In a concluding remark, she reminded the audience to be aware of the four things that rot the mind, body and lungs. According to her, drugs and TV rots the mind. Junk food rots the body. Cigarette smoking rots the lungs. She reminded Africans of their culture. She made it clear to them that poisoning by media was even more harmful than poisoning by saturated fats, because, according to her, it destroys not only individuals but the “African Personality.” What she meant by the African Personality was open to different interpretations. What was so amazing to me about Ms. Ayele was the fact that she’d only been a high school graduate. She wasn’t a graduate of any higher institution of learning in Ghana or elsewhere.

She made me recollect some of the famous sayings that that my head teacher taught me at school—wisdom is not only found on top of the graduate school mountain, but could also be found on top of the sand box at nursery school. Even though, she wasn’t blessed with any classic good looks, she was admired for the sharpness of her mind and the frankness of her speech. She advised students to place more emphasis on using their minds rather than their memories.

To be continued…