Personal life

On a more personal note, MTN, as he is colloquially called, is a Christian, born and raised in a Catholic family.  He currently worships at St. James Catholic Church in Osu. He is a lover of Dancehall music, a passionate reader, and a consummate writer, with a vivid interest in business, information and communication technology, and environmental issues.

Bringing hope despite all else is MTN’s unique way of bringing out the best in all, and especially in all students, which he so passionately served.

MTN is very humorous, interesting, and keeps good company.

Early life and education

He was born on Monday 17th April 1995 in Ve-Golokuati into a very humble family.  

Martin Thompson Ntem, spent the first few years of his life with his mother, Ayirebi Sarah, at Hohoe, and later moved to Dzodze to live with a family friend, who imbued him with a strong passion for business. Whiles still in basic school, Martin Thompson Ntem had done many businesses with his newly found mother; the late Charity Adugu, including selling koko, and ice water, managing a coca-cola depot and being in charge of her cement store, just to mention a few between the ages of 8 to 15.  He used to say jokingly there is hardly any legal business that he hadn’t done.

He received his elementary education at Dzodze Central J.H.S, where he began a susu project for his classmates. His trustworthiness made him take charge of every money on campus.

As the Assistant School Prefect, he was the one to sell any book that was brought for sale and would keep the money until the sellers came back. As a leading member of the drama and cultural troupe in his school, he had represented his school and district on at least two occasions.

He completed J.H.S in 2010 and was enlisted in his Circuit amongst the beneficiaries of the President’s Independence Day Award and later attended the Kpando Senior High in Kpando.

From 2013 to 2015 while in Kpasec, he published his first hand-out on ‘Answering Literature Questions’ to assist non-art students especially, to pass their Literature- in- English exam questions.

He was a strong debater, poet, and spoken word artist and has represented his house and school in several competitions. He was also a member of the school choir.

Martin Thompson Ntem again introduced his Susu Savings and loan initiative where students saved their monies with him and took them when going home during vacations. He also lent the same monies to students who didn’t have money to travel back home when school vacates.

Photography was another thing that put money in his pocket whiles in senior high school.

In 2014, kind courtesy of his brother Mr. Vincent Adzato-Ntem and his wife, Martin got admission to the Ghana Institute of Journalism to study for his Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Having specialized in journalism, Martin had had the opportunity to intern with some finest media organizations in Ghana.

Martin on his BA Graduation in July 2018

In 2020, he graduated with a Master of Art in Media Management from the School of Graduate Studies in the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

Martin writing an exams at GIJ Graduate School. Photo Credit. Abel G.
Martin on his MA Graduation in March 2020

In 2022 Martin Thompson Ntem graduated with a Master of Philosophy in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Education Wenneba.

Martin at his Mphil Graduation on March 30, 2022

Martin is now a Doctoral Researcher at the University of South Africa.

Early Career as Entrepreneur

After completing his Secondary education in 2013, the realities of life dawned on him. He had no one but God to rely on.

His plans to escape the routine of working for people after SHS failed. Martin Thompson Ntem had a business plan of starting his own publication; a Magazine for basic school students but had no money to start.

He later accepted an offer from a family friend to work in his credit transfer and phone repairs shop and was paid Gh60 monthly as of July 2013.

Martin Thompson Ntem who needed Gh1,000 to start his business would have to settle for Gh60 a month. As an entrepreneur, he quickly found an opportunity to make extra money from the shop kind courtesy of the laptop he bought from his photography business back in SHS.

It was simply the business of selling music to the village folks. He would sell a memory chip to you and load it with music at a cool price. He also began typing for organizations and schools with his laptop. Amazingly he began mastering the skills of repairing minor faults with phones and was making some cool money after a few weeks.

The Breakthrough

Upon arrival in the shop, Martin Thompson Ntem told his boss to pay him Gh40 at the end of the month

Instead of the agreed GH60. He arranged to take Gh5 every Wednesday morning.

He joined a cooperative union meant for only women under a pseudo-name where he saved the Gh5 every Wednesday. The group was meant for only women but he managed to register through his brother’s wife and saved there regularly for three months.

The condition of the women’s group was that one stood the chance of taking a loan to start any business after saving for at least three months. Martin Thompson Ntem quickly took a loan of Gh300 added his personal savings, sold his laptop and gadgets, and left the master (employer) to Kumasi for his first Publication.

At long last, the poor boy had raised his start-up capital for his business. Not without many troubles and sufferings, Martin Thompson Ntem published 400 copies of the first edition of the Smart Eye Magazine which got finished in a week. He gathered the money and sent for 500 and then 1,000 and then 1500 till he began to print 10,000 in every term.

