How many of us as children couldn’t wait to taste independence? I am sure the list is a tall one.
For some of us, we couldn’t wait to grow up, have our own money to buy something as simple as a tin of Cerelac, and enjoy without sharing with anybody.
For many, it was the opportunity to go out, have fun and not endure queries from their parents or the chance to decorate their own space to reflect their taste, style, and individuality.
Adulthood seems like the only way out to achieve this freedom, but is adulthood a scam like the popular musician Lade’ said in her song?
Well, Leaving the warmth and comfort of one’s parent’s house to live alone is almost like a rite of passage in many cultures around the world. For young Ghanaians, this journey is often filled with mixed feelings.
Accra, according to a survey in 2021 was one of the most expensive cities in Africa. With the ever-skyrocketing rent, utilities, and prices of food, we decided to ask some young Ghanaians in the capital city what they wished they knew prior to venturing into independence from their parents.
Abraham, 26years, Basic School Teacher
” I wish I knew how to plan well. How to invest, create my own job to fetch me money to be able to pay for my rent, take care of myself, and know more about first aid when it comes to dealing with sickness.”
Albert, 27years, Civil Servant
” Well, living alone has some good parts to it. Having to close from work and getting into your own space knowing you have control is exciting, but it has its downsides. It can be very boring, extremely boring. Also, the responsibilities! you have bills to pay, you need to save money for your rent before it’s due. The whole responsibility part is fascinating and mind-blowing. It’s nerve-wracking.”
Carlos, 29years, Unemployed
” I don’t think there is anything I wish I knew because adulthood is all about learning, getting to know more as you go on. So, we take each day at a time. I am a highly proactive person so before I make a move, I know what will happen. it’s entirely God as well. I am a person with a strong faith. When I move, my faith moves with me, that’s the thing.”
Kwame Ntim, Administrative Assistant,24year
” It’s very exciting to be alone, personally, because back then when I used to be with my parents, I used to do a whole lot of house chores. This time, I’m alone and if I don’t sweep my place for one week, I’m cool and the place is as neat as it should be. I’m cool with everything that hits me so, with regards to what I wish I knew, I should have just known it was a huge responsibility from the beginning so I could have prepared adequately for it but it is what it is so nothing can be done.”
Levi Nikoi, 27years, Loan Officer
” For that, I have nothing to say about it but then you know in life, whatever it is that comes your way, you have to accept it like that because sometimes, it’s challenging, it’s stressful, it’s normal so you just have to accept everything that comes your way.”
Nana Adwoa,21years, Student Journalist
” I wish I knew a lot because of the kind of pressure I’m going through now. I feel like I should have just stayed in my parents’ house. You know, paying bills; water bills, electricity bills, buying prepaid, chale, if I was living with my parents, I would not be doing any of that. Sometimes too, I wake up feeling so tired. When you are living with your parents, somehow, they feel responsible to wake you up or tell you to do something but when you’re on your own, sometimes, you even forget there are some things you need to do even though you have a reminder. I feel like, if we are to turn back the hands of the clock, I would stay in my parent’s house rather than live independently and be that so-called independent lady.”
Georgina Collison, 25years, Journalist
“Growing up, I thought that living alone will bring you peace of mind and freedom but it’s the contrary. Yes, you get peace of mind but there are other things involved. You have to pay bills, if the work you’re doing does not earn you that much, then it means that you have to do more.
I have learned one thing and that is you always have to buy in bulk but if the money is not there, how do you buy in bulk you just have to resort to buying in bits which is pretty much expensive. Living alone is not that enjoyable because there are bills coming in”
Frances Makin, 30 years, Fashion Designer
” I wish I could enjoy childhood again because growing up comes with lots of responsibilities. Rent is killing! Rent is killing! But the advantage is that it makes you responsible, it makes you a better person, and wherever you find yourself, you can survive because you are just used to living alone. In life, everything has its ups and downs. Living alone is good, it’s also not too good. This is my honest opinion.”
Alberta, 24years, Pharmacist
” Well, honestly, living alone is not easy, it’s fun at times but it’s not easy. So, if I had someone to prep me on the dos and don’ts of living alone, I would have been grateful because living alone, hmmm.
When you start, it’s nice because you are on your own, there’s no one to pressure you and tell you to do this, to do that but when reality hits you, the expenses alone are not easy.”
leaving home and living alone can be a daunting experience. However, by learning from the experiences of others, young Ghanaians can better prepare themselves for the challenges that come with living independently. Whether it’s learning how to cook, managing finances, or dealing with loneliness, the advice of those who have gone before can be valuable. By sharing their stories, these young Ghanaians have provided a roadmap for others who are embarking on this journey. So, to all those who are thinking of leaving home, take heart – you’re not alone, and with a little bit of preparation, you can thrive on your own.
Note: Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
By Esther Aryee|3xtra.tv|Ghana