Scalloway woman receives MBE for volunteer work in Ghana

A Scalloway woman has been made an MBE after spending more than five decades strengthening relations between British and Ghanaian workers.

Labrada Akofio-Sowah moved to Ghana in 1972 from Asta, Scalloway, with her husband, where she had two daughters and worked as a teacher.

The 84-year-old has spent almost five decades volunteering for a number of British organisations, including the Caledonian Society which celebrates Scottish music and culture.

Mrs Akofio-Sowah recalled teaching Scottish dancing to Ghanaians in an effort to strengthen relations.

“I’m a school teacher by profession, but I also teach Scottish dancing and I was teaching a lot of Europeans and Ghanaians to do Scottish dancing.

“I’ve been working for 50 years in Ghana and improving the relationship between the British and the Ghanaians,” she said.

After being summoned by the British representatives in Ghana, she did not know she was awarded an honour, and feared “not mincing” her words had got her in trouble.

“I was a bit worried actually, I thought maybe I had said something that’s offended the British people who worked out here in Ghana.

“To be very frank, I don’t mince my words, so I was a bit worried I’d really offended somebody.

After being told she was being made an MBE, she was “absolutely shocked and excited”.

• Read the full story in this week’s Shetland Times.


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