I don’t think it’s an overstatement when I say that Aaron Lordstone Kpogo is the type of person the Africa Youth Awards was intended for. Aaron is a simple young man, the fourth of six children. He was born at Odupongkpehe-Kasoa in the Central region of Ghana in the early 1980’s with basic education at Datus Complex School (Bubuashie). He went on further to pursue Business Accounting at Apam Senior High School and BSc. Business Administration (Banking & Finance option) at Pentecost University College, Sowutuom-Accra.
After several attempts to work with his certificate, he got employed by Fidelity bank (Ghana) as a Sales Ambassador. Whiles there, he pursued a security course at the Ghana Stock Exchange to obtain an industry certificate.
He loved the work as it granted him the opportunity to interact with people, but did not warm to the manner his job was treated back at the office. Despite this, he became the Assistant Team Manager of a sales group after six months. However, he took an unconventional decision to resign after a year of service despite having attended an interview for the Team Manager’s vacant position. He knew he will eventually become the Team manager of a sales group but inwardly, did not like the idea related to what the Bible really meant as vanity and wastefulness of one’s life working in a career that is not part of your life purpose.
The major reason he left the banking industry was to pursue his life’s purpose which he sees as guiding people to solve their challenges through motivational words with proved tested knowledge and helping them adopt better perspectives to life going forward.
He is blessed with a lovely wife and a son. He loves to teach and have taken on few teaching engagements spanning from the lower primary to the pre-university levels. He is also a Sunday school teacher at the ICGC Destiny Temple, Kwashieman Accra. He was recently the headmaster of a Senior High School in Accra, Ghana.
He is the Founder and CEO of Youth Arena Network; an African youth centered NGO registered with the National Youth Authority, Ghana.
In addition to this, he is an author and a motivational speaker specialising as a Learning Strategist, Purpose-Driven Career Coach and Temperament Management Counsellor.
Inspiring Change in Africa
His passion is enveloped in assisting people live a happy and a fulfilled life, especially the youth, because the future is for them to exercise the dominion mandate.
Aaron: Many people are in the state of despair, depression, disappointment, frustration and sadness in life because they lack understanding of who they are (Identity) and knowledge of what they need to do to become who they are (Purpose). My joy has always been in motivating people to succeed and helping them adopt a happier and better perspective to life. As the Holy Bible says, “For lack of knowledge my people perish”. In helping people balance their expectations with reality, I feel a high sense of satisfaction and fulfillment and that keeps my spirit alive and body going! Aaron Shares…
How Aaron Discovered his Passion
His factors are many, including the God-factor, obeying his Instinct, the strong desire to fulfill his destiny, and the challenges in his life. He was able to overcome and as well helping others overcome theirs.
Aaron: Whilst growing up, I have worked with different people who have confidentially approached me to discuss their challenges, especially those older than me. Overtime, I observed that, by the time they ended their story, a word in the form of motivation or a quote is laid on my heart and after saying it, it calms their emotions and awakens certain memories. In helping them appreciate the sequence of events and its correlations to their present state, it changes their perceptions and they are then willing to accept a new course to living life. His, I believe is the hand of God and not personal intelligence. Aaron Shares.
He vividly remembers after senior high school, asking God to help him know his purpose and what he is on earth to do and achieve for Him, himself and humanity. In the process, what he kept hearing in his spirit was that you are here to solve a problem and the problems you can best solve are your life’s assignment. So, although education oriented him towards accounting, banking and finance. He is naturally inclined towards psychology and philosophy and through this, he has supported many people with solving their life problems.
His Accomplishments so Far
He has positively impacted the lives of many individuals and groups of people in formal and informal settings of life. The list is therefore countless but include:
Below are pieces of insight that Aaron shared with us:
- Motivated a lady to pursue University education after giving up due to her inability to pass her SSCE paper satisfactorily and unwillingness to re-sit for the papers. She actually did not see any value in higher education since it’s all about working to earn an income, and she was already working at her parent’s business. She did not see any reason to continue her education. Despite this, she eventually graduated from one of the finest private Universities in Ghana for her first degree and later she went on to achieve a Masters degree.
- Motivated a Junior High School graduate to pursue secondary education after he had decided to just work as a security man. His exam results were unsatisfactory and his parents were unable to sponsor him through secondary education. The combination of these issues drove him to give up. But after engaging him overtime, he took on the challenge and eventually graduated from senior high school.
