SHOWCASING OUR ODADEE LADIES ACHIEVERS
Engineer Patricia Obo Nai
Director (Sales and Marketing) Vodafone and First Female CTO In Telecommunications Industry In Ghana
[October 21st, 1991] Just like KGB agent Anna Kushchenko casing her target, she sat quietly moving her eyes around to hide her nervousness but observing every activity around her. It was her first formal day in PRESEC and her apprehensions were legitimate. She had heard stories of the notoriety of PRESEC boys making life ‘uncomfortable’ for ladies who enroll for the sixth form course. Ladies have been called names; some very pejorative to the extent that these ladies absented themselves from school assemblies and Dining Hall for whole academic year.
The decision to come to PRESEC for sixth form was quick and firm; like a lady in love accepting the proposal from her suitor; a no brainer. Indeed Patricia needed to come to PRESEC. She had chosen our school ahead of others because she wanted competition. PRESEC the most treasured school of the Presbyterian Church is the meeting place of academic brains and the sure place to bring the best out of her. She made the right choice and was not disappointed because the mathematical genius of late Odadee Colonel Annor Odjija, the analytical mind of Odadee J. H Frimpong Ansah, the computational prowess of Odadee Yeboah Amoa and the sheer wizardry of late Odadee Prof Djumah -Badu and the late Aaron Ashitey Ollenu among others, reincarnated later generations of students.
So within weeks she settled, assimilated and enjoyed PRESEC to her fullest. Patricia’s favorite food in PRESEC was plantain & beans at Goase. To her credit, she neither owes any outstanding debt at this bush canteen joint nor did she barter trade bathing soap for fried yams and fish as Prof Nii Adote did in 1982. Some of her classmates were Reginald Atta-Kesse, Akuba Dolphin and Regina Mawusi Yovonoo. Our Denkyira princess, the second of four sisters, is a twin and was nicknamed Twinnie 2 in PRESEC to distinguish her from her sister who was there with her.
Products of Father Odadee are game changers and like matured wine most sought after. Today she is Director (Sales and Marketing) of Vodafone . Her impressive academic achievements and laurels coupled with her assiduousness and ability to get things done has opened many doors for her in her professional career. In addition to her BSc Electrical/ Electronic Engineering from University of Science and Technology Kumasi, Kakra holds an MBA (Project Management) from University of Ghana Business School. Patricia has also attended leadership courses at London Business School, Oxford and Harvard Business School. Knowledge is power and to make herself competitive and versatile, Patricia in 2016, enrolled at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management for a one year course in Business Marketing Strategy.
Mathematics is a scary subject for many. Some ‘bradas’ who managed grade 6 pass in the subject at O Levels, knelt down to worship and celebrated with mashed yam and eggs. Others kept a distance from the subject and became uncomfortable as their kids sought help with their homework. Not Patricia. She loves complex equations and solving them brings great delight. Her mathematical mastery, aptitude and flair must be a gift from God.
Today this former student of St Roses 20 years’ experience in network planning, operations and strategy as well as extensive management and leadership experience in Technology, Marketing and Customer Operations comes in handily in her work at Vodafone. In becoming the first CTO in the Communications Industry in Ghana, Odadee Patricia shattered known societal stereotypes that confined ladies to certain positions in the workplace. She weakened a chauvinistic view of male dominance in the process and sent a clear message that ladies were ready to lead in the corporate world. She must have drawn inspiration from the many Ghanaian women achievers before her: the Esther Ocloos, the Florence Dolphynes, the Akua Kuenyehias and the Bramford Addos etc
Odadee Patricia has indeed come a long way. From her Bishop Bowers primary school days with her book bag weighing her down; eating her yoghurt whilst waiting to be picked up to confidently being in the top echelons of Vodafone Ghana; second largest operator with a market share of 22%.
The Proverbial Presec ‘Eye –Trong’ under her wings makes her handle any mischief from her three boys easily. A football pundit and die hard Hearts of Oak fan, Kakra has catalogued the great times of her idol club including the 1973 season when the Phobians won all five trophies[ Gala, League, Knockout, SWAG and Ga Mantse], the Miracle at El-Wak in 1977 and the unforgettable September 30th 1979 clash with Hafia of Guinea at Accra Stadium . On weekends, she relaxes at home with the family watching movies and sipping her favorite coke drink.
As she prepares her third stew for the coming week in her spacious custom designed and equipped kitchen amid the aroma of garlic and other asian species, she lets out in her alto voice, melodious Presbyterian tunes that plants her among the sixth formers at the back of PRESEC assembly hall. Nostalgia galore with contentment visibly on her face. The PRESEC experience was truly worth it.
Odadee Patricia, Father Odadee is proud of you.