March 18, 2023
Bolga school boy

Despite going through the odds of fending for himself at a tender age in the village including his educational needs, Mr Benard Akalbeo has become a PHD holder abroad.

He was born in Agona Asamang in the Ashanti Region to parents from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

He was born into a polygamous family where the father had four wives. His mother, who was the last wife was betrothed to the father, the age difference between them was therefore massive.

The father was a successful cola nut businessman, while the mother was a chop bar operator. At the time he was born, his father had moved to the village to settle there permanently.

At age 8, little Benard was sent to the village to join his father, where he spent his formative years.

The father was in his 80s by then and therefore did not have any control over the house’s affairs.

All activities in the home were run by his stepbrother, who did not quite make life comfortable for Benard; life became very difficult.

His basic needs were not catered for, and he had to resort to plucking wild fruits in the bush, and trekking for about 12km barefooted to sell them in Bolga. This was to help him cater for his basic and educational needs.

Upon realizing that he was a brilliant pupil, his stepbrother engaged him at home to teach his children.

He, therefore, ended up going to school just about twice a week, and sometimes thrice. He was also tasked to take his animal’s grazing during school hours.

Whiles in Kumasi, his mother received reports regarding the abuses he was going through and therefore made attempts to move him back there with her, but it did not work out.

She never relented in her efforts to bring Bernard back to live with her.

In 2006, she eventually succeeded in moving him to Accra, where she later moved to. Upon arrival. She enrolled him in a Preparatory school; Liberty Preparation school, Israel-Lomnava.

Life in Benard’s new school was quite different from Dulugu JHS, where he had come from. He came there with just two notes books where he had written all his notes on about 6 subjects.

His mates saw this to be interesting, and could not stop laughing. Benard was very determined to fit in as fast as he could.

He, therefore, spent sleepless nights copying all the notes into the notebooks his mother had bought for him. Within two weeks, he was done with the notes.

Determined Benard emerged first at the end-of-term exams, the same term he joined his mates. The boy who always emerged first in the class before Benard’s arrival did not take this lightly at all.

He continuously became the best in his class in subsequent terms, and mostly taught his colleagues in class. When they got to form three, he was made the school’s Boys’ Prefect unopposed.

Upon completion, Benard had nine (9)ones in his BECE. This was a time when his mother’s chop bar business had collapsed.

There was tension, as they did not know where they would get money for him to proceed to the Senior High School. His mother’s friends who saw his results said they would do all they could, to ensure that he went to school.

Eventually, a good samaritan named Mr. Kofi Asante, helped by paying for his admission at St. Peter’s Senior High School Kwahu Nkwatia.

At St. Peter’s school, he felt he had to do twice as much to be able to compete with all his colleagues from top schools. When they wrote the first term exams, he emerged first.

There, all first years did general courses for the first year and decided on the Elective courses they would do when moving to the second year.

At a point, he wrote the NOVDEC a year ahead in 2021 before they were legible to write the WASSCE, and he had 8As. He wrote the WASSCE the next year and again had 8As.

This was rare at the time and therefore brought him a lot of goodwill and financial support for his college education. His deepest gratitude goes to Dr. Kusi Ampofo, Hon. Moses Asaga, Mr. Robert Dwamena and Mr. and Mrs. Yeboah who supported him throughout college.

From Senior High School, he proceeded to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) where he studied Actuarial Science.

He then had the opportunity to study a PhD programme at Georgia State University, USA, right after his Degree programme.

He completed his PhD in 2022.

Mr. Benard Ayinbome Akalbeo noted that he initially wanted to be a soccer agent but later on looked within himself and discovered his intellectual gift.

He, therefore, believes that in life, it is essential for one to always look within himself and see the unique gift God has put in them.

He indicates that would be the turning point for them to make something out of their lives, or break a cycle in their family.

He stresses the need for one not to give up on God, and emphasises that this comes with one first of all knowing who they are first and where they are coming from,
and they do the things they do because that is who they are.

His long-term goal is to serve his country by spearheading a new wave of paradigm shift.

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