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Defying Odds, Philanthropist Rudolph Donald Lee

Every year we get thousands of foreigners trooping into Africa for various reasons, some for sight-seeing and many others for business purposes. Many come and go back without establishing contacts with the locals for onward interactions and possible support. It is an established fact that many foreign nationals including blacks from the developed worlds are with different mindsets about Africa and its people. Trust issues are paramount which sucks out empathy from many therefore making them blind and nonchalant to the many sufferings they see when in Africa. I do not blame them much considering the history of blackmails, kidnapping, internet fraud and many other associated crimes that the few recalcitrant Africa brothers have long subjected foreign nationals to, and the many that fall gullible to these scams not only lose a lot but develop and spread hatred and mistrust for Africans.

I personally had this established mindset about the stern nature of most foreign nationals and their unwillingness to support locals whenever they are on the African soil until I met one Donald Rudolph Lee early this year. He is a Jamaican but based in Canada for the good part of his life. Mr. Donald came into Africa, Ghana early this year (2019) with his friend who is resident in Canada but from Ghana and a sub Chief in one of the communities. During his short stay, he established contacts with several struggling young men he did interact with at the almost completed apartment where he Donald and his friend who owned the building under construction stayed. Mr Donald promised to support the young promising laborers in his own little way. He got to find out that some of them were doing that job to be able to raise money to pay up their fees and survival purposes.  I was part of the many young people he met. He met me in brief at Kumasi after interacting with me, all he did say was that, I have a very young face on a tall body…. Haha we exchanged contacts and for the first time he told me he was Jamaican but residing in Canada and that he will get connected with me after he gets back home. After that interaction  I gave a sigh saying that was all for me, he is gone and gone for good, he was never going to call back but hey that was not going to be the case with Donald. Donald did get into contact with me immediately he landed home, he did do family video call with me, I was so glad. At that moment, I took him to be a man of his words. We conversed on several topics including religion, history and a whole lot of disciplines. Mr. Donald pricks you to learn further through his many debate topics. It was through these our conversations that I got to know he actually had taken contacts of several other youths he met in Ghana, and even further went ahead to adopt some as his own. One day I shared a project on a book donation exercise we were to organize which required money, this was to test him to see whether he was going to keep mute and probably block me. No, Rudolph proved otherwise, in the matter of some few weeks, he arranged and actually sent our organization money that was enough to buy good books and finance the whole event. Ever since then, he uses me as a point of contact to distribute money to his beneficiaries for expenses like feeding, school fees, exams fees, drugs and general upkeep. He stayed true to his words. His persona is rare, he has this large heart that empathizes with people in genuine hardships. I asked him one day what work he does and truly, he isn’t a billionaire but a normal middle working class man with several dependents but yet  is able to squeeze thousands of Canadian dollars from time to time to support his many benefactors in Ghana. Through his relentless efforts, he has supported people in animal production, sale of goods and services, supporting seamstress to sew and expand their business and several other ventures running all because of his generosity. He has this ideology that I totally concur to, he says ‘’When you feed a man with fish whenever he goes hungry, you are doing him no good because he will find his way back to you whenever he is hungry but when you buy him a hook and lime and teach him how to fish, he will be dependent on that for the rest of his life’’ this clearly demonstrates helping people to venture into businesses of their  choice so as to make meaningful incomes, no wonder he has succeeded and encouraged many to venture into business including animal rearing, electrical  sales and services, retail and wholesale of sandals, seamstress expansion then many others. I see Donald as a daring and adventurous philanthropist with a clean heart because he was advised on several occasions by friends to shun supporting businesses because of the dubious idiosyncratic mistrust associated with most Ghanaians that is most often not the case.

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The lesson I seek to convey from this brief write up seeks to demonstrate that we still have genuine people outside there, you do not have to be a billionaire before you can help your fellow humans in dire need. The world will be a better place to live if we all stretch out a willing and helping hand. Nobody can help everyone but everyone can help somebody in their little ways. In the bible, it was Jesus who praised the Widow for sharing her bit as offering. It’s ardent that to thrive in oneness us humans, we stretch a hand and reach out just like Rudolph Lee.  In Africa, Ghana we are not fortunate to have the many opportunities that you have in the developed worlds, though we are trying hard to create opportunities for ourselves not solely relying on government. Reach out to us and support us with prayers, opportunities, scholarship opportunities, partnerships, mentoring and any other venture that promises to prove productive. The actions and works of Mr. Rudolph Donald Lee and several other people who are genuinely helping others in their little ways constitute the true beauty of humanity and Ubuntu (I am because we are).




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