Recipient of the Dr Jacob Paarechuga Anankware’s Best Student Award (BECE category) of the N-Town Awards in Navrongo, Gloria Kawe Agampim, has written a very chilling story about her saddest day.
The 17-year-old girl, who scored seven 1s in nine subjects in the 2018 BECE, came top of all candidates in the Kasena-Nankana municipality to win the award, which came with a cash prize of $ 100.
Adafi Augustine, a science student from the Notre Dame Seminary Senior High School also won the Best Student Prize in the WASSCE category.
Though the award is solely sponsored by Dr Jacob Paarechuga Anankware, who is rumoured to have an interest in the Navrongo Central seat, some philanthropists within the area have also made cash donations to support the winners of that category.
Now a General Science student at the Notre Dame Girls Senior High School in Sunyani, Gloria was tasked by her extra-classes teacher during vacation to write about her saddest day, and this was what she presented:
“THE SADDEST DAY
There is an adage that goes, “what we want is not what we get in life”. Life they say is full of surprises. So, my saddest day, shocked me as well.
It all began when we were in our final year preparing to write the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). Nafisa and I were busily and happily preparing towards our final papers. Nafisa was more than a best friend to me. In fact, she was like my biological sister. She was very good in academics.
I often called her a “brilla” student (a name attributed to participants of the National Science and Math Quiz Competition for Senior High Schools). We moved together almost everywhere and spoke about our lives and what we would like to do in the future.
Nafisa had said, she wanted to be a medical doctor. She was always a happy child and often kept an infectious smile. Her smile made me melt each time I gazed at her and soon became my thing too: always smiling. Her philosophy was that “one must always be happy if one gets the chance to be happy and must enjoy every bit of it because one cannot tell what awaits him/her in the next few seconds”.
An unfortunate incident took place three days to our BECE. A very terrible thing to recall without shedding tears. On that fateful day, her parents came for her at school with the reason that, her aunt was in a near-death situation and had requested to see her before passing onto the next world. Nafisa was fond of her aunty and often had good words to say about her that, she did not hesitate to go with them.
This story turned out being false, as that was a whole arrangement to marry off Nafisa to someone who was old enough to be her father. This was according to their culture, so it was not a strange phenomenon to the parents.
This truth came out when we just had a day to write BECE.
I was anxiously waiting for her return but saw no positive signs. Having waited long enough, I gathered a few friends to go find out what was keeping Nafisa. We had to force this information from the mother who was unwilling to spill. When she finally did, I wept recalling our dreams.
I said to myself, “is that how life is?” I thought to myself, ‘a brilliant girl had to be forced to quit school to marry an old man because of an absurd custom.’
Three months after the examination, I went to the market and heard my name being mentioned, coming from a crowd. What a surprise when I turned, I could not recognise my very good friend Nafisa who was already pregnant. Can you imagine?
I was speechless. Upon seeing me, she tried encouraging me to be strong for her by saying, “it is not the end of the world, life still continues”. She admonished me to keep studying hard so one day, I will liberate her children from going through this absurdity. I had to control my tears from flowing in her presence as those words came out of her mouth. This indeed was the saddest day of my existence.”, Gloria wrote.
Even though it turned out that the story was drawn from her imagination, she received commendations for being able to put her thoughts together to paint a picture of what passes to be a reality in some parts of the country.
About N-Town Award
It is an annual award scheme organised by the Royal Empire in Navrongo to acknowledge and reward individuals and institutions that stand out in their respective fields. In its third year, the scheme is still seeking support from corporate Ghana to grow beyond the Kasena-Nankana municipality.