Coming from a family that lacked basic things including food, life was unbearable for the Banahene twins and their mother who was bent on ensuring they have the best education despite not having enough resources.
Their colleagues in school would usually gloat over their inability to ‘live a normal life’ but that could not cripple them. They were mocked and tagged as paupers, with many wondering what they were doing in school as they were never spotted reading. But that was because they could not afford books and had to strategically study at night when their colleagues were asleep.
“We used to pick food from the bins for survival. My twin brother nearly died of hunger; he was so hungry he passed out. We had no water, electricity in our house… Our colleagues at Opoku Ware gave us a name; they called us sons of the poor. We were bullied for being poor. I’ll never forget this as long as I live,” said the younger one as he recounted other circumstances that saddened them.
“One day, at Opoku Ware, our mother came to visit us. She came barefooted. I asked why and she said her slippers got torn on the way but because she had to pay our school fees, she couldn’t get the slippers fixed nor buy a new one.”
“One day, my mother owed a woman and she came for her money. My mother run, went and hidi beneath the bed. When the woman left, my mother got injured because while getting up, her head hit the bed. She bled profusely.”
“Our colleagues never saw us study during the day. We did not have a book to read from. One of our friends would study during the day and we’ll take his book at night to read,” he added.
Regardless of the numerous challenges that characterized their growth, their trust in God never dwindled. Instead, the obstacles affirmed their faith in God. They knew God was still with them hence, they “never gave up”.
Along the line, one of them had to quit school to take up a job offer in order to cater for the family because the mother was weak due to old age.
“The two of us had admission to the University of Ghana. At that time, our mother was getting older. My brother eventually became my father, my mother and my big brother as well. He told me to go to university so he would work to take care of me. He took up a job in Tema; he became a teacher.
“2nd year in Legon, a friend of mine called and suggested we get a visa to London. It was humanly impossible to get this visa because we didn’t have what they needed. I didn’t have a bank statement, I didn’t have money, and the only thing I had was me and my God. I prayed to God for assistance and God answered our prayer,” he recalled.
‘The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much’ and so when God came to their rescue, they prayed again for a successful journey with a promise to return home if God favoured them.
“While leaving, we prayed to God to make us successful and that if He does, we would return to Ghana to save lives. That is why we’ve built this hospital. It is in fulfilment of a vow we made to our God,” the twins who now own Banahene Specialist Hospital said at the unveiling of the edifice.
Today, the two Ghanaian brothers who are past students of the Opoku Ware Senior High School have set up a beautiful ultramodern hospital near the Spintex Road in Accra among other things.
Watch the video of them sharing their story: