The Pilot Who Set The Pace
This inspirational shero was Ghana’s first female pilot, and the first female pilot in Sub-Saharan Africa. We pay tribute to a groundbreaking aviator who excelled at everything she did.
A newspaper advert changed the life of Melody Millicent Danquah (1937-2016). The president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, had asked for women to apply to the Ghana Air Force and in 1963 Danquah was one of the first three women to be chosen. After finishing first in her class, she completed basic military training at the Ghana Military Academy and qualified as a pilot in 1965. This pioneering aviator racked up a number of firsts throughout her career, becoming the first Ghanaian to fly solo when she flew a de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk aircraft single handed in 1964.
After hanging up her wings in 1968, Danquah continued to soar. She worked for the military in an administrative role, before taking up roles at the World Food Programme and National Service Secretariat. Danquah entered the Bible School at the age of 60 and became a lay preacher, before becoming a member of the Board of Directors for the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).