• Cultural diplomat
  • Media personality
  • Humanitarian
  • Sports marketing consultant
  • Family woman

"Culture is the fuel that drives my business"

GUBA-2015-launch

Dentaa is widely recognised as a leader in cultural diplomacy. Over the years, through her own endeavours and through strategic collaborations, she has created and buttressed bonds between Ghana and the United Kingdom. The GUBA Awards, established in 2008, are a prime example of Dentaa's work in celebrating Ghanaian and African achievement outside of the continent. She has managed to bring Ghanaian brands and products to new audiences. She has also been instrumental in helping Ghanaian sportsmen, musicians and actors crossover into European markets.

Her motivation for doing this is pride in where she comes from and her belief that she owes much of who she is today to the culture in which she was raised. She believes that Ghanaian culture is something that should be embraced and shared with the world, and that knowledge of Ghana's history and culture has instilled within her a strong sense of pride and determination.

"Africa faces challenges in the way that it is portrayed in the media. I've made it my mission to demonstrate that there is so much more to Africa than tales of poverty, hunger, disease, war, and corruption."

C4news

Dentaa is no stranger to a TV studio, having been a TV presenter in her native Ghana. She is best known to Ghanaian TV audiences for her appearances on Mentor (a music-based reality TV show), and the self-titled The Dentaa Show.

However, Dentaa is aware that those with real influence in broadcasting work behind the camera. Dentaa herself has worked on both sides of the camera, producing and presenting Dinner With Dentaa. However, her true interest in media lies in how channels of communications can be used to better inform people of the stories that can shape our understanding of the political and economic development of the world in which we live. 

She is also a mouthpiece for the Africa that many in the West would struggle to recognise. Decades of negative reporting of Africa has resulted in a deeply-ingrained perception that Africa is a continent of poverty, hunger, disease, wars, corruption, and poor political leadership. Dentaa routinely shares her experiences of working in Africa and working with Africans to paint a picture of hope, innovation, hustle, achievement, inspiration, and beauty.

Dentaa also believe that the media has a responsibility to inform and educate audiences about health challenges. 

 

"Education has a multiplier effect on a society"

Humanitarian2

Dentaa is a firm believer in empowering future generations through providing access to quality education. Giving young people a better understanding of the world that they live in, and socio-political dynamics that underpin most of what goes on in the world, will give young people a stronger sense of where they can fit in into this world, and how they can change the way things are for the better. 

Dentaa has travelled widely and has experienced both abject poverty and lavish opulence, and has concluded that most people don't necessarily want huge mansions, fast cars, and private yachts; they just want a better and more secure life for themselves and their loved ones. A good education enables people to make informed independent decisions, empowering them with the knowledge, skills and confidence to allow them to earn a better living, contribute to the advancement of their communities, and provide a better life for those they love dearest. It is one of the most effective ways to halt the vicious cycle of poverty. 

Whilst working on the GUBA Awards, which celebrates the outstanding achievers of Ghanaian heritage, Dentaa realised that although there is plenty to celebrate, there were also many needs within the community that were in need of tackling, be them related to education or poverty, health or disability.

To help address these challeneges, she created the GUBA Foundation, the charitable branch of GUBA, whose present focus is infant mortality, having previous focused on autism.

"I believe that, through sport, we are united"

Sports-consultant2

Dentaa believes that 'everyone has God-given gifts, whether they lend themselves to becoming a lawyer, doctor, model or an athlete'. If the resources and opportunities to develop, employ, and share one's gifts for the common good are available, she believe that positive social change will inevitably follow.

Through her work and travels, she has observed that nothing has the ability to unite often disparate groups behind a common cause quite like sport can. The world's biggest sporting event - the FIFA World Cup in Brazil - took place in 2014. Dentaa was there and noted how Brazil used the limelight that hosting a major sporting event brings to show off elements of its national culture. Whilst the funding of the tournament may have caused divisions amongst the population, what stuck with Dentaa was how the tournament attracted the attention of hundreds of millions of people from different cultures, who were able to proudly embrace their national differences whilst uniting through a mutual love for the beautiful game.

Sport has always had immense power to influence society. Who could overlook the statements sportsmen like Jesse Owens and Mohammed Ali made, using the platforms that sport provided them? As a healthcare professional, Dentaa acknowledges that sport improves our physical quality of life, but it also has the potential to bring pride in one's culture to life in a positive way.

