The life stories of most stars are the epitome of ‘grass to grace’ stories. Often, these celebrities are born into highly unfavourable conditions. However, sheer willpower and abnormal sacrifices become a huge part of their life, and they end up becoming icons of global appeal.

It’s never easy, especially if you have no one to look up to! Kudos to all the celebrities who have been able to climb to higher heights despite conditions which indicated that they were bound to fail.


“The lizard that jumped from a high iroko tree to the ground said that he would praise himself if no one else did” – Chinua Achebe.

But the good news is that the lizard won’t have to praise itself because this time, others have seen and appreciate its efforts. These celebrities grew up in the ghetto:

Stephen Appiah


The story of the former Black Stars skipper is one of the most inspiring. He was born and raised in Chorkor, a fishing community in Accra. However, he didn’t allow his status as a ghetto boy to discourage him. In fact, the challenges he went through as a child is responsible for equipping him with the charisma and can-do spirit that he is known for.

He kept hustling and went on to feature for Juventus and Fenerbache. Under his leadership, the Black Stars secured its maiden appearance at the World Cup in 2006.

Christian Atsu

The Newcastle United FC winger didn’t have life easy at all. He was born in Accra and said in an interview that things were so hard for his family to the extent that at a very young age, he had to resort to selling sachet (pure) water in order to support his family. He has featured for clubs like FC Porto and Chelsea FC.



Pictures of his hustling days have been making waves all over social media. However, he rose to the challenge and is presently regarded as one of the richest musicians in Ghana, if not Africa.

Osei Kwame Despite

During an interview, Kennedy Agyapong revealed why Osei Kwame is referred to as ‘Despite’. According to Kennedy Agyapong, the name ‘Despite’ resulted as a result of Osei Kwame’s resolve to make it in life ‘despite’ the fact that he had received little formal education.

Despite was born in a Wiamoase in the Ashanti Region. Life didn’t smile on him, but he turned the bricks life threw at him into a building material. In order to make ends meet, he started selling merchandise such as; music cassettes, padlocks, feeding bottles as well as anything that was ‘moving’.

However, he had his sights set on the higher calling and is presently the CEO of Despite Group of Companies.

Kennedy Ohene Agyapong

“The boy from Assin Dompem”. Sharing his life experience, he recounted occasions, where his mates mocked him because, by the time he gets to school (Adisadel College), he would have picked up a lot of dust due to long hours of walking and his uniform would change colour; from black and white to ‘kokonte’.

Presently, he is regarded as one of the richest men in Ghana and owns the largest cold store in West Africa. He also owns over 100 houses and Kencity Media.

Gifty Anti

The respected broadcaster and feminist had to squeeze the best out of life literally. She was born in Tema in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Though brilliant she was needy, and so in her early days, she engaged in hawking and CARPENTRY works to earn a living.

However, the hustle and ghetto life paid off, and she is presently enjoying the fruit of her toils.

Joseph Siaw Agyepong

The owner of Zoomlion Company Ltd, the premier waste management company in Ghana, didn’t have it easy when he was growing up.

He was born on March 20, 1971 in Assin-Amoabeng in the Central Region. He was initially named Felix by his mother, but due to what he went through as a child, he, later on, changed his name to Joseph.

At the age of 22, while his peers were at school, Joseph will go to his mother’s shop very early in the morning, pack exercise books in boxes and hawk the books on his head through the busy streets of Accra. He was persistent in his endeavor and soon, Agyepong sold enough books and gathered enough cash to invest in his own business, Jospong Printing Press in 1995……the rest as we assay, is history.

Presently, his company, Jospong Group of Companies operates in Africa, Asia and in the Middle East. Some of the subsidiaries within the Jospong group include; C A Nzema Oil, Great Consolidated Diamond, J.A Quarry, J.A Plant Pool Limited, J.A Vehicle Assembly Plant, Jubilee Tractors, J.A Spare Parts, Union Savings and Loans et al.


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