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Junior Graphic made us great

BY: Lydia Essel-Mensah
Past readers of Junior Graphic share their experiences

The Junior Graphic is celebrating its 20th anniversary. 

As part of activities to mark the celebration, the paper interviewed past readers of the Junior Graphic to find out how the paper has impacted their lives.

Sir Obed Danso-Mireku
Senior HR and Training Manager, KFC Ghana

I salute the Junior Graphic for making me who I am  today and I trust my story will encourage the current generation not just to be readers but  writers.  

It has always been a proud moment for me any time I recollect my association with the Junior Graphic years back. 

The Junior Graphic was an integral part of my life during my school days at Accra Academy and even after school.

This is because the newspaper provided a solid and enviable foundation for my life outside school.

I was not only one of the pioneer readers but a prolific writer for the paper.  I have a number of short stories to my credit.

They  include  ‘Don’t Count Your Chickens before they are hatched’, ‘The result of envy’, ‘Sam follows the crowd’, ‘Make Hay while the sun shines’ which I have  beautifully framed and displayed in my living room.

The Junior Graphic made me popular and  respected among my mates at Accra Academy.

I received letters from several people including my friends from other schools whenever they saw my published articles. 

Many of them were touched and inspired by my stories.

My articles published in the Junior Graphic  motivated me to write for the other brands such as the Daily Graphic, Graphic Sports,  and The  Mirror.

I also contributed to other newspapers such as the Ghanaian Times and the Spectator. I also wrote a piece which was broadcast live on the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme when  I was only 16.

After Accra Academy, I got a job as a pupil teacher at the Sensels School and later at the Early Bird School both at Taifa in Accra.

Reading the paper gave me an edge over my competitors during the interviews. 

I encouraged a lot of the pupils to read the Junior Graphic while I was teaching at the schools. Some of the students had  their articles and stories published.

My days at the University of Ghana Business School was remarkable. I was a sought-after writer for most of the university’s publications due to my stint in the Junior Graphic.

I wrote extensively for the Legon Business Journal  and I became the Operations Manager for the journal.

At the Mensah Sarbah Hall, I became the Editor-In-Chief of The Siren, the official Hall Magazine in my second year and to me, that was a great achievement. 

My article, ‘Four Years in Legon, A time down the drain or up the table’ published in the Legon Hall’s Premier Magazine is still considered by many as one of the best student articles ever published at the University of Ghana.

I also became a student journalist at Radio Universe while on campus and rose to become a Sports Editor and the Head of Christian Programme during my third year.  

My writing skills has had a great impact on my career as a Human Resource and Training Manager as well.  At KFC Ghana where I currently work, we recently started a Corporate Magazine, CHAMPS CHAT  and  I am the Editor-In-Chief and Project lead.

To my younger brothers and sisters, my advice is to continue to read the Junior Graphic because ‘reading maketh a man’. Ayeekoo Junior Graphic, continue with the good work.

Audrey Hannah Arthur,
Graduate, LLB, UPSA

I started reading the Junior Graphic and solving the puzzles  when I was quite young.

It gave me a great insight into the world of novels particularly when I read Peggy Oppong’s books at the Mini Series column. It gradually transformed me into an avid reader of the paper.

By reading what others had written for the paper, I was inspired to contribute my quota as well and that was when I became not just a dedicated reader but a regular contributor.

My first story was published when I was in the primary school and my joy knew no bounds.

It was announced at the school’s assembly and the entire class got copies to read. This motivated some of my friends to start writing as well.

I continued to contribute to the Junior Graphic throughout my junior high school days through to senior high school. 

I wrote an article with the headline:  ‘Life as a Day Student’ where I recounted my  experiences and  challenges  as a day student. My friends were proud of me  and that  gingered others  to write as well.
 

It was not until I began my studies at the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), as a law student  that I realised how much reading and writing for the Junior Graphic had benefitted me.

As a law student, I do a lot of analytical writing and  reading  but I do all these with  ease  because of my passion for reading which began  when I started reading the Junior Graphic.

The skills acquired from years of sending articles to the paper came in handy as well when I joined my school’s moot court clinic and participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition twice.

I helped with the drafting of our memorials and actively participated in research for the team as well. 

Thanks to the Junior Graphic for such great opportunity.

I have completed my first degree and my passion for reading has become a vital part of me. I actively participated in writing competitions and these helped me to sharpen my writing  skills.

I am presently working on my first novel and the thanks go to the Junior Graphic for making this possible.

Even though I am busy these days, I still find time to read the paper because it would forever be my first love and I am glad young ones today can also have access to it and benefit from it as I  did. Long live the Junior Graphic, the mouthpiece for every child.

Samuel Larbi,
Marketing Officer, Rehoboth Properties

The Junior Graphic has nurtured many schoolchildren particulary when it comes to  reading.

During our school days , my mates  would always sit down to read  immediately they bought Junior Graphic  every Wednesday.

This was so because each of us had  his or her favourite column such as the lovely pictures on the front page, the Auntie Betty column,  pictures of activities in the schools and  lyrics of our favourite songs.
 

I applaud all teachers who  entreated pupils to have editions of the Junior Graphic every week and even went to the extent of randomly testing pupils on the articles  just to ensure that they did not only buy the newspaper but read as well.

I was not the type who liked reading when growing up. 

I was only interested in reading my notes and that was to help me pass my exams.

However, I started reading the Junior Graphic in Primary Four, I got  hooked to it and till date,  I have never regretted cultivating that habit. 

The Junior Graphic was and will continue to be the only reading material for schoolchildren because the rich information it provides for  academic work, entertainment and current affairs is a unique package for them.

As we all join the dedicated staff of the Junior Graphic to mark the 20th anniversary of this educative newspaper, I congratulate the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) on making a positive impact on the lives of youngsters for  two decades.

I would suggest that the Junior Graphic should be made accessible in all  rural schools, and also  government should make it a policy to make the reading of the newspaper a mandatory material for all primary schools in the country.

Etornam Akushika Kwasafo,
Bsc Administration, University  of Ghana, Legon

The Junior Graphic has played a very vital role in my life as a student.

I was  introduced to this exciting and educative newspaper when I was in lower primary and I have never regretted being part of this paper.

Through the Junior Graphic, I have come to the realisation of how important reading is and it has also helped  me build my self-confidence.

One thing I admire and have grown to appreciate about the Junior Graphic is the competitions and the vocabularies published every week.

The  Junior Graphic Fan Club Spelling Competition  offered a  big   platform  for schoolchildren to exhibit their knowledge of the English Language.

I did not get the opportunity to sit in the ‘hot seat’ as a contestant for my school, but I guess it was not easy for those who had that opportunity.

Thumbs up to all those who had participated in the competition all these years, particularly the winners. 

It has helped me to build my  vocabulary.

The advice given by Auntie Betty also made me a morally upright person and I am grateful for that.

Kudos to the Junior Graphic, 20 years of its existence is no mean achievement. Keep on serving the youth of Ghana better than you are doing now.