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My Lost Hand Became My Motivation – First Youngest Ghanaian Pure Math Professor

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The first youngest professor of Pure Mathematics in Ghana, Professor Kwara Nantomah has shared how he landed in the mathematics profession.

According to him, there was pressure from the majority of family members to become a nurse, which was not his interest.

His ambition was to become a trained teacher, but he chose to pursue nursing to appease his family’s desire.

In his quest to pursue a nursing career, he submitted an application to a nursing school in Bawku, in the Upper East Region. However, after being admitted, he was engaged in an accident on his way to the interview.

As a result, he lost one of his hands and needed to quit his nursing career, as the profession requires two hands.

As passionate as he was about teaching, mathematics was the only option for study since practice is not required in the field. This gave him the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong goal of becoming a math teacher.

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His lost hand, according to him, became a motivation as he took up the challenge to prove to his broken family that all hope was not lost.

Prof. Nantomah revealed this in an exclusive interview with Roselyn Felli on Prime Morning on Wednesday.

“Part of the motivation was as a result of a terrible accident I had. I was challenged by the mere fact that we have left and right, but that is just by human notation. From there, I realised that it shouldn’t be a challenge. Mathematics, or pure math for that matter, suited my purpose in some ways because it has little to do with the practical, which I would have been challenged with on the one hand. So, in pure math, it was ok to go,” he narrated.

Determination, he said, is the major tool for his success today.

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However, having to swiftly change to writing with his left hand has been a major challenge throughout his career development.

“The greatest challenge was to quickly learn how to write with the left hand after the accident. In fact, it has been my greatest challenge, but I was able to overcome that,” he said.

Mathematics is known to be the most difficult subject for most students, especially in Ghana. But Prof. Nantomah averred that the course is one of the easiest disciplines one can ever imagine.

He said the fear for the subject is due to an improperly built foundation in the field.

To ease the fear among students, Prof. Nantomah thinks advocacy is the way forward. He stated that mathematics tutors need to make the subject fun for students.




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