Akwatia MP, Mrs. Mercy Adu Gyamfi Shares What Its Like Being An Illiterate In Parliament

What may appear elitist and impossible for the man on the street became a reality when Mercy Adu Gyamfi, a hairdresser, was voted as Member of Parliament to represent the people of Akwatia.

The MP who is unable to speak the Queen’s language like most of her colleagues said she “wept” the first day she walked into the chamber.

Popularly called Ama Sey, the MP beat the incumbent Baba Jamal in the 2016 parliamentary election and earned designation “Honourable”.

“I never imagined an illiterate like me will have such an opportunity so I cried when I entered Parliament,” she said on Asempa FM on Wednesday, May 27.

In the Ghanaian context, this is a big deal despite the irony of it all.

Many were both shocked and amazed after the underdog and political neophyte thwarted the Parliamentary ambition of Baba Jamal, a popular NDC strategist cum organiser.

Ama Sey said that being in the august house of Parliament has shown her that the work of the parliamentarian goes beyond speaking English.

She indicated that her constituents elected her because “they believe I represent their best interests in Accra” and she will at all cost champion the development of her people.

Ama Sey said she has been able to transform her constituency.

“I have been able to connect electricity to 22 communities, lobbied for roads, social amenities and improved infrastructure at Akwatia.

“I have been humiliated for not going to school so I am investing heavily in education so that all the children will go to school,” she said.

In Ghana, one does not need a formal education to become a Parliamentary candidate and about 85 per cent of persons 15 years and older are illiterate in English.


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