PEOPLE who have had the opportunity to interact with Sandra Ankobiah will attest to her intelligence but for years, she has had to endure snide comments about her capabilities, especially as a lawyer and to a lesser extent as a presenter.
Somehow, Sandra Ankobiah takes the blame for how she is viewed in the public domain, telling Showbiz in a recent chat at the Afrikiko Restaurant, Accra, that the kind of image she portrayed some time ago is the reason why people underrate her.
With a smile, she said, “I hope to choose my words carefully without being offensive but the truth is that, people in showbiz aren’t taken seriously and in my case, that is what I fed the public with.
“As a lawyer and a showbiz personality, I had two different characters. I projected more of the showbiz. What I fed people with is the image they have of me and so I take full responsibility for that.”
Continuing Sandra Ankobiah said, “initially, people didn’t take me serious as they thought I was just one confused showbiz girl who didn’t know what she was about.
"I still remember the curious looks of some of my colleagues at FIDA when I first joined.
“But I didn’t allow that to kill my spirit because I knew my potential and what I could do. I allowed my work to speak for me.
"I put in my very best when I’m given an assignment and it earned me a lot of respect when I proved my worth,” she said.
Sandra Ankobiah may have accepted her fault but she disclosed to Showbiz her intention of changing the narrative about her brand which involves making some sacrifices.
“I’m building a new Sandra Ankobiah so for now, I’m not really into showbiz. I don’t mind honouring some few invitations but sincerely, that isn’t my focus,” she said.
When asked if letting go of showbiz won’t dwindle her financial fortunes, she just giggled and said, “I won’t say showbiz is a curse but the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t pay.
"You don’t get any monetary returns for the fame apart from the exposure so I’m losing nothing really.”
Children change their minds what they want to become quite often but for a young Sandra Ankobiah, she had always admired the look of lawyers in black and white wearing neck bands making their arguments in court as they defended their clients.
However, just a year after she fulfilled that dream and passed out as a lawyer, she had to abandon the childhood ambition of defending her clients in court.
Her reason? The burdensome processes of Ghana’s law courts which makes getting judgment on cases take too long has made it unattractive to her.
“A lot of people have the idea that every lawyer must be a litigator but that isn’t true because it is not every lawyer who goes to court.
“In my case, I have always admired that but the interest faded and I abandoned the thought after school.
"I now love to be behind the desk to undertake other equally important projects as a lawyer,” Sandrah Ankobiah said.
Abandoning that part of the law has gingered the former host of Fashion 101 to fully take on advocacy work by providing free legal services to the less privileged.
Not only has she joined the Ghana chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), she has also set up her own Legal Advocacy Foundation to boost her fight to bring legal services to those who cannot afford it.
Sandrah Ankobiah is a fashionista
Although Sandra Ankobiah is changing her image to a more serious look, there can be no denying that as a socialite and fashionista, she has had some impact.
She has quite the following on social media especially Instagram, where people look out for what she is wearing.
She has also used her brand to promote some Ghanaian fashion designers and gained them more clients.
Sandra Ankobiah who hails from Asante Bekwai is the third of four children born to Naval Captain I.K. Ankobiah (Rtd) and Mrs Rita Ankobiah.
She attended Tema Parents Association School before moving to Services Basic School in Burma Camp, Accra for her Junior High School education. She later proceeded to Akosombo International School.
She first emerged on the showbiz scene in 2000 at the tender age of 18, turning heads as an ambassador for a nationwide GTP campaign.
She left the country in 2002 after contesting in the Miss Ghana pageant where she placed second, to study International and Commercial Law, specialising in World Trade from the University of Buckingham (LLB, LLM) between 2005 and 2009.
Sandra returned to Ghana and studied at the Ghana School of Law from 2010 to 2012. In 2013, she became a Barrister at Law and initially expressed her desire to pursue entertainment law, although now she is doing a lot of pro bono work.
She has demonstrated her versatility by transitioning from her role on television to entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
Sandra Ankobiah is the co-founder of the SN Media Learning Tree, a practical media training school in Accra and also runs her own TV production outfit, Emerald Productions.
Her burning desire to be a positive influence in the lives of others has shaped almost everything she does and drives her charitable works with the Legal Advocacy Foundation.
She was named one of the 100 Most Influential Young Persons in West Africa this year, and impressively emerged as one of the few ladies chosen worldwide for Fortune’s Most Powerful Women’s programme.
Having endured some public scrutiny about her relationships, Sandra Ankobiah was naturally hesitant to open up about her relationship status but said “I don’t mind marrying someone in showbiz”.