Mr. Carruthers Tetteh is currently an LLB student at the University of Cape Coast. Before his second degree, he obtained a first class degree from the Department of Education, Arts and Social Sciences with English Language as his major. He became the first Teaching Assistant (national service) with visual impairment, after so many years, from the English Language Department in the 2015/2016 academic year. He shares his story about his academic journey and how he lost his sight at a tender age.
This is a continuation of last week’s feature.
“…I remember when this happened, it was a really difficult moment for my family especially my parents because I am their first child. My mum would cry, sob, and go for all night services. And my dad would move from one church to the other and would come and tell me what the pastors said- basically a spiritual attack. He would take me to men of God when the medical aspect didn’t work out. But I did not see it as such. Because I believe that Christ is in me and therefore no weapon can fight against me. I believe that this is to make the name of God be glorified.
I also recall my first day at the Akropong School for the blind when one of my mates was taking me to the washroom. I asked ‘how would you know when we get there’ because we were all blind. He answered that he would and he did too. It was that easy. I also did not find it very difficult to adapt to the situation there especially when I had already learnt the use of the braille at the Resource Center for persons with disability at the University of Education, Winneba, the previous year. It was at the School for the Blind that I learnt to cook, wash my clothes and do some petty things for myself.
After my BECE, I went to the Okuapeman Secondary School where I had the privilege to be the Braille Library Perfect for two years from 2009 to 2011. After Okuapeman, I proceeded to the University of Cape Coast where at the ATL hall, I was elected as the SRC Rep1. I introduced the Mariners Fontomfrom, the first newsletter that served as a link between the SRC and the students of the hall. I have also acted as the Public Relations Officer for the Association of Students with Disabilities.
(Laughing) Okay so after my first degree at the University of Cape Coast, I opted to be a Teaching Assistant because you see, I am someone who always wants to leave a mark wherever I go. I wanted to prove people wrong. A few visually impaired students stay on campus for service so I applied for it. Besides, I think serving the university where I had my training and knowledge from was a great opportunity to give back to it. I also wanted a challenging environment and you know standing before matured students to teach is not an easy task (laughing). This served as a good opportunity for me to build my confidence level, communication skills among others and I really felt fulfilled after it. So let me use this opportunity to thank the entire English Department for such a great opportunity.
Well, I would say the person I see in my dreams is the one who motivates me. I see a great and prominent lawyer who will defend the vulnerable, fight for justice, serve as the voice of the voiceless people, I mean leading a mark and proving that disability is not inability. I have always wanted to be a prominent person and you know that is the dream of almost every child but I also have the desire to serve mankind that was why I chose law as a profession. Honestly, I do not see law only as a profession but a passion and a desire. I feel fulfilled whenever I am able to solve a problem brought to me.
I have had some awards too. In 2014 and 2015, I got the Excellence Award as the outstanding student from the Department of Arts and Social Sciences, I was also awarded the Overall Best Graduating Student with visual impairment. In 2017, I was nominated and awarded the UCC Choice Awards as the most Outstanding Student with Disability and all these awards inspire me greatly to strive for greater things.
Oh yeah. Although I don’t have a girlfriend now, I look forward to having a wonderful family someday with a beautiful wife and five children- twins. I really love twins. (Laughing out loud).
I want to inspire everyone that God has blessed us with various abilities and talents- the ability to see, to walk, to talk among others. The mere fact that you lost one doesn’t make you incapable. You have it within you to impact change for yourself and the people around you. The only person who is disabled is the one who is unconscious and dead. No person who has a disability is disabled.”
If you missed the first part of this interview, kindly visit our interview section on Choicism.com to access it. – Over a Decade in ‘Total Darkness’, Carruthers Tetteh Proves Disability Can Never Be Inability (PART ONE)
Source: Nana Afia Tenkoramaa | Choicism.com