Playing Second Fiddle- Harmony Or Timidity?!

Author: Frances Owusu-Daaku
ISBN 978–9988–3–2360–8
Published:  24th September 2021.

In Playing Second Fiddle, Frances vividly narrates how as a female, one can still play a significant and fulfilling role as the sacrificial lamb or ‘second fiddle’ that can eventually open doors for other females to excel or succeed! Using many biblical examples, Frances shows how significant accomplishments occurred through many people who played second fiddle (cannon fodder) roles such as John the Baptist for Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world; Andrew for Peter who later became the ‘rock’ among the disciples of Jesus; or Barnabas for John Mark who became the author of the first gospel in the bible.

In her life experience, she was the first visibly Christian Fellowship female to serve as a Hall President in Africa Hall, the only female and only student to complete a pioneering M.Sc. programme in Pharmaceutical Chemistry as well as the first established Ghanaian female lecturer in the then Faculty of Pharmacy (now Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences).

Focusing on female leadership in KNUST and in the Pharmacy Profession, the author cites the instance of at least four females including her, (and myself) who were nominated for the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor in KNUST, but none got elected for the position. Eventually, the next female nominated for the position after her turn was successfully elected and moved on to be elected as the Vice-Chancellor! Apparently, some people must act as sacrificial lambs or forerunners (cannon fodders) for the ultimate to be realized!

Her experiences in the pharmacy profession also tell the same story: although the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has been in existence for about 85 years, no female has been elected President. The closest is the Vice-President position of which she was the first among the three that have so far been elected; with the hope that eventually a female president will one day emerge!

The book concludes with some useful advice to all females who may aspire for leadership positions in the Ghanaian society: such as being assertive, but with decorum; working hard, encouraging and mentoring others, etc. in order to succeed.

Frances Thelma Kwabea Owusu-Daaku is a retired Professor of Social Pharmacy, still in active service at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) where she has spent 38 years of her working life. She obtained her PhD in pharmaceutical analysis but branched into social pharmacy to become Ghana’s first associate professor in social pharmacy; and the country’s first female professor of pharmacy. In her professional arena, Prof. Owusu-Daaku has been a vice-president of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) a LAPAG (Lady Pharmacists Association of Ghana) regional coordinator and a vice-president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) under two presidents. She is a Foundation Fellow of the Ghana College of Pharmacists; and a fellow of both PSGH and the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists.

What’s in a Name? 1
The Second Fiddle Concept 2

Jonathan, Son of King Saul 4
Queen Esther 5
John the Baptist 5
Andrew, the Apostle 5
Barnabas 6
Jesus, our Example 8

The Beginnings 9
My Cannon Fodders
My Number Ones- and the Greatest 13
Female Pro Vice Chancellor Nominees before me 14
Female leadership in the Pharmacy Profession 18

Lessons Learnt/Best Practices 20
Last Word 22