Husband-journalist-farmer Ferdi, 39 years old: “As a child, I knew I had the talent for talking and entertaining people. My parents, siblings and friends were always amused about the things I said. In school, I was mostly found standing in front of my class during break time and when our teachers don’t turn up for classes, to imitate our teachers and talk about anything that came to mind. I just loved to talk and that was what I did most of the time. It was therefore not surprising to my family and friends when I ended up on radio. One thing that drove my passion for the profession was the fact that I could inform, educate and influence thoughts and actions of most people across the country.
I miss everything about my work at the radio station where I worked – hosting talk shows and events, the current affairs programs and the call in segments. Most of all I miss the opportunities to be the Master of Ceremony for social events which made me quite popular. My dream is to be an International journalist”.
Ferdi, 39 is now residing in Ghana as an Ivoirian refugee. His job as a well-known journalist, who was used to discussing political issues on his radio show, put his life at risk. “My life was in danger all because I discussed issues in the country which other people perceived to favor one party”. The security situation in Cote d’Ivoire worsened, as the country faced a post-election crisis in 2011. Ferdinand’s home was attacked and his properties were looted. He received calls from his family and friends not to return home that fateful day as the rebels were after him.
Realizing his life was in danger, he took the decision to flee without having the opportunity to pick up anything from home or say goodbye to his family. After almost four years in Ghana, Ferdi whose wife later joined him in the country is now into cassava and maize farming. “Although, I had little prior knowledge in agriculture; I’m trying my best and it’s worthwhile. This is not how I want my life to turn out but I am making the best out of my current situation”.
Ferdi sells the produce from his farm and is able to take care of his family. He hopes people would not perceive refugees as lazy people or trouble makers. Now he only prays for two things- “to see my other family members in Cote d’Ivoire and to get back to radio”.
Refugees – ordinary people living through extraordinary times.