Ghana – Okyeame Kwame was presented with a plaque by Ghana’s Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, on 15 June. The plaque is in recognition of the musician’s contribution towards combating illiteracy in his home country.
The hiplife musician has been an advocate for improving children’s literacy levels for about a decade through Worldreader Ghana – a multifaceted project that includes an app that allows pupils to access free digital books. Okyeame Kwame also composed the theme song for the project’s radio programme.
“I dedicate the award to Worldreader Ghana for introducing me to reading and literacy advocacy. And to all the children in Ghana who are missing school because of COVID-19,” Okyeame Kwame said.
He was presented with the award during a virtual launch of the Ghana Learning Radio: Reading Program. The radio show was developed by the government in partnership with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and the US Agency for International Development. The launch of the programme follows the closure of more than 25 000 primary schools nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The programme will be broadcast daily in English and the 11 indigenous languages that are taught in Ghanaian schools. It will target children and pupils from preschool to fourth grade.
“COVID-19 has kept more than 4 million Ghanaian children at home from school,” Okyeame Kwame told Music In Africa. “And for those whose parents are not strict, all they do is play. Despite the many setbacks brought about by the pandemic, most sectors are slowly resuming their activities, and education should not be an exception.
“So I was ecstatic when they contacted me to join the radio programme, which had trained teachers to give knowledge to children. My children and I have been part of a lot of reading projects by Worldreader, the Canadian Organisation for Development through Education, and the Ghana Book Trust. So this is in line with what I love to do.”
Okyeame Kwame has received a number of accolades for his philanthropy. In 2017, former US president Barack Obama bestowed on him the President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of his humanitarian work in raising awareness around hepatitis B.
He was also named as UNICEF Super Dad Ambassador alongside David Beckham and Hugh Jackman in the same year. Additionally, he was named Outstanding Health Ambassador at the 2017 People’s Choice Practitioners Awards.