Heroes! It is a word that has inspired hope in many generations.
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Whichever way one sees it, the heroes are always the celebrated personalities in every story.
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Due to generational differences, it becomes very difficult for one to categorize, especially considering the fact that a hero in one dimension may be completely unknown in another.
But the overriding factor is that any man or woman considered as a hero must have achieved something great that really had an impact on the society.
However, anytime the word ‘hero’ is mentioned in Ghana, all that comes to mind are the ones who were involved in political struggles. Inasmuch as there are other personalities also deserving of hero status, they have been relegated and are currently playing second-fiddle to the “politicians”.
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How many times have we heard about Yaa Asantewaa and her bravery? How many times have we not been told about the big six and how Kwame Nkrumah fought to attain Ghana’s independence? And how many times have we been taught in schools about the lasting impact of Tetteh Quarshie and his resolve in bringing cocoa to the then Gold Coast.
In truth, all the above names are heroes. But are they – and others of their ilk – the only ones worthy of attaining heroic status in Ghana? The answer is a definite NO!
So as the nation prepares to celebrate 60 years of independence, we take a look at other Ghanaian heroes whose shine have been made peripheral.
1. Dr Kennedy Brightson, Dodowa Hospital
Dr. Brightson is well-known for his interventions at the Dodowa Hospital which have help save many women from death during delivery.
Dr Brightson’s dedication to work and a drive to safeguard the lives of pregnant women has endeared him and his team to hundreds of women who have given birth in the green, hilly community 40 miles east of Accra.
2. Ato Ulzen Appiah, GhanaThink Foundation.
Ato Ulzen-Appiah is an entrepreneur, manager, social media champion and blogger.
He is also the director of the GhanaThink Foundations, organisers of BarCamp Ghana and Junior Camp Ghana, events that bring people together to brainstorm on creative solution. GhanaThink also spearheads the National Volunteer Day events.
3. John Mahama, Former President of Ghana
John Mahama's rise to presidency made history in Ghana. He was the first to inherit the seat from a dead president.
Having lost the election in a time where many other African leaders were clinging onto power, many people hail him for being a "transition hero" and upholding the law of succession.
4. Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Investigative Journalist
Anas Aremeyaw Anas is an undercover journalist who uses anonymity as a tool to uncover untold stories in support of social justice in Africa.
5. Zanetor Rawlings, Politician
Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings is the eldest daughter of the 1st President under the 4th Republic of Ghana Jerry Rawlings and former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman.
Her political careers started off on a rough patch, but she found her footing and made it into parliament after a series of inspiring twists and turns.
6. Farida Bedwei, Tech Enthusiast / Software Engineer
Farida Nana Efua Bedwei is a Ghanaian software engineer whose life and success story beats the imagination.
Farida Bedwei was born with cerebral palsy but that didn't stop her from moving on in life. She was selected as one of the overall winners in Ghana at the Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards.
7. Dr. David Abdulai, Medical Doctor
Dr David Abdulai, described often as “the mad doctor”, had over the years provided healthcare to the mentally ill in his clinic and on the streets for free.
He ran two clinics in the Northern region and provided treatment not only to persons with mental illness but also HIV/AIDS, Hernias, and other physical disabilities.
8. Charlotte Osei, Chair - Electoral Commission
Charlotte Osei's appointment as head of the Electoral Commision nearly divided Ghana into two half.
Most people didn't believe she was qualified for the job and others questioned her nationality. Nevertheless, Mrs. Charlotte Osei was a focus woman with a commitment and program.
9. Regina Agyare, Developer
Regina Agyare is a Ghanaian Software Developer and founder of Soronko Solutions, a software development company in Ghana.
Regina’s story has been featured around the world, and she is an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow and a GOOD Fellow. She was also a finalist for the African Digital Woman of the Year, and a Change Leader with Tigo Ghana’s Reach For Change.
The list could go on and on, but the above names surely deserve to be celebrated as national heroes.
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There may have been one or two names that you feel have been left out, however, feel free to comment below.