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The fearless entrepreneurial visionary: Story of Nana Afia Boachie Tsikata

 

“The thing you fear the most has no power;
Your fear of it is what has the power;
Facing the truth really will set you free”.
-Oprah Winfrey.

The above quote is a testament to one of Ghana’s emerging maverick and pragmatist with a fueled zeal and solidified purpose of melding entrepreneurship and mentoring.

Born to Ghanaian parents, domiciling in Kano, Nigeria, during Ghana’s political dark ages arrived a dynamic woman- Nana Afia Agyeiwah Boachie in May 5 of 1978, whose unwavering zeal for God, education, and business channeled out an innermost genius.

But I guess that taking time to think unconventionally to solve societal direst problems doesn’t come in handy thinking of it from this perspective: A woman in a male dominant world trying to save the world!
Isn’t it hilarious to a fellow males hearing and even to the hearing of other fellow women?
Well, this shouldn’t be! ,because if dynamic and unconventional people are seeking solutions to solve global problems, then they are society’s first fruits, and if these kind are being scouted to lead upcoming generations, then Mrs. Nana Afia Boachie -Tsikata should be tapped for such worthy cause.

Poised to alleviate illiteracy through her timely intervention of turning around societal misfortune into fortune- a marvelous one, by way of setting up a school in her vicinity of Obuasi when there was no available school to enroll her children, Nana Afia believes that one of the best ways that the country can improve upon the education sector is to invest in the system(teachers and materials)than the investment in the physical structures.

“You can pay GHC500and still get a good education; you can pay GHC200 and still get a good education. These days you can go to schools with filled with air condition and they(students) are not learning anything. I started my school in a place where they had not gotten the concept of where young children going to school. In fact my school started as a result of that. My son was seven months and I wanted to get him a place to school so I can work. Nobody was there to take care of him and that is why I started that”, she revealed.
With staff strength of about 50 and 400 currently enrolled students, she runs owns and runs a school with branches in Accra and Obuasi, namely BACNOF SCHOOLS which started operations in 2007.

But that glory didn’t come in handy, though the ambition to be an educationist was nurtured from childhood. However, it seems profound how being in -between two siblings, she was genetically hand -picked for inheriting the gift of educating at a very tender age as she exhibited its tendencies by catering for her other sibling (Dr. Nana Afia Boateng, Head of Emergency, GARH ; Mrs. Cynthia Asumah, KATH) .

In 1992, the family was compelled to return to their native land due to an ongoing turbulent religious conflict that pummeled the region, Kano – a setting where religious conflict is rife.
“I remember my uncle coming from Lagos to our house to visit and landed right in the middle of the violence”.

“We’ve had time when the university was sealed off because they were trying to come in and burn houses. We’ve been there when they burnt the house of another neighbor, our friend’s father .They thought he was in there but he wasn’t, fortunately”, reveals the candid entrepreneur.

Even more traumatic was the sudden loss of her mother a day before her birthday which was chronologically two years after they had returned from Nigeria.

She recalled: “We had been to the hospital in the morning and she was fine and there was nothing wrong with her, but later in the day my father came from the hospital and said she had passed. I was so devastated. It was two days to my mock exam in fact I didn’t pass like I should”.

Nana Afia –a name she affectionately entreats all to call her, believes that the attachment of titles and positions in addressing people, in a way, stratifies society thereby creating hindrance for the creation and maintenance of cordial relationships.

Professionally trained as GES teacher and descending from a long bloodline of professionals, Nana Afia is a product of KNUST Secondary School and St. Louis Training College and after graduating, she furthered her education at the University of Education, Winneba, where she met her husband and later tied the knot in 2004.

Having worked in International Community School (ICS),St Louis Training College(her alma mata) and the Nana Ankobea Takyiwaa in Mampong Akuapem, working within capacities as a kindergarten and grade 7 teachers respectively.

But even after those brief stints, Nana Afia’s insatiable quest for seeking and imparting knowledge became more apparent after enrolling as a student in Rennee Q and Beau Chiq by Jen for her make-up and make-up and bridal hair training respectively.

Eventually, the enrollment paid off as she now owns and runs a bridal place in Freelance and Obuasi called, “JayanaReina Beauty Lounge”, a place where training, beauty, and counseling services are offered.

Asked what the reason was for starting the venture, she had this to say: “We want people to have a good marriage and a happy home so that years down the line you [client]can say that I never just went in there for make-up . In Obuasi, there was just a bridal shop and it was practically dying it started attracting more people after I had learned the make-up and it took off.”

Even at 41, Nana Afia does not feel fulfilled after all these achievements as she continues to trail blaze a whole new path of mentoring young girls globally through her organization, “Jesus Girls” to help them be economically independent ,spiritual, and goal oriented bearing in mind one thing: “Remain humble, grateful and never overlook people when fulfilled.”

Her life is also vested in ministry after being ordained as a Pastor in 2013, with the Lighthouse Chapel International .She is married with two kids to Bishop Francis Tsikata of the same ministry doing missionary work in Obuasi with their two children.

Armed with 26years of singing experience, Nana Afia is currently prepping for the release of her new gospel album slated for next year whilst making plans to plunge into new business avenues.

In summary Nana Afia’s story can also be succinctly summarized in Robert Frost’s quote
“The best way out is through”.

Source: Samuel E. Bruce

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