John Quincy Adams, who served as the sixth President of the United States of America from 1825 to 1829, once said, and I quote, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
I have been beaming my searchlight on the continent of Africa to see those leaders on our soil who possess exceptional leadership qualities like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Leopold Senghor of Senegal, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, etc. Indeed, I found a few of them in this generation.
Among them is a Ghanaian politician and businessman, Honorable Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, who represents Assin Central in parliament for the New Patriotic Party. I am a Nigerian and have never been to Ghana before. I have never seen this man in person, but my research about his personality and status convinced me he is a true leader. I have read from Ghanaians, online and offline, giving testimonies about his philanthropic gestures.
I took my time( about two months) to dig deep into his personality. Just like John Quincy Adams said, Kennedy's positive actions inspired someone like me, who is not even a citizen of that country, to write this piece.
From my research on Kennedy, I have discovered that he is a man of courage and bravery who faces challenges just like an eagle looks at the cloudless sun. He is a man of vision and dreams who has navigated through murky waters without becoming dinner for the sharks.
One of the main reasons I am so interested in this man, who believes in the philosophy of collectivism and idealism, is that as a firebrand lawmaker, he has a separate account where his earnings as a lawmaker go. These monies are channelled towards philanthropic activities, including paying school fees for children whose parents don't have the capacity. I have yet to hear about this.
If this action happens in other parts of Africa, it must be rare. In Africa, most leaders are mindless plunderers, reckless looters, and greedy opportunists. They are only concerned about their pockets and families. But seeing a man in the Republic of Ghana give out his earnings is worthy of note. I will trumpet it loudly for other African leaders to learn from. Africa has to get it right.
It is audible to the deaf and visible to the blind that Kennedy is a successful businessman. He has managed his business well and employed that management insight in managing the affairs of his constituency. Indeed, his people would have voted him out if he weren't performing well. Think about it: what would make people keep voting for the same person for the same office if not for his exceptional performance?
Kennedy was born in Assin Domprem in the Central Region of Ghana on June 16th, 1960. At age 11, he was in Form 1 at Adisadel College in 1976. After finishing his education at Adisadel College, he proceeded to Winneba Secondary School and Fordham University.
Adisadel College has awarded him three times during the school's 100th anniversary. This resulted from his magnificent achievements in rescuing people from lack and poverty. He holds a General Certificate of Education (G.C.E.) ‘A' Level, which he obtained in 1983. He went on to study at Fordham University in New York, U.S.A. Records show that he had a flawless educational background.
Kennedy worked at Assin Farms as a managing director. He also worked at the Super Care Group of Companies. He worked at the Hollywood Shopping Center. The brilliant leadership qualities he is exhibiting today in the capacity of Member of Parliament are invariably a systematic accumulation of past experiences as managing directors in companies.
Honourable Kennedy was first elected a member of parliament in 2000 to the seat of Assin North. After getting massive voting at the polls, he retained his seat in the 2004 and 2008 parliamentary elections. He was elected to the new seat of Assin Central in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016.
In 2017, The 5th G.O.D. Awards announced its Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy and Public Service Honoree, the illustrious personality of Honorable Kennedy Ohene Agyapong. Princess Maria Amor, founder and President of We Care for Humanity and Chairman of the G.O.D. Awards said, and I quote:
“You dedicated your life to becoming a politician to innovatively create opportunities and strengthen communities. The prelude to a great philanthropic leader is the discovery of true courage. A trait that cannot be measured by the absence of fear or heaps of victory but rather by the urging to always try again amongst adversity.
You lifted the people of Ghana by providing educational assistance to pupils and students, mothers and children, job creation for numerous Ghanaians, school building projects in Ghana, and other countless contributions. Regardless of triumph or despair, it is the unwavering desire that is moulded by the consensus to always try again for the sake of humanity.”
In 2021, the vibrant lawmaker was awarded for the third time since the inception of the 3G award scheme in 2009. He won the 6th edition in 2015 and the 8th edition in 2018. 3G is the initial for God, Global, and Giving. The initiative recognizes the sacrifice and dedication of the leading trailblazers of the greater Ghanaian, African, and global communities. He has won other prestigious awards.
MP Kennedy has set the record straight: he has written his name on the marble and is leaving indelible prints on the sands of time. The people of his constituency are aware of the fantastic human and infrastructural developments he has brought to the region. Records have it that since the creation of the Assin Central constituency, no M.P. has done as well as him.
He facilitated the creation of the Assin South, a move that brought liberation to the people of that region. Other achievements he has recorded are infrastructure development, human development, payment of hospital bills, construction of the Assin Fosu By-Pass, construction of the Fosu main road, the Dompin–Twifu Praso road, the Brofoyedur–Akyim Oda road, the Senchem Road, the Town Road, and GIFEC, etc.
Based on his achievements, I have critically assessed this man, who adheres strictly to credibility, legitimacy, and moral authority. I can confidently say, without a doubt, that he is one of the leaders Africa is proud of. His principles and ideology are exceptional and, of course, eye-openers for the youth. A leader who carries the youth along is worthy of celebration. Ghanaian youths are aware of this. Taking a cursory look at his personality, you would see that he is selfless and just interested in bringing renewed hope.
By next year, 2024, Ghanaians will be deciding on who will become their next President. Elections are always a moment for people to change power. Honourable Kennedy declared his interest last year to contest as flag bearer for his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He struck me with his words when he spoke to a cross-section of his supporters in the United States. He has stressed that he is more of a leader than a politician.
He promised to focus on developmental projects rather than the usual political permutations that politicians concentrate on. If given the mandate, he will replicate those stellar qualities he has shown in his constituency at the national level. I believe that he will perform excellently well.
Of course, a good person with good intentions will have to grapple with stiff opposition, bashings of all kinds, and condemnation, but if he possesses the trenchant zeal of a crusader, he will be victorious at last. I urge the people of Ghana—young and old—to rally around this man of vision and dream. I see a new song being sung in Ghana.
I look forward to meeting this true son of Africa one day.
Let me end this piece with this quote by Simon Sinek: “Leadership is not about the next election; it is about the next generation.” Honourable Kennedy Agyapong has the people of Ghana at heart.