#Disrupters: Meet The 19 Year Old Ghanaian School Dropout Who Makes a Living Writing Code

A few weeks ago, while we recorded Josiah (Co-founder, iSpace) on the 6th episode of Agbogbloshie, I was privileged to meet a young man who would eventually inspire me to write this piece.

While Josiah spoke on some of the amazing stuff iSpace was doing, he made mention of a young 19-year-old called Suleiman who built a few of their current webs apps in the shortest possible time. I had to speak with him, I just had to!

Meet Suleiman, the first story in our Disruption series.

Background

Suleiman: My name is Suleiman Ampo Mohammed, a Senior high School dropout of Saint Thomas Aquinas S.H.S (Keep reading, don’t judge me yet).

Why Coding?

Suleiman: Computing or coding was never something I ever thought I’d be able to do until I went for a tech conference early 2014. The conference focused on building interactive systems (Web/Mobile apps). I met a lot of tech enthusiasts and developers, and eventually got to meet the gentleman who taught me how to code and that’s where it all began…

What happened next?

Suleiman: Soon after that program, I caught wind of open registrations for those who wanted to learn to build web/mobile apps. Sadly I couldn’t pay for the course, because yeah you guessed right, it was too expensive at the moment. So I started saving, in hopes that I could apply the next year.

Josiah, Suleiman & Samuel | Credit: @jkeyison (Twitter)

The Start of the iSpace Journey

Suleiman: Sometime in May 2015, I came across an ad online about iSpace sponsoring 5 students who couldn’t afford the opportunity to take part in their coding school. As an optimist that I always am, I applied with fingers crossed. A week later, I got a call informing me that I had been selected and was to start the next day. That has been the best day of my life thus far.

CrossRoads

Suleiman: Upon getting this offer, I knew I had a huge decision to make. I was at a crossroad. I had to choose between quitting school and neglecting my coding scholarship that I had just graciously gotten. I knew I couldn’t juggle both.  But with much thought about this, my mind was made up, since I never really liked my course in school anyway. I just felt the good vibes coming from this new opportunity I had found so I decided to learn how to code and build web apps. I haven’t looked back ever since!

The Journey So Far

Suleiman: I joined iSpace late 2015 as an intern and worked mostly on perfecting my craft as a developer. Somewhere early 2016 I got a full job offer to be a software developer for the company. I built 3 web apps within 5 months as some of my first projects:

I went on to build some other great stuff too…

The journey has been amazing. The zeal at iSpace encourages you to learn and do more. Do I regret quitting school? Not really – I’m making some good money being a developer so that’s justifiable. But this is not to advise others to quit school. If you do have the opportunity, please finish school and graduate.

What Languages do you code in?

Suleiman: I do a lot of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Golang and occasionally Python.

Footprints of this Journey

Suleiman: I’ve enjoyed my adventure of learning, building and lots of failing. I’m also looking to do more and having more languages under my belt. I started as an intern and now I’m coaching and teaching people how to Code. Somewhat of a blessing.

Like the saying goes “I’m like fine wine. I get better with age” (Suleiman, 2017)

The best is yet to come.


Stories like Suleiman’s inspire us. So many awesome Ghanaians doing amazing stuff in their own corners. We really couldn’t be more proud of Suleiman and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Get in touch with Suleiman:

If you have any more stories like these, we’d be happy to feature them. Email me: [email protected]

Writer, Coder, Tech enthusiast, Digital comms honcho, Music lover, Smooth talker, All-round fun guy - I am the Stig! Email: [email protected]

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