- Spoke to final year Accounting students (class of 2010/2011) of Wa polytechnic during my national service period. I delivered a workshop on how to answer exams questions and presentation skills. This was instigated after I had the opportunity to mark their exams papers, which were below the expected standard. However, there was a great improvement in their approach to answering the papers during the subsequent semester. They encouraged me to write a book to that effect.
- I have authored a book titled “LEARNING STRATEGIES: THE ACT OF APPLYING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS’. This is a personal testimony of how to learn and excel in education despite my inability to attend lectures at university for two years and yet I graduated with a Second Class Upper Degree.
- I have counseled several students on how to learn by applying critical thinking skills on one-on-one basis and through my on-campus learning seminars dubbed, ‘ADOPTING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE’. The feedbacks indicate an improvement in their academic results and their ability to focus on their books and desire to excel in life irrespective of the odds.
- I have guided several youth to identity their God-given purpose and career paths on a one-on-one basis and through my on campus career seminars.
- I counseled a married couple of 11 years. Through my temperament counseling session I enabled them to defuse the friction, hatred and anguish that ruled their marriage for more than 9 years. According to them, high personality reverend Fathers & Bishops in their church have tried on several occasions to help but to no avail.
- Through my Teaching and Learning seminars, I have embarked on an education system overhauling campaign in Ghana dubbed ‘UNDERSTANDING THE CHILD’S PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING’. The feedback from these seminars has been very encouraging, and participants are willing to be change agents from the current rote system of education to an Active System of education. My aim is to continue to engage stakeholders in the educational front in order to push forward this change in Ghana and ultimately Africa as a whole. This campaign fortunately coincides with the Sustainable Development Goals on Education yet to be ratified in September 2015 at the United Nations.
- In summary, my passion has made it possible to empower several people and the feedback received indicate that there is a change in attitudes, perceptions, and a resolve to focus in life and the determination to exploit their God-given purpose.
The nature of the services he provides as a Knowledge-Entrepreneur is intangible in nature, but over the years has challenged minds and empowered talents to translate the inefficiencies in their powerful abilities to produce tangible outcomes in their life; of which he acknowledges as an accomplishment.
Aspirations for the African Continent
His biggest aspiration for Africa is to increase access to quality education. Education for Africa is a fundamental element of shaping the minds, skills and knowledge base of our people. Therefore, when the methodology in delivering education is faulty, it impacts every sector of the socio-economic development and growth of the country and the livelihood of her citizens.
Aaron: Despite all the rich natural resources of Africa, our people and economies are struggling to survive because the educational system has over the years produced high rates of functional illiterates who lack higher order thinking and simple problem-solving skills. This is directly traceable to the ROTE system of education in the continent. Rote education is an outmoded approach in teaching and learning in the 21st century and until various government agencies and private institutions accept this reality and take steps to overhaul the foundation of our educational system, Africa’s transformation into a developed economy will forever remain a mirage.
Through his teaching and learning seminars dubbed, ‘UNDERSTANDING THE CHILD’S PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING’, which Aaron is currently organising in partnership within communities in Accra. He has plans to replicate these seminars in other regions of Ghana and eventually to other African countries. This is a campaign to overhaul the current rote system of education to an Active system of education. In brief, an Active education system promotes teaching and learning that involves the total training and development of the various brain faculties of the students in the classroom. It is a model, which emphasizes that students must do more than just listening. They must read, write, discuss and be engaged in solving problems. According to Bonwell and Eison, 1991, active learning engages students in two aspects – doing things and thinking about the things they are doing.
He strongly believes that the true potential of Africa and her citizens can be fully maximised through access to quality education. The organisation he heads is also ready and willing to champion this course to the latter; however, they need the support of all stakeholders to make this possible.
Aaron’s belief in the Activities of Young Africans
He believes without doubt, that it will take the young generation of African youth to redefine Africa’s identity and change its destiny.
Scanning through the continent, he has observed various visionary youths who are excelling and should be celebrated in their field of endeavors, most notably, in fields such as Information Technology and Entrepreneurship.
His major concern however is the individualist approach, which almost everyone is adopting, and doing one thing or the other. He believes the time has come for those rendering similar services or products to pull resources, energies and minds together to create a formidable force capable of engaging intra-country and international transactions.
I can see development in Africa, but as a continent, we are lagging behind in various sectors of endeavors. This is not the time to be marking time through acts of individualism, but with solidified collaborations we can take a huge leap to transform our various economies and the continent as a whole into a vibrant and productive economic world centre.
I believe that African youth are capable of fixing the woes of the continent through their ingenuity and inventions, and must be given all the needed support in their endeavours – Aaron Lordstone Kpogo.