This is Prof Naana Jane ES Opoku-Agyemang, a professor of Literature and aspiring Vice President of Ghana, and my Mom-in-love (She hates that I just don’t end at Mom 😂).
In the late 70s, she was a young lady who had just finished her undergraduate degree at UCC who left for Canada to pursue postgraduate studies.
All she had was a heart full of hope and ambition. 🙏🏽
In the first year of her postgraduate studies, she had her first son. A few years later she had a second son and was just thinking she was done with babies. God had other plans…
In her final year, just two days after she defended her PhD thesis, she gave birth to her third child, a daughter.
(A few years ago when I was a new mom, in a conversation with her, I mentioned how hard it is to care for a child, she responded “Yeah tell me about it” with a squint in her eye 😉which quickly reminded me, she had had three children, cared for them and finished a PhD, all in record time.
Talk of sheer grit, determination and everything goals are made of. 🙏🏽
Six weeks later with her new baby, two toddlers (and if they were anything like my boys dea 🤦🏽♀️) and her PhD, she left the shores of Canada to that of Cape Coast to begin a life of public service to the country she loved beyond anything else.
Exactly 20 years after arriving at UCC, she had risen to become the first ever female leader of a public university in Ghana, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast.
Hers has been a life of service to the people of this country with a dedication and commitment that is unmatched.
There are women who by their very lives tell us: it is possible to be the best we can be. That we can dream beyond the little, unknown and unrecognized places we come from… to climb up to the highest peaks and from there pull up those who come after us.