnics close by. They had given their four children a good upbringing and education. Interestingly, all my three sisters studied catering at the polytechnic, and after a few years working in government establishments, established the Sankofa Restaurant and Catering, where they provided first-class local dishes for patrons and delivered regular orders. They were strategically on the Circle-Achimota road, and many customers stopped for breakfast, lunch and supper all day.
I was a ‘retirement baby’, born ‘by accident’ when my parents were close to retirement, so my sisters took over all issues relating to my education. I sailed smoothly through university, a first a first-class degree in development economics. I did my National Service with the Electricity Company of Ghana, and was offered a job in the Projects Department, but my sisters advised me to acquire a postgraduate qualification, so with the ECG experience in mind, I did an 18-month Masters Degree in Project Management at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, during which time I often went to help my colleagues at the Projects Department. I was re-engaged at the ECG, but six months into the new job my fatherly Head of Department, Mr. Osekre, encouraged me to apply for the job of Northern Sector Project Manager at what was advertised as a ‘development agency’. It turned out to be the European Union, which gave me the responsibility of coordinating the development jobs being done by various contractors in the northern regions. I was offered a comfortable flat in Tamale, and given a new pick-up truck. I established good rapport with the contractors, and sent monthly reports which informed them about the progress of work. I established an online portal which enabled them to easily monitor what was happening in all the projects.
This was greatly appreciated, and the Commissioner wrote to thank me, and informed me that due to my work, the regular visits by expatriate staff to the north had become unnecessary. And better still, the offices in Brussels and other countries heard about me. I was sent to several African countries to help them establish similar online facilities, and was soon promoted to Consultant. I often came to Accra by air to spend a few days with family and friends, but I preferred to drive, because it gave me the opportunity to bring a substantial amount of foodstuffs for use in the restaurant. Of course, I was very well paid, Upon the advice of my elder sisters and my mentor Mr. Osekre, I took two major decisions. I decided to find a stable lady partner to marry and start a family. I also decided to invest in housing projects. Mr. Osekre took me to some areas in Accra with several uncompleted buildings, and suggested that I buy a couple of these houses, finish them and sell. Under his guidance, I did extensive investigations to find the actual owners of the properties and completed negotiations with them. With all the resources I could muster, I put them into perfect condition, and buyers rushed to take them even when I was putting final touches to them. Having made a substantial profit, I registered a company, opened an office and employed two graduates to do the jobs of scouting for properties, conducting searches on property documents, and arranging meetings with the owners of the properties. This became a very successful business to which I could retire anytime I wanted.
On the relationship side, I reconnected with AbenaGyasi, who was two years behind me at the university, and was working in a recruitment agency. We had gone out a few times, and I had visited her family and enjoyed their company. Apart from the fact that her parents were well known to mine, we got on well together, and although I did not say anything to her directly, all indications pointed to our heading towards marriage. She was tall and quite elegant with a commanding presence, and I felt proud about the glances that were cast in her direction when we went out. We enjoyed each other’s company, and spent long hours on the phone when I was out of town. Everything went well until I went to her house one morning, and she introduced her friend Jennifer, who was her mate in senior high school. She was a big girl, quite fashionable and outgoing. They talked excitedly about new fashion trends, and called other mates to chat. I was quite glad that she had found someone to spend time with when I was not around. She smiled and even joked with me, but I felt a bit uneasythat she was not too excited about me. I thought this was normal, as she perhaps wanted Abena all to herself.
TO BE CONTINUED…