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Why Prof. Adei got nicknamed ‘the fool’ during his teenage years

Prof Stephen Adei is a former Rector of GIMPA

Mon, 23 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Prof Stephen Adei is a former Rector of GIMPA

My father preferred I was deployed on the farm than in school, Prof Adei

I had an awkward relationship with many adults, Prof Adei

Professor Emeritus Stephen Adei was once called 'the fool' in a village called Hwiremoase, near Obuasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, because of an interesting thing that happened when he was a teen.

Speaking to the Business & Financial Times (B&FT) in its Celebration of Life series, the former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) explained that as a young boy, he got into some really interesting relationships with adults.

This followed a decision by his father to keep him on the farm instead of having him in school, a decision the professor described as “quite strange,” while quickly adding that it had to take a threat of a divorce from his mother for that decision to be overturned.

“His mother, seeing the power of education, was not ready to cower to her husband's wishes. During that period of tension, she took him to her hometown three miles away for a while, where he started primary school to the great displeasure of his father.

“Reluctantly, Kwaku Adei succumbed and agreed to allow Prof. Adei to begin at the Hwiremoase Methodist School, aged seven, where he topped his class every term, bar one, until the tenth grade. His father, still seething over how young Stephen had been enrolled, did not care much for his education, and he showed this by providing the barest minimum of support. "Ironically, even at a tender age in primary six, he called me whenever he received a letter so I could read it for him since I could read quite well by then. A real contradiction…he will not show much concern for my schooling but will want to reap the benefits of my education," the paper reports.


But with time, he developed an “awkward relationship” with some elderly people in his community. He explained how one experience turned things around for him so badly, it earned him the name; “the fool,” a name that he had to live with until he did something more deserving of a better, newer name.

“According to Prof. Adei, he had an awkward relationship with many adults growing up. An instance where he was scolded for smacking his younger brother for the 'capital crime' of sticking his tongue out at him left him with the conclusion that the average adult was a "fool' for judging children according to adult standards. As a result, he would not argue with any adult.

“Consequently, he ended up being nicknamed 'the fool', a tag he bore until returning to the village aged 25, with a master's degree and a car. His academic prowess, however, endeared him to one class of adults his teachers, and this gave him unhindered access to their books.

“As early as primary six, Prof. Adei harboured the desire to go the university and the only route to that at that time was through secondary school. So, from grade eight, he sat for the common entrance examination which he passed through to grade 10, securing admissions into Prempeh College, Mfantsipim, and Aggrey Memorial School in consecutive years.

“However, he was unable to enroll in any of the schools and for the first time, he realised his family was poor. The 16-year-old Stephen Adei was becoming frustrated because he thought that was the only route by which I could get into the university,” the report added.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com