As the first female senior high school in Ghana, Wesley Girls High School has its old students leading in all areas of life both at home and abroad.
This 184-year-old school was established in 1836 by Mrs. Harriet Wrigley, the wife of a Methodist clergy initially as a primary school with 25 girls.
According to historical sources, her aim was to give the girls basic training in housekeeping and Catechism.
The new school taught the girls subjects including writing, reading, sewing and religious education. Classes were held at the Manse, in the Standfast Hall near the Victoria Park in Cape Coast.
However, she fell ill and died, 5 months after her arrival to the Gold Coast hence the school was dysfunctional until 1837 when another headmistress, Mrs Elizabeth Waldron arrived.
Waldron steered the affairs of the school for 43 years and it morphed into the Wesleyan Girls’ School and Training Home. Other headmistress, teachers and students followed, making the school one of the most prominent, successful and highly ranked second cycle institution in Africa.
The Africa Almananc ranked them as 68 out of the top 100 high schools in Africa and have constantly swept all the top Awards at the WAEC awards.
In a country like Ghana where the girl child and women were sidelined from active education and governance for a long time, ladies from Wesley Girls were already fighting for inclusion, affirmative action and diversity in every area of society.
Check out our list of 40 highly successful women who are old girls of Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast
Georgina Theodora Wood
Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Woods was the first female Chief Justice of Ghana. She retired in 2017 after five decades of service to the state. She is a member of the Council of State.
Melody Millicent Danquah
Flt. Cadet Melody Danquah was the first female pilot in Africa. Danquah’s first in the de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk aircraft also made her the first Ghanaian to fly an aeroplane solo.
She received her Wings qualifying her as a pilot from Kofi Baako who was the Minister of Defence on the 15th of April,1965.
Sylvia is the first female Registrar of West Africa Examinations Council also known as W.A.E.C. She is a former Chief Executive.
Brigadier General Afenu is the first female brigadier general of the Ghana Armed Forces and the first woman to occupy the position of Deputy Military Adviser to Ghana’s Permanent Mission in New York.
Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang
Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman is the first female Vice-Chancellor of a Public University in Ghana. She was also a former Minister of Education. She also made history as the first woman to be selected as vice-presidential candidate for her party, the NDC.
Mary Chinery-Hesse is the first woman to be Chancellor of the University of Ghana. She was inducted on 1 August 2018.
She was also the first female Deputy Director of the International Labour Organization.
Another first for her was her appointment as the first African Woman Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System and Resident Representative of UNDP to several African countries including, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Seychelles, and Uganda.
Mercy Yvonne Debrah-Karikari
Mercy Yvonne Debrah-Karikari is the first female to be Secretary to the Cabinet. She was appointed by President Akuffo-Addo in 2017. Prior to her appointment, she was Ghana’s Ghana’s High Commissioner to Australia under the John Mahama administration.
Hon. Gladys Asmah was the first head of the Ministry for Women and Children Affairs when it was created in 2001. It is now known as the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Lucy Quist (née Afriyie) is the first Ghanaian woman to become the CEO of a multinational telecommunications company in Ghana.
She is an award-winning author, mother and a business and technology executive.
Jemila Abdulai is the first Ghanaian blogger, launching her blog, Circumspecte in 2007 way before online writing and blogs were a popular trend. She is also a writer and digital marketer.
Sophia Ophilia Adjeibea Adinyira
Justice Sophia Ophelia Adjeibea Adinyira is a former Supreme Court Judge.
In 2019, she was appointed as the first female and lay Canon of the Cathedral Church of St Peter in the Anglican Diocese of Koforidua.
She also served as vice moderator of the World Council of Churches in Geneva and was a member of its Central Committee from 2006 to 2013.
Ama Ata Aidoo
Prof Ama Ata Aidoo is award-winning author, academic, former Minister of Education.
Her first play, The Dilemma of a Ghost which was written in 1964 was published by Longman the following year, making Aidoo the first published African woman dramatist.
Former Chief Justice of Ghana, Her Ladyship Sophia Akuffo is the first Ghanaian female elected to serve as a Judge of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Her Ladyship Mrs Justice Mabel Maame Agyemang is the current Chief Justice of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
She is the first female Chief Justice of The Gambia. Her appointment was widely seen as an inspired choice as she is seen by the international community as an experienced and independent-minded judge.
Professor Florence Abena Dolphyne is a Ghanaian linguist and academician. Prof Dolphyne was the first female Pro-vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon. She is also the first Ghanaian woman to be a Professor of any discipline.
