My name is Rachael Antiedu Forkuoh and this is “My Teacher Story” – the story of the teacher who changed my life.

It was 1995. I was very excited to be starting class 5, but I dreaded what -or rather who- awaited my arrival, THE MASK. 

Unlike the other classes where it was A and B, Class 5 was a single class. The competition was tough and according to our seniors the class 5 teacher, Mr Michael Amoah Sakyi Kelvin aka the MASK was the strictest and the scariest of them all. He disciplined students mercilessly. But we were in for a surprise.

 He taught us that whatever boys could do girls could also do the same. He was my number one cheerleader, always pushing me to be the best I could be. 

Some of my fondest memories are how he taught us English. He wrote a book titled ‘MASK.’ This book helped me with my English skills. Even after I continued from his class, my academic performance continued to rise; I was always taking the first position in the school I moved to.

I remember when he took us on an excursion to the Owabi Dam. My closest friend Stella Opoku Mensah and I were over the moon. He taught the whole class Michael Jackson songs and ‘Jamaica Farewell’ by Harry Belafont which we sang on the bus. After the excursion, he took us on a picnic. For me, it is something I will never forget. He made us feel like his family. We sat on the green grass listening to tales of his high school days whilst we enjoyed our food. 

Speaking of food, On Fridays, Mr. Michael organised continental cooking lessons. We all contributed and came along with utensils and other kitchen wares.What I loved most about these lessons was that both boys and girls would partake in the cooking. I was usually in charge of dicing the meat. Whenever I was sure no one was watching I would sneak a piece or two into my mouth, but Mr. Michael would always catch me, “Rachael, what is in your mouth?” He would ask. I would reply “Bones.” Everyone would burst out laughing.

I will never forget how he would mention my full name “Rachael Antiedu Forkuoh” whenever I was up for punishment. I loved how even after punishing you he would bring you closer to him. His class was always fun even though he was strict. He really had a unique bond with everyone in the class.

Time flew by so fast and before we knew it, it was our last day as his students. “Don’t let anyone make you feel like you cannot achieve anything”, he said. “With hard work, dedication and determination you can and will succeed. Now go out there and make me proud!” And we sure did. 

Years later, I am working as a Health, Safety and Environment Supervisor. I am the only woman on a team of about 100 workers. And I am not intimidated by the men. I always do my work diligently. And it’s all due to what Mr. Michael taught me in class 5 that my gender didn’t matter, I only needed to be the best anywhere I found myself. That I could achieve anything once I set my mind to it.

I will always be grateful to Mr. Michael for how he changed my life in class 5. I treasure him so much. He turned a little girl into a successful woman. 

Mr. Michael, I hope you are reading this, “ I was a carefree child, but you saw my potential and shaped me into the person I am today. I love the fact that you always encouraged me and directed me to good places. If I hadn’t met you. I don’t know where I would be today. For that, I will always cherish you for the impact you have had on my life.”

Rachael completed Kings International School in Dichemso, Kumasi in 1996. Did you attend Kings International School (3rd site) too? Were you a student of Mr. Michael Amoah Sakyi Kelvin aka the MASK? Share this article to your former classmates and tell us more about Mr. Michael in the comments section.

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