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EMY Africa celebrates best in men’s achievements tonight

BY: Hadiza Nuhhu-Billa Quansah

The movers and shakers in our society will converge at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, Accra, tonight for the fourth edition of the Exclusive Men of the Year Africa Awards (EMY Africa).

The ceremony opens at 6:00 p:m., with a  red carpet segment where guests and nominees will have the opportunity to showcase what they are wearing and also share their expectations for the main programme.

The EMY Africa Awards is an annual Father’s Day-related event that celebrates personalities who have contributed their quota to change, progress and continue to be symbols of stability and role models in the community.

Since 2016, EMY Africa has celebrated the best in men’s achievements across local industry, community, culture and public service.

Last year, the highly respected businessman and chief, Togbe Afede, was honoured as the Ultimate Man of the Year.

There are over 28 awards available for grabs tonight. In last week’s issue of The Mirror, we brought you the female category nominees of the Young Achiever Award. This week, we will be celebrating those in the male category, Life time Achievement Award and the Men Group of the Year Award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an acclaimed veteran who has been exemplary throughout his lifetime and someone whose work has broken barriers and influenced change in the society.

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This year, the nominee for this award is the national Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu. While the Veteran Administration of Ghana (VAG) is being recognised as the Men Group of the Year.

The Young Achiever Award for the male category seems to be one of the hottest categories as four young men who have excelled immensely in their respective professions have been nominated for the award.

This category recognises a young adult male who is emerging in a chosen industry and exhibits peer leadership skills and is a budding pillar of the community.

The following are profiles of the people who have been nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Men Group of the Year Award and Young Achiever Award.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, National Chief Imam

He is known to be a man of few words, humble and generous. The Chief Imam who reaches out to both Muslims and Christians with his message on peace recently hit the centenary age. He was born at Old Fadama, a suburb of Accra,  on April 23, 1919.

Sheikh Sharubutu is the nation’s first Chief Imam and has held the position since 1993.

The Chief Imam has a tall list of credentials in serving humanity. He is a member of the National Peace Council and founder of the SONSETFund and IPASEC.

He currently has seven educational institutions in the Greater Accra Region which he established and is managed by various individuals. He has in the past 15 years pioneered the establishment of 10 other educational institutions in 10 regions of the country.

Sheikh Sharubutu created the Islamic Peace and Security Council of Ghana, an organisation that promotes peace, unity and sustainable peace in the country.

Furthermore, he has been involved in the establishment of institutions and organisations for providing services that address the humanitarian needs and empowerment of the Muslim youth in and outside Ghana.

Due to his love for education, he self-sponsored hundreds of needy Muslim students to study across the country and abroad. Aside from this, he has been promoting Muslim education, setting up various Islamic schools and encouraging the integration of Islamic knowledge and practice with secular education.

The Chief Imam has officiated over 5000 Muslim marriages, 10,000 naming ceremonies for babies and led funeral prayers for over 4000 families.

Today, he is the representative of the Muslim face in national affairs and continues to support development programmes that sensitise people to their social responsibilities, build bridges between Islam and other religions.

For his contribution to education, he received an honorary degree from the University of Ghana, Legon, in 2006.

At the maiden edition of the EMY Africa Awards, he was presented with the Osagyefo Peace Award and tonight the centenarian will certainly go home with another prestigious award.

Men Group of the Year, Veteran Administration of Ghana (VAG)

The veteran soldiers are known for the important role they played as active soldiers during the World War era.

In Ghana, on February 28 of every year, the veterans are seen smartly dressed in their Gold Coast uniforms as they march in memory of their departed former colleagues at the Independence Square. This celebration has come to be known as the Crossroad Shooting incident.

History has it that on February 28, 1948, veterans of World War II (WWII) who had fought with the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force organised a peaceful demonstration marching to Christiansborg Castle, Accra, in the Gold Coast to hand in a petition to the colonial governor, demanding that they receive end of war benefits and pay which they had been promised.

Before reaching the castle the Veterans were ordered to disperse by the colonial police chief. When they refused he opened fire on them, instantly killing three - Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey.

The aftermath of that tragedy was the attainment of political independence on March 6, 1957. Indeed, the contribution of the veterans to the nation’s independence struggle is exceptionally invaluable.

As the world commemorates the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the WWII that claimed so many lives, the EMY Awards decided to honour the Veterans Administration, Ghana (VAG).

