Mr Dan Botwe — Firm and fearless!

BY: Augustina Tawiah / Junior Graphic / Ghana

While growing up as the son of a Presbyterian catechist and school headmaster, this young boy was brought up under strict discipline.

That meant he could not do things just because his friends were doing them, as was the case with many youngsters. 

“My upbringing was such that I was kept away from anything that was wayward. I did not complain but obeyed the rules and they became my habit. Till date, there are certain things you will not get me doing; the whole world can do them but I will not. It is as if Papa is watching me,” he said.  

This is just a wee bit of the life story of  the man who is now the Member of Parliament for Okere, Daniel Kwaku Botwe. 

Indeed, many who know Dan Botwe, as he is affectionately called, acknowledge his disciplined nature. At a time when the country’s political scene was marred by insults, he, as the General Secretary of Ghana’s biggest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), did not speak vile of his political opponents. 

When the Junior Graphic met with Dan Botwe at his private chambers in Parliament for him to share his childhood experiences with children, the 56-year-old politician said there were certain things his father called strict Presbyterian discipline that as a child he was expected to uphold. 

Ghana News Headlines

For latest news in Ghana, visit Graphic Online news headlines page Ghana news page

“You were expected to dress nicely always, and you could not be late to school. I was always expected to be between a particular range in class examinations and be faultless. All those I had to abide by strictly mainly because I was the son of a catechist and a school master. 

Mr Botwe was happy to say that because of his upbringing, it was very difficult for his friends to influence him negatively. 

“I had many friends but my father taught me that there should be ‘contact without contamination’,” he said.

In other words, he could have friends but their bad behaviour should not influence him. 

His assertiveness is also seen in the way he defended his views, even if those involved were older than he was. 

“There were occasions I got punished for that but that did not worry me at all. You will not get me to accept certain things I didn’t believe in,”  he said. 

It was because of this principle that while in Sixth Form at Achimota School he wrote a letter to the then headmaster complaining about how the teachers taught.   

“When it became apparent that the headmaster wanted to meet the author of the letter, I was not afraid. I went to his office and defended what I had written in the presence of my classmates,” he said.

It will surprise all to know that Mr Botwe had a humble beginning. He was born and raised at Mabang, a village in the Ashanti Region. Because his father was a Presbyterian catechist, they stayed in a mission house. 

His chores, he said, started as early as 4:45 a.m. when he went to ring the bell to summon people to morning devotion. He also fetched water, went to his father's farm to cultivate crops such as cassava and plantain, as well as collect foodstuffs from other farmers meant for his father, and ran errands. 

His mother was a baker and so he used to assist her in her work. 

One chore he took very seriously then was polishing his father's shoes and getting his things ready for church and school each day.

During school holidays, Young Botwe visited his father's cocoa farm in a remote village at Sankore in the Brong Ahafo Region where, according to him, it was very common to see cold blooded animals such as cobras. 

He is married to Mrs Maud Botwe and they have three children.