Sign language has become a new phenomenon which the youth these days are exploring.
There is a young Ashesian lady who does it so flawlessly.
She did the sign language interpretation at the commencement ceremony of the class of 2019.
She is an aspiring sophomore and a sign language enthusiast.
She is none other than Abosi Petra Mensah.
Kuulpeeps Ashesi: Tell us something about yourself.
Petra: I am Abosi Petra Mensah a level 100 student offering Management Information Systems. I am a sign language enthusiast and I wish to be an economist and a lawyer
Kuulpeeps Ashesi: How did you learn sign language?
Petra: I learnt sign language in my senior high school, Hope College. It was part of our course and I learnt it throughout my stay in school, as I had a sign language tutor who was also deaf.
Kuulpeeps Ashesi: How did you land the role of a sign language interpreter at this year’s commencement?
Petra: As part of the tutors of the Ashesi Sign Language club, it was sent in the group that who would want to sign during the graduation. I was really happy when I saw that because I wanted sign language to be shown and known by the whole world. So I sent it in the group that I would want to sign. I was later summoned by the SLE who asked some questions about the sign language. Finally, I was told to come for rehearsals and then I was given the offer.
Kuulpeeps Ashesi: How long have you been doing this?
Petra: For the past three and a half years
Kuulpeeps Ashesi: Wow, that’s impressive. Is there a reason why you are passionate about sign language?
Petra: Thank you. Yes. When I was little I didn’t understand them and I remember people used to laugh at them. Growing up my Mum bought us a sign language book which we did not understand its content. So we pick the book and we tried to sign, then we laugh at each other for making mistakes. One day we went for a church program and I saw them sign to the deaf. It was so beautiful. I just couldn’t wait to also throw my hands in the air for people who were laughed at when I was little to understand me and for me to understand them. That was the reason why I even went to my SHS. Simply my drive is to be able to help both the hearing and deaf understand each other in their communication and to bridge that gap.
Kuulpeeps Ashesi: Is there anything that could be changed to make such people’s lives better in Ghana?
Petra: Yes. If you realize your child is deaf, you should send him to a deaf school where he will be taught. After his studies, he would gain a profession. Hence, he would not be a burden to society.
Kuulpeeps Ashesi: If you were made President for a day what will you do differently?
Petra: I would want to change the perception of these people to guard their attitudes. When it comes to development, I would want to build infrastructures like; roads and schools, as well as, ensure sanitation. Finally, I would initiate policies and ensure they are implemented to improve the growth of the country.
Kuulpeeps Ashesi: Thank you for having us.
Petra: Thank you too.