A 30-year old graduate of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Gabriel Sangrumah, is now a commercial motor rider, popularly known as ‘okada’, as several attempts to secure a decent job has failed.
The UDS graduate has called on government and private institutions to help him secure a job, so that he can stop the okada business, which according to him is extremely dangerous.
Making the appeal through the Ghanaian Times yesterday, Mr Sangrumah said though he holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Technology, and majored in Economics and Extension, he was finding it difficult to secure a decent job.
He said his current source of income puts him “on a daily risk of becoming a victim of road carnage due to the dangers that comes with ‘okada’ riding, especially in Accra.”
Mr Sangrumah indicated that he spent part of money made from okada business on his 70-year-old mother, a peasant farmer in Sibi, in the Nkwanta North District of the Oti Region.
He said “I lost my father at a very tender age and since then it has been my mother, who has been caring for us. I come from a polygamous home so I have many step siblings and it is one of them, Mr David Sangrumah, who sponsored me throughout my university education”.
Mr Sangrumah said that after his National Service at the Department of Agriculture of the Atebubu Amantin Municipal Assembly, in the Bono East Region, he served the Assembly voluntarily for a year without any allowance.
He said life became more difficult when he returned to his hometown in Sibi from Atebubu and joined his younger brother in Dansoman, Accra, in search of job.
However, Mr Sangrumah noted that “things did not go as expected, so he decided to rent a motorcycle and started rendering delivering services.
“This motor riding business is about survival, it is extremely dangerous, meandering through cars daily on these very busy streets of Accra. I was in a near fatal accident recently, but God saved my life as I survived with minor bruises on my palm,” he said.
Mr Sangrumah lamented that :“This and many other frightening encounters are what people like me face every blessed day, but we still wake up each morning to face our fears because if we do not move we will not eat, it is just pathetic.”.
He mentioned that his situation had made him depressed, but he was encouraged by friends, his younger brother and hope in God.
He said “I am not the only graduate struggling to make ends meet through ‘okada’ business. We are many,” Mr Sangrumah said.
He expressed worry that some members of his extended family mocked him, adding “they claim my tertiary education has rendered me more useless as the knowledge I acquired from the university cannot not even add any value to my life.”
The UDS graduate said “having fruitlessly applied for more than 60 jobs, with only three companies responding with the phrase “you will hear from us”, he was hopeful he would secure a good job.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU