As the 2016 General Election draws close, the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs Lordina Dramani Mahama, has appealed to Ghanaians to protect the peace the country is currently enjoying.
Mrs Mahama who has been criss-crossing the country actively campaigning alongside her husband, President John Dramani Mahama, in his bid to get the mandate of the electorate for a second term in office has this to say, “We are one people irrespective of our political differences. Let us see one another as Ghanaians and not members of political parties.”
Sharing her thought with The Mirror during an interaction, Mrs Mahama touched on the need for Ghanaians to “continue to pray to our God for the best President and for our country to remain peaceful,” in response to the numerous predictions on the outcome of the election by some men of God.
In her role as Ghana’s First Lady and mother of the nation, she has visited some of the remotest parts of the country in her quest to bring hope to the hopeless in deprived communities through her many charitable works.
Her passion for reaching out to the less privileged in society began long before she became the First Lady of Ghana, a trait which has earned her both international and local recognition.
It is her firm belief that individuals must take advantage of daily opportunities to show love, empathy and kindness. With this in mind, she founded the Lordina Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works with international and local partners, especially Medshare of the United States of America, to support vulnerable communities.
“Through my foundation, in my role as First Lady and President of the Organisation of African First ladies Against HIV&AIDS (OAFLA), I have been working to promote reproductive health issues among women, economic empowerment and promotion of technical and vocational training support for the less privileged in society,” she stated.
Health facilities in over 150 communities throughout the country have benefited from assorted medical equipment and supplies, as well as consumables to make health care available to them, through her foundation and with the support of her partners.
Some of the items donated were stabilisers, orthopaedic walkers, bedside table lockers, mattresses, arm chairs, gloves, syringes and theatre and laboratory gowns.
She said together with her NGO’s development partners, they would continue to equip health centres, polyclinics and hospitals across the country.
She also adopted the Gambaga Witches Camp and supports them periodically. Through her facilitation, a vocational training institute is being constructed by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to provide the women and girls in the camp and its environs with skills training.
A number of orphanages across the country have also benefited from her charity works.
Her ability to effortlessly combine many tasks at a go has played an important part in her successful juggling of family life and the many roles she is called upon to perform as the wife of the head of state.
As the premier Ambassador of the UNAIDS Global Plan on the prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission, Mrs Mahama has fervently embarked on high level advocacy on the global efforts towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children; keeping their mothers alive and reducing stigmatisation and discrimination against persons living with HIV.
In appreciation of her selfless contribution to the promotion of health delivery in deprived areas, reaching out to the marginalised and vulnerable in society and advocacy for women and children’s empowerment across the continent, Mrs. Mahama has won several awards.
Among them is an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the Fordham University in New York at its 170th Commencement. She was also honoured by the City of Newark in the State of New Jersey.
Presenting the symbolic keys to the First Lady, the Mayor of Newark, Ras Barkla, noted, “Africa is our unifying mother and in honouring you, we are honouring our mother in Africa.”
A similar honour was conferred on her by the Canadian Government for her charity works in Ghana.
In addition to her numerous awards, many traditional areas have honoured her with traditional titles. She was enstooled Queenmother of the Nkoranza Traditional Area in the Brong Ahafo Region with the stool name, Nana Akosua Fremaa Ampomah Sika I.
She was also enstooled the Development Queen at Bodom and Ampoma, both in the Brong Ahafo Region, and Anloga, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
Just like other former first ladies who are always in the limelight, what they wear is often cardinal. Hence, Mrs Mahama has brought her own unique fashion dimension, which is to dress in a manner to promote the Ghanaian culture, using solely locally produced textiles; kente and smock from the northern part of the country.
“My choice of clothes and dress style, especially the smock, has helped promote our nice traditional fabrics not only to Ghanaians but to the whole world,” she acknowledged.
The First Lady who described her husband as her pillar, teacher and mentor said aside from politics, she and the President preferred to discuss developmental issues, their children and the concerns of the women she met across the country.
By way of relaxation, the First Lady loves to cook and gets a lot of fulfilment serving guests.
Her deep passion for entrepreneurship and catering earned her a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality Management and a Master’s degree in Governance and Leadership at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
She is currently doing a long distance study in Business Law/International Law programme at the Montfort University, Leicester, UK.
Mrs Mahama was born on March 6, 1963 to Mr and Mrs Effah, both deceased. She was the third child of four children. She had her early education at the Tishigu Anglican Primary School, Tamale. She attended Bolga Girls’ and later Ghana Secondary School in Tamale.
She hails from Booma and Jemma-Ampoma in the Nkoranza District of the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana.