Meet the lady who suggested names of ‘Big Six’ be printed on cedi notes

When Ms Priscilla Otomo picked her pen in 2009 to write an open letter to President J.E. A. Mills in The Ghanaian Times newspaper, she had only one wish—that the Bank of Ghana print the names of the Big Six on the GH₵10 note.

She had her wish. The President first gave her a surprise phone call.

“Ex-President Atta Mills followed up on the publication. In a conversation, he agreed to have my ideas implemented,” she told theghanareport.com.

Ms Priscilla Otomo Tetteh, the National Youth Personality for 2006, said she got the inspiration to write the letter from a conversation between pupils standing in a queue at a ‘trotro’ station.

The children were arguing about the names of the members of the ‘Big Six’—leaders of the first party registered in the then Gold Coast, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). They were arrested and detained under the Emergency Regulation in 1948 during disturbances in the Gold Coast. Those events eventually snowballed into what propelled the country to independence.

When the children turned to an elderly person to help them out of the confusion on the identities of the six personalities, he made matters worse.

“The man, who was selling books, grabbed the cedi note from one boy, mentioned three names without pointing to their faces on the currency. One boy pointed to a face on the note and demanded the name from the book vendor.

“He raised the cedi note to the sky and shouted Barack Obama! Goodness me! Barack Obama indeed! The vehicle to my destination arrived, so I went on board and left,” she said.

After the incident, Ms Tetteh an ardent writer made a passionate appeal to President Mills in her letter to The Ghanaian Times to have the names of the ‘Big Six’ inscribed on the cedi note. It previously had only the photographs.

She said, from there, President Mills, who later died in office on July 24, 2012, took a keen interest in her articles.

“Anytime, he [President Mills] got a copy of my publication he made sure he contacted whoever was in charge [agency responsible]. And they called me and asked me one or two questions,” she stated.

In the case of the cedi note, she said she had a call from a Bank of Ghana staff who said, “they would work on it and get back to me. The person said ‘it’s a very good suggestion’ so whatever that is due, any recognition that is due will be given to me.”

True to President Atta Mills’ words and assurances, several years after his demise, a look at the new GH₵ 5, GH₵10, GH₵20, GH₵ 50, GH₵ 100 and GH₵ 200 cedis notes shows the names of the ‘Big Six’ boldly printed on each picture.

New 100 cedi notes showing the names of the ‘Big Six’ written on the note
New 200 cedi notes showing the names of the ‘Big Six’ written on the note

She said while the Bank of Ghana promised her a reward; she was indifferent about it.

“If it comes fine, and if it doesn’t come fine. It’s all good.”

She observed that “some people do things expecting results, but some also do things expecting applause. So what happens if you don’t get the applause? Do you stop?” she asked.

She said it was her belief that the concentration should rather be on the results, not the applause.

Asked if she would like to be rewarded by the government or the BOG for her contribution to the new cedi notes, she shrugged, burst into laughter and said, “I don’t know. Unfortunately, I really don’t know.”

  1. Steven Annang Botchway says

    The young lady is amazing and incredible, she deserves to be rewarded. We all cannot be like her but she is a true patriotic Ghanaian,bravo!

    1. Alex tetteh says

      Impressive, she deserves an accolade

      1. B. N. Barnor says

        It’s important that young people like Ms Priscilla Otomo Tetteh, should be rewarded In one way or a other to encourage the youth to think out side the box. This is the time we need such people to help us out of the dull doldrums we are in at the moment. Sponsor her education to the max. So she can help the nation to the max.

  2. Edward Ocansey says

    I have loved to see this day and to read for myself the contribution of this sweet daughter of this Noble country. The father a friend of mine was a genius and so no wonder she was able to achieve such feat. Bravo OTOMO we are proud of you.

    1. Louise Webb says

      I believe Priscilla Oromo Tetteh is a force to be reckoned with. She is bright and has made many decisions for the betterment of herself and her beloved Ghana.


    I think coming from a humble home she should be assisted in her profession chosen to reach her peak in all her endeavours. Her achievements should not be swept under the carpet but duly be rewarded.

  4. Irene Tetteh says

    Wow Priscilla, you always amaze me with your works and this suggestion of yours on the cedi notes is no exception. The BOG needs to work with persons like this or at the least reward her massively for such contributions.

