Jewel Ahiable who hails from the Volta Region of Ghana and the first of six siblings has tasted the bitter side of life and thank to his stars, he survived many challenges that could lead him to death.
After his Second cycle education at Saint Mary’s Seminary in the Volta Region, Ahiable’s father wanted him to continue to the teachers training college to become a professional teacher but he turned it down.
He had a special interest in electronics and wanted to pursue that at the tertiary.
“When I was young and my parents are not around, I remember I will always go and open our fan regulator so I opened and begin to do disconnection and connection so I had interest in electrical appliances so after SHS, I said I wanted to be an engineer, but as to which category, I do not know, so I researched about the categories and I said I want to do electricals and a teacher introduced Maritime academy to me,” he said.
Jewel gained admission to the then Regional Maritime Academy to study Diploma in Marine Electrical Electronic Engineering.
Paying his school fees which cost $750 per semester was very difficult but for someone whose parent will sacrifice anything for education, he sailed through.
“At maritime, it was a challenge for my parent to pay the fees to go through school but God sustained them to be able see me through school,” he said on the Day Show with Berla Mundi.
As a young boy who was chasing his dreams, Jewel’s dream was to be traveling accross the world through sea though he hadn’t traveled anywhere all his life.
After completing Regional Maritime Academy, he had to wait fora while before getting a job.
In 2008 he had a job opportunity in Dubai and was reluctant in taking up the challenge but a friend advised him to pick it up.
“In 2008, my phone rang and when I picked, we spoke he asked if I’m Jewel Ahiable and he said they had my CV with them and if I’m ready to work.
“Stayed one year, had another work in Dubai which came with it own challenges including working in an older Ship with a lower salary as compared to the salary at the previous company,” he disclosed.
This job led him to captivity for 1,000 weeks where they espcaped death threats, maltreatment and all sort of things.
Upon his arrival for the job, the driver who picked him up from the airport made known to him the challenges in the job and how long the ship had stayed without moving.
Though disappointed, Jewel had no choice than to do the work and when he got the ship, he got to know all bonuses were lies.
After his 6 months, Jewel Ahiable was to leave and was going for what would have been his last breakfast then their ship was hijacked, he explained how it happened;
“On March 2010 which was his 6 months, just when he was going for his breakfast, emergency alarm sounded and they quickly had to figure out the exact problem
“I heard bullets from the other side of the ship was hitting the ship and we realized that our captain was trying to do defensive maneuvering, for sometime, we heard glasses breaking, few minutes, we heard our colleagues running asking us to come out that Somali pirates had hijacked the ship.
“So they took us to Somali with the agreement that our owner will be made to pay ransom before allowing us to go free,” he narrated on the Day Show.
Surviving in the hands of a pirate who could kill him anytime was tough for Jewel.
“A naval vessel came close to ask whether we needed help or not which was amazing because they knew very well that we were at a point of the gun.
Far away in a sea in Somali, all 24 were left in a room, slept on the floor, their valuables were taken, they were tortured and went through a lot.
Their survival was going to cost $10M and their boss was reluctant to pay.
They worked for the pirates and helped them in hijacking some ships and life became more miserable.
“May 2010, we embark on a journey to hijack two ships. On their return, life became pathetic – the food they eat, the water they drink.
“We drunk from the air condition outlet and sometimes from the sea. Ate what they call Japatta – flower and sea water,” he revealed.
In all of these struggles, one of his friend died in the process.
Even after a life was lost, the treatment didn’t change but rather got worse – they were threatened to kill them, guns were shot, they were beaten and some collapsed.
Jewel said he felt the almighty God travelled – reason they were struggling.
The International Community rejected them but thanks to their prayers, they were rescued by the people of Somalia.
The survivors arrived in Ghana on December 31, 2011 and his parents couldn’t even recognize him upon his arrival.
Jewel Ahiable has put together his experience in his new book with pictures.