Friday, 2 November 2007
Post Ghana: Introducing Emmanuel
I met Emmanuel, who became our regular taxi driver, when I was looking to hire a taxi with seat belts for The Child's car seat. He speaks impeccable English and agreed to to do this interview and have his picture on my blog.
WG:How old are you?
WG:Where are you from?
Emmanuel: Aflao (in the Volta Region)
WG: Who is in your family and how often do you see them?
Emmanuel: My father is dead. My mother is very old now. I am the fourth child of six and the responsibility for looking after my mother falls mainly with me. I send her money and I go back to the village at Christmas time. We have a great time together. Accra is no fun at that time of the year. People eat and drink a lot in the village and they take food to their neighbours' houses.
WG: Why did you come to Accra?
Emmanuel: I am here for work. I have lived in Accra for ten years. I am an electrician but I couldn't get work so I turned to taxi driving. I had an electrical apprenticeship but that was cut short. So far, I have worked for a security company and I have also baked pastries for a living. I have been driving a taxi for three years now.
WG: Are you university educated?
Emmanuel: (looks surprised) No, I didn't even go to secondary school. I would one day like to return to schol to study computer engineering.
WG: Do you have a girlfriend?
Emmanuel: Yes, we are engaged to be married. She is 26 and has a job.
WG: What do you think is the biggest problem facing Ghanaians today?
Emmanuel:It is difficult for a poor man from a poor family to be rich.
WG: What do you mean?
Emmanuel: Rich people help their children. Some of us [poor folk] are lazy. It will be hard for a rich person to help a stranger.
WG: Do you think I am rich?
Emmanuel: You live in a self-contained bungalow
Emmanuel: Yes, everything [kitchen, bathroom, toilet] is inside.
WG: Where do you live now?
Emmanuel: I am renting a single room.
WG: Would you feel rich if you lived in a self-contained property?
Emmanuel: Yes, that would make me happy.
WG: What do you think of the international celebrities and local politicians who build massive mansions in Accra?
Emmanuel: They live in a different world.
WG: What are your plans for the future?
Emmanuel: I want to open an electrical store. I have already bought a kiosk structure and I am saving up to buy the tools I will need. It is hard because I have so much responsibility back at the village.
WG: How much money will you need to set it all up?
Emmanuel: Two hundred and fifty Ghana Cedis (250 US dollars, 190 pounds approx).