Their impact on society has been phenomenal, yet most of these heroes and heroines remained in the shadows until Sunday night when 2019 Ghana’s Most Beautiful pageant contestants shone light on them.
It was a night dedicated to celebrate some 16 heroes and heroines whose sacrifices, selflessness, dedication and benevolence gave life and dignity to most people within and beyond the communities they live.
Each of the 16 beautiful contestants for this year’s GMB had the honour of identifying an individual, from their respective communities within the region they represent, who they consider as hero or heroine and why.
Most of these heroes and heroines identified by the contestants on their first live performance show, were unsung, as they either worked and or are quietly working in the shadows to make their communities a better place.
For Enam from the Volta Region, who set the ball rolling for the night, Mama Atrato II, leader of the Ho Queenmothers Association was worth celebrating for empowering the people in the area with employable skills among others.
She described her heroine as “a true gem of Africa”
Renowned playwright Efua T Sutherland was the true heroine for Central Region’s Ekua. She explained the woman who was also an educationalist, developed curriculum for children in Ghana aside various books she wrote.
For her, the late Efua Sutherland “is an influential figure in modern Ghanaian theatre”.
Ahafo Region’s representative, Afia was full of praise to Kingsley Owusu Achiaw, Owner of Bechem United Football club, who she said has not only developed football talent in the region but also helped improve healthcare delivery in the area.
She said Mr Owusu Achiaw has also supported education and provided scholarship for a number of people in the area some of who have now become nurses and teachers, describing him as a man with “a heart of gold”.
From the Western North Region, Saah eulogised a former military officer lieutenant colonel Anthony Aduhene whose benevolence helped to improve education, ensured provision of basic social amenities to the people.
She recalled how the man used his personal resources to campaign for and support the creation of the North Region
Pena from the Bono East Region celebrated the late Nana Akumfi Ameyaw III whose selflessness surpassed many in the region.
She talked about how Nana Ameyaw III offered his palace to market women to trade there and also bought their unsold foodstuffs for distribution to the less privilege in the area, stating “his compassionate nature made him exceptional”.
Western Region’s Esi identified Cecilia Annan, a businesswoman whose support to the education, health and orphanages made her her heroine.
Describing the woman of God as “ideal woman”, she said Mrs Annan has given hope to the hopeless and future to so many people in the region who never dreamt of a brighter future.
Obaapa from the Bono Region put the spotlight on Daasebre Dr. Amankonah Diawuo II, the paramount chief of Brerekum, who she said used her expertise and resources to ensure a reduction in mortality rate in the region years back.
She said the chief’s selfless act in improving healthcare has now made “healthcare a right not a privilege”
North East’s Yaya spoke highly of one Dr. Emmanuel Bikzakin who used his personal resources to build two hospitals in the area save people from dying of various diseases and conditions.
The doctor’s efforts, she said, came at a time that women were scared of delivery due to the prevailing conditions at the time, describing the man as “superman”
Oti Region’s Nana came paying tribute to Lawyer Dr. Kwaku Addeah who she said played instrumental role in the campaign for the creation of the region.
She spoke about how the lawyer offered his office for the joint consultative movement that was championing the independence of Oti from the Volta Region, yet he unfortunately could not live to see the fruits of his labour and sacrifices as he died in line of duty.
Yiri from the Upper West region identified Cornelius Kumpongni Balbah as her hero in the region because of his support in the education of people; something she said helped to stem the tide of social vices and teenage pregnancy.
Her hero, she said, used his resources to construct dining hall and provision of furniture to senior high schools within the area, and cited herself as a beneficiary of Mr Balbah’s benevolence.
From the Northern Region Zara said mentioned Dr. David Fuseini Abdulai who devoted his entire life to catering for persons with mental ailment among other less privileged persons in the region.
He established two hospitals in the area and even paid medical bills of patients who sought medical care from outside his facilities, and also introduced meals on wheels to distribute free meals to the needy for decades.
She said the man’s action earned him the accolade “the Mad Doctor”
Otobia representing the Greater Accra Region chose Nii Botwe Laryea as her hero, indicating he provided formal and vocational training for young ladies in Nungua in the area of hairdressing, tailoring and others.
Describing the man as “palladium of our liberty” she spoke about how Nii established businesss to create jobs for the people.
For Savannah Region’s Kasha, Danyanpe Wura Bawah Jewu who lived for peace was her hero.
She recounted how Danyanpe Jewu willing relinquish a skin he was to ascend to, to his brother to avoid peace in the area at a time that tension was simmering. That act, Kasha said, saved thousands of lives and urged all to emulate him.
National Security Minister Bryan Acheampong, whose foundation is improving the lives of the people of Kwahu, giving education to hundreds of students and teachers, was the hero of Oye from the Eastern Region.
She was full of praise for Minister who is also an MP for paying the national health insurance premium of people in the area, providing about 400 boreholes for them and economically empowering the people to be self-reliant
Ashanti Region’s Serwaa celebrated the war warrior Yaa Asantewa for her bravery in leading the Golden Stool War in 1900.
Her bravely, she said, has today created enabling environment for women to operate without fear.
Representative of the Upper East region, Ayisha highlighted the contribution of her hero, Rev Father Moses Asaah Awinongya towards education and healthcare in her region by providing free healthcare and putting up structures for some basic and Senior High Schools in the area.
At the end of the show, Ashanti Region’s Serwaa was adjudged the Star Performer as the judges said she was absolutely amazing in her delivery.
North East’s rep, Yaya emerged as the Most Disciplined contestant for the week with Volta Region’s Enam getting the Best Costume award.
Today being their first night, the judges spared them an eviction but will that continue next Sunday when they mount the stage for their second performance in the 13 week journey?
Well, you and the judge will decide so keep texting the name of your favourite contestant to 1413 on all networks or download the GMB App and vote for them to keep them from eviction.