Orphaned but made a first class at the University; the story of Oswald Suonbai-Kyi

He is one of the students graduating with First Class Honours from the University of Ghana this weekend, but many of his colleagues may never have heard the emotive story of Oswald Suonbai-Kyi.

Late South African Reggae artiste, Lucky Dube perhaps articulated his story better in the chorus of a song on the album titled “Respect” which said: “Behind the mask of the crown lies a trail of tears”.

Oswald would be celebrated on Saturday on Legon campus for making a First Class in English and French but that success was preceded by a trail of tragedies in his life including losing his Dad when he only a week old. And at age five, the honour of enjoying parental care eluded him when he lost his mother.

“I never saw my Dad; I was told I was only a week old when he passed on…and my Mum died when I was five years old,” Oswald told a visibly shaken Kojo Yankson, host of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Friday, November 7, 2014. 

He found solace in an Uncle who picked him in after the mother died. Little did he know his worst was just months away. The entire caretaker family was completely wiped out through poisoning. 

“The following year the whole family was wiped out. He lost his wife who was pregnant with twins” and another child…He managed to survive for a month and he also passed on,” he said.

Guess where help came from this time round; the village. “My auntie [in the village] had to step in and she took me to school”.

After completing secondary school in 2008, Oswald could not enter the university despite making grades many students dream about- “6As and 2Bs”. Desperate as he was, he found himself doing all manner of jobs including selling diapers and working as a security guard.

One phone call
Things continued this way until one day a family friend connected him with Mr. David Afugani – formerly of Airtel Ghana and Rlg Communications – currently the West Africa Regional Director for KickStar International.

Mr. Afugani till date, has been the financial backbone as well as guardian for Oswald in his determination to achieve his dream of enjoying a university education. “I don’t know how I can thank him…He is behind everything, I have to be honest”.

“My life up to this point is like a tragic comedy,” he pronounced but added, “If you have the passion for something I don’t see things like this coming your way”.

His academic dexterity merited him to be selected amongst four best students from his department by the University of Ghana in 2013, to receive a half-scholarship to study French in Germany.  He is now doing his national service as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Ghana.

Oswald acknowledges the Supreme Being for being the reason for his success story so far.

“I was able to stand my ground I prayed to my God and he brought me this far”.

  Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | [email protected]

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