"Samuella has always worked diligently and passionately. I have no doubts that her research into Kayaye will be informative and expository. I anticipate a thorough and an illuminating work which will transform our views on Kayaye and how to formulate better policies and initiatives for these girls.  I also have no doubts that Samuela will contribute with her wealth of talent and friendliness in fostering an auspicious and wholistic SFU study space and essentially a worthy alumnus."

- Masmadi Jehu-Appiah 

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Student Profile: Samuella Appiah

September 16, 2021
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Sociology master's student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies from Lancaster University with a major in Business management. I am currently a Masters student at SFU studying sociology. Though from a very different academic background, the study of sociology has been of huge interest considering our world today. To me, it is a quintessence of truly understanding the drastic differences and nuances of our world. Outside of academics, I am a gamer girl who enjoys particularly open world games and also enjoys all genres of music. Again, writing is an enjoyable leisure activity I happily engage in.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I chose to attend SFU because gaining a degree from one of the most prestigious and esteemed universities in Canada will be an opportunity to advance my knowledge and professional outgrowth and also add to the development of strengthening the values of human rights and fundamental freedoms by contributing to the development of democracy in my country.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

My research surrounds labour migration particularly among women but on a local level. Of particular interest to me is working with “Kayayei” women in Ghana. The Kayayei are typically younger women and oftentimes unskilled migrants from rural northern Ghana in search of jobs in the south. They serve as head porters of goods in major market centers in the south where it is believed to be the place of opportunities. The rural areas from which the Kayayei hail are usually places of abject poverty and evidence suggests that there is a high trend in the migration of young teenage girls and young women in the quest to find a better life. Throughout their work, it is usual that Kayayei women are hassled by police and city authorities and also exploited by their patrons. There is also an exploitation of women by women in the Kayayei world and this is due to the prevalence of female clients harassing these female porters. Unfortunately, the jobs which suit these women are the kind that tend to leave them abused, malnourished and sometimes with kids they find challenges to cater for. My research aims to investigate the motivations that influence Kayayei women to migrate from the North to the South, to find out why is the Kayayei business mostly dominated by women and why they gear toward it regardless of the risks involved, the socio-economic challenges that face Kayayei women in Ghana, to find out if governmental aids and health systems made available to these women and how efficient they are and finally to find out how the living conditions of these women be improved.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

The diversity. Meeting a wide range of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds and gaining new perspectives as well as the support from all my supervisors peers and staff.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

I have been awarded Graduate Scholarship by the Graduate Studies Committee

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE?

Prior to beginning your application, gather a list of ideas for your prospective research. Filter out the one which best suits your interests and to somewhat level resonates with you. Reach out to the experts who could potentially be your supervisor for guidance and adhere to every advice given-Also ask questions! Once this has been satisfied, take ownership of your entire application. Treat it as though it is a new start up of which you are the CEO. Be positive, patient and enjoy the process.

 

Contact : samuella_appiah@sfu.ca

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