The path to achieving global recognition is never easy, and it is even more difficult if you are from Africa. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and here, we look at some Ghanaians who have won prestigious global awards.

Abraham Atta

The Ghanaian actor who hails from Accra seems to be living ahead of his time. His debut in the movie industry in 2015 in ‘Beasts of No Nation’ earned him global acclaim. In the movie, he played the role of a child soldier and was called Agu. As a result of that, he won the Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival in 2015.

The Mastroianni Award was established in honour of Italian Actor, Marcello Mastroianni in 1998. The award recognizes an emerging actor/actress.


Sarkodie needs no introduction. He’s one of the most decorated and respected rappers in the world and has won several prestigious awards.

In 2012, he won the Best International Act: Africa during the BET Awards. In 2014, he won the Best Hip Hop during the MTV Africa Music Awards.  In 2016, Sarkodie bagged home the Best Entertainer during the EMY Award. In 2018, he bagged home the Best Male Artist Inspirational Music during the All Africa Music Awards.

In 2019, he won the Best International Flow during the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Shatta Wale

The self-acclaimed Dancehall King is also one who has a number of globally acclaimed awards under his belt. In 2014, he emerged the Best New Entertainer during the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA). In 2015, he also emerged victorious as he picked up the Best Music Video (You Can’t Touch Me) during the IRAWMA Awards.

Again, in 2015, he picked up the Best African Song/ Entertainer during the IRAWMA. His is quite a ‘bromance’ with IRAWMA.

In 2017, he was presented with the Key to Worcester by the city’s Mayor, Joseph Petty.  In 2018, he also received an honorary award , the Obaland plaque which was reportedly valued at millions of dollars by anthropologists and museum critics.


Stonebwoy (Livingstone Satekla) is one of Ghana’s decorated entertainers. The height of his achievements thus far was in 2012 when he won the Best International Act during the BET Awards.

Aside from that, he won the Most Promising Act during the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) in 2015. In 2017, he won the Best Raggae/Dancehall African Artiste during the All Africa Music Awards as well as the Favorite African Star during the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

And just this year, he bagged another IRAWMA Award after he emerged as the Best African Raggae/Dancehall Entertainer.


Samini’s presence on the global stage has also been quite the ‘ish’. In 2006, he won the Best African Act during the MOBO Awards. He won the Best Performer during the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards. In 2011, he won the Most Gifted Reggae Dancehall Video during the Channel O Music Awards.

His most recent Album, UNTAMED won the Reggaeville  Album of the Year in 2018.

Michael Essien

He is best known for his time at Chelsea FC. However, he has featured for a lot of clubs such as; Bastia, Lyon, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Panathinaikos, Persib Bandung and Sabail.

In 2005 when he was at Lyon, he was voted as the Player of the Year by the France’s National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP). At the end of the season, he also won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year.

In 2006 while at Chelsea FC, he won the BBC African Footballer of the Year Award. In May 2007, he was voted as Chelsea Fans Player of the Year.

Kofi Atta Annan

Give African youth opportunity to lead – Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan, former UN Gen. Sec

He was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 – December 2006. He received the Nobel Peace Prize Award in 2001.

However, the respected diplomat passed on to glory on August 18, 2018.

Ransford Osei

Ghana’s Ransford Osei reacts after scoring the first goal against Germany during their match for third place in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007. Germany defeated Ghana 2-1. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

His is quite a story. He started his footballing career with a lot of promise. However, as the years rolled by, he failed to live up to his expectations and currently plays for

In 2007, during the FIFA U-17 WC, he won the silver boot after emerging as the second topmost goal scorer. He followed it up by winning the golden boot as he emerged as the top scorer in the 2007 African U-17 Championship.

He followed up in the 2009 African Youth Championship where he won the golden boot.


She’s affectionately known as the ‘Lioness of Africa’. In 2014, she won the Most Promising Artiste in Africa Award and the Revelation of the African Continent during the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA).


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