So on the back of the Moesha \u2013 CNN saga, I got an email from a young lady who\u2019s had to live a similar lifestyle to survive. This story has been edited for length and clarity. Maame has also requested that only her local name is used for the story for obvious reasons. All other names used have also been changed to protect the identities of the persons involved.\nI leaped for joy when results from my WASSCE were released. As the girl\u2019s perfect, it was expected that I\u2019d excel\u2026 and boy I did. My teachers could not hide their joy. The headmistress had a special congratulatory party thrown for me and the other students who stood out.\nBut the joy will soon fade, because deep down inside, I knew this perhaps will be my last academic examination. My mother, who has singlehandedly raised four of us cannot afford a university education, especially when there are three more to go. But I brushed off that thought and enjoyed the delicious jollof rice and grilled chicken I\u2019d been served at the party. \u201cIf this is going to be my last, I might as well enjoy it to the fullest,\u201d I said to myself.\nThat evening when I got home, my mother called me into a meeting. As I sat on the worn out couch in the living room, my heart beat so fast and strong that I felt it was going to fall out my chest any minute. I wasn\u2019t ready to hear the obvious\u2026that this will be the end of the road for me; I simply didn\u2019t want to hear those words. But I held on tight to the already tired armrest and hoped for different news.\nWhen my mother entered the room \u2013 my other siblings were busy with God knows what in the compound screaming their heads off \u2013 she smiled at me and said \u201cyou have made me proud. My first girl, the very first fruit of my womb. I couldn\u2019t have asked for a better daughter. You have set a good pace, just the right one for your younger brothers and sister to follow.\u201d\nAnd as she continued, tears welled up in her eyes, \u201cwhen your father died, I didn\u2019t think I could do it all by myself, but you, your brothers and sister give me strength and each day. I couldn\u2019t have asked for better children.\u201d\nI got up from my seat and sat at her feet and after about five long hours of silence and tears she smiled and said \u201cyou\u2019re going to the university. How it\u2019ll happen, I don\u2019t know. But I\u2019m ready to see you through.\u201d And with that, I saw myself in the university even before I started the journey of a tertiary education.\nI couldn\u2019t get over the excitement that soon, \u2018a nobody\u2019 like me will be rubbing shoulders with rich people\u2019s children and of course others like me. This was a dream come through for me, because somehow, deep inside me, I knew this was going to be the turning point in my life.\nI was in a hurry to experience a world away from my small village lit in darkness. I was ready to see the light, walk in it and be the light. It was my own \u2018journey to the West\u2019. A journey for a new life, with new people, hopefully, better food and better dresses. I was ready for fun, a lot of it. As for my books, well, it was never a problem in a dim, difficult environment with little facilities. How was it going to be a problem in the city with life and better facilities? Besides I\u2019m a smart girl \u2013 sorry to flaunt it \u2013 but I don\u2019t fail, so I knew I was going to take a stroll through my new courses in the university. Book was the least of my worries.\nBut I had a rude awakening in just seven days on campus- I was still a \u2018villager\u2019. I knew it, felt it. Everything about me screamed so loud about where I came from, a place not many will be proud of, let alone boast of. Anytime I saw the clothes the girls wore, I saw the rags on me in the name of a dress. Their handbags, shoes and other accessories left me in awe. It was then that I realized life was a league with some playing the EPL and others the Chinese league. I couldn\u2019t even meet the standard of the Chinese league. It was a disaster!\nI craved for the nice things. Was I not just as human as they were? I also wanted to look and feel good and because my mother could only afford the rags of the village life, I knew I had to find a way. I wanted to live a good life, buy all the things I ever wanted and still be able to acquire my degree and go on to become a lawyer. That dream is one I\u2019m not letting go but in the meantime, \u201ca girl\u2019s got to do what she gotta do. She must be hot,\u201d I said to myself one afternoon when I finally accepted Mr Osei\u2019s invitation to dinner.\nI knew what I was going in for by accepting his offer but I thought more of what I would gain than what I\u2019d lose. More than anything, I wanted to free myself and family from the shackles of poverty and I really didn\u2019t and still don\u2019t care how I do it.\nMr Osei is one of the top government officials who have a stubborn reputation of bedding young university girls like me. He is also known to be a \u2018spoiler\u2019, yeah, he spoils his \u2018girls\u2019 rotten. Cash, trips to abroad on holidays and of course, with his connections in business, he can get you the job of your choice, all you needed to do was ask.\nAt the university, his reputation and that of others was no secret and once you were in their \u2018den\u2019, everyone knew. You were the talk of town, the \u2018queen\u2019 the slay queen, the one everybody gossiped about. But who cares? Those who wanted to associate with you did, and the holier than thous judged you.\nWhen my roommate Nancy, realised the talk about me on campus was getting out of hand, she approached me and asked that I ended the relationship. For her, that kind of relationship was below me.\n\u201cAre you serious, I\u2019ve even not started the relationship proper and you\u2019re worried? See this could be it for us\u2026how long do you intend to live in poverty? Don\u2019t you want to have nice things like everyone else? Sister, please let me be wai\u2026this is what I want and I really don\u2019t care what you or anyone else thinks.\u201d\nThat was the last time I heard any preaching from Nancy as she was beginning to enjoy the good things that came as a result of her association with me. Mr Osei will give her money anytime he came around and even on days when he didn\u2019t come to our room, he\u2019ll let me have some cash delivered to her.\nThe life I\u2019d always wanted to live was now in my reach and I was willing to do everything to keep it. Now, I didn\u2019t have to worry about my fees, money for educational materials or my upkeep. The little money my mother had could now be used on my other siblings, whom I still provided for.