The American Dream is said to be dying, but one immigrant from Ghana rejects this idea. Stephen Osei immigrated to the United States in the late 1970s from Kumasi, Ghana, in pursuit of a better life for him and his family.
Now an American citizen, he describes his difficult story in his book, “I Love America” and outlines how anyone in the United States can succeed if they try.
“The fact you are born poor — this doesn’t mean you grow up to be poor,” he explains in an interview with The Daily Caller.
Mr. Osei grew up without electricity or running water in the village of Asonomaso, just an hour north of the city of Kumasi. And it wasn’t until he turned 12 years old — when his brother moved him to Kumasi so he could attend school — did he get his first pair of shoes. He was able to complete his schooling and even went on to graduate from Wesley College, becoming a school teacher.
While he was in school, he met three Americans that were in the Peace Corp and the idea of moving to the United States became his life’s ambition.
“I knew, someday if I got a chance to come to America, I’d be successful.”
But he met his first obstacle before he could even fill out an application for a visa. He needed a bank account in order to apply: “I was a school teacher making [the] equivalent of $32 a month. How was I going to save anything as a school teacher? I didn’t have a bank account. So, there was no way I was ever going to get a visa.”
And then one afternoon, it all changed for him.
“I saw a white man walking between two Ghanaians,” he explains. This man turned out to be American and eventually agreed to go to the embassy to vouch for him.
Using the limited funds he had, Stephen picked his new friend up in a taxi from the Ambassador Hotel, and together they went to the embassy. And after a five-minute interview, he was granted his visa to visit the United States.
“Because of this white friend from America I met miraculously, they did not ask for my bank account. Without this white friend, there was no way I could have obtained my visa and made it to this country.”
Once in the States, he worked two jobs every day for seven years before he was able to save up enough money to buy a house for his mother in Ghana, and bring his family overseas.
Osei says he is successful because he worked hard and never allowed himself to be a victim.“I don’t believe that white Americans are trying to put anybody down not to be successful. I don’t believe it. It’s not true. My story is an example. Here, someone who came from Africa with [an] accent and little money. How did I become successful? No one put me down. I worked hard and it paid off…If you don’t succeed in America. Don’t blame anybody. It’s on you.”
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