It’s a Konnect Africa interview with the purposeful change agent, Patrick K. Atsu.
Patrick is one young Ghanaian who has defiled adversity, broken limitations and combines an alluring array of talents and abilities.
He is an Electric Engineer, a passionate poet, author, film writer and Director (the list could go on). Living an early life in his remote Village, he has built his passion far and beyond what is expected of an ordinary young achiever.
In this interview, the change maker shares his life experience- his struggles, triumphs, lessons and then gives us a peek into the grand future he is set to walk into in a few years.
Sit back, read and learn from Patrick………..
KA: What would you like to tell us about Patrick Atsu? Birth, ethnicity, education……..
PATRICK: I was born in a very unpopular village called Dekpor in the Ketu North district, in August 25, 1987. It is about 20 miles away from Agbozume and since it is not known I always make reference to Agbozume as my place of birth. From the village, my twin sister and I were taken to Agbozume to continue our school from class 5 when daddy lost everything he toiled for 14 years in Nigeria. So I schooled for my Primary to J.S.S at El-Shaddai International School, that’s Klikor, continued to Keta Senior High where I studied Technical with subjects as Engineering Drawing, Elective Physics, Maths and Electronics. I completed and had to run to Accra for better future. Whilst waiting for my results, I began teaching and God being so wonderful I enrolled at Accra Poly for my Electrical Engineering program which I successfully finished.
KA: So how did your educational journey begin?
PATRICK: (Lol) I don’t remember how and when but I know I started so early that I repeated kindergarten about twice and based on some calculations I presumed I started school at age 2
KA: Any challenge coping with school at the time?
PATRICK: Well I am a twin and so, my twin sister and I had to battle intelligence together. She didn’t seem too brilliant at the early ages so that meant that sometimes I had to try to bury my intelligence just to save my sister some shame and so I was on and off.
PATRICK: KA: What remarkable achievements would you love to share?
PATRICK: My most remarkable achievement is living my dreams amidst the struggles and disappointments I’ve faced. Currently I am an Electrical Technician Engineer in Volta River Authority (VRA), a script writer, film director and also a producer.
I am currently directing and producing a self-written film starring, Ekow Smith, Dzifa Glikpoe, Solomon Sampa, Kyeremanteng of the Kasapreko and Vodafone advert fame. I also have David Dontoh as one of the casts and some other upcoming artists. I am a poet nominated for award in Philippines next year. I am a song writer and composer. I have just had my first book published and hope to launch it soon.
I have also held some few leadership positions; from J.S.S. I was an unopposed class captain till I became the Senior School Prefect. I was the Agric minister back in Ketasco, president of the Cultural troupe in school, organiser of the Bright Future Arts Foundation, Librarian for Young Against AIDS. Then I moved to Accra-Poly where I became the PRO for Engineers Without Borders; an international institution. I contested and lost for PRO for school of Engineering. I really hated semi politics of such nature after been exposed to some evils in some of these aspirations. So far so good I am comfortable trying to touch lives than to assume a leadership position that won’t add value to those I need to get to most.
PRINCE: What has been your drive since your early days?
PATRICK: My passion has always been living my dream of becoming the influential writer and film maker. Since the day I realised my talent in these fields, God added his motivation to chase these dreams. That’s why Electrical Engineer won’t give a thing like this. I thought I was going to be a pastor until I got to know, my pastoral work is to transform people through the inks of my thought
KA: Electrical Engineering, poetry, film writing and directing……how do you juggle all these and yet achieve ample results?
PATRICK: Passion always wants a result, passion tells you to sacrifice your night for something, passion makes you feel you are dead if you don’t live your dream, Passion tells you you can do it and makes you to find how to do it.
PRINCE: How does being an Electrical Engineer influence your other talents?
