Its 12:10am local time in Ghana. I am still awake reflecting on the moments I had in the university with my THREE friends. The hustle and struggle we had to pass through to even get graduated “unofficially” (waiting for actual graduation in mid-September, 2013) at the university. One thing that kept me going is the friends I had at the university and how these guys motivated me to stay focused and live a balanced life. Let me briefly share with you THREE lessons I learnt from my good THREE friends, I call them coaches.
Frank Kweku Bandoh was my schoolmate at the high school and sat with him in the same class during high school moments. Abeiku (a Ghanaian name for males born on Wednesday) as we normally call him started his small and phone repairing business right from high school. We use to call him “businessman. At the university we became very good friends in sharing ideas and how to execute them. He advanced from phone repairing phones to printing and stationery business where he employed someone to take care of it. He later bought a car and used it as a taxi and generated enough to buy his current car which he is using as a taxi (cab). I used to ask him a lot of questions as to how he was able to start all these small businesses at his age. He will never respond to any of my questions and will tell me to start something. I took his advice and started a small business on campus with him where we use to sell liquid bathing soap to students. That is when I learnt a lot from him. If there is one thing I learnt from this guy, it will be his ability to create a business concept out of anything he comes into contact with.
Richmond Elipklim is the fashionista among the three friends. As much as he is interested in stock exchange and anything related to investment, he is so particular about what we wear and how we wear them. Richmond would occasionally buy clothing that he thinks is good for us to wear to meet the current fashion standard. He used to say “Kofi, what you are wearing is too big, you need to change it”. He made us so conscious of what we we should wear to the extent that, I needed to consult him before buying any shoe or clothing. Trust Richmond to dress well for any occasion, you will easily notice his presence with his gentle style of dressing. I learnt to spend money on what is important and not just anything. I have become so conscious of my dressing up till now. He taught me that, dressing speaks a lot about your self image and that one can create a personal brand through the way he/she dresses. He is was also my schoolmate at high school and sat in the same class with him.
Bismark Hayford is the gentle man among the three friends. We call him “Pastor Bismark”, he is fast to draw us back to God when we seem to be veering of the path of our relationship with God. He is a lover of music and he unconsciously taught me how to sing and trained my voice as well. Bismark is the quiet person among us, kind of an introvert. His enormous ability to absorb our craziness is one spectacular principle I learnt from him. He is a good listener and extremely patient, he does not respond to situations as fast as we would but will gently think through before he takes an action.
I learnt from him how to be patient and hold on tight to my dreams and ambitions even though I might not see any sign of it actualising.
We use to discuss how we can escape this unproductive educational system in Ghana and what to make use of our leisure time. We would share ideas ranging from marriage to career during our meet-ups. Our time in the evenings were mostly based on business ideas. Thank you guys for impacting my life, I owe your kids a lot.