Everyone in the audience stood and clapped and fireworks flared when MTN Ghana’s CEO Serame Taukobong announced Dr Kwame Abrokwa Yankyera as the winner at the grand finale of the 2013 MTN Heroes of Change project last Friday, April 4 at the Accra International Conference Centre.
The MTN Heroes of Change is a television series initiated by the MTN Ghana Foundation that started running on Sundays on a select number of stations from Sunday, January 26.
The programmes key objective was to identify and recognise people who have sacrificed their energy, time and other resources to improve their communities and helped to brighten the lives of people around them.
Members of the public nominated their heroes in clearly spelt-out categories: Community Crusader, Social Protection, Health, Economic Empowerment and Education. The series, hosted by Kwami Sefa Kayi of Peace FM, featured 20 nominees.
A four-member panel of judges helped to decide winners in the various categories and an overall winner.
By the time Dr Yankyera stepped up to receive a dummy cheque for Ghc 50,000 as prize for his selfless work, it appeared to have struck the audience that giving one’s time, energy and resources in the interest of other people would always be a worthy sacrifice.
All the 20 nominees had earlier been called onto the stage to receive citations and hampers from MTN.
Winners in the various categories were Lily Mintah (Education), Abena Antwi (Social Protection), Amadu Mohammed (Community Crusader), Barimah Antwi-(Health) and Richard Achumboru (Economic Empowerment).
Each winner in the catergories receive Ghc10,000 to help them carry on with their good works.
Dr Yankyera who was adjudged the MTN Hero of Change, is one of only eight plastic surgeons in Ghana. It struck him that a large percentage of Ghanaians who live in rural areas are forced to live with easily correctible problems their whole lives because they do not have access to plastic surgeons.
He therefore set up the Graft Foundation and with the support of a few other like-minded folks, reach out to people in the rural and impoverished areas who need plastic surgery and operates on them free of charge.
In a brief acceptance speech, Dr Yankyera appealed to individual, corporate bodies and other entities to support the good work of the Graft Foundation.
It wasn’t just an evening of speeches and presentations as Becca, Okyeame Kwame, Koo Ntakara, the El Dunamis Choir and poet Chief Moomen all performed uplifting pieces to spice the programme.