The Head of the Psychology Department at the Fordham University in Bronx, New York, Professor Frederick J. Wertz, has called on first ladies in Africa to emulate the example of Ghana’s First lady, Dr Mrs Lordina Mahama, to help better the lives of the marginalised on the continent.
He expressed concern about the treatment of people suspected to be witches, especially in the northern part of Ghana, and was happy about the many interventions by Dr Mrs Mahama to better their lot.
Prof. Wertz made the call in an interview with the Daily Graphic after Dr Mrs Mahama was awarded with a doctorate by the university on Saturday, May 16, 2015.
The First Lady made history - after receiving the award - as she became the first African woman to deliver the keynote address at the 170th Commencement of the Fordham University at its Rose Hill campus.
According to him, if all African first ladies should do what Dr Mrs Mahama was currently doing, the continent would be a better place for people, especially women.
"What l will remember about her would be her selfless attitude, empathy and humility, which has led her to put smiles on the faces of many, and it is my prayer that God would continue to bless her with more wisdom and knowledge to enable her to do more for her continent," he said.
In a separate interview, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, Lieutenant General Joseph Smith, said Fordham University was a very conservative institution and for them to have conferred a doctorate of humane letters on Ghana’s First Lady and allowed her to deliver the keynote speech was historic and an indication that they had really been monitoring her progress for some time now.
Delivering the keynote address at the commencement ceremony, Dr Mrs Mahama told the packed crowd that she was happy to have been honoured by the university in recognition of her contribution and that of her foundation towards alleviating the challenges of the underprivileged.
According to her, the Lordina Foundation held the view that: "The more we share, the more we have, and it was this that had inspired us to work even harder to improve the lives of fellow citizens.”
A large number of Ghanaians residing in the US witnessed the ceremony and indicated that they were proud to be Ghanaians.
They commended the First Lady for lifting the flag of Ghana high.
More than 5,000 graduation class of 2015, including four Ghanaian judges, with a crowd of over 40,000, witnessed the ceremony during which the First Lady was honoured.
She was given a thunderous applause followed by a standing ovation.