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Politics of Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Source: yen.com.gh

President Akufo-Addo is my inspiration - Barbara Asher Ayisi

Mrs Barbara Asher Ayisi, the deputy minister for education, has described President Nana Akufo-Addo as a huge inspiration in her life.

In a wide-ranging interview with YEN.com.gh at the ministry of education in Accra, she opened up on her personal life, work and politics.

Mrs Ayisi, who is also the Member of Parliament of Cape Coast North in the Central Region, told YEN.com.gh that she was hugely inspired and motivated by Nana Addo's resolute determination, irrepressible self-belief and stunning perseverance.

She said those were the unique attributes that catapulted Nana Addo against all odds to the summit of power in Ghana in 2016.

Mrs Ayisi said when then-candidate Nana Addo lost the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, he did not give up, but kept pressing on and finally won on his third attempt, when most people had written him off.

The deputy minister said Nana Addo's success story had taught her never to give up, but to keep pressing forward even when things appear bleak.

"Look at what he's gone through; he had a dream of becoming a president.

It's not easy - even as members of parliament when we go to our small constituencies, it's not easy.

He lost the first time, he lost the second time... but he believed that he would be able to [win]. So he inspires me that life itself is not easy.

You have to keep trying. "When people felt that 'no, this man cannot be the president of the Republic of Ghana' he did not resign to fate and say that 'ooh, it's over'.

But he kept pressing; he kept pressing," she said.

Mrs Ayisi also praised her mother as another great inspiration behind her success in life.

She told YEN.com.gh that her mother was her rock in her life at a time that their family was experiencing great difficulty as a result of a military coup in the country.

"My mother inspires me because my mother never gives up. I remember when the coup happened and we went to Cape Coast, We started with nothing because most of our assets were frozen. But my mother stood the test of time and was able to groom me, was able to encourage me, and I am where I am because I owe it all to my mother."

In a powerful, heartfelt message to the youth of Ghana, the deputy minister urged them to learn from Nana Addo and never give up on their dreams.

She cautioned them against resorting to armed robbery or prostitution when confronted with the challenges of life.

Instead, she urged them to work hard and try again when they fail.

"Life is not easy. If you speak to people who have achieved, they will tell you their stories. When you do something now and you fail, there is no shortcut to anything," she said.

Using herself as an example, Mrs Ayisi, who worked for 12 years as a teacher at Wesley Girls' Senior High School, said she worked so hard and learnt many lessons over a period of time before finally achieving success in national politics.

"I went through the mill. I started at the polling station, went gradually, gradually, and at every stage of my life, I learnt something. "So when you are doing something and it doesn't work for you, don't say you are going into prostitution or you want to be an armed robber... Those things are not excuses because life itself is not easy, and if you want to achieve, you need to be tough; you need to work hard, and when you fail today, know that tomorrow will be better," the deputy minister said.

Mrs Barbara Ayisi's remarks come as President Nana Akufo-Addo celebrates his 74th birthday today.

Ghanaians from all walks of life have celebrated the president and wished him well in all his endeavours.

A party has also been held in his honour by his family, friends and colleagues at the Jubilee House.