The unassuming Martin Thompson Ntem would send his books from school to school, town to town, and region to region selling it as just a salesboy. His name became very popular amongst students but they never knew he was the one who came to sell the books himself.

He supported many students through his Smart Ntem Builder Foundation. He awarded over 500 students who participate in his quizzes books and certificates, supported District Education Services whose jurisdiction he operated as well as provided free exercise books to selected needy but brilliant students.

Martin Thompson Ntem had later employed at least six people to work for him when he moved to GIJ.

The ‘GIJ Trump’

Martin’s stay in GIJ was another chapter of his life as an entrepreneur.

In level 100, MTN started the Smart Lens Newspaper, a private media to give voice to people who have stories but could not get the chance to have them published in the ‘The Communicator Newspaper’.

As a smart problem solver, he foresaw the troubles most students would have gone through in publishing their Creative Writing storybooks a course requirement, and started the Smart Ntem Builder Initiative to aid students published their books.

He was then awarded by the Kubattey Led Administration as Best Student Publisher at the 2013 GIJ-SRC Entrepreneurial Awards.

He has since then published about one thousand 1000 books for students.

He later introduce Dolait Yoghurt on GIJ and has supported some individuals and clubs in organizing their refreshment packs as well as creating revenue for students engaged to market the product.

He was again awarded the Most Influential Entrepreneur in 2015 by Spugplug Group.

MTN also believes in growing together with anyone around him. As an entrepreneur, he knows the value of savings and investments. He, therefore, introduced the first-ever students Susu account, Smart Emergency Students Account in collaboration with GN Bank. This was to help students save while in school towards the hard realities to be faced after school or in case of any eventuality.

One of his difficult projects or initiatives was student hostel management. He had invested in students’ accommodation in GIJ. MTN has secured apartments that he had converted into hostels for GIJ students and provided accommodation for students both males and females.

MTN again was awarded the Most Influential Entrepreneur in 2016 at Eminence Awards.

Martin in Leadership

MTN as SRC President carried by cheerful students during an SRC Event

His commitment, passion for work, and smartness saw him rise from the position of marketing manager to the CEO of Blue Bell Communications, his class PR simulated company, in GIJ.

As a result of his remarkable leadership style, the then GN Bank had chosen him as their Student Partner and has ever since been working with him.

Whiles still in level 200, three leading campus organizations approached MTN to take over the leadership of those organizations. Upon some thought, he settled on the student chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association, GJA, and has been the first GJA President to have been appointed in his second year which was unprecedented.

MTN participating in a Campus Cook-off Competition

MTN has also worked as the Chairman of The Students’ Aid Fund Committee; a committee mandated to assist poor and needy students by way of payment of their fees.

MTN had done that so well by not only using the allocated funds well but also committing his personal resource to help many other students that the fund couldn’t cater for.

In 2017 MTN in his individual capacity installed CCTV Cameras in the school’s library to curb the numerous theft cases at the time.

All these had proven to students that MTN could do better when given greater responsibilities and so was voted for massively in 2017 as the President of the Students Representative. He worked assiduously with his team to make an SRC whose members had lost interest in to one to believe in.

MTN was sworn in as SRC President in 2017
MTN participating in a Hall Boxing Fun Games

He served as the youngest member ever of the University Governing Council of the Ghana Institute of Journalism. This council serves as the board of directors and helped direct the affairs of the university as far as its management is concerned.

Swearing-in Ceremony of MTN as a Member of the University Governing Council of GIJ

During his tenure as SRC President, Martin and his team organized the biggest gathering of old students to reform or revive the dead Alumni Association of GIJ. He was then selected as an Executive Member of the Association to date.

His administration provided the security booth currently being used in the GIJ Ringway campus to prevent theft. It is most helpful during examination periods.

His administration also revive the once dead shuttle service and ran free shuttle services for a semester. He introduced other initiatives that still run such as the “free exercise book initiative”, “Akwaaba Dinner”, “MatricShoot” etc.

Martin Ntem set a straight record in the history of students’ leadership in Ghana and GIJ when he was elected as President of the Graduate Students Association of Ghana, of the Ghana Institute of Journalism in a fiercely contested election. He was the second student leader in Ghana to have won elections at both the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels as President.

MTN been presented with a Citation as Best Student Personality at the 2018 GIJ Eminence Awards

Despite his small stature and age, the Master of Arts students in GIJ believed he has the experience and competence to serve them as President.