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National | Regional: Living Standard Series: First class graduate returns to selling ‘bofrot’ for survival

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Priscilla Akwagu graduated with First Class in Languages but now hawks to earn living

After graduating with a first class and completing her national service as a teaching assistant at a university, Priscilla Akwagu had to return to her hometown to continue a vocation that put her through school- hawking buff loaf.

Priscilla is a single mother of two who believes her entrepreneurial venture allows her to survive Ghana’s unemployment situation.

Some refer to them as the brown mouth-watering balls of Asante Mampong, but they are known locally as ‘bofrot’, a corrupted word of buff loaf or in some parts of the country, ‘togbɛɛ’.

This is not just a mere favourite accompaniment to most Ghanaian breakfast meals, but a life changer.

Living Standard Series: First class graduate returns to selling ‘bofrot’ for survival
It is a business she took over from her mother and used it to support her education
The 32-year-old single mother weaned her family off abject poverty through hawking buff loaf.

This is a business she took over from her mother to settle their debt, after life in the city became unbearable.

“I lived with my brother in Kumasi. My mum was somewhere. So I started hawking in Kumasi. I used to sell sugarcane and worked at a chop bar. Sometimes, the left over is what my brother and I take for support. I used to wash the utensils and do the cleaning at the chop bar.

“My mum used to sell the ‘bofrot’ and she had debts to settle. So, I thought it was wise to come and take over from her and clear the debts. The business was lucrative and that helped me settle her debts,” she said.

Living Standard Series: First class graduate returns to selling ‘bofrot’ for survival
Buff loaf is popularly known as ‘bofrot’ and ‘togbɛɛ’ in some Ghanaian societies
At a young age of 17, Priscilla became pregnant with her first daughter.

But as a young mother who believed in education, she defied the odds and began her secondary education at the age of 21.

“I completed JHS in 2007. I got pregnant with my first daughter after school. I was 17 years at the time. So after I delivered, I needed to take care of her. So in 2012, when she was three, I decided to go back to school. I didn’t know what school to attend because I had a child.

“So, I went to Atebubu and spoke to a man who led me to the headmistress for admission. She was reluctant because girls like me always ended up getting pregnant again. But later, she agreed and admitted me into the school. I just didn’t know how to plan for school and work,” she said.

Her resilience and tenacity to survive never flickered.

Living Standard Series: First class graduate returns to selling ‘bofrot’ for survival
Priscilla Akwagu at her graduation
Priscilla continued with her education to the university pursuing a degree in Ghanaian Language.

With entrepreneurship as her watchword, she jostled her academics with her hawking business to finance her education.

“My campus was very far from here. It was in the Central Region, Ajumako. A colleague of mine takes over the business when I am not around. I come back home twice to sell.

“If I am to return to campus, I will sell and join the night bus. I’ll be tired when I get to school so I don’t even go for class for about two weeks until I gain strength,” she said.

Known popularly in Asante Mampong as Ama Doughnut, she has been about the hawking business over a decade.

A vocation that put her through school right from her secondary through to tertiary education.

The tussle of complementing schooling with business never hindered her from graduating with a First Class in Languages.

Having served as a teaching assistant at her department for her national service, she is back on the streets.

Priscilla had preferred to teach but some alleged illegalities involved in securing a teaching job pushed her away.

“I love to teach. When I was returning from my national service. I told myself I’d go to any nearby school and teach for free. People are taking money before they get a place to be fixed in GES.

“After you sat down to write your licensure and before you get to GES you have to pay close to GH¢10,000 while I can use this money to finance my business and get more. When am I going to settle this debt if I am receiving GH¢2,000?” she wondered.

Business, she says, was good in times past. But, the ballooning prices of flour and vegetable oil, essential ingredients for the business, are biting hard now.

“Flour was GH¢24, but when I returned it’s now GH¢500. These don’t even last for two weeks. I have to now buy them on credit and pay them later. The children are not even buying them nowadays. They say it’s expensive,” she said.

Despite these challenges, she plans on expanding her business. However, finding a workforce for the business is daunting.

“The business needs some branding and more people to join. If I try getting girls to support me they don’t want to because they belittle the hawking business. Many of the youth are shy about selling,” she indicated.

For Priscilla, she will continue to give it all so long as she earns her daily bread from the business.

“I took a picture of myself in my hawking apparel and carrying my container, a friend of mine told me to pull the picture down. But I resisted and told him this is what I do to survive and I am not shy about my business.”

