January 2010 marked 10 years since my grandmother passed away. She was described by those who knew her as “resilient”, ” a survivor”, “ahead of the times”. She was an optimistic, creative person, who did not allow the circumstances of her life to determine her fate; she excelled in spite of those circumstances, infecting those of us who were fortunate enough to know her, with a bit of that “Dede” spirit that is so urgently needed in so many of us today.
The name Dede is the Ga-Adangbe designation for the first-born girl, and my mother’s name. Although we come from a long line of strong, hardworking women, above all of them, my mother has always been my greatest inspiration. She had a long fruitful career as a reporter for several publications in the 50s and 60s, and retired in 1998 from a latter career in Public Relations. In 1999, the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA) awarded her a citation for her contribution to Journalism in Ghana.
This Dede Profiles section is dedicated to all the strong African Women whose lives have left an indelible mark on the societies in which they lived, and on the individuals whose lives they touched.
The concept of Dede is a fitting tribute to the leadership qualities of the women featured in this section. It is my clarion call and prayer for what each African woman should rise up and become: a leader amongst the people.
– Do you know an African woman, past or present, whose remarkable story needs to be told? Send us a message via the contact us form.