VAG was formed a few years after the end of the WWII, has gone through various stages of transformation. Established since the early 70s, its ceremonial contingent has been very impressive on some national platforms and, thus become the face of the veterans of this country and other political independence trail blazers.

They are endowed with rare experiences from peacekeeping operations across the world and do not hesitate to bring these experiences to bear anytime the nation is confronted with a threat of violence. It is often said that nothing is more precious than peace.

Young Achiever – Gentlemen category

Shadrack Frimpong

Described by President Bill Clinton as “the Paul Farmer of his generation”, Shadrack Frimpong is a non-profit leader, public health researcher and scholar whose work is inspired by his background.

Although a son of a peasant farmer and charcoal seller, Shadrack braved the storm and became the first person from his village in Tarkwa-Breman to attend college in the United States, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015, with the $150,000 President’s Engagement Prize, Penn’s highest honour.

Back in the village, he contracted a water-borne infection during a favourite, seemingly innocent pastime — swimming in the river. Unfortunately, doctors told him at that time that the only option for removing the life threatening virus was to amputate both of his legs.

 However, a resident physician at a bigger hospital said they could re-diagnose the infection and for Shadrack, that miracle instilled in him a lifelong belief in "second chances," one he would follow in the work he would later do for others.

Shadrack founded Cocoa360 and pioneered the "farm-for-impact” health equity model; a tuition-free girls' school and community hospital sustained by proceeds from a cocoa plantation.

He leads a team of over 35 full-time staff members who have cared for 3,000 patients, served eight communities, reach over 35,000 farmers and currently educating 120 young girls.

Shadrack is a recipient of many awards, including the prestigious Samuel Huntington Public Service Award, which has past recipients such as US Surgeon General, Dr Vivek Murthy, McArthur “Genius” Fellow and Dr. Angela Duckworth.

In September 2017, President Bill Clinton named him to CGIUs Honour Roll and in June 2018, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth awarded him the Queen’s Young Leader Award at the Buckingham Palace.

Shadrack was recently named among the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list of top social entrepreneurs in the world.

He was chosen as the recipient of the prestigious Boyer Scholarship which funded his Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania and made him an Honorary member of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry, a unit of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard – the oldest and among the most decorated in the United States.

This honour makes Shadrack the second African recipient in the Fund’s 64-year history and the first from West Africa.

Shadrack graduated in May 2019, with a Master’s degree in Non-profit Leadership and currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health in Global Health as a Horstmann Scholar at Yale University.

As described by the late Ghanaian diplomat and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, Shadrack Frimpong is “an embodiment of youth leadership”.

Sangu Delle

Sangu Delle is an entrepreneur, investor, activist and lawyer. Born in Ghana, Sangu’s childhood home was a refuge for victims of torture and violence from Liberia and Sierra Leone.

He is the co-founder and Managing Director of Africa Health Holdings, an innovative company based in West Africa, focused on "building Africa's healthcare future."

Sangu also serves as Chairman of Golden Palm Investments Corporation (GPI), a holding company focused on investing in world class technology companies in Africa. GPI has backed technology startups such as Andela, mPharma and Flutterwave and GPI portfolio companies which have raised over $300 million in venture financing.

He is the co-founder of Cleanacwa, a non-profit entity working in underdeveloped communities in Ghana, to make sure that water, sanitation and basic human rights are provided.

Sangu is a member of the Board of Directors of Ashesi University, Trustee of the Peddie School, a member of the Harvard Medical School Global Health and Service Advisory Council and an Elected Director of Harvard University's Alumni Association,

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Highest Honours) in African Studies and Economics from Harvard College, a Doctor of Law from Harvard Law School, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Sangu is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. He is the author of "Seeding Growth: How Young Entrepreneurs are Creating Africa's New Economy in a Digital Age" slated for print in 2019.

Gregory Rockson

Gregory Rockson is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of mPharma, an e-prescription network in emerging markets leading with Africa. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Westminster College.

He is a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow (PPIA) from Princeton University and a Rotary Scholar at the University of Copenhagen.

His business mPharma works with drug manufacturers, service providers and third party payers to develop products and services that improve the access and affordability of high quality drugs for patients across the continent.

Kelvin Nyame

He is the CEO of MeQasa, an online platform that enables users find residential and commercial property to rent or buy in various cities in Ghana. His organisation partners with brokers, owners and tenants to create complete property profiles.

Acting as sort of a go-between, MeQasa facilitates communication and meetings between prospective tenants and owners or their representatives. It is a free service and covers the main urban areas.