I once met a Ghanaian medical doctor who was working as a taxi driver in Toronto. He needed the money to pay his way through school so he could get a qualifying certificate to practice in Canada. That was in 2007.
In 2008, I met a Ghanaian architect who was also driving a cab in Washington DC. He had gotten so frustrated here he decided to migrate. America has treated him well and as he grows older, he’s contemplating returning home. Having driven a cab for more than a decade, he has built three houses in Accra and has garnered sufficient capital to return home to, possibly, start his own practice.
Somewhere in 2001, as I sat in a ‘trotro’ at Adenta waiting for it to fill up I saw that the driver was reading TIME magazine. He would occasionally shake his head and smile to himself. Curious, I asked what he was reading. That sparked a very revealing conversation. He told me that he was a marine engineer in Germany. He had come home on vacation and he likes to drive the ‘trotro’ he had bought for his mother because the passengers help him “to test the pulse of the nation.”
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Can anyone tell me that none of these three men could one day become ministers of state? Only a fool would think that it is wrong for anyone who once worked as a taxi driver to be given a ministerial appointment. If a bar keeper has been appointed a minister – and we are told she’s still a member of the team – why can’t a (former) taxi driver occupy the same position?
…I am warming up…