From Fathia Nkrumah to Rebecca Akufo-Addo; meet the First Ladies of Ghana since Independence


While First Ladies prominently feature in the political, social life among many aspects of the nation, the roles of First Ladies have not officially been defined.

From the very first presidency, First Ladies have either been loved or reviled but one thing is clear; they represent their husbands on official and ceremonial occasions at home and outside the country.

As the world celebrates women in the month of March and on the back of International Women’s Day which was marked on March 8, 2020, we feature First Ladies of Ghana since the country gained Independence in 1957.

1. Helena Ritz Fathia Nkrumah

Fathaia was a Coptic Egyptian, the First Lady and wife of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Born and raised in Zeitoun, Fathia was natured and cared for by her single mum after the sad demise of her father.

Fathia studied French while in secondary school and after she completed, she became a teacher at her school, Zeitoun.

She later took a job at a bank. She became the ‘first mother of Ghana’ after the country gained Independence from British colonial rule.

According to, Fathia was one of five finalist women selected to be chosen as wife by Kwame Nkrumah. Osayefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah tied the knot with Fathia at the Christianborg Castle in Accra on 1957 New Year’s Eve after she arrived in Ghana.

Fathia is the first of all First Ladies of Ghana.

2. Naa Morkor Busia

Born on April 5th, 1924 in Accra, Naa-Morkor Abrefa Busia was admitted to a three-year midwifery-training course at Korle-Bu Hospital and graduated among the first hospital-trained midwives. Busia is credited with her effort for the building and improving midwifery clinics across the country. She championed to help reduce high infant mortality rate as the First Lady married to Prof. Busia.

3. Dora Fulera Limann

Dora Fulera Limann was born on November 8, 1945. She married Dr Hilla Limann who became president on September 24, 1979, after power was transferred to him by Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, then chairman of a junta, Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). He was, however, ousted by Rawlings on December 31, 1981. Mrs Fulera Limann, and Prof. Busia had seven children: Lariba Montia (née Limann), Baba Limann, Sibi Andan (née Limann), Lida Limann, Daani Limann, Zilla Limann and Salma Limann. 4. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings

4. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings

Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings completed Ghana International School and continued at Achimota School, where she met her beloved, Jerry John Rawlings. Nana Konadu got married to Rawlings in 1977.

They had their first child, Zanetor in 1978. Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings became First Lady first when her husband became Head of State briefly in 1979.

He returned to power in 1981 and was in charge until 2001. She has been the president of the 31st December Women’s Movement in 1982.

5. Theresa Kufuor

Madam Theresa Kufuor is the wife of former President John Kufour. She began her education at the Catholic Convent, OLA, at Keta in the Volta Region and moved to London, where she gained admission at Southern Hospital Group of Nursing.

She later relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland to be trained as a Registered General Nurse.

Theresa Kufuor has five children with John Kufuor; J. Addo Kufuor, Nana Ama Gyamfi, Saah Kufuor, Agyekum Kufuor and Owusu Afriyie Kufuor. She is also a grandmother of eight.

6. Ernestina Naadu Mills

Ernestina Naadu Mills, wife of the late President John Evans Atta Mills was the First Lady from 2009 to 2012. Her major project was the Ghana First Lady Senior High School (SHS) Students’ Bible Project which aimed at motivating students in SHS schools across the country to uphold high moral and ethical standards.

7. Lordina Mahama

Lordina Mahama is the wife of former president John Mahama from who was head of state from 2012-2017. The native of Jema-Ampoma in the Nkoranza District, located in the Brong-Ahafo Region was a student at Flair Catering Services and received a four-year college education in Hospitality Management at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). She studied for an MA in Governance and Leadership at GIMPA. She is the founder of the Lordina Foundation.

8. Rebecca Akufo-Addo

Rebecca Akufo-Addo is the current First Lady of Ghana and the wife of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. She attended the primary department of Achimota School.

View this post on Instagram

On the 26th of February, 2020, I had the pleasure of commissioning a health centre at Huni-Valley, which serves several communities in the municipality. Considering the importance of this facility to the thousands of people living in this municipality, it is only appropriate for it to be upgraded and equipped with modern facilities to better serve our people, especially women and children. I commend the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation for contributing to improvements in the health and maternal care of the people adding true meaning to what corporate social responsibility is all about. The job of delivering development is everyone’s responsibility. As the Corporate Social Responsibility focus of Gold Fields aligns with that of the Rebecca Foundation, I believe there is an opportunity for partnership to address key issues on health, education and economic empowerment for women in the two municipalities of Prestea Huni-Valley and Tarkwa-Nsuaem. The Rebecca Foundation, therefore, looks forward to this partnership opportunity with Gold Fields.

A post shared by Rebecca Akufo-Addo (@rakufoaddo) on

She is an alumna of Wesley Grammar School in Dansoman. She worked at the Merchant Bank in Ghana before she moved to United Kingdom where she worked as a legal secretary for Clifford Chance/Ashurst Morris Crisp, all multinational law firms.

Rebecca and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo have been married for 22 years and in 2017 they celebrated their 20th Anniversary. They have five daughters and five grandchildren.

First Published on

news today

Popular Today

From Talented Kids to National Science and Maths Quiz: Samuel Owusu makes unbeatable history; makes everyone proud
Live Streaming: Finance Minister Presents 2020 Mid-Year Budget Review (Watch)
South Africa halts AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine Rollout

You May Also Like