Professor Clement Appah, the Head of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Ghana believes that he was destined to pursue linguistics as a career despite not having any background on the course before his tertiary education.
In a captivating interview on Y 107.9 FM’s Y Leaderboard Series, Professor Clement Appah shared his inspiring story of how curiosity propelled him towards a fulfilling career in linguistics.
Reflecting on his early academic years, Prof. Appah revealed, “I wasn’t an art student, but when I entered the university, they claimed my mathematics skills were not up to par. Additionally, since I had pursued Agriculture in secondary school without studying Chemistry, I technically did not meet the requirements for an Agric program. As a result, I was admitted as an arts student.”
During his first year at the University of Ghana, Prof. Appah had the opportunity to explore various subjects. He explained, “Initially, I studied religion, theatre, arts, and Swahili. However, when I entered my second year, I stumbled upon Linguistics and decided to drop religion to pursue this newfound interest.”
When asked about the motivation behind his choice, Prof. Appah fondly recalled his childhood in Tamale. He mentioned Carpoint Estates, a residential area where the staff of the Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy, and Bible Translations resided, including expatriates. “I was aware of the term linguistics due to my exposure to these professionals while growing up. The curiosity within me drove me to explore the field further, and I enrolled in linguistics courses to satisfy my inquisitive nature,” he explained.
Little did Prof. Appah know that his decision to follow his curiosity would lead him to discover his true passion. He enthusiastically shared, “From the moment I started studying linguistics, it felt like it was tailor-made for me. For three years, I achieved outstanding academic results, with only two A-s and the rest being straight As.”
Prof. Clement Appah’s journey into linguistics stands as a testament to the power of curiosity and the unforeseen paths it can lead us down. His dedication and love for his field have made him a respected figure in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Ghana, where he continues to inspire and shape the minds of future linguists.