"No matter what happens, I know I will always have a solid rock"

Family-woman

Dentaa's family is extremely important to her; she knows that she can always rely on them. She counts them as her biggest supporters and her guidance. She has special praise for her partner whom she regards as her 'backbone' for giving her me the vision and support needed to follow her ambitions. Speaking of him, she says "No matter what happens throughout my life or what challenges I face, I know that I will always have a solid rock."

Dentaa has three young children and says that they are the best motivation she could possibly have to do all that she can to create a better world for them to grow up in.

Friday, 03 February 2017
Published in Blog

The past few weeks have seen a wind of fresh change sweep across the Ghanaian political landscape, and the winds of change do not seem to be slowing down. I have had the pleasure and privilege of meeting the British High Commissioner Designate to Ghana Iain Walker who will be replacing the incredible incumbent High Commissioner H.E. Jon Benjamin when his stint concludes in summer 2017.

The BHC-Designate comes into the position with an impressive resume in hand. He has worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the past 6 years, spending four of those years as Director of the Board. A law graduate from the University of Dundee, his experience is wide-ranging, including a consulting role for PwC, a two year stint in the UK Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit as a policy lead in transformational government and a four year role at EY (formerly Ernst & Young – one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms).

Speaking to him, I was blown away by his vibrancy and his enthusiasm for this momentous role. Mr Walker was really excited about going to Ghana for the first time. As well as looking forward to meeting Ghanaians, Iain couldn’t wait to put all his time and energies towards this role! He seemed so vibrant and ready to help.

From our brief discussions I was left in no doubt that Iain will handle his new diplomatic role with aplomb, great poise and excellence.

I found the BHC-Designate’s enthusiasm to be infectious. I walked away from our maiden meeting enthused and excited to begin a wonderful new working relationship with the dynamic British High Commissioner Designate, Iain Walker, and look forward to embarking on a new chapter building on the long-standing and fruitful collaboration between the GUBA Enterprise and the British High Commission in Ghana.

GUBA will be holding time with the BHC-Designate in May at the FCO ahead of the GUBA Awards on 3rd of June 2017 to which Mr Walker has already confirmed his attendance.

Saturday, 05 November 2016
Published in Blog

'My friends don't believe me when I say that we are going to see the Queen'. The words of the my eldest son.

As my appointment date at the Palace drew ever closer, my home has been a melting pot of emotions and feelings. Tension. Pressure. Excitement. Joy. These emotions have been magnified in the hearts of my children, all three buzzing about their business in eager anticipation of Thursday, 27 October 2016. My children had earlier told me about how that excitement had set their school communities ablaze. Their friends had caught fire with visions of the royalty and pomp. And although their minds were racing, my eldest son reported that his friends still didn't quite believe him!

To be honest, even now – months after I received the notice that few are privileged to ever receive – I find myself in exactly the same position as those friends of my children. I am still pinching myself.

Ten years ago, five years ago, even at the start of this year, if you had told me that I, Dentaa Amoateng, born in Juaso, Ghana, would one day find herself in the same corridors of power which once reigned over the place of my birth, that I would stand in that opulent and world-renowned residence of Queen Elizabeth II receiving one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a member of the Commonwealth, I would've chastised you for having the sheer audacity to tell me such a lie. And yet here I am, having lived in the audacity of my dreams. Here I am, having experienced the reality of those far-flung fairy tales of visiting the Queen's palace.

Here I am, holding my dreams in the palm of my hand.

Holding that pendant in my hand, I feel its weight. Not just its literal weight – that's probably the most insignificant thing about it. Holding it, I feel the sheer weight of the award, the sheer gravity of the recognition bestowed upon me. It is this which remains something I simply struggle put into words. But I must try.

One thing I must make clear, is that awards such as this are not earned alone. Left to me and my own devices, I would never have got anywhere close to this MBE.

My GUBA family – the GUBA Enterprise universe which consists of the GUBA Awards, Foundation, Expo and Careers Fair teams – have dragged me to this place of achievement. To my team, please know that I am the sum of your parts.

Every drop of your blood, sweat, and tears, every second of your time, and every joule of your energy coalesced into this moment.

The greatest powers in the land have seen our work and deemed it worthy of recognition. This victory is our victory. This MBE is our time in the sun.

