Afi Délali TCHEVI
TCHEVI is a name that is given to twins, so Afi Délali believes one of her ancestors was a twin. Afi is the name given to Ewé girls that are born on a Friday, and Délali means “God is there”.
Afi Délali wants to become a lawyer. She has noticed that when there is a case between a rich person and a poor person, the rich person always wins; she wants to be a lawyer that will help poor people. To become a lawyer, she first has to finish high school and pass the end-of-high school national exam. Then, she’ll have to get a law degree to become a lawyer.
Afi Délali’s parents have been separated for 13 years; her father kicked her mother and her mother’s children out of his house. Délali’s father still lives in the same village as Délali, but he has taken another wife and has no desire to see Délali or her other siblings. Délali is one of 6 children (4 girls and 2 boys). She is the only daughter in her family who has gone to school; all 3 of her sisters already have at least one child of their own. Her younger brother is her only other sibling that has gone to school. None of her older siblings have gone to school because there wasn’t any money. When her parents were still together, her dad was in the military; he lost his job and said that he wouldn’t pay for his children to go to school anymore. Afi Délali’s mother doesn’t have stable work, but sometimes she works in a field; mother never went to school, but is very happy that Afi Délali has stayed in school.
Before becoming a Pathways Scholar, Afi Délali paid for school by an uncle who moved to the US and would sometimes send money back to her.
Afi Délali’s favorite subjects in school are physics and biology. Her class at school has 63 students, only 9 of whom are girls. There aren’t any female teachers at her school.
Afi Délali’s aunt has taunted Afi’s mother by saying that none of the girls in Afi’s family would succeed, and only the aunt’s daughters would succeed. Afi has felt a personal responsibility to prove her aunt wrong and make her mother proud. Afi’s places such a high value on her education that she said she would rather starve than give up her education; if she had to choose between paying for food and paying for school, she would choose to pay for school (direct quote: “Je vais continuer mes études, meme si je n’arrive pas à manger”).