Mr John Baidoo (Joe, 39) hails from Wassa Akropong. He returned home permanently in 2010 after an 11- year stay in Lorton, Virginia.
Joe was a welder in Ghana before leaving to the United States of America, where he studied to gain his certification as a mechanic, working with Fairfax Connect and Potomac Disposal Services. He bought a service truck in the States from his savings while working for these two separate entities. His initial savings were misused by trusted family members in Ghana and life became so difficult that his wife was compelled to return to the United States to enable them make ends meet.
Despite the fact that “99% of his knowledge in terms of work ethics and values” was acquired in Virginia, Joe had always had the desire to return to add to the mechanics industry in Ghana the American methods of servicing vehicles. Having experienced both worlds, he noted ‘mechanics in Lorton are so good’.
Joe travelled because he was practically living with family as a house help and the future was so bleak. He travelled with the intention of going to raise substantial capital for his personal business since it ‘was a red flag in Ghana’. Since his return back home, ‘challenges from State institutions, family and all other fronts try to suppress me but I have purposed that, that won’t stop me’ he mentioned.
His return would have been much easier if ‘the systems in Ghana were working. Why go all the way to Oyibi (a suburb in Accra) to make our cars’ roadworthy when we were alright with fixing it in Tema?’ He asked. Joe has had no support from family or friends but he stated he wasn’t expecting it in the first place.
‘I am so happy about this initiative by the DSU and I can foresee changes in the future in encouraging people to invest in Ghana.’
In advising potential returnees, Joe notes that ‘the people are not ready to work. They taunt there’s no work but when work is given to them, they aren’t ready to do it. Make up your mind that “come rain or shine”, you will stick to your decision to stay in Ghana’ he advised Ghanaians in the diaspora who want to return home to settle down.
Joe provides all-purpose servicing of tracks including; towing, fuel dispensing, automatic oil change, among others.
Mr Baidoo’s new garage site at Tema C25.