Theodosia Salome Okoh (born June 13, 1922) was a Ghanaian stateswoman known for designing Ghana’s flag. She was born to the Very Reverend Emmanuel Victor Asihene, a former moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and Madam Dora Asihene, both from Anum in the Eastern Region. She is the fourth of eight children. She started school at Ashanti Efiduasi Primary School, continued to the Basel Mission Middle, Senior and Teacher Training Schools in Agogo and then Achimota School.
She also had three children E. Kwasi Okoh, Stanley Kwame Okoh and Theodosia Amma Jones-Quartey. Concerning the Flag of the nation, Mrs. Okoh was quoted saying, “There was an Ad in the local newspaper calling for a design of the National Flag for Ghana. The Flag should be original and must have motifs the many nationals can identify with. I decided on the three colors of red, gold & green because of the geography of Ghana. Ghana lies in the tropics and blessed with rich vegetation. The color Gold was influenced by the mineral rich nature of our lands and Red commemorates those who died or worked for the country’s independence. Then the five pointed lone star which is the symbol of African emancipation and unity in the struggle against colonialism.”
On the 19th of April, 2015 Madam Theodora joined the great ancestors of the nation at the age of 92. During her long but short life she had achieved lots of recognition and received a number of awards for her work. In recognition of her contribution to national development and in view of her interest in sports, particularly hockey, the National Hockey Pitch was named after h
er. She also chaired the National Hockey Association. Mrs. Okoh also received a citation from the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the National Sports Awards in 2004. Other awards included the Sports Writers’ Association of Ghana (SWAG) Awards and an award from “Obaa Mbo,” a TV Africa series. Additionally, the Asuogyaman District Assembly in the Eastern Region has erected a bust in her honour at Anum, her hometown.
It is an undeniable fact that this woman lived. She is a deserving mentor for the modern 21st Century Girl. Her story speaks of humble beginnings all the way to humble endings. Something the youth could learn a lot from. Her story also speaks of taking chances regardless of where you are from. Opportunity does come but once and if it is the right one, once is enough. (Her decision to answer one Advertisement in the newspaper went on to change her whole life and that of a nation). It also speaks greatly of belief in one’s self and to be one’s self. This is a woman who loved sports and went ahead to show it. An unusual and uncommon sport in Ghana and one dominated by men at that, hockey. She chaired the national hockey association and subsequently had a hockey pitch named after her. This shows her dedication and input. In a world where girls are obsessed with their body, make up, looking good and following the crowd, Mrs. Okoh’s story must be told to encourage uniqueness.
We are therefore justified if we say that Mrs Okoh Stood tall even in the midst of men. Even her design for the national flag, her choice of colors and how effectively they execute what Ghana stands for show intelligence and depth. As a young girl you must not be all about your looks, you must have substance. For the child born in a village amongst many siblings, she is a beacon of hope that anything is possible, if you believe. For the girl child she is a practical representation of the saying “What a man can do, a woman can do better” and for a parent, she shows that it’s never too late and the sky is the limit.
To quote Kalu Kalu – “What we do for ourselves die with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. It remains as your legacy.
Mrs. Okoh left a good one.
Written by: Sally Bagson