Fans of BBC’s African Dream Series might have caught one of Ghana’s brightest stars this week. Although football may be the word on everyone’s lips at the moment, this show featured the inspirational female entrepreneur, Grace Amey-Obeng and her Forever Clair group of companies. Her story is commendable for her persistence and determination to change the perception of African beauty. At a time, when many women in Ghana and around Africa, are taken up with trying to bleach their skins, and they are bombarded with the media advertising message: lighter is beautiful, Amey-Obeng has disagreed.
She believed in the beauty of the black skin, and set out to create a cosmetics giant, producing beauty products that enhance black skin components instead of damaging them. Her success is seen, with her company operational in Ghana [running eight branches] and exporting to five African countries, and to Europe- Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Her dream and persistence is reminiscent of the many woman entrepreneurs on the continent trying to break even, in a fiercely competitive world. With her products flying off the shelf, she can be assured of future successes.
But, only half of the Ghanaian population has the time to worry about skin care at the moment. The other half are men. With the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in full swing, in South Africa, all eyes are on the soccer. This week, Ghana’s Black Stars played Mali in Port Elizabeth. Their 1:0 win brings Ghana closer to their dream of bringing home the trophy for the first time this century. Wakaso Mubarak scored his goal in the 38th minute of the match. The goal set the stadium full of Ghanaian supporters screaming in pearls of excitement. Mali’s coach had earlier referred to the team as the Germany of Africa for their constant presence at the Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
But, contrary to Amey-Obeng’s pride in her heritage causing a roaring success, Mubarak’s own background caused an uproar. Following his goal (which not only secured the lead, but also the win), he was swiftly penalised. This judgment was handed down when he raised his t-shirt showing a vest underneath with the words: Allah is Great.
Regardless of which side of the gender divide Ghanaians sit on, this week has provided just cause for celebration. Now, all eyes are turned to the upcoming Black Stars match against Niger. Although they are sitting at the top of the log in their division, no sports proud Ghanaian will be happy until they have cleared this hurdle. Of course, it remains to be seen just what successes will emerge from the female half of the country.