PATRICK: I always say my type of talent is also another form of engineering. Writing is either invention or innovation of an idea. If I write on a new subject, it is invention; if on a common subject, it is innovation. I think being an engineer; I have a broader way of thinking. Like I said earlier on in one of my messages, engineers are solution givers
When I write, direct or use any aspect of my talent. I always want it to be the answer to someone’s rhetorical question. It must be a solution to a problem.
KA: The Journey so far……………
PATRICK: Touching, disappointing, depressing but fulfilling. When racing, you will suffocate but when you see yourself in the finishing line, you gain strength. To every dreamer the end point is his inspiration and aspiration so though the difficulties set in, it takes the right dreamer to see his dreams come to a reality.
KA: What major failure have you had in life, how did you react to it and how has it impacted you?
PATRICK: My biggest failure has been my inability to help a woman until I heard of her death. I didn’t have money at the time, I thought I must help; I was just done with my service and looking for job. If I had known, I would have even sold my phone to assist her.
KA: You are currently working to release your first book, ‘From Dreamer to Achiever’, kindly give us some insights into the factors that led you to believe that there is a need for such literature in these times…
PATRICK: As a growing child, I wanted to be an Electrician. This was because I found great joy dismantling my father’s electrical gadgets and bringing out wires to light up my small tent. (We used to build small tents behind our house in which we the kids played) I was born in a village where there was no good drinking water, no electricity so touch-lights and traditional lamps such as the kerosene lamps saved the night.
I developed interest in knowing how the touch bulbs gave out light. As the days went by, I developed much love for electrical stuff and could not wait to be called an Electrician. At age 8, I was my colleagues’ Electrician. I was fixing the dry cells in my wooden boxes and connecting my bulbs in both series and parallel, to beautify our playgrounds at night. My carrier as an electrician had begun. Every day I improved in my “profession”.
At age 9, my carrier ambition shook. My uncle thought I could do better as a Lawyer than a common electrician. Well the big boys were the lawyers and so being thought of as a lawyer was going to be a ground breaking thing for the family. I was told what lawyers do. I began asking very critical questions like I was already a lawyer. That’s funny right? I was going to be the first lawyer in the family. I am sure my dad was happier than I was.
Then again, the unexpected happened; my Social Studies teacher thought I was doing well in Social Studies and so, I was going to be a good pilot. Again I was not going to be that Lawyer. I was going to be flying like the birds in the air. But I desperately wanted to drive.
By the time I was in my final year of my Junior High School, I was certain what I wanted to be. I wanted to be an Electrical Engineer. I decided to pursue my engineering ambition only to realize that Engineering was just an interest and not my passion. I found my passions thereafter. It came staring at me, asking me to do something about it. I struggled between my interest and passion.
I did not want to let go of my passion and I did not want to let go of my interest too.
These are numerous phases of life we all go through. At a point in time in our lives, we do not seem to know what the future holds for us. The future becomes a puzzle and if care is not taken, it lands us on the wrong side of our destiny.
I was a victim. I loved my interest (Engineering) and I loved my passion (writing and film-making). But I was more into my interest than my passion. Then my passion always comes haunting me. Unfortunately, not many even believed in my passion. I had to devise a way to fulfil my passion against all odds. It was automatic for me in order to be happy; that is where my greatest joy resides.
Not everybody knows what real success means. People get stuck with the decision that can roll their lives over to the next stage. They are either afraid to take the risks, do not know what to do, or do not believe in the end results of those decisions they want to take.
If I had read my own book years ago when I needed to take the decisions to which path I should have taken, I am pretty sure I would have been sitting on the moon by now. We all dream but we do not see our dreams actualize. We are not able to touch our wishes, our dreams yet we continue to dream every day. Turning our dreams into a reality has always been the problem
From a “Dreamer to Achiever” takes you to the lesson room and provides you with those missing links that make your life complete. The book highlights those strategies that helped me to make great impact on my life as a growing child. The inspirations here transformed my life and turned my dreams to realities.
KA: So can we say it’s an Autobiography about your life?
