From Tamale to Accra: A 16-year-old’s high school debut and a dream to be a journalist
Hers has been an age-old dream of becoming a journalist; a dream she wrote down as she sat for the 2021 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
From Tamale, 16-year-old, Yehuza Ibtisam Npahya, has gained admission to Accra Girls’ Senior High School.
On Wednesday, April 6, she arrived at the school where she hopes to inch closer to her dream.
“I was on the trip [to Accra] all by myself. I slept a lot. In fact, I slept, woke up, slept and woke up again,” Ibtisam said as she recounted her 382-mile journey from Tamale, the heart of the Northern Region to the national capital.
Unlike the hundreds of stranded people at the Ghana Education Service’s Resolution Centre for placement, Ibtisam is fortunate to have been placed at AGISS, one of the few all-female high schools in Accra.
It is a dream come true for her.
“I searched on the internet and saw pictures of the school together with its history. I liked it; so, I decided to apply here. And I got in,” she said while beaming with smiles.
She was one of the over 500 girls who were arriving on the School’s campus for the first time.
As freshers, their pink checkered uniforms set them apart from their seniors or rather, the sisters.
Sonia, the prefect of the new house Ibtisam will be staying in muttered a few of the rules which must be obeyed by all.
“You can’t call the seniors just by their original names. You must prefix it with ‘Sister’. For example, you can call me Sister Sonia, not Sonia,” she said.
Also, “when you see a sister climbing up the stairs you’ll have to descend for her to complete the climb before you take the stairs too. And you must take your bucket away from the tap if you see a sister getting close with her bucket,” Sonia added.
This sounds unsettling for Ibtisam.
“I can deal with calling them sisters, but taking my bucket away when a sister brings her bucket is strange,” she retorted while assuring that she will obey and go ‘cry later’.
But as she thinks about all the learning and re-learning awaiting her, she’s struck by the unmistakable statue of a student with her face buried in a book, sitting right at the entrance.
The Tamale girl is immediately reminded of the real reason she is in Accra in the first place.
“I want to be a journalist or a newscaster. So, I’ll do whatever I’m told by my teachers and I’ll contribute to class discussions too,” she pledged.
Her father, Yehuza Abubakar, believes her. He is confident of an even better moulded Ibtisam when he returns to pick her up at the end of her three-year stay at the School.
He said: “Her classmates should watch out. I believe she’ll do even better than she did in the BECE.”
For now, Ibtisam says she will miss home as this will be the first night she will spend outside her home without her parents.
And there will be many more lonely nights, only the new faces she sees will become the partners with whom she travels her three-year high school journey.
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