Living the Ghanaian dream: the homeless woman living in a plush hotel

With stories of economic hardship and despair so omnipresent in the Ghanaian society, it is very refreshing to come across such a rare and remarkable story of hope.

This is nothing like your typical ‘American dream’ or rags-to-riches stories. Forget about the classic story of the boy or girl from a deprived background rising to the top of the American society by dint of hard work, grit and honesty; and then donating millions of dollars to some charity. This story is something else. This incredible story is the ultimate example of the ‘Ghanaian dream.’

Though she has been the head of one of Ghana’s most widely known constitutional bodies since 2011, many Ghanaians would not have known the remarkable story of Madam Lauretta Lamptey until earlier this week. The former investment banker and current Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) owns no house in Ghana. Her official bungalow which seems like a palace when placed next to the home of the average Ghanaian was being redesigned. With no place to call her home and the rent on her $4,500 per month apartment expired, the poor woman was really up against it. She had no friend or family to turn to in her hour of need and never mind that the money paid as rent for her upmarket apartment between July 2011 and July 2014 could have bought her an apartment in the affluent parts of the city.

As they say, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade; and the story of the honourable commissioner is, undoubtedly, the finest example. The woman who was faced with the possibility of being homeless, somehow managed to turn things around. She now resides in a 450-dollars-a-day hotel, made possible by her hard work and honesty the taxes paid by that 19-year girl selling plantain chips at the traffic light next to this plush hotel.

So how did she escape the possible of homelessness and end up living in a swanky hotel? How did she make the ‘Ghanaian dream’ come true for her? Two words- hard work! She worked hard at tickling the right balls.That is the simple secret to achieving the ‘Ghanaian dream.’

Such an inspiring story of a public servant who will not settle for a lowly government bungalow or even a $4,500 a month apartment. She believed she deserved better and somehow, as we always do, we found the means to fund her lavish lifestyle. So next time someone tells you ‘Ghana hard oh,’ look them in the eye and say to them ‘that’s a big fat liar!’ As John Odramani, likes to say, ‘Ghana dey be k3k3.’

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