So I was in a typical Friday morning traffic, it was sunny and I couldn't wait to get out of it into my cosy classroom.

Then all of a sudden,

Lady: Already prepared breakfast

Me (About to say 'no thanks' but then look at her and I'm like 'wait a minute!'); What did you say?

Lady (Well-dressed with a smile, she raised a nicely designed paper bag): Already prepared breakfast.       

Me: What do have in there?

Lady (Speaking with impeccable English): Oats…. (Honestly I couldn't even focus on what she said because I was in awe)

Me (Wide-eyed like my son who has just seen chocolate): So is this your own business?  

Lady: Yes, please

Me: Oh my God! Please, can I interview you? I'm Ama Duncan, I interview women like you (reaching for my business card as I pitched for an interview before the traffic moved)        

Lady (She blushed but her African skin won’t permit me to see it! Lol): Yes, please

Me: Please what's your name?

Lady (All smiles): Christy

Me: Please can I take a picture of you? (She poses with her pack). I admire women like you. Please let me take your number, I'll call to schedule an interview. Please check out my Facebook page when you can.

Christy: I admire you too.

As I drove off, I thought to myself ‘who says there are no jobs?'. 

I tell you, I get at least one call a week from people asking me to help them find jobs and I always encourage them not to just sit and wait. Some make the effort which I applaud, others don’t and I can’t blame them. It is really sad that some of us are wired to think that we need thousands of cedis to start our own small businesses. We don’t.

For instance, what would you do if were jobless and had just 30 cedis in your pocket or perhaps someone could lend you that much? This is what I would do: I would walk to the market, buy the freshest tomatoes, package them in a clean 24th (black polyethene) bag, find a clean box to put them in and walk to the first office I can find. I would walk from office to office till I find busy career women who have no time to go look for fresh tomatoes and sell them for at least 40 cedis in total. And believe me when I say I will do this with a typicalAma Duncan swag haha. Trust me I have been a busy career woman before – we never have enough time to find what we really want and most of us will be grateful for such a service.

How about this; a day before my encounter with Christy I interviewed Selina, another fabulous woman who started her laundry business by washing people’s clothes for fees as low as 40 pesewas per shirt. Today her business is doing so well with two outlets.

The fact is, there are actually opportunities to make good legitimate money if only we would start thinking outside the traditional-education-oriented-cum-societal-expectation box we are forced into. May God open our eyes to see the truth!

I finally had the opportunity to interview Christy and found out that she was actually a recent graduate of the University of Development Studies. She started her Already Prepared Breakfast with her roommate Juwairiah Korkor Narh and now they have outlets at various vantage points in Kumasi. So I asked her, ‘do you ever feel shy standing in traffic and selling?’ and this was her exact response: There were instances where I would say to my partner, ‘what if my lecturer or one of our mates just passed by and saw us selling in traffic, what would they say and how would that feel like?’, then we would laugh over it with a silly joke. It's not an easy thing to do, again considering ‘snobbish customers’ who would greet you with a frown, anger or ‘that face’ (I don't know what to call that haha). It kind of breaks me within but I quickly have to gather that courage and with a smile move on to yet another customer because we know what we want and why we're doing what we're doing!

Dear ChristyBaffour-Awuah, Co-Founder of Ruby's Breakfast, women like you are a great source of inspiration for making things happen in your own small way in spite of your past mistakes, challenges and fears. If more of us can learn from more of you, very few people in Ghana will complain that there are no jobs. God bless you and all fabulous women making their dreams reality. You rock!


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