With some three decades of a rich and flourishing career across the entire spectrum of communication, Sophia Kudjordji has earned bragging rights, not just for her unique skill set but for her accomplishments in the field.
Through the years of working in different firms, from the newsroom to the boardroom, Ms Kudjordji has set the bar due to her unparalleled dedication to her craft, whilst endearing herself to all who interact with her well-known charming smile. Below, we take a look behind the curtains at what events and people have shaped this tough as nails, yet gentle as wool award-winning development communicator.
Background and Early Life
Sophia Kudjordji was born a ‘police babies’ 50-odd years ago in Tamale to parents who were both active in the force. One of nine siblings, her childhood was loving as she terms her parents, and by extension, her siblings, as the greatest gift she has had.
Speaking of her earliest memories, she said: “Tamale offered a bit of stability as both my parents were together for their most extended period yet. It no surprise then that they had almost half of their children when stationed there.”
The most recurrent word when describing her childhood is ‘fun’ and attributes it largely to the manner in which her father interacted with everyone, especially his children. This, however, did not negate the principles of grit, hard work, and discipline that were imbibed by her and her siblings.
Sophia began her education at the Sefwi Wiawso Local Assembly (L.A) primary school and later proceeded to the Ofoase L.A Primary School. The move was characteristic for children of personnel of the police service due to the frequency of transfers. She notes that during her formative years, young Sophia and her siblings would have to oscillate between staying with their father or mother where they were stationed respectively.
The pattern would see her later move to the Ho Kpodzi Junior Secondary School. A rather frail child, who was beset by intermittent health challenges, Sophia once told her father to save on her school expenses, as she was prone to missing a decent number of days every term.
Recalling his response, she said: “He looked at me and said, ‘Even if you would go to school for only one day per term, I would still pay your fees, my scholar.’” A true reflection of his commitment, as well as that of his wife, to seeing his children attain the heights possible education.
Having an affinity for words, she studied French, History, and Government at the Mawuli School, where she obtained her Ordinary Level (O Level) certification and subsequently, the Okuapeman Senior Secondary School for her A levels. From 1989 to 1991, she was at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, where she graduated with a Diploma in Journalism, with an emphasis on Communication, Journalism, Advertising, and Related Programs.
Her intrinsic thirst for knowledge, coupled with her strong desire for self-improvement and in honor of the sacrifices made by her parents for her education, Sophia was gone on to garner a raft of qualifications in diverse, yet related disciplines. They include BA (Hons)Sociology and Psychology from the University of Ghana, Legon; as well as an MBA in Leadership and Sustainability from the University of Cumbria, UK.
Between 2007 and 2011, she also earned a Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing as well as a certificate in BulletProof Management Training from Crestcom International LLC both from the UK.
She returned to her alma mater GIJ in 2016, where she earned a Master of Arts in Development Communication. “I remember growing up and saying I wanted, by age forty-five, to be called professor Kudjordji, this has not happened.” Whilst this is yet to happen, her academic acumen and vast experience make her one of the more erudite persons in the professional communications sphere, and one worthy of imparting knowledge.
Ghana News Agency
Upon completion of her programme at GIJ, which coincided with what Sophia describes as “a season of intense awareness to the responsibilities of adulthood,” she undertook the mandatory one-year national service in the newsroom of the Ghanaian Times in Ho.
Following that, she applied for a voluntary year of services at the Ghana News Agency. This was due to an embargo on employment, particularly at state-owned institutions, as part of the austere measures which followed the implementation of the Program of Action to Mitigate the Social Costs of Adjustment (PAMSCAD). “The remuneration as quite a little,” she says of her time as a stringer with GNA,”but I was excited about working and earning for myself.”
Her hard work paid off as she was approached to be a Public Relations Consultant for the DANIDA-sponsored Volta Region Community Water and Sanitation Programme, all the while stringing for the GNA. She combined these engagements with being the host of ‘Women’s Corner’ and ‘Youth World’ on Volta Star Radio – a community radio station of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. Sophia Kudjordji credits the period as crucial for her ability to juggle various engagements later in her professional life.
In 1995, she was formally employed by the GNA in the capacity of Senior Reporter; a position she occupied for more than six years, later joining the British High Commission as a Press and Public Affairs Officer.
Following a distinguished period at the British High Commission and upon the recommendation of a colleague, Sophia joined the burgeoning UT Holdings as an assistant Marketing Manager and subsequently, media and public relations manager, where her unique approach to corporate communications saw her awarded and recognised within the company and from observing eyes from the wider public.
She rose to the rank of External Affairs Manager, primarily responsible for projecting a positive image of all the companies under the UT Group umbrella as well as engaging with various domestic and foreign stakeholders of the company.”
After almost a decade at UT, where she was crucial in building the brand in its glorious era, she accepted a new challenge with an equally exciting young group. Joining as the Group’s Communication Officer, she was responsible for reputation management, media and other stakeholder relations, brand building, and diverse duties of the companies under the group.
She is currently the Chief Corporate Communications Officer for the more than 60 companies under the Jospong Group. Her stellar performance in that capacity has been crucial in positioning the group on an enviable pedestal locally and internationally.
Awards and recognition
Sophia Kudjordji work has been duly recognised and she is the recipient of several awards. During her time at UT Holdings, in 2012, she has adjudged Most Promising Public Relations Practitioner.
In her current role, she has also been recognised as ‘PR Professional of the Year, 2019’, one of ‘West Africa’s Top 20 Marketing & Communications Professionals’- 2019-InstinctWaves-World Marketing Award; one of Ghana’s top 10 Women in Public Relations- in 2019 and 2020.
And most recently, the Corporate Communication Professional of the Year 2020; Global ‘Woman of Worth Achiever’ from the World Women Leadership Congress and Awards, India -2021.
Sophia is an Accredited Member of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR)Ghana; a member of the African Public Relations, International Public Relations Association-UK, member of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA); and for five years she was a governing Council Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG).
Sophia Kudjordji has had many influences which have shaped her through the years, the chief of which were her parents. Speaking of her mother she says, “Despite not having any formal education beyond the Fourth Form, her spoken English is impeccable. During a stint when she was stationed at the courts, people were so impressed by her and would often ask where she obtained her legal education, to which she would graciously reply, ‘it is class four law.’”
She was also deeply impacted by the courage and resilience of one-time South African freedom fighter and activist, Winne Mandela. She was particularly impressed by her love for Africa. When Sophia heard of some of the excesses of Ms. Mandela, she was understandably disturbed but that was crucial in giving her balance for those she adored.
Other principal influences for her include renowned journalist and a former president of the GJA, Gifty Afenyi-Dadzie; distinguished stateswoman, Joyce Rosalind Aryee and award-winning communications consultant, Esther Cobbah.
A devout Christian, Ms. Kudjordji believes in creating a legacy that would stand the test of time. According to her, this requires a proper sense of self-awareness and consequently, self-appreciation is crucial for one’s valuation of others and colors all human interactions.
In her own words
On women aspiring to venture into the field of communication, she says, “Love the job; do not lose your passion. It is not an easy road but others before you have worked on it, so can you. It is not a rosy route but it’s part of the learning curve, as such, whenever I am asked what regrets I have, I say ‘none’, as they have all been lessons for me. See yourself as the face of the company… do not run away from challenges as they all play their part in making us who we are. People should also not shy away from asking and learning, learning and learning.”