Dentaa with her MBE and family

When I stood before royalty in Buckhingham Palace, please understand that I was not standing there alone. Yes, my precious mother, my wonderful children, and my incredible husband were there in person to support. But I stood with each and every one you there with me in spirit. All the encouragers. All the supporters. All the workers. Everybody who has believed in the dream. Everybody who has put in the miles to make Ghana and Africa as a whole stand tall. The celebrities and the stars who work among us in plain view. This award is for everybody who has contributed to the GUBA journey so far.

I would argue that the weight of this MBE goes even further than that. GUBA started as a way to recognise the positive contributions that a particular community of immigrants and descendants of immigrants have made to UK life, culture, and its economy. Yes, GUBA has recognised the high-flying entrepreneurs, the flamboyant footballers, and the fearless philanthropists, but it's also about the ambitious students, the hardworking doctors and nurses, the teachers, bus drivers, and community stalwarts who all play vital roles in the fabric of British society. This MBE is also for you.

Ghanaians form just one of many communities in the UK, so to honour me for recognising the contribution all the above make to UK society is an admission that what we bring and what we do is valued from the very top. And whilst I'm unashamedly pro-Ghana, this rhetoric should be extended to other diaspora communities – Nigerians, Polish, Indians, Italians, and countless others.

2016 will go down as the year where discord on the issue of Britain's current and future relationship with foreigners seldom left the headlines.

In spite of this, the Queen herself, through honouring me has added weight to the idea that Britain should and does value the Great Britain that we have all helped to create. 

This MBE is ours. This is for all of us. This is for Ghana. This is for Mama Africa. This is for people from all over the world who through being here have really put the 'Great' into Great Britain. 

God bless you, and congratulations to you all.

Dentaa with MBE outside Buckingham Palace

Friday, 10 June 2016
Published in Blog

Today, I have been honoured by Her Majesty The Queen with an MBE, and the irony of this won’t be lost on many of you who are aware of what I do.

I don’t vigorously promote Africa and build ties between the continent, her diaspora, and the UK to receive awards, honours, or recognition. I prefer to give out awards to those who are pioneering change across the African continent.

What I do I do for the love of my countries and my continents. I am particularly driven by a vision of an African continent that’s delivering for its people, and a people who are positively impacting on their communities.

I am just one of many whose work is focused on contributing to an Africa that we can all be proud of. In my case, this work began years ago and has been all consuming since. But I know where we could be heading as a continent and that’s what drives me to work tirelessly to create a better future for myself, my children, and those yet to be born. By 2026 – in just ten years’ time – Africa can be heralded globally as an economic, cultural, and technological superpower.

This is my work.

This is my passion.

This is #MyAfrica2026

♦ ♦ 

‘How times have changed!’ he thought as he felt the cold cuffs clasp around his wrists on a humid equatorial night in June 2026. 

He knew he was in the wrong. And then he knew he was doubly wrong for trying to rectify his wrong with another wrong. ‘How times have changed!’ he thought to himself again as he sat in the police car now headed to the station.

Speeding. He’d just bought a new eco-friendly SUV, African made, beautiful crafted, packed with modern features. Having just won a multi-million dollar contract for his firm, it was a hard-earned gift to himself. The salesman at the showroom had rattled off acceleration speeds and top speeds and other impressive stats. It was his duty as a consumer to test his new car, right? The government had also recently completed a brand new highway. It was his duty to test this new road that his taxes had helped build, right? So with his speedometer climbing towards the heavens, his engine thundering, and his tyres spinning hypnotically, he was absorbed in a world of his own. Until he saw and then heard it – the flashing lights and wailing siren cocktail of inconvenience.

Luckily for him, he knew how the dance went. Ten years earlier, in 2016, when he was in his late teens, he remembered seeing his uncle hand an officer a wad of cash following a driving offence.

He knew the dance. What he had failed to notice was that the song had changed.

Successive governments had, from the top down, shown willpower and leadership in the fight against corruption to the point where bribing a police officer in 2026 was as smart as putting petrol into a diesel car. Now even the wealthy and powerful had to operate within the law. Political commitment, CCTV cameras, the rise in investigative journalism, and embarrassing court cases were just some of the factors that meant that judges, civil servants, the police, everyone thought twice before offering or accepting a bribe.

As he sat in the back of the police car, his initial disbelief gave way to an ironic smirk. Offering money used to get you out of trouble, but now offering money was a sure-fire way to get you into trouble. That humid June’s night in 2026, the patriot deep inside him nodded in approval. ‘How times have changed’.

