Upper East Selects Its Portrait
Posted on: 2008-Apr-20        Times
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Mama Melanie Kasise, the Upper East Regional winner of PORTRAIT OF AN EXCELLENT WOMAN, an award celebrating the achievements of women aged 50 and up in Ghana, is a powerhouse of creative energy and heart warming persistence.

After years of commendable service in formal Education, she has not only extended the reputation of SWOPA beyond national boundaries, but has also opened doors to learning and opportunities for students of Sirigu and surrounding villages in the Upper East region.

PORTRAIT OF AN EXCELLENT WOMAN is not your traditional Beauty Pageant. By extension, therefore, Mama Kasise, is not your traditional beauty queen.

In the Saturday March 29, 2008 edition of The Spectator, the announcement of Mama Kasise’s nomination by opinion leaders in Upper East as the region’s Portrait, described her as "72-year-old Beauty Queen".

It is explained that the use of "Beauty Queen" was figurative only. The headline sought to capture the essence of beauty as espoused by the organisers, a stance which the Spectator implicitly endorses.

A portrait is in simple terms a picture. It usually depicts a character as seen by an artiste but a picture speaks a thousand words! "Portrait" within the contest of Portrait of an Excellent Woman, means "An Example".

It aims to draw attention to women who in their very nature are multi faceted: These women stand tall as classic examples of "Excellence" because by their very nature and actions they transcend the fleeting corporeal and mainstream intellectual attractions often associated with traditional pageants.

Theirs is the timeless beauty of excellence expressed in the contributions they make to improve their environment and communities. Representing the set criteria for nomination by Opinion Groups: Duty, Sacrifice, Integrity, and Approachability, these women demonstrate the fortitude and beauty of God: Love; without which no nation can hope to attain any kind of sustainable development.

Our Portraits of Excellence set an example to all that must be framed and placed high enough to be seen by all.

Such are the extraordinary qualities of the women, past and present, that Shear Power Ventures, Women’s World Banking and Marie Stopes International seek to herald and esteem as timeless role models. They inspire the future, and are therefore national monuments of pride.

The legacies of past heroines, such as Yaa Asantewaa, Dr. Esther Ocloo, Madam Anna Appeah, and Mrs. Susan Alhassan, to name a few; the works of present women, such as Ms. Joyce Aryee, Mrs. Gifty Affenyi Dadzie, Chief Justice Georgina Wood, and Madam Anna Bossman, will dance their praises long after they have finished their roles to inspire the future.

"Portrait of An Excellent Woman" working under the theme of "Excellent Woman: The Role of Woman in Nation Building" is an event that is part of a bigger project.

On May 9, 2008, women who have stepped beyond their call of duty and truly taken the role of nation building to heart, will be presented and awarded for their endeavours and achievements.

Regarding the event, the Ministry of Women and Children’s affairs wrote: "We therefore find your concept to be in line with the Ministry’s mandate since the Portrait encompasses the diverse contributions that women are making to national development."

On Friday, May 9, 2008 at the National Theatre, Portrait of an Excellent Woman challenges you to be a part of this change.