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The Boy from Boadua: One African’s Journey of Hunger and Sacrifice in Pursuit of a Dream

*Available from 7 February 2023

Patrick Asare was born and raised by illiterate parents in the remote Ghanaian village of Boadua. His family was so large and impoverished that not even the earnings from crushing hard work could buy enough food to fill their bellies. No one in the village aspired to be educated beyond middle school.

Until Patrick.

Numerous obstacles stood in the way of Patrick’s yearning for higher knowledge, including gnawing hunger, lack of sleep, and backbreaking daily chores. During school vacations, he toiled in a jungle farm teeming with poisonous snakes and insects.

Dedicating every stolen moment to study, Patrick passed the common entrance exam with flying colors. Despite major setbacks, he kept his eye on the prize. He graduated from an elite secondary school and earned his engineering degree in the Soviet Union during the perestroika era. Finding his way to the United States, he taught Russian and math and eventually obtained a superb education from top American universities.

Patrick’s travels and adventures taught him that, regardless of his hardscrabble childhood, he was a lucky man. He was raised by loving and supportive parents and lived in a society where race was not an issue. Teaching in inner-city high schools alerted him to the particular challenges faced by America’s urban Black youth.

Patrick’s amazing story offers insights, hope, and inspiration to others who face astronomical odds.


“Patrick Asare’s unlikely and astonishing journey from the child of a subsistence farmer in Ghana to a successful corporate professional with a beautiful family in America is truly fascinating and awe-inspiring. This is a story of inspiration, grit and resilience that teaches all of us to continue to work toward our biggest dreams.” — Shannon Huffman Polson, author of The Grit Factor: Courage, Resilience and Leadership in the Most Male Dominated Organization in the World

“As the child of an illiterate farmer in a small village in Ghana, Patrick Asare supplemented his elementary-school education by reading newspaper fragments used to wrap fish. From there, his story just gets stranger and more inspirational. Asare’s journey takes him to the Soviet Union, where he earns a BS and becomes fluent enough to teach Russian. From there he travels to the United States, where more hard work and perseverance land him in a distinguished career in business. Should be required reading in every high school.” — John C. Shively, author of Profiles in Survival: The Experiences of American POWs in the Philippines during World War II

“Some books inspire because they help us understand and see ourselves in the kinds of challenges and decisions many of us so rarely have reason to face. Patrick Asare’s story of hard-won success offers insight into what it looks like to overcome very real fears and incredible hurdles in life — with courage, optimism, perseverance, and love.” — David Garrison, CEO, Climate & Capital Connect

“Patrick Asare’s jaw-dropping coming-of-age story reads like a Dickensian Bildungsroman. A sterling example of the places courage, love, hard work, and a strong will to succeed can take you. Compelling reading.” — Abena Birago Addo-Kumi, chair of the Department of English, Achimota School, Accra, Ghana

Weight 0.65 kg




Year Published





Patrick Asare


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