Philip Gbeho: The Composer Of The Ghana National Anthem

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Philip Gbeho was born on 14th January 1904, in Vodza, a fishing village in a part of Keta in the Volta Region. He attended the Keta Roman Catholic Boys School, where he was introduced to the piano, which he learnt to play in a very short time and even became a pupil organist until he left the Roman Catholic educational centre. 

His father, Doe Gbeho, was a fisherman. His mother, Ametowofa, was a also a trader. In January1925, Philip Gbeho gained admission to the newly opened Achimota Teacher Training College (ATTC), in Accra. While studying to become a teacher, he took advantage of the tremendous facilities at the college, and offered music to upgrade his knowledge and practice of music.

Philip Gbeho

He played the piano and violin, both of which he excelled in because he developed his skills under the teachers in Achimota College who were also very interested in music. Philip Gbeho’s efforts in music at Keta caught the attention of some authorities of the Achimota College who invited him in 1938, when an assistant music teacher was needed to teach music at the college. Gbeho accepted and began a new career as a music master at Achimota in 1938.

In 1949, he was offered a 1-year scholarship by the British Council to study for a Licentiate diploma at the Trinity College of Music in the United Kingdom. In 1950, Gbeho was granted by Gold Coast government an extended scholarship to continue his studies at Trinity College of Music for the Graduate of Trinity College (GTCL) degree in music. He continued with his lectures as well as music, broadcasts and African music performances at  several venues in London, including the Artists International Centre in Piccadilly(AICP), the West African Students’ Union (WASU), Strawberry Hill College(SHC), the Royal Empire Society(RES), the Royal Geographical Society(RES), and Royal Kew Gardens(RKG). 

The day before Ghana’s Independence celebrations, Gbeho won an open competition to write the National Anthem for the newly independent country, Ghana. What he composed remains the national anthem of Ghana until now. Philip Gbeho died on 24 September 1976. He was married with seven (7) children.

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