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Living the true ‘American Dream’
Christoph Komla Ankuvie can explain the “American Dream” as well as anyone.
“Opportunities are all around,” he said. “But you can never give up.”
He has just written a book titled, “A Journey to the United States of America,” in which he tells the story of his move from Ghana, in West Africa, to America. Published by Tate Publishing, the book tells his story from his humble beginnings in an African village with no electricity or phone to his current work as a Culinary Specialist Second Class in the United States Navy.
Born the eighth child of 12, Ankuvie learned fast what hard work was about. Farming is the main vocation of people in the village and all members of the family are expected to do their share. This work ethic has served Ankuvie well, but it is not the only trait from his childhood he still makes use of today. Respect for one’s elders, Ankuvie said, is critical to the survival of his people. Respect creates a chain-of-command within the family which yields a more disciplined individual. If his older brother were to enter a room where Ankuvie was seated, and there were no other seats available, he would have to give up his seat. Ankuvie said he would gladly do it to this day.
The self-discipline he gained from his life experiences also has helped him greatly in the Navy. When his current ship, the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), pulls into a port and sailors are rushing to go out into town to party, Ankuvie said he spends his time searching for an open computer where he can login to his account at Ashford University and get some classwork finished. He used his GI Bill money to earn a bachelor’s degree in business management from Colorado Tech University and is attending Ashford online to earn his master’s. In addition, he is working on a second book chronicling the events of the current world. His hope is to educate the world so that someday Africa will not be dependent on European countries.
“If all 53 countries in Africa were united, people would have more opportunity and more control over its resources,” Ankuvie said. “And the wars between them would stop.”