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I was once a 'shoe shine boy' - Ofosu Ampofo reveals on Everyday People

Monday, 27 July 2015 15:11

Former Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, says he was not fortunate to be born with a spoon in his mouth; but that certainly did not prevent him from achieving his goals in life.

Speaking as a guest on TV3's Everyday People, the once hardworking Minister of State, Regional Minister and District Chief Executive, who is now the Board Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, and a Vice Chairman of the incumbent National Democratic Congress, Mr. Ofosu Ampofo, said whiles in middle school, he had to work as a 'shoe shine boy' to complement the efforts of his parents who earned very little.

Mr. Ofosu Ampofo shows Babina his pig farm

Mr. Ofosu Ampofo shows Babina his pig farm

"I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was born into a relatively poor family if I should say so; because my father was a state farm manager and my mother was working at the Ministry of Agric as a laborer and was supporting the family with other jobs such as sewing and the likes so it wasn't rosy from the beginning".

At what stage were you motivated to make something meaningful out of your life?

"Around 1981/82 thereabout, my father lost his job and life became a bit difficult. When I was in middle school at Asamankese, I decided that I have to do something for myself so I can provide basic things for myself so I became a 'shoe shine boy' whiles schooling. I remember very well that, I had to go to Asamankese Secondary School over the weekends to polish the shoes of the students and earn something for myself. I even graduated from 'shoe shine' to shoe making. When I was in Middle Form Four, I was a senior prefect and at the same time a 'shoe shine boy' and I even had to shine the shoes of my juniors because I felt I was only doing my job".

Why were you referred to as 'Bro Sammy Photo'?

"I met a friend of mine who had a camera and said he was selling it; so I took it and I think I paid some small part of it and gave the guy a promise to pay the rest. And I started taking photographs and became a very popular figure in terms of photography. I was then able to purchase some upgraded cameras and managed to expand the business. I eventually opened about two photo studios, one in a town called Bososo where I even settled and got married and then I also set up the other at Begoro where I eventually became a District Chief Executive there".

When did you go into farming?

Mr. Ofosu Ampofo's poultry farm

Mr. Ofosu harvests plantain from his farm

"I also have passion for farming so as early as 80s, I started farming. I bought hundred-bird capacity hencoop and then gradually I went for a 300-hencoop and another 300-hencoop capacity so gradually I was moving up". I also started pig farming about two years ago and now I have not less than 200 pigs aside my crop farms".

About your family

"All my five children are boys so I call them myself and my boys company. My parents are still alive".

Mr. Ofosu Ampofo and wife

What informed your decision to become a cadre and a politician?

Mr. Ofosu Ampofo was appointed by the Late President Mills as a Minister of State

"When the revolution was launched, I was a student. And I believe that those were the times his Excellency Jerry John Rawlings the President then, was down to the people so I felt very challenged and inspired by that so I felt that I also had to offer myself. So I did that in my own small way by organizing my local people for communal labor and ensuring that everybody actively participates in development around our own area; I felt that this is something that all of us ought to be part of so that's what inspired me into politics. The concept of power to the people for me; was what drove me into it".

Mr. Ofosu Ampofo the cadre

What would be your advice to the youth?

"We have come from a very far distance to where we are now and I believe that if you have to make it in life, you must stick to certain core principles. Principles of honesty, truthfulness, integrity and above all the fear of God".

Everyday People on TV3 is hosted by Babina Fynn-Walker, and airs every Saturday on News 360 at 7:00pm.

By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/tv3network.com/Ghana