by Bonita Darkoh
Originally published: June 22, 2017
Throughout my life I have been reminded of my skin colour, this is not to say that it has always been negative; but from a young age I was aware. For instance, I strive to do my best in everything I do because I must remember I am ‘privileged’. My Mother was born in Ghana, and came to the U.K. to ensure her unborn children at the time would reap the benefits of having a great education. Because of this, I was continuously reminded that I should feel privileged and not take my education for granted. I studied Business Management at Kingston University, this was seen as a big achievement. Graduating in my culture abroad represents intelligence, I mean Ghanaian’s love a good gloat! Who doesn’t? Regardless your background I am sure seeing your child graduate is everything. I have grown up being reminded by friends and family that I am ‘privileged’, and must not forget if it were not for my Mother my life would be different.
I chose to study Business Management, although this is a broad degree being the eldest sibling going against the advised career path was risky. Not to generalise the whole African community, you may be told as an African child to aspire to become a Doctor, Lawyer or Finance professional. After graduating I realised very quickly that my degree gave me the opportunity to work in various sectors. I considered working in the Finance industry, this was so I could possibly set the ‘right’ example for my younger sisters by listening to my elders. As silly as it sounds, until you begin working a 9-5 job after university you do not realise the importance of company culture. My mentor Shirani Rajapaksa once told me to make a list of things I enjoyed e.g building relationships. After writing down a long list of activities I enjoyed as an individual, Account Management seemed lit!