Jacob Abdu

I am Jacob I. Abdu, currently a lecturer of African Studies in Tamale Polytechnic. I joined the Institute of African Studies as a post graduate student (MA/MPhil) student in August 2006. I graduated with an MPhil degree in 2009. My thesis was on "traditional care practices for the mentally challenged children in the Tamale metropolis" with Dr. Osman Alhassan and Prof. S.A. Danquah (a clinical Psychologist from the Department of Psychology, University of Ghana) as my supervisors. I studied subjects such as Research Methods, Advanced Research Methods, Government and Politics, History, Religions etc.

I had quite a number of interesting experiences including the challenge of independent work. We were given researchable topics to get information and present papers before our colleagues and this was very exciting. The Thursday seminar presentations were very good for academic work at post graduate level and I hardly missed any one of them.

My joys include the practical training that Professor Irene Odotei (her students call her Auntie Irean) gave us by sending us out into the field to gather information for our write ups. She also helped us to attend some international conferences that had to do with history and culture. Dr. Owusu Brempong was very exciting to listen to as a lecturer as he had a lot of ice breakers. I cannot forget Dr. Thomas Aidoo who was very particular about our inclusion of theories in our work. Dr. Osman Alhassan was very businesslike in his work and virtually all the lecturers including the Prof Albert Awudoba were of immense help academically.

I had a memorable experience with the current Director, Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo, a young-looking gifted woman/ mother. I joined her Gender class once and made some debatable contributions and never showed up again. She met me weeks afterwards in the library and a conversation ensued between us as follows "hey, what are you doing here" she asked, and I replied "Prof, I am gathering information for a paper." Her next question was, "why did you never attend my class again?" Prof knows all her students and has affection for all of them and this is commendable. I therefore could not hide my joy when she appeared on a Television programme on TV Africa and I shouted to my family "that's my Prof and I am proud of her". I subsequently sent her an email on the television programme and she was kind enough to reply to it with kind words. That's what life looks like in the Institute Of African Studies; it is one big lively family that mixes academic work with friendship in an excellent blend.

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