Source; Myjoyonline

 

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National: 2023 Budget: TUC to reject government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m

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Deputy-General-Secretary-of-the-Trades-Union-Congress-TUC-Joshua-Ansah

After several attempts to reach an agreement with government over an increment in their base pay, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is expected to meet government on Wednesday to finalise a deal.

But before that meeting gets underway, the Trades Union Congress is warning that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).

Earlier, government also proposed a 12% salary increment during the last negotiation with Organised Labour but it was turned down.

 

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.

According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they turn up at the meeting with the same proposal.

JoyNews/AdomNews · TUC to reject government’s salary projection in 2023 Budget
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.

He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Justice Yankson says government has created a problem by not reaching an agreement with the labour unions earlier.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Dr Yankson on organised labour and government’s negotiations
He believes the current mess could have been prevented.

“These are some of the problems that sometimes we create for ourselves. We had a whole period in which we could have sorted these things, we waited to the last end. Now we can see that we are on a collition course, it is clear,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Politics: Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory

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A Wenchi High Court has thrown out a petition against New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator in the Techiman South 2020 election.

The petitioner was seeking the nullification of the poll which saw the NPP candidate, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, emerge victorious.

But at the hearing Wednesday, the court explained that the NDC 2020 Parliamentary candidate, Christopher Bayere, who was pursuing the matter, failed to prove the burden of petitioning.

The court was attended by some leaders of the NDC including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
He was sighted leaving the court premises a few minutes before the judgement.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate had contested the EC’s verdict which gave the NPP’s candidate victory with 49,682 votes representing 50.2 percent of the total valid votes cast, whilst the NDC’s candidate had 49,205 votes representing 49.8 percent of the total valid votes cast.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate insisted that the figures were not a true reflection of the election.

According to him, per the pink sheets of the NDC agents at each of the 267 polling stations, he garnered 50,306 votes in the Parliamentary election whilst the 1st Respondent polled 50,013 votes.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
Electoral Commission fined in 2021

In August 2021, the Electoral Commission of Ghana was fined GH¢4,000 by the court after the Court refused to grant the EC’s request for a stay of proceedings in the dispute on July 30, 2021.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
The EC’s application for a stay of proceedings was to enable it to file a motion to challenge the ruling of the Court at its previous sitting, when it granted the petitioner a motion to amend the title of the writ.

TCounsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addae said the stay of proceedings was to enable him to file supplementary statements in support of the application filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti.

However, reacting to the EC’s stay of proceedings, the Counsel for the petitioner, Justin Teriwajah argued that the motion was frivolous and unnecessarily geared towards delaying the adjudication of the case.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Football: Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style

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It was the much-needed win for Ghanaians who were largely sitting on tenterhooks for the final quarter of the game.

And from the reactions, after the South Koreans netted a quickfire double between the 58th and 61st minutes, something had to definitely happen.

Kudus rose to the occasion, found himself at the end of a Gideon Mensah cross and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to restore Ghana’s lead and eventually sealed the game for Black Stars.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
The 68th-minute winner triggered a thunderous celebration across the country and on social media.

Despite late attempts from the Koreans, the game ended 3-2 with Ghana earning a vital win in Group H.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
Alban Bagbin

The jubilation started right from Ghana’s legislative arm where the Speaker, Alban Bagbin was caught on camera dancing to one of the goals on the day from his office.

The ecstatic Speaker punched the air while clad in his Black Star jersey in the company of other officials of the House.

Asamoah Gyan runs

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan was on punditry duty at SuperSports TV.

However, the ethics of being on a live set could not suppress his excitement when the deciding goal was scored.

Filled with elation, the former skipper run out of the set in jubilation shouting atop his voice.

His iconic goal celebration was his response when asked about his reaction to some moments of the game.

Fans in clean-up mode

Now, supporters of Japan’s national team have been earning praise in Qatar for their zeal toward cleanliness after each game.

This win seems to have presented Ghanaian fans with the opportunity to emulate this off-pitch tradition.

While many celebrated the win at full-time, other fans were seen moving boxes around to collect the waste left by their colleagues.

South Korea’s Son not in selfie mood

Another interesting sight came from an official from the Ghana dressing room posing for a selfie.

The subject Son Heung-min was almost in tears after his team lost at full-time.

Otto Addo’s side will now face Uruguay in their last game looking to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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