Struggling to pay varsity fees; touching story of a 'kayayoo'

Nancy Kayayoo Nancy carrying a customer's load

Sun, 11 Aug 2019 Source: thechronicle.com.gh

Nancy hails from the Upper West Region. She travels down south every academic year holidays to work as a kayayoo (female head potter) to offset her indebtedness of school fees.

She is a university student, fighting all odds to reach her career goal as an Accountant. Often very few people may perhaps bother themselves to find out the character and personality of the kayayoo, who they hire to carry their several kilos of loads.

In fact, kaya itself is a menial job, and those who have opted for it tend to suffer all sorts of verbal abuse from shoppers and traders.

Nevertheless, Nancy, the 23-year-old kayayoo, is rising above the challenge from just carrying kilos of loads on her head to enrol into a university to pursue her dream.

Even though the struggles to reach this feat have not been easy, Nancy believes education is one way to escape absolute poverty. Six days a week, Nancy goes to her workplace at an electrical shop around Opera Square in the Accra Central Business District by 7 am.

She spends more than 10 hours a day carrying heavy boxes of cables and fans for customers.

Often times, these boxes can weigh between 100 to 300 kilograms. Despite this back-breaking work, Nancy gets paid between GHS5 and GHS20 a day, that is if she is lucky.

Nancy is working hard to overcome the obstacles that have been placed in her path as a mere head potter, to become something much more substantial and rewarding.

Her father died when she was just seven months old and her single mother was left with the responsibility to provide for Nancy and her other three siblings.

Being the youngest among the four, Nancy was sent to live with her grandmother in Tamale to attend primary school to ease pressure on her mother. She grew up lacking so many things, but the dream of overcoming her situation never lacked momentum. All of her life, she has worked hard to succeed and stay out of trouble.

In 2018, she was admitted into Tamale Technical University to study Computer and Accounting, three years after leaving Senior High School due to financial challenges.

Averagely, she spends GHS1.00 on lunch and GHS4.00 on transport just to be able to save some money to earn a degree that would afford her a secured job with a bank, the Ghana Revenue Authority or an accounting firm.

Nancy starves to be able to raise about GHS3, 500 to pay tuition fees, accommodation cost, books, food, transportation and other necessities each semester.

Sadly, the income, despite the starvation, does not help her to make full payment of the fees, hence she is always been overwhelmed by the situation.

Although she will be in level 200 (2nd year) this academic year, Nancy still owes fees at level 100 (1st year).

She complained bitterly about the hazards that come with her kayayoo job. She occasionally becomes sick and suffers from chronic body pains, coupled with her poor eating of few chunks of yam a day.

Despite all of these obstacles and struggles, Nancy stays positive every day and the “I can do spirit” has been her sole motivation and reliance on God.

She advised other young women who are in her position to adopt her “I can do spirit” and to learn positive things from people. When life is difficult, she chooses to look on the bright side.

She also tells other young people, as well as people with single parents to always work hard. Nancy used The Chronicle platform to appeal to benevolent individuals to help her acquire a laptop since it is a requirement in her study, which she obviously cannot afford.

Source: thechronicle.com.gh