Dede Ahadome: Bridging Beauty, Brain and Business

Co-owner of Bridgeview Resort, career woman, mother, wife and all round go getter.

SHUNYAA PROFIL'D

7/6/20235 min read

ShunYaa Online (S.O): We'd love to know a bit about your background.

Dede Ahadome (DA): I’m Dede, born and raised in Ghana. I grew up in Tema, started my basic education at SOS School and did my secondary education in Wesley Girls where I studied for two and a half years. Throughout my academic education, I've always been very studious and driven constantly striving to achieve more. This led me to take the SATs, and subsequently, I was awarded a full scholarship to Concordia College, a school in Minnesota.

S.O: How did you deal with the culture shock and racism if any?

DA: In all honesty, prior to leaving Ghana I was not familiar with the concept of racism because our culture embraces and accommodates diverse people. However, I began to experience the negative effects of racism when I started job hunting. After sending resumes and generating interest from recruiters, they would notice my accent during phone interviews and lose interest, despite having the necessary qualifications. I distinctly remember driving three hours for an interview, and as soon as they saw me, they said they thought I was British and made an excuse about something “coming up”. The truth was that they weren’t interested in hiring someone who looked like me.

S.O: Tell us something growing up that changed your outlook on life.

DA: Education held great importance for me because I always aspired to achieve its highest levels. My mom, being my biggest cheerleader, made numerous sacrifices for my siblings and I. Witnessing her dedication motivated me to make personal commitments to go to great lengths to make her proud.

S.O: What are 3 non-negotiables in your day?

DA: I always begin my day with a prayer for my family. Afterwards, I enjoy reading snippets of the news to stay informed. Finally, I like to savour a cup of tea as a relaxing way to end the day.

S.O: What mantras do you live by?

DA: "Treat everyone how you’d like to be treated" is a principle I apply to my professional life and recognising the importance of a motivated and cohesive team in achieving success. Additionally, I believe that everything happens for a reason.

S.O: What does success mean to you?

DA: Personally, I define success as achieving what you’ve set your mind to. Building meaningful relationships with my family and friends is a significant measurement of success for me. Seeing my education through and rising through the corporate ranks were also important markers of success for me.

S.O: 7+ plus years at Target and 5+ Google. How did they retain your loyalty and how are you transferring these values to your business in Ghana?

DA: As an individual who thrives in fast-paced environments, I enjoy taking challenges at work. During my time at Target, I was fortunate to experience different departments and roles within the company. It is essential for me to be part of dynamic organisations that encourage growth and development.

I am deeply passionate about inclusion and diversity and I am committed to providing an equal platform for all races, genders, and backgrounds to demonstrate their capabilities and enhancing their skill set.

S.O: The Adomi group has an impressively diverse portfolio. What fueled the vision of Bridgeview resort?

DA: My husband and I share a passion for travel and we had a dream of establishing a Ghanaian-inspired luxury hospitality brand, by Ghanaians for Ghanaians. While we were advised to hire expatriates to run the business, we were committed to providing job opportunities for the locals. We wanted to give Ghanaians the chance to lead operations and contribute to the success of the resort.

Despite the challenges, we hope to attract the diaspora and serve as a beacon for home grown hospitality businesses. Our long term vision is achieving highly profitability. We are young entrepreneurs, but we have confidence in our ability to attract foreign investors who will support us in expanding our operations to different locations. Additionally, we are committed to our corporate social responsibilities and aim to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals who are less privileged.

S.O: What are some initiatives you’ve taken up to create job opportunities for the locals?

DA: We are currently actively supporting the surrounding local communities by providing job opportunities and partnering with local charities. Through the resort, we have been able to hire approximately 100 individuals from the local area who were previously unemployed. With increased funding, we intend to build schools and community centers that focus on engaging in extra-curricular activities with emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) concepts and a host of other projects.

S.O: What advice would you give someone whose dream career is to work with a tech company?

DA: I would advise on focusing on attributes that contribute to success in the tech industry. Prioritise taking courses and subjects that cultivate agility, resilience and adaptability. Networking and collaborative work are also crucial growth in the tech industry. Engaging in school clubs that encourage team work can provide a solid platform for success in the tech industry.

It is important to nurture creativity and allow the younger generations to explore non-traditional career paths. The tech industry thrives on innovation, and fostering a creative mindset can lead to unique and groundbreaking ideas. 

Lastly, do not hesitate reach out to mentors and make connections. The tech industry can be challenging to break into and referrals can significantly increase your chances of getting noticed.

S.O: We have a game we’d like to play. You have the opportunity to meet two of your heroes/sheroes dead or alive and ask two questions. Who would you choose and what questions would you ask?

DA: Although I have a long list of people I’d love to meet, if I had to choose two, one of them would be Oprah Winfrey. She is an embodiment of resilience, tenacity and strength.

Despite facing enormous challenges in her life, especially up until her 30s, she persevered and stood resolute in the face of adversity.

The second person I would choose is Barack Obama, whom I deeply admire. Despite his many accomplishments, he has maintained a remarkable level of humility.

If I had the chance to meet Oprah, I would ask how she found the strength to keep going when doors were consistently slammed in her face. With Barack Obama, I’d ask if he ever wished to return to his old self in Chicago, free of the constant spotlight and attention. I would also inquire how he stayed grounded throughout his presidency, balancing the negativity that came with the fame and responsibilities of his role.