From his early years growing up in the Ashanti region of Ghana, to now inspiring the youth through teaching, leadership and management in the British Army, Emmanuel Asumadu-Aboagye is certainly an interesting man.
Emmanuel is a Ghanaian born Sergeant Major Instructor in Gunnery in the British Army, and has been a part of the Armed Forces for 13 years.
He grew up in Manpong, part of the Ashanti region of Ghana, before moving to Kumasi at a very young age. Educated at Minnesota International School in Kumasi, before attending Junior High Secondary in Manpong, and then Konongo Odumase Senior High School before the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, teaching, learning and education are at the core of Emmanuel’s life.
Emmanuel completed his BSc in Mathematics, majoring in Mathematical Economics in 2006, and during his course, he used to holiday in the UK with family and friends from December 2004 onwards.
While at University, he met his now-wife, Patricia, who was studying Sociology and Social Science. They married in December 2007, and she is now a teacher, holding her Masters degree in teaching.
It was after finishing his degree that Emmanuel decided to join the British Army, and on the 3rd September 2007, he started his basic training at Pirbright.
“I loved the Army, and even if I hadn’t moved to the UK I still would’ve joined, because I loved the discipline and the way that the army transforms people,” explained Emmanuel.
“It gives you that extra confidence that gets you through things. A lot of things enticed me, but mainly the discipline and confidence from being a part of the military.”
After his basic training, he completed his Trade Training at Larkhill, before being posted to Germany as part of the 3rd Royal Horse Artillery based in Hohne on the 6th June 2008.
Patricia joined him in Germany until 2015, when following rebasing, the German Barracks disbanded and they moved back to Newcastle.
“While I was there I was selected to attend the Royal Artillery Premier Course, which was the Gunnery Career Course in 2018. I had to move back down to Larkhill with my family to attend the 1 year long course.
“I passed with flying colours and got the privilege to be employed within the Artillery Commands Systems branch as a SMIG – Sergeant Major Instructor in Gunnery.”
Emmanuel has 3 daughters, Ines (10), Solace (6) and Lois (3) and now teaches how to use the radios in the Army, communications, and how to become detachment commanders.
“This is not like basic training, it’s more the educative side of teaching.”
He currently works under a Master Gunner, which he hopes to become in the future.
“Being part of the army has changed me a lot. It has given me that moral compass to be able to carry out my duties at work and at home, and even the extracurricular activities I do outside of work to help the country,” Emmanuel stated, smiling.
“It has transformed me completely and made me a better person, and I am enjoying it. That is as a result of the core values and standards that we uphold in the Army.”
The old African adage, ‘Education Is The Key To Success’ is key in everything that Emmanuel believes in. “My parents used to tell me this, no matter what you do, educate yourself.”
“I always want to develop myself, make myself better to compete with the best, and in order to do that I sacrificed my free time to go away and do courses.
“All of the awards I have are result of me going away to do things in my own time to upgrade myself, because the army is very, very competitive.”
He also takes part in a lot of charity work, volunteering with Trinity YMCA and Arms around the Child, while being an ambassador for Violent Crime Prevention Board UK.
“All of these charities are about championing the youth,” continued Emmanuel. “My best friend Christian Atsu who plays for Newcastle, is an Ambassador for Arms Around The Child, and we are trying to change the narratives of what is there and what we can do to redefine these kids.
“We go around speak to them, act as role models, doing Skype calls, educating and mentoring. We work closely with the Metropolitan police as well, and especially the Cadets that are going through police training.”
Emmanuel is proud to be an inspiration to his Commonwealth brothers and sisters, as achieving what he has in such a short time within the Army is nothing short of incredible.
At a recent outreach programme in Ipswich, Emmanuel was taking questions from the children, many of whom were saying that they thought the army was racist.
“I told them that there is racism everywhere as we have seen, but it's all about how you compose yourself and conduct yourself and how you do things. If I've been able to do it then you can do it too.”
Emmanuel says that he feels he has brought a lot of diversity to the Army, and is proud to have brought his knowledge to support his subordinates and colleagues.
“I have taught mathematics to soldiers in Afghanistan when I was deployed out there. When it wasn't busy I volunteered to go to the education centre to teach mathematics and English.”
Emmanuel is himself just finishing another degree, this time in Education and Professional Development at Huddersfield University, paid for by the Army.
“The army is the best place to be, as it gives young people the opportunity to find their talents, and to educate themselves, as there are people that join with no qualifications but by the time they leave they have a load.”
His journey to SMIG has been a speedy and impressive one, and for the dedicated family man and proud Ghanaian, the only way is up from here.