Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Life Insurance, Ghana, Gideon Ataraire has disclosed that he dropped out of university due to financial constraints in the second semester of level 100.
Gideon Ataraire made this revelation in an interview with Lexis Bill on Joy FM‘s Personality Profile.
According to him, his university days were the most challenging moments in his life. Successfully going through that period unfolded his real story of resilience and ‘never say die’ attitude.
“Getting into university was very tough for me, level 100, I did the first semester and the second semester, I couldn’t cope because there was no money. I couldn’t cope with all the bills, all the fees, register courses, so I had to drop out. It was very sad for my parents,” he recounted.
“But when I dropped out I started working, I started teaching and started doing a lot of things to save up some money,” he added.
The Alliance Life Insurance CEO said after he had gathered enough funds, he went back to Level 200 with the motive to continue.
But the Head of Department (HOD) insisted that Mr Ataraire did not meet the requirements to continue studies where he left off, a development which made him very sad.
However, his interest was piqued when the HOD said ‘except’, meaning there was hope although he did not understand what the lecturer was saying as it was too technical for his young mind to comprehend.
Eventually, his grades and GPA from the first semester were reassessed following which he narrowly made the cut.
“So he [Head of Department] checked and came back with the good news. He said ‘wow!’ okay and then they started assisting me,” he recounted.
Mr Ataraire said when he was enrolled back at the university, the challenges did not end. He encountered more during his subsequent years. Because he still struggled to pay his fees.
“Whilst in the second semester of level 200, I was writing level 200 exams and level 00 exams at the same time. It was crazy, that’s one of the most challenging periods of my life,” he said.
“The saddest part of the story is there were days when I would write exams with an empty stomach because all the monies I have saved, how much can it really be? One of my aunties and immediate younger sister who just finished SHS and was working backed me up with her salary that was how they paid my fees in level 200,” he recounted.
He continued that, “level 300 was bad because I couldn’t pay my fees but I had accommodation, I was driven out of my exam hall, the first paper. The Dean of the Faculty noticed and called me in, saying they should allow me to write the paper.
“At level 400, I was at the verge of dropping out again until I was rescued by somebody in the nick of time with some amount of money.”
Mr Ataraire said he was rescued again in his final year in level 500, by a young lady who used her house rent to help pay his fees in order not to lose everything he has struggled hard for.
He said he wanted to die when the lady’s house rent expired as he could not explain what he was going through until the HOD intervened.
“Just when I was going through that anxiety, the HOD saw me, he looked at my face and said something is wrong with me. I said no, he dragged me to this office, shut his door and interviewed me. I couldn’t explain so I just started crying. He also started shedding tears. He felt so bad and said I just punished myself for nothing, the school would have helped me throughout all of these. It was the HOD who gave me the money that I used to refund the lady’s rent.”