PATRICK: Not at all, you will never see me in the book. The idea of the book is just to tell what every man goes through. The book is positioned to help all those who find their passion conflicting with their interest and do not know what to do. Sometimes these two phenomenons can be conflicting.
Differentiating between your interest and passion, sometimes, we want to give up on our passions. Our passion happens to be our second soul. Now, how do we really integrate the fight to live our dreams into our everyday life?
The book is actually inspirations to help you live your dream; none of the topics had my life in it.
KA: A sneak peek into your Star-Dubbed Movie….
PATRICK: The movie is titled “Legend”, and it’s the story of a young man whose passion was different from his father’s desire for him. As he grows through his aspirations, he excelled in all other things but his passion kept haunting him, and he regretted every time because he was chasing dreams that do not really form part of his passions.
You see we all succeed in some aspects of life and fail in some others. But people just see it from one direction, they think that to be a failure you must be like this and to be a success you must have a particular reference. But in this movie, I exposed so many ways that failure can be recorded.
E.g. imagine someone who has all the successes and fails in his marital life.
KA: A rush through the casts….
PATRICK: Ekow smith Asante, David Dontoh, Dzifa Glikpoe, Kyeremateng of Kasapreko and Vodafone adverts fame, Solomon Sampah the white bald headed man of one mosquito coil advert, and three lecturers from University of Ghana, Legon.
KA: How did you succeed in bringing those great minds together onto one set?
PATRICK: God is my all. I make conscious efforts to do my best with what God gives me. Actually not all these people accepted my story at first. The three Legon lecturers opted to be part of the story when they saw it with my production Manager, they believed in the story, and every experienced actor or artist would like to be part of a good story so they think it is good enough for them to be part of what I want to present to the world.
KA: Should we expect the blockbuster soon?
PATRICK: Indeed, I’m actually finishing works on it and hope to premier early next year (2015).
KA: If you had the privilege to be recognised by Times or Forbes magazine, how would you love to be recognised?
PATRICK: As an inspirational Writer and Film Engineer or better still, as an Ink Engineer.
KA: What recognitions have you received so far?
PATRICK: Not until recently, I have been always behind the scene yet to be honoured by God and also like I said, I have been invited for award for an inspirational poet in Philippines next year so I am yet to push out the ongoing works not for any recognition though.
My greatest recognition is to have someone walk up to me and say you have imparted my life.
KA: Few years from now…….
PATRICK: I will be known as a sound marriage and relationship counsellor, an inspirational speaker, Career coach (which I am already doing), Influential film maker, Poet and yeah, a Great Leader
KA: Who would you say have been your biggest support through your journey?
PATRICK: My mum and dad are not fully aware of my real life; they know I am just a go-getter but they keep telling me, “See, we believe in you; just trust in God and don’tyou’re your dreams break you down. If you think this is good for you, just go get it”. But they are not able to withstand the risks I take.
Anyway God is my only support. I also draw inspiration from all those who believe in my dreams.
KA: Before we go, I’d like to know the Role you play at VRA that gives us “dumsor” (LIGHT OUTS)?
PATRICK: (laughs) well dumsor would have been a ghost if government gives the necessary support because Engineers hate troubles. I am in the Engineering Services department which is believed to be the real VRA because we do the thinking for the Authority. We are the consultant Engineers for Ministry of Energy, if we have to build a new hydro dam now, it is our sole responsibility. Every engineering project is done by us.
Currently I am the Upper East Regional Rep Engineer on TURNKEY project for Ministry on behalf of my authority, I do the supervision and inspection for the 547 communities in which all this project is taking place.
KA: Kindly inspire an African in a few sentences…
PATRICK: Find your passion and pursue it.
Do not give ears to naysayers and if you fail, just know that, that is the beginning of your success. All successful people have ever faced a fall.
And in the course of your struggles, remember God and fight religiously.
*The original manuscript was submitted by Akpah Prince a Ghanaian Blogger and Freelance Writer and has been edited.