Akua Amoah, 35, Ghana

“Making my Mum proud is one of the things that motivates me most in life. Yes, even at my age.”

“I have very happy memories of growing up in Ghana. One of the happiest was of a school play that I was in. I had a small role in a play called “Quishie and her Water Melon”. I can still remember the applause – the loudest cheers came from Mum. She was so proud.

We moved to London when I was 14 years old and Mum was so pleased at the way I handled the big change, especially at school. But actually I really enjoyed being different and standing out. So it wasn’t that difficult for me. It was much more difficult for my little sister, Mary, as she was quite shy and she really got picked on. I used to make sure that I walked to and from school with her. In the end I confronted her bullies and told them that they’d have me to deal with me if they continued being nasty. Things got better after that. We never told Mum, but I think she knew.

Mum was even more proud when I finished college and started my first job in London in HR. She’s moved back to Ghana now to look after my grandmother, but we speak all the time. I go back once a year with my sister. I also send money once a month to help Mum with the bills. It’s a small way to repay her for all of her love and support she’s shown me over the years.”

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