    1. Sandra says

      In Gods time, he makes all things beautiful. The lady should be sponsored through school and then after be an asset for the country. We need such people in our society. God richly bless her and lift her from Grace to Grace….

  5. Steve Tettey says

    I’m really impressed by this young lady’s impressive contribution to the BOG. She deserves an award and huge recognition. Her name should be written in Ghana’s history books.

    1. Amos Kyei Baffour says

      Brilliant lady he deserves an award

  6. Elisha Amponsah says

    Eventually miss Tetteh’s suggestion did not only help those school children but majority of we Ghanaians together with generations yet unborn. It’s about time the country acknowledges such people as this who behind the scenes give such brilliant ideas for the good of the nation. There should be a national book of people who have made such brilliant ideas that has been implemented by the nation. Something like the Guinness book of records.

  7. Nii Armah Tagoe says

    Such a brilliant idea and suggestion to the government, this will go a long way to help all of us now and generation yet unborn, She deserves a huge reward to encourage all to do same. May God bless her and bless Mother GHANA.

  8. Eben Lamptey says

    She should be sponsored through her education till the PhD level and be employed by the state. Such assets should be used wisely. These are the Elijah’s of our time.

    1. Rostella Adarku Quaye says

      The lady deserve an award. The bank needs to invest in her dream to enable her inspire the society at large in the years to come,

  9. B. N. Barnor says

    It’s important that young people like Ms Priscilla Otomo Tetteh, should be rewarded In one way or a other to encourage the youth to think out side the box. This is the time we need such people to help us out of the dull doldrums we are in at the moment. Sponsor her education to the max. So she can help the nation to the max.

  10. Godwin Oteng Asare says

    Wow, she is an asset!

  11. Carol Clottey says

    This is amazing. Miss Priscilla Otomo Tetteh is a genius that has been born to help the country . I believe with motivation and inspirational guide she will keep soaring high to a great destination that will go a long way to help the country and loved ones. She’s really an asset.

  12. Naa Anyekai Oddoye says

    Such a brilliant young lady. Through her the identities and names of the big six are now known to most Ghanaians who hitherto might have no idea who they were. That’s my Ga-danube relative. Kudos.

    1. Augustina Makafui Minamor Dzorkpe says

      @Priscilla Otomo Tetteh, I am very proud of you for your selfless contribution to the enhancement of the Ghanaian Cedi notes. Factually the names of the Big Six on the Cedi notes has educated many including children from my village Mafi Dugame a village across the volta river from Adidome. In my school days in this village I did not know any of the names of the Big Six but currently with the names on the new Cedi notes I was happy to witness a student from my old school in the village reciting the names of the Big Six off head.

      Congratulations to the implementation team that converted her ideas into a reality.

  13. Sampson Teppey Adjalo says

    Priscila Otomo Tetteh is a striking young personality: her thinking has a precocious ring to it, she is modest, shows no interest in pecuniary or other rewards for her suggestion. She sipped into the nation’s cultural fabric at such an early age that I will suggest every body should keep an eye on her: she is a gem to the nation and she has more to contribute to Mother Ghana! She is a huge inspiration to all generations. Grease to the elbow, Priscilla!

  14. Anonymous says

    A blessing to our country
    She is an influencial to we the youth

  15. Craig Addo says

    This is a legacy that will stand the test of time as long as the Cedi continues to be a legal tender in Ghana. She is a potential national treasure if not already

  16. Anonymous says

    Fantastic story. This brilliant lady deserves great recognition. Thumbs up for you Priscilla. May God continue to lift you up and make you a great National Figure one day.

    1. Augustina Makafui Minamor Dzorkpe says

      Yes, may Ms. Otomo’s patriotic flames keep burning and never go off. Ghana needs more of her.

  17. Anonymous says

    God richly bless this young lady who has made it possible for our young children to learn about the history of their motherland. More great ideas should come from this lady thank you.

  18. CARL REINDORF says

    Brilliant very intelligent and god given talent

  19. Obed k Kpodoh says

    The young is very intelligent and observant i think these are the kind of people the government should be spending on

  20. Gabriel says

    I am most grateful to God Almighty for such an adorable thought.
    In addition to this, I think if we adhere proper street naming, it would also go a long way in enhancing the youth to know more about our culture. Thank you once again.

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