\nDuring the early times of the \u2018change\u2019, my mother was uncomfortable. She didn\u2019t understand what was going on and was bent on knowing what I was doing to be able to afford all the things I\u2019d bought for my siblings when I went for holidays. In fact that day, she will not have any of the things inside her house and even attempted to throw me out until I had concrete reasons and explanations for the life I was living.\nAnd oh, I forgot to mention that I drove home the new Mercedes Benz S Class Mr Osei had bought for me as a birthday gift. That drove my mother nuts. She run out of the house to the compound where our jealous and pretentious neighbours had already gathered \u2018worshipping\u2019 the car. One rushed in to call my mother and the spectacle began.\nRight in the presence of everyone she demanded to know how I got the car and what it was doing in her house. She will not allow me into the house and was unprepared to sit down and have a proper conversation on the matter, so I left in anger. At a later date, I met with my siblings to give them some money and other items they needed in the house but they refused to accept the items because they\u2019d been given explicit information that nothing from me is allowed in the house.\nThen it dawned on me that I\u2019d been disowned by my mother. Well, I understood her fears and took none of that to heart but I no longer wanted to live in poverty and I was willing to do anything to get out of it. Hoping that she will get over the anger, I moved on with my life.\nThankfully, I still excelled in school, I was a force to reckon with when it came to academics. Many assumed I was just sleeping around for grades but they had no idea that after everything\u2026the parties and holidaying around the world\u2026I always went back to my books.\nAlthough I\u2019d moved out from the room we shared, Nancy was still generous. She\u2019ll send me notes and notices of assignments. Sometimes, she\u2019ll send voice notes of an entire lecture, explain anything she felt I\u2019d not understand and send photos of lecture notes. She was simply a fantastic friend and when she is in her pious elements she\u2019ll give me a preaching.\nWhy the life I was living was wrong, how I was potentially destroying someone\u2019s marriage\u2026blah blah blah. Normally, I\u2019ll just roll my eyes while she\u2019s at it and wait for the sermon to end and every time it did I\u2019d say \u201cthank you ma. I\u2019ll pray about it,\u201d and laugh. That always made her mad, but she\u2019d always say \u201cyooo, don\u2019t say I didn\u2019t tell you oo.\u201d\nSee, what Nancy and the people like her \u2013 including my mother \u2013 didn\u2019t understand is that I don\u2019t want to struggle in life, at least not anymore. My entire childhood has been plagued by poverty, sorrow and the lack of very basic things a child should have. I don\u2019t want to take that into adulthood. No.\nDo I care about the other family I\u2019m hurting?\nNo.\nFirst of all, I don\u2019t even think Mr Osei\u2019s wife is hurting in any way. She still gets all she needs from her husband. Never has he put me before her and never has he given the impression that he\u2019ll leave her for me. Not once. His children are still very well provided for, in every aspect, they don\u2019t even need to ask.\nWe both understood that ours was a relationship of convenience and knew what to do and when to do it without being asked to. Call me mean, but a girl\u2019s gotta do what she gotta do. In any case, he sleeps with me, that\u2019s my body on a silver platter and he should be grateful to me because, without me, he\u2019d be in a boring marriage. I brought back the spark\u2026the spark his wife is now enjoying.\nMr Osei has told me about how his wife is now glowing. \u201cAnd you\u2019re the reason,\u201d he said. \u201cShe doesn\u2019t complain anymore because, by the time I get home, I\u2019m so \u2018full\u2019 with you that I don\u2019t see anything else she does. Anything she says, I agree and life goes on. She actually thinks her prayers worked\u201d, he said cynically one Saturday evening after a steamy rendezvous in my apartment.\nWill I ever stop?\nOf course, I will. This is only for a period of time. After completing my studies, getting a good job and perhaps in case a man worth settling down with comes into the picture, why not? But in the meantime, I\u2019m just going to make the best of the period, get what I can out of it and enjoy the moments it comes with.\nBut the one thing that really baffles me about the whole Moesha interview \u2013 after watching the full version \u2013 is the hypocrisy Ghanaians are exhibiting. These things are a normal part of our society. Hidden, it has been for a long time, but the truth is the truth and nothing can change that.\nWe need to begin to understand that we\u2019re not what we say we are. The church, mosque and the whole religion thingy is just a camouflage. All these big men are indeed \u2018big men\u2019 in their churches. They are reserved the best seats and are called on to settle disputes and other related matters. They are held in high esteem yet these same men will not help any girl without asking for anything in return \u2013 unless of course, that girl is their daughter.\nIf men like Mr Osei were willing to give and support young girls when they are in need, we won\u2019t be having this discussion. Their selfishness and greed is the reason we are at this stage in our society.\nAnd oh, the women are not left out. All those who hurled insults at Moesha are not themselves saints. The bosses among them sleep with young guys all around, yet they have the audacity to question Moesha. Of course, it\u2019s easier to pick on her than deal with the real issues.\nHypocrites! That\u2019s what we are and it\u2019s going to take us a while if the proper discussion is not had. This is what our society wants and that\u2019s just what is being served.\nAh, well, as for me I\u2019m headed to the UK later this year to start my masters in law course. Guess who\u2019s paying...Mr Osei of course.\n\u201cYou don\u2019t need to worry about anything. I will provide for all your needs once you also give me what I want,\u201d he said the day I informed him about my decision to school outside. He actually thought it was a fantastic idea and there was no way he\u2019d have objected to it.\nSo while ya\u2019ll tongue lash Moesha for living the life she wants, find a life too because she\u2019s actually living hers. What can I say, go girl!