Dr Charles Brenya Wiafe-Akenteng installed Master of Legon Hall

BY: Hadiza Nuhhu-Billa Quansah
Dr Wiafe-Akenteng with his wife, (2nd left) Dr Nana Anima, and their children
Dr Wiafe-Akenteng with his wife, (2nd left) Dr Nana Anima, and their children

In the presence of the Vice-Chancellor, Fellows of the Legon Hall, Deans, alumni and current students, Dr Charles Brenya Wiafe-Akenteng, was installed as the Master of the Legon Hall of the University of Ghana (UG), last week Friday.

The installation

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The installation ceremony is meant to officially introduce the Master of a traditional hall (the premier hall) to fellows/alumni, students, the university community and the general public.

The installation is usually preceded by a procession of fellows of the hall and it is done by the Most Senior Fellow of the hall in active service in the university.

During the ceremony, the Master takes the oath of office while the President of the Senior Common Room, President of the Junior Common Room and Workers’ Representative in turn swear allegiance to the Master.

The Master is the highest ranking officer and the first gentleman and servant of the hall and would have been referred to as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) if the hall were to be a corporate institution.

The installation comes with its own ritual. For instance, the Chapel Warden, who is currently Prof Patrick Ayeh-Kumi, is one of the main officials who leads the installation process.

The Most Senior Fellow, who is presently Prof. Alex Nyarko, reads the profile of the new Master of the Hall, administers the oath and reads the speech afterwards.


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The speech he reads spells out the roles of the Master as stipulated by the statutes of the university and the hall, contributions of past Masters and offers pieces of advice to all gathered.

The Vice-Chancellor, who was the guest of honour at the installation, emphasised on the need to leave a legacy and work according to the financial management regulations and the Procurement’s Act.

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Dr Wiafe-Akenteng’s links to Legon

Dr Wiafe-Akenteng is a Social Psychologist and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, UG. He is the Co-coordinator for undergraduate project work in the department, Patron of the University of Ghana Psychology Students Association (UNIGAPS) and Chairman of the Department’s Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration Committee.

Dr Wiafe-Akenteng opted for and was assigned to Legon Hall, Annex B (popularly referred to as Jatokrom) during his first year at the University of Ghana.

Upon joining the faculty of the UG, he was assigned Fellow of the Hall in 1998. He became a tutor in 2002 and by dint of hard work, he rose to become a Deputy Senior Tutor in 2009.

As of 2015, he had become a Senior Tutor and went ahead to become Master of the Hall on August 1, 2018.

As a fellow and management member of the hall, Dr Wiafe-Akenteng has served in different capacities.

As a tutor, he was a Member of the Tutorial Board, responsible for the welfare of students on a designated floor.

While he was the Deputy Senior, he was made the Chairman of the Maintenance Committee and was directly responsible for maintenance issues and beautification of the hall.

On assumption of duty as the Senior Tutor, he became the Chairman of the Tutorial Board and in charge of student welfare.

In the wider university community, he has served on a number of boards and committees, including the Board of Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Studies, Examiners Board, Quotas Committee and Counselling and Placement Committee.

Dr Wiafe-Akenteng was a Co-ordinator for Academic Programmes of the Faculty of Social Studies (now School of Social Sciences) at the City Campus from 2005 till 2017.

Presently, he is the Chairman of Committee of Heads of Halls, Member of Residence Board, Academic Board and the Advertising Committee of the university.

His research interest in social cognition, culture, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour has seen him participate in a number of workshops and professional conferences on Psychology in Ghana, other African countries, Europe, USA, Canada and Asia.

Dr Wiafe-Akenteng is also a member of the Ghana Psychological Association and was once a Vice President of the association. He is also a council member of the International Youth Fellowship (IYF).

Background

Dr Wiafe-Akenteng was born at Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region, to Madam Georgina Abena Serwaa of Obomeng Kwahu and the late Opanin Yaw Brenya of Ashanti- Mampong.

He had his basic education at the Experimental School (now Akuamoa Acheampong Basic School) at Nkawkaw Adoagyiri.

Upon passing the Common Entrance Examination, he entered Pope John Secondary School at Effiduase in Koforidua where he was popularly referred to as Wiafe-D.C by Uncle Jomo, his Music Master.

He later gained admission to the St Augustine’s College in Cape Coast for (his Advanced Level education). Here, he was popularly known as Slowpy J).

He did his pre university National Service at the Nkawkaw Aladura Junior Secondary School during the 1987/1988 academic year. It was here that he harnessed the passion of imparting knowledge to students.

After a successful National Service, he enrolled at the UG in 1989 and graduated in Psychology with Political Science. Dr Wiafe-Akenteng did his post first-degree National Service at the Department of Psychology, UG, as a research and teaching assistant.

In his quest to climb the academic ladder, he obtained a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Ghana on a split programme with the University of California, Los Angeles in the USA.

He also holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology from the University of Ghana, Legon, (with the relevant course work at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA).

Dr Wiafe-Akenteng has a tall list of awards under his belt.

Some of the awards received are that of Levintis, University of Ghana-University of California Scholarship, University of Ghana-North Carolina State Scholarship, Association of African Universities award for Visiting Scholars (at the University of Cape Town, South Africa) and the International Youth Fellowship (IYF), South Korea, Global Education Leadership award.

Others are the University of Ghana Office of Research and Innovation Development (ORID) research, travel and conference grants.

Dr Wiafe-Akenteng, who is a member of the Church of Christ, is married to Dr Nana Anima Wiafe-Akenten, who is the first PhD holder in Twi in the country and they have been blessed with four children. They are Dr Wiafe-Kwagyan, Nana Adwoa Wiafe-Akenten, Awo Asantewaa Wiafe-Akenten and Ohemaa Wiafewaa Wiafe-Akenten.

When Dr Wiafe-Akenteng is not in the lecture hall, he loves to read, listen to music and travel around learning more about other people and their culture.

He likes Gospel music and is a big fan of Highlife music, especially Kwadwo Antwi, Daddy Lumba and Amakye Dede’s tunes.

He is also a fan of Country Music, especially that of Kenny Rogers with the Gambler and Coward of the County being his favourite.