|Audio Attachment:Listen to the interview with 91-Year-old Theodosia Okoh|
Designer of Ghana’s National Flag, Madam Theodosia Salome Okoh has lamented over the change of the name of the country’s National Hockey Pitch which she pioneered in constructing during the era of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Madam Theodosia Okoh who was a former chairperson of the Ghana Hockey Association bemoaned that it was unfair that the name of the stadium had to be changed when she is still alive.
Mr Alfred Oko Vanderpuiye disclosed on Thursday that the facility's name had not been changed.
According to her, the hockey pitch is still in the name of Madam Theodosia (Theodosia Oko Hockey Pitch) while the building and other facilities is now in the name of President John Evans Atta Mills (John Evans Atta Mills National Hockey Stadium).
Prior to that, as part of activities to commemorate the one year anniversary of late Prof. Mills, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Tuesday, decided to honour his memory by re-naming the National Hockey Stadium after him.
The ninety-one-year old woman told Kwami Sefa Kayi: “…Are they waiting for me to die before they will look for what to name me after? It is so annoying that the name has been changed. Where was he (Prof. Mills, late) when the place was being constructed? If I have been honoured, you are telling me that because he (late Mills) is dead, you are re-naming it after him…”
She was displeased that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly did not ‘even’ give her due respect by informing her of the change of name, adding, “I was not informed...I am not happy about it because when he (late Mills) was alive, he (late Mills) knew the facility was named after me and that was why he (late Mills) didn’t change it: so why now?”
Madam Okoh disclosed that the venue which is now being used as the hockey pitch was muddy and neglected until government gave them the permission to construct the facility.
The venue, according to reports, was going to be used as an extension to the lorry station popularly known as Tema Station but plans did not fall through until a decision to construct a hockey pitch was birthed.
Reminiscing how she designed the National Flag, she said there was an Advertisement in the local newspaper calling for a design of the National Flag for Ghana and so being an artiste, she submitted her design and consequently, was selected.
“I am an artiste and so when I heard of the advertisement, I did my design and gave it to the then government. My design was subsequently selected and that was how come I am known as the designer of the National Flag...We used to play hockey way back in Achimota and so I felt that if the country gets such facility, it would be helpful and that was why we constructed the Hockey Pitch…” she recalled.
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