Breaking the glass ceilings has always been second nature for as she also distinguished herself at Mfantsipim School as the first female student to win a prize at the school during her sixth form days.
Eva Lokko was the first Ghana to be selected as Vice-Presidential candidate of a party. She was the first female Managing Director of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.
Her work in Ghana’s engineering field is unrivalled as the first Satellite Communications Engineer and the first woman engineer to be employed at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in 1972.
She was part of the engineering team that installed and maintained Ghana’s first colour television infrastructure in 1985.
Joy Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu
Prof Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu is a law professor and member of the United Nations Independent Panel On Peace Operations. She is an active Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana. Prof. Mrs Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu is the first woman to obtain first-class honours in Law.
Dr Mrs Mary Grant was Ghana’s first female council of state member and the first female medical doctor from Wesley Girls High School.
Afua Adwo Jectey Hesse
Prof Adwoa Hesse’s life has been filled with many firsts including her enviable position as the first female Paediatric Surgeon in Ghana.
The first woman surgeon from her alma mater and first Ghanaian to serve as the President of the Medical Women’s International Association in its 91-year-old history.
She was the first female to serve as Head of the Department of Surgery, Director of Medical Affairs, Head of the Paediatric Surgery Unit and subsequently the Acting CEO of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
She was the first female Honorary Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association.
Prof Hesse is Co-founder and the first President of the Accra College of Medicine, Ghana’s first private Medical school.
Emma Morrison became the first General Manager for News and Sports at TV3 after working as a reporter for many years. She later assumed a role as the Editor of Joy News TV.
She is currently the Group Head Business Programming, Radio, TV, IM at Multimedia Group Ltd
Martha Akyaa Pobee
Martha Pobee is a Ghanian diplomat and Ghana’s first female Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She was appointed to the position in 2015 by President John Dramani Mahama.
Yvonne Tsikata is an international economist.
She is the first Ghanaian woman to become Vice President at the World Bank.
Prior to earning her enviable position as Vice President, Tsikata was Director of Economic Policy in the Europe and Central Asia region. She served as Country Director for the Caribbean in the Latin America region for the same organisation.
Mrs. Patience Akyianu
Mrs Patience Akyianu is the first Ghanaian female MD of the Barclays Bank Ghana.
Akyianu joined Barclays as Finance Director in November 2008 and became a member of the Board in March 2010. Euromoney named her as one of Africa’s top Rising Stars.
Hannah Serwaa Tetteh
Hannah Tetteh is a former minister and barrister.
She is first Ghana to be appointed as Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU).
She was also the first female member of parliament for the Awutu Senya Constituency.
Hon Alima Mahama is a lawyer, the second woman to be Minister for the affairs of women and children and the first female MP for the Naleirugu/Gamabaga Constituency. She is also a renowned gender expert.
Angela Kyeremanteng Jimoh
The first female country manager of IBM in Africa,
Nana Ama Yeboah
First Female Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana
Mrs Felicity Mensah
First Female Deputy Auditor General
Mrs. Peace Ayisi Otchere
First Female Executive Director of the African Development Bank
Mrs. Irene Duncan-Adanusah
First Female Secretary General of G.N.A.T.
Mrs Comfort Engman
First President of Women World Banking
Dr. Mrs Rosina Acheampong
First Ghanaian Head of the School and First Female Deputy Director-General, G.E.S
Rebecca Akosua Acheampomaa Acheampong was the Ghanaian female to win a KORA award, one of the continent’s most prestigious awards in music.
Deputy Minister of Education and Culture, Yeboah was a founding member of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) in 1992. She was also the first Parliamentary candidate for the Akuapim South Constituency in 1992.
Dr. Mrs. Emma Entuah-Mensah
First Female Doctor in Acquatic Biology
Rev. Ethel Vanderpuije
First Female Minister of Religion (Methodist Church – Ghana)
First Female Vice President (Methodist Church)
Mrs. Florence Martey
First Female Marine Radio Engine
Mrs. Comfort L. V. Opoku
First Female Surveyor
Mrs. Gertrude Ayorkor Mills-Tettey
First Female Student to win the National Excellence Award instituted by the WAEC for the overall Best candidate in the Science programme
Ms. Araba Quansah
First Female Actuarial Scientist in West Africa
Professor Rita Akosua Dickson
First female Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
Rev. Afo Blay
First Female Director General, Ghana Education Service
Dr. Dorcas Osei-Safo
First Female Doctor in Chemistry, U. C. C.