He used to be a watchman, but he was able to turn his life around and now is on the verge of receiving two Doctorate degrees in Business Management and Management.
Apart from this high academic achievement, he is the proud author of the book, You failed, so what?
Mr Tetteh Nettey started working as a watchman when he was in his teens.
He said during those years he did not understand the essence of education.
According to him when he was young nobody ever told him that devoting one’s time to serious studies was part of the process of passing examinations.
Consequently, he attended school only because he had to and completed basic education with very low grades.
Those grades, however, still earned him admission to a secondary school.
While in secondary school, he still wasn’t serious because he didn’t like the subjects he was made to study and so he played truant until he finally changed his school, as well as the subjects.
One would have thought that after changing schools, Young Nettey would be content and show seriousness with his studies.
But that was not to be, for in the new school also he attended classes as and when he liked because during that time, he was working as an auto mechanic with a construction company, Construction Pioneers.
Obviously, he was more interested in the money he made than in his education.
With time, the inevitable happened! Young Nettey finally dropped out of school so that he could have more time to work and earn some money to take care of his mum and his two siblings.
Although he was no longer in school, he still had plans for a better life some day. One of the things he loved doing most was to daydream about the future. So it came as no surprise when, one day, he was fired for what his boss described as “day-dreaming on the job”.
“My boss said as an auto mechanic it was not acceptable to sit and stare into empty space, as we were working with machines,” he recollected smiling.
Fortunately for Young Nettey, he was employed again in the same company, but this time, interestingly, he was engaged in a position where he could do all the day-dreaming he desired as a watchman.
In his new role, however, he discovered a whole new world which motivated him to cultivate the habit of reading. That was because he had a lot of free time and he read magazines to keep him occupied.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to see what God has in store for us when our world crumbles as we go through hardships. But what we should always remember is that when one door closes, another one opens.
“That new job was the turning point in my life. As I read a magazine one day, I asked myself: ‘Why don’t I study for a certificate?’ and that was how God turned my life around.
“There and then I decided to study for my General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level as a private candidate, since I was not in school.
“I studied hard and wrote the examination and went ahead to register for the GCE Advanced Level as well.
What amazes me is how I was able to write the two examinations in just 1 year 9 months, instead of the usual 7 years.
That was how determined I was,” Mr Nettey said with a huge smile.
The future was bright for Mr Nettey and things started going well for him. While waiting for the GCE ‘A’ Level results, he enrolled as a long-distance education student to study Law.
His days as a watchman
Unfortunately, he lost his job as a watchman because he failed to open the gate for his boss in good time because he was so engrossed in a textbook he was reading.
Not long afterwards, he failed in all four subjects in his distance-education examination in Law. And that was why he wrote the book; You failed, so what?
Unperturbed, however, he applied and got admitted to the newly established Central University College in 1998 to study Human Resource Management, while he also applied for a job as a security man in the same university.
At the university, life was not easy for him because it was unusual for a student to be working as a security man in the same school he or she attends. As a result of that, most of the students found it difficult to accept him.
Mr Nettey said they called him all sorts of names, such as Gate man, Watchman and so on but all that did not bother him because he needed the income from that job to pay his fees and take care of other bills.
Later, he became the envy of some of his mates, since he was able to pay his fees which were deducted at source by the university. Most of his mates, however, were not allowed to write examinations because they had defaulted in the payment of their fees.
He worked as the university’s security man throughout the four years that he studied at the university college.
Following completion of the course, Nettey was appointed acting Public Relations Officer of the university college and two years later, he was made the Admissions Officer of the Central University College.
He later enrolled at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Adminstration (GIMPA) to study for a Master of Business Administration degree in Entrepreneurship.
“As the Admissions Officer, I realised that I could help students enter the university because I saw the strengths and weaknesses in their applications and that was when the idea of setting up the Meridian Pre-University was nurtured,” he said.
Mr Nettey is profoundly grateful to his wife, Genevieve, who helped him to set up the pre-university.
He said he started the pre-university with 20 students and surprisingly God always added four students to the number each day.
The Meridian Pre-University is an educational institution accredited by the West African Examinations Council and awards diplomas to students at the end of their programmes.
He later established the Marshalls College, a degree awarding tertiary institution which is accredited by the National Accreditation Board and affiliated to the University of Cape Coast.
Mr Nettey who is in his mid 40s and his wife have three children; Grandsir, 10, Lynnette, eight and Giovanni, three.