The proverbial saying that, success is not attained on a silver platter has once again been proven true by Chief Godfred Medicine, the founder and leader of the United Shepherd Group of Companies (U.S Group of Companies). Chief Medicine hails from the Volta Region of Ghana. Like the biblical Joseph, he was sold into slavery, but this unfortunate situation in no way hampered his resolve to become the inspiration for the oppressed, food for the hungry, hope to the hopeless, and employment to the unemployed. The name ‘Medicine’, which he said simply stood for the image of God, was given to him by a Dutch missionary who ferried across the Volta lake immunising the natives against various water borne diseases.
The Chief Executive Officer of the fast growing U.S group of Companies, a Ghanaian based amalgam of various subsidiary step-ups, who is equally an author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, took me through his childhood ordeal of being sold into slavery at a tender age of six by his biological mother; the reason(s), he described as purely monetary.
At the age of 16, he had the opportunity to escape from his slave masters and made it back home to enrol in basic school. Out of sheer determination and persistence, he undertook the various classes he had to go through though he was far advanced in age. He sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and passed in flying colours, but unfortunately for him, he couldn’t raise the needed money for a Secondary education at the time in question.
He resorted to farming and fishing with the aim of raising enough money to complete his education, and fortune finally seemed to smile at him. Via radio, he got to know about the admissions going at at Tsiame Secondary School. He made the attempt and was eventually admitted to continue with his Secondary education. Still impoverished, Medicine skipped classes on Fridays; and in addition to Saturdays and Sundays, he virtually devoted these days to fishing and farming in order to raise enough money for his up-keep throughout the week. Such was the nature of his struggle.
On the issue of what really motivated him to shoulder all these challenges, he opined “I was made a mature person before I began thinking for myself…I think beyond my age…because I was brought up by an elderly woman(grandmother), such was the thinking pattern…I am not limited to one particular thing… Christ was my role model.”
Upon graduation, Medicine had the opportunity to work for a man who afterwards brought him to Accra for his sheer demonstration of a “spirit of hard work.” This was the foundation that birthed the formation of his own company. In Accra, has was taught how to bake bread, and ventured into bread baking. In addition to that, he worked as a Babysitter and subsequently gained employment at a Day Care Centre for children. Still craving for more, the hardworking Medicine worked evening jobs as a Cleaner/ Security personnel for the Village Inn restaurant at Abelenkpe, a suburb of Accra.
An obvious proponent of the multiple streams of income theory, he yet again tried his hands at tilapia and charcoal trading businesses.
The established entrepreneur, who attributes his successes to God, vehemently bemoans what he describes as the Ghanaian attitude of always believing that they should be shareholders one way or the other in the success stories of others’. Medicine believes that such a mind-set persists due to bad leadership, but insists that Ghanaians should begin to see themselves as masters of their own destiny. He equally advised against the belief that life is rosier outside the shores of Africa, the pursuit of which has landed a great many in dubious situations.