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Portia, First Female SRC President Of Accra Poly   
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Determined to be an inspiration to her fellow ladies and students at Accra Polytechnic, Portia Kwarteng defied all odds and has made history as the first female Student Representative Council (SRC) President of the school.

The 22-year old Marketing student beat two other male contenders to win the SRC Presidential elections.

Management and Students of the school have all been impressed by the change and history that was made in the male dominated office.

Narrating her road to victory, Portia told Weekend Finder that she stood for the position basically to motivate her colleagues. 

“I realised that all the ladies were contesting for the women’s commissioner and secretary positions. I’m not saying contesting for such positions are bad or not a good platform but I really felt we ladies could do more than that and I also recognize that I could do something about the current situation in the school. 

So far as I am able to get there it will be a motivation not only to the ladies but the men as well.

“With my stature, many assumed that I may not be able to win the SRC President position so I wanted people to look at me and say ‘look at how smallish she is. If she has been able to come this far then I can be whatever I want to be so far as I can push.

“So basically that was where the motivation started from. I wanted to inspire someone and change their mindsets about the status quo to come up and do something extraordinary.”

Portia was initially contesting with six guys but due to Grade-Point Average (GPA) issues, the number was slashed to three (two guys and herself). After vetting, Portia stood tall among the men.

Asked if she knew she was really going to win the elections or she was just trying to see what would happen, Portia said “It was two options for me-if I win I’m good if I don’t win I’m good and life goes on. The desire was to win, the focus was to win but I didn’t have a mindset of winning at all cost since it was politics and the least you take things to heart the better.”

Recalling how the campaign went, she said campaigning was not easy and took many faces, adding “it didn’t go the normal campaigning way in schools where you all campaign, read manifestoes and all that; we had court issues and for about six months, the issue was going back and forth in court. Sometimes voting days are announced and after the news is circulated students get ready to vote only to be presented with another injunction letter. It happened again and again for like four times then we later had a go ahead for voting.”

When Weekend Finder asked what made her to go through the back and forth without giving up, Portia said she had come too far to quit so quitting was not part of her options which paid off at long last.

After winning the elections on the day all I did was to thank God, I really did not go round jubilating. I sat quietly and decided to pick the calls that came through and reply the congratulatory messages that came; I did that because previous winners I had congratulated in the past never replied or said thank you. Secondly, I didn’t want to come across as though I have become bossy because I had won the elections.

The vision and message that won her the elections was “leadership simplified”. She explained that most people think if you are a leader you are the boss but in actual fact it should be the other way round you should be the servant and put the people you are serving first because they took you there and so it’s important you make them feel important.

She told the paper that she believes the personal relationship she built with people was what helped her win the election. “I didn’t do mass campaign. I did one on one campaigning which turned out to be very effective.” 

Even though the school has some challenges and her period of reign has been shortened by the prolong court case the elections were held and Miss Kwarteng is looking forward to raising some standards in the school. Within a short period, she is in the process of renovating the basketball court and increasing the water storage capacity for the school’s washrooms.

Additionally, she is looking forward to getting a plant for the school; two of the projects she said have been approved by the school’s management and would be taking off next week.

Asked what mark she would be leaving at Accra Polytechnic, she said she wants to leave a lasting impression on the individual “where the individual will look at all the things I have done and say ‘I will also be able to make it’, where the individual will be able to think outside the box and push for something extraordinary.”

She said the school’s management has been very helpful and supportive so far. We have sat to discuss issues of concern to the school and I think when you have good ideas they will support you.

Born to Mr Emmanuel Kwarteng and Madam Evelyn Banford, MsPortia is the first of four children. She attended Akosombo International School, moved on to Okwapeman Senior High and then to Accra Polytechnic.

She said her parents have been very helpful and they respect her decisions.

She said growing up was vey educative since she stayed in the boarding house most of her life.

As a result, self development was left to her which gave her the chance to learn from her mistakes and that of others.

Also boarding school gave her the opportunity to learn from people with diverse backgrounds and it has really improved her relationship with people.

Portia looks forward to being an entrepreneur; own a fashion line and become a professional musician as well.

Portia who loves and enjoys singing together with a choir told the Weekend Finder that she has written seven songs and looking forward to producing them.

She also has a passion for fashion and has had the opportunity to do internships in that area.  

For her advice to young ladies, Portia had this to say, “It is very important to listen to your intuition and be focused on the things you want to do. Thinking outside the box is a must and ladies must all strive to d extraordinary things and don’t get scared of trying things that are predominantly for men.”
Source: The Finder

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