DOCUMENTARY : A story of tragedies & dedication – How Dr. Andani Kholinar rose from sour ashes to bag U.S Ph.D

Hundreds of social media users over the weekend poured out heartwarming congratulatory messages to one of Ghana’s newest U.S-based Ph.D holders, Dr. Andani Kholinar for overcoming the difficulties of his life to bag a doctorate from a U.S top university.

The PhD holder narrated his tumultuous childhood which was affected by the Dagomba-Konkomba war that saw his family on the move, leaving their first home behind to settle in Tamale. The full story is attached.

Dr. Anadani Kholinar bagged a doctoral in English from Texas A&M University having completed his undergrad studies in the University of Ghana where he graduated as the overall Best student in English after completing GHANASCO in Tamale.

Formerly known as Umar Farouk, Dr. Kholinar used the occasion of his PhD to announce his new name to his friends and family.

Read his story below:

On Friday, June 5th, I successfully defended my dissertation for a doctoral degree in English at Texas A&M University. It has been a long and arduous road but I am grateful that I have made it to the end of the road on my formal education. Or at least a portion of it. As they say, one never stops learning and as a lover of letters, I have a lot more to learn even if my learning going forward will not necessarily be targeted at acquiring a formal degree.

A confluence of mishaps, tragedies, immense love and dedication is the reason why I am here today. Foremost of this love and dedication is that of my mother’s. I was born in Sang to a family that traces it’s roots to Naa Andani Sigli of the late 17th century Dagbon Kingdom. Our family patriarch was one Naa Andani’s sons who ascended to the Sang namship. That is why today I am adopting that name. I want to be identifiable by my Dagbanli heritage. So Andani Kholinar is my new name. But I digress. I spent a short but happy childhood in a small farming hamlet called Kusheli as my father moved there with his uncle to start their own farming community. I have the honor of being the first child of the village which my heart still yearns for. But the first of the misfortunes (the Dagbamba-Kokomba conflict) displaced my family to Tamale and that is how I was put in school at the local Islamic primary in Jisonayili, a suburb of Tamale (which houses the rest of my childhood memories).

I went on to Kanvili Roman Catholic Junior High School (where I broke my arm climbing mango trees…second mishap… which again spurred me to work harder in school), Ghana Senior High School (GHANASCO, Tamale), School Without Walls, DC (high school exchange year), University of Ghana (B.A English—Political Science minor—best graduating student in English), and finally Texas A&M (Ph.D).

Throughout my life, I have always been blessed to meet many good hearted people who for one reason or another believed in my potential and helped me along the way in both material and immaterial support. Today is the day for all of them. And I promise to pay it forward in the next chapter of my life.

Source: Zoure/2020

Please send us your articles for publication via


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *