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Meet the female ‘trotro mate’ who is also a student at University of Ghana

Joycelyn Akorfa Atsoribo is a trotro mate

She is also a student at the University of Ghana

Joycelyn Akorfa Atsoribo recounts her story

Joycelyn Akorfa Atsoribo, is a mother of two and a level 400 student reading information technology and psychology at the University of Ghana, popularly known as Legon.

“Life has not been all that rosy” for Atsoribo. She became pregnant after she completed her Junior High School at Hohoe in the Volta region; some challenges that she faced in life made her attempt of ending her life at some point.

Recounting her childhood days, Joyce Akorfa Atsoribo told Asaase radio on Friday, January 28, 2022, that, “… I disobeyed my mom and I am paying dearly for it. This is the part that I get teary anytime I remember that my mom actually advised me against the guy and I didn’t listen and it has cost me dearly. So, we should listen to our mothers.”

On how she got pregnant with her first child, Atsoribo explained, “It was during JHS night. In Hohoe, everybody knows about JHS night. It is a big event. I had sex with an old friend after taking in alcohol. My mum took the baby after seven months so I could go to senior high school.”

She said, she came to Accra in 2011, after her Senior High School education at Afadjato Senior High School through a male friend who had encouraged her to move to Accra.

This friend, she said, later wanted a sexual relationship and when she refused, “he packed my things out of his house”.

Joyce Akorfa Atsoribo told the Mirror newspaper that, she got pregnant for the second time in level 200 with a young man she had known since her senior high school days. She said, also her mother cautioned her against the young man on their first visit to see her at Hohoe in the Volta Region.

She said, that the relationship was “hell” and eventually, living with the said boyfriend who was also sharing a single room with four of his cousins, making them five in a room became impossible.

“At that time anything that goes wrong in the room will have them point fingers at me. That was the beginning of my many problems. It was a difficult moment as there were a lot of issues and l had to leave the relationship,” she said.

“My mother took the baby after, in addition to my first child who is now 17. Now, I am a single mother of two simply because I didn’t listen to my mother’s advice. I have to work as a ‘trotro mate’ just to see myself out of school and take care of my kids too,” she narrated.

Touching on her ‘trotro mate’ trade, she indicated that, the idea came up after her fruit business at Amrahia, a suburb of Accra was halted by her landlord who allegedly was not happy that the business was thriving.

She explained that, the landlord stopped her business only for his sister to operate same at the same spot.

Joyce Akorfa Atsoribo, further told the Mirror newspaper that, it is approximately five months since she started being a ‘trotro mate’ at the Madina station.

She noted that, after her landlord stopped her from operating her fruit business, she got employed as a waitress in some restaurants in the capital. She also worked as an insurance agent and a security guard but all that did not yield a better result.

Life in Accra, she explained, had been tough particularly with accommodation issues. She had lived it all through men who would want to use the accommodation as a bait to take advantage of her.

From moving from one place to another and moving in with friends, “I met another man at the first restaurant I worked. I thought I had met an angel who said I should not worry and could stay in his big apartment. That night after he had his bath, he told me to come and sleep by him on his bed so when I refused, he sacked me, it was around 3am.”

She, then, advised the youth not to use unemployment as an excuse to relegate their ambition to pursue their career dreams.

“There is nothing too small. So, they shouldn’t think they are too feeble to do certain work. After all, there is a saying that what men can do, women can do better. So, there is no work for men, there is no work for women.”

“I don’t regret how far I have come because life is a gradual process. You have to take it a step at a time. Along the line, I felt suicidal. I have attempted taking my life about two or three times,” she said.

For her current job, Atsoribo said, she leaves the house daily and gets on the road by 5am and closes between 9pm and 10pm. Her daily wage is GHC35 daily but she saves GHC10 daily which is to aid her pay off her fees.

“Sometimes l am even surprised at myself that I am able to lift some of the loads, especially as I have gone through a caesarean section.

“The rate at which passengers insult me at the slightest thing is so painful. Some people do not respect mates; l think some see me as useless. Some of the insults are so painful, it can even influence you not to show up the next day, we need to treat trotro mates well,” Atsoribo narrated with sadness.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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