There is this belief that if you get a first-class in the university, it’s all smooth sailing from there. However, as you’ll find out below, that is not the case. These brilliant students that we looked up to in the university have it just like us; they also encounter this roadblock called unemployment. This is the story of Deborah Laryea, a first-class graduate who braids hair for money while she is still at home.
The Brilliant Girl
Academically, Deborah has always been above her peers. In fact, in primary and JHS, you could usually find her at the top of her class. Unless she had been dethroned by one other boy who was her rival. Unsurprisingly, Deborah aced the BECE when she wrote it. She topped the 108 students that her school submitted for the exam.
However, that was when things started to go a little in the wrong direction. Although she had excellent grades, they were swapped for someone else’s during the school placement process. It does not make sense that something like this was allowed to happen. Deborah received her certificate in her name, with her correct grades, but the school placement system used her grades to assign someone else their school of choice.
A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Things get even worse. When Deborah tried to follow up to correct the school placement error, she made no headway because that was the year… that the WAEC office burnt down.
In the end, she found St. Margaret’s Mary Senior High School. It was a school close to where she lived that gave her admission based on her excellent grades. Later, her certificate managed to get her into Archbishop Porter Girls Secondary School. However, her mother couldn’t afford to pay her fees a second time.
The error with her placement; coupled with the death of her father in her second year of university, affected Deborah’s passion for her academics. Fortunately, however, after a heart-to-heart with her mother, Deborah regained her drive and maintained a first-class GPA until she graduated from KNUST. In fact, she finished with straight As in her last two semesters studying Environmental Science. You read that right—not a single B.
Deborah started braiding hair when she was 10. She started with her baby sister, and then by the time that she was 12, she was braiding other kids’ hair. Even during her national service at Ghana Manganese Company Limited, Deborah braided hair on weekends.
So, when she found herself unemployed and job-hunting, it was natural that she would pick up hair braiding again in order to make some money. Deborah says that she barely has clients outside her circle and she still braids for free sometimes. However, our brilliant girl still has big plans.
Deborah is still actively job hunting, and she hopes to land a job in order to support her dreams of going back to school to further her education. She still loves braiding hair and plans to invest in a hair business in the future.
You can find Deborah on Instagram: @Debraids_gh.