Corruption denormalised. Law and order respected. Citizens with an embedded moral compass protected. That’s My Africa 2026.

Transparent processes meaning that the most able companies win the lucrative contracts, and the most qualified candidates land the jobs. What you know mattering more than who you know. That’s My Africa 2026.

Knowledge that is generated from within Africa, shared throughout the world, and used to improve local conditions. That’s My Africa 2026.

An enthusiastic medical student arrives at a village hospital to continue her training. On arrival at the maternity ward she is briefed and receives all the files she needs via App-ointment, a mobile app which securely stores all the medical records of patients, making them easily accessible and accurate at the point of need. It syncs with a scannable wristband patients are issued with on admission. She doesn’t know it, but the app, which had been rolled out to all hospitals and clinics across the region, was conceived and coded by two kids still in their teens. 

She goes for a walk around the maternity ward, aided by a senior midwife who has worked at the same hospital for over twenty-five years. Whilst the ward has been renovated and refitted relatively recently, due to stories she’s been told about the state of the ward at the time that the senior midwife joined at the turn of the century, she could still sense the ghosts of yesteryear. She could still hear the cries of agony of hundreds of women whose nine months of anticipation only gave birth to a lifetime of unspeakable pain, were they themselves lucky enough to have survived.

As she walked around, she saw women grateful for their nation’s commitment to meeting its Sustainable Development Goals and reducing infant mortality; grateful to a succession of governments who invested in the future of their nation by investing in the facilities and institutions that would enable them to survive and thrive. The ghosts of past years could still be heard rattling within the walls of the ward, but so could the healthy cries of live babies.

The senior midwife discretely points to a young mother and child in the far corner of the ward. ‘That lady over there with the large afro who’s just given birth… I delivered her twenty-five years ago. She was one of my first. It was one of the hardest days of my life, because her mother didn’t make it. Now I’ve just delivered her own baby. When I handed her baby back to her, she couldn’t take her eyes off of her daughter. Tears were falling.' It could only be because she had been able to look into the eyes of her healthy little princess and her daughter look back into hers, which was the most basic of bonds that she herself never got the chance to share with her own mother.’

In My Africa 2026, women are recognised as equal to men and have risen to positions of influence in all areas of life. Hillary Clinton has just finished her second term as president of the USA and, in her final visit to Africa as president, she had noted that Africa had a higher percentage of female heads of state than any other continent. 

A continent that demonstrates strength in its diversity. A continent where whether you pray to the east or to your ancestors, whether you are beech or mahogany, whether you cook jollof with white, brown, or basmati rice, differences are respected and fuel education, collaboration, and innovation rather than conflict, distrust, and animosity.

Let the journalists who come to cover our elections, hoping to write their columns with the spilt blood of the wounded and deceased return back to their HQs with an empty page because yet another smooth election in Africa is frustratingly un-newsworthy.

Let the university students in London looking to get in a takeaway decide to ‘order in a Ghanaian’, because it was a better option than ordering in an Indian, Chinese, Italian, or Thai that night.

Let the continent be the first to balance socio-economic development without sacrificing the sense of community that has pulled the continent through countless moons of adversity.

Let us master prosperity, but without the pollution.

Let holidaymakers, trade partners, honeymooners, and school kids from all corners of the globe (including from other African countries, as visa-free intracontinental travel for Africans is now a thing!) replace NGO workers, employees of exploitative extractive companies, and aimless gap year students in My Africa 2026.

In order to achieve this vision of Africa within a decade, let us support those impassioned individuals and groups who are doing their bit to create the pieces to the jigsaw that will eventually depict the mighty, productive, and prosperous continent of Africa.

The projects initiated by young, dynamic, progressive, and positive-minded Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora may seem insignificant compared to the issues that our continent contends with today. These initiatives may seem sporadic. The people behind them may seem naïve, their ideas uncoordinated, or even spurious. But these are exactly the kind of minds that will catalyse change across all sectors of society.

As with many things in life, people only see the effects of change long after the work that brought about that change began.

Today, I have been honoured. But, the truth is, whilst I am deeply honoured, I was already honoured by virtue of being born to a continent that is an embarrassment of riches. When, by 2026, we are all able to proudly call Africa home and know that we ourselves have contributed to it being the powerhouse that we always knew it could be, the honour will truly be all ours.

Share your vision for Africa in 2026 through the #MyAfrica2026 hashtag.