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From KNUST Through to Adjaye Associates to Yale in the Fall 2022 – Simon K. Charwey shares his journey

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Simon K. Charwey

Today, I couldn’t be more humbled and confident to announce that I have been awarded a full scholarship for a 2 year graduate program, MFA Graphic Design. My story was a zigzag one with stories within stories. But the most recent experience before my journey now to Yale is this:

When I was invited by Sir David Adjaye to join his talented team, comprising Ghanaian architects, designers, researchers, and architects from Gambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, among others in the Adjaye Associates’ Accra studio, I saw the call as both a responsibility and a privilege — as a responsibility, I felt a sense of purpose to let my works well represent the ethos and vision of Sir Adjaye, his works, and his global clients. As a privilege, I saw it as an opportunity to unlearn and relearn under the tutelage of Sir Adjaye and his team in the Accra studio, and other teams in the London and New York studios.

Looking back, I am proud to invite you to share in my joy working with the most talented team I have ever worked with after my first degree in B.A. Communication Design at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, 2010. This has prepared me best for my journey to Yale — to unlearn and relearn; to see what Yale will make out of me, and what I will make out of Yale for my home country Ghana and Africa. As Ephraim Amu rightly put it in our unofficial national anthem of Ghana (1929), “Yɛn Ara Asaase Ni” (English: “This Is Our Own Land”).

Read Also: Simon Charwey creates African Design Matters, a directory for creatives of African descent

I owe everything to design educators right from Akro Secondary Technical School (ASTS) through to KNUST, and also to the many new mentors I have divinely connected to from different parts of Africa and the rest of the world in the past decade.

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And you who had and continue to play key roles in my spiritual, professional and academic growth over the past 15 years.

“In my father’s eyes, how a person treated the most trivial and inconsequential of actions would have a lot to do with how they approached the big events in life.” AND “I have found out that in life, there will be moments that will profoundly amaze us if our eyes and hearts remain open, and we walk humbly.” — Agya Koo Nimo (Six Strings and a Note, p.28 and p.208 respectively)

Mum, I know you’re still kneeling in prayer for me. I am sad at this moment; not knowing how to leave you behind with your health condition, suffering from hypoglycemia, among other health conditions you’ve been battling with in secret.

Dad, I am happy I have been able to reconcile with you after many years. Your values (insisting on humility, hardwork, service to others) and personality as disciplinarian has finally paid off!

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Along the hard times, I was welcomed in many homes by friends parents (many fathers and mothers, heroes and heroines); I know you will continue to check on me. Special gratitude to my lovely stepmother.

Family, friends, crushes and love ones here, I know you will continue to show your support and love.
Ubuntu. “I am, because you are; and since we are therefore I am.” (John Mbiti, Kenyan-born Christian philosopher and writer)

I believe God, and that makes the difference.
Simon K. Charwey

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