Honourable Ministers of State, Nananom, Nana Ahemba, Invited Guests, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Afeshiapa –oo!
It is a great honour to stand before you this afternoon as the Vlisco Ambassador. Every year in March, one day is set aside to celebrate women. This year, Vlisco, the company which is sometimes referred to in local palance as “Hollandais”, which produces cloth referred to in Akan as “)daanu” decided that one day was too short to celebrate women and decided to use a whole month to do so in the form of a promotion dubbed “Be Your Dream”. After this competition, I was selected to be the Vlisco Ambassador for the first time ever since 1846 when Vlisco came into being. It is the opinion of Vlisco that I have brought honour to Saltpond, my home town, so they decided to take advantage of our Odambea Festival to “UNVEIL” the Vlisco Ambassador and to showcase the honour my family and I have brought to Saltpond by winning the Vlisco Be Your Dream Competition.
Honourable Ministers of State, Nananom, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am from AbradzeEbusua, My grandmother is EwurabaApeansima(Mrs DorcasHaizel) ofAnafu; my mother is Mrs Gertrude Tandoh and My father Kofi Atta Tandoh of KwankyeKrom, all of blessed memory. My family and Vlisco will like to use this opportunity to thank the Odambea Planning Committee for giving Vlisco the opportunity to be part of the Odambea Festival in this special way.
The cloth I am wearing today was carefully chosen by Vlisco – it is called “OBAAPA”. This embodies the message I am sending out to women through my role as Vlisco Ambassador. We do not only want to empower women to look good, but also to follow their dreams. One woman’s achievement often inspires other women’s dreams and also many women find great inspiration by witnessing others overcome their challenges to live their dreams. My message today is to encourage women to embrace opportunities that come our way in life. Women should not make excuses and put our best foot forward, knowing that when we fail it is as though the entire female populace has failed. Some of us think because we are women, it is alright not to aspire to higher heights, as the top positions are the preserve of men. So that even when the positions are available, we will simply not apply for them – afterall, how can we manage top level jobs with all the different hats we wear? Doing homework, giving birth to children and cooking dinner every evening (in some homes, pounding fufu every night) do not go with high profile jobs. Understandably, most women will just not be interested in applying for top positions as our hands are usually full from our domestic obligations.
I stand here as evidence that with God all things are possible – He takes the foolish things if this world to confound the wise. I am here to encourage us to train our girls to develop their self worth and to train our boys to respect and appreciate women. I thank you all for this opportunity and May God bless all of us.