Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Rest In Peace Abiriw Abakomahene Nana Konadu Yiadom-Boakye

This blog is tsking a short break for a few days. My drear mother, Nana Konadu Boakye-Yiadom, passed away at the SSNIT Hospital in Osu, earlier today.

She was 90 - and would have turned 91 on 17th January, 2017, had she lived  a little longer.

Though old in age, she was young at heart, and enjoyed the company of  young people - especially her nieces and nephews: all of whom she cared about very much and who joined her to celebrate her 90th  birthday, at a  party held for her last year.

She also loved her sisters all of whom she was close to - as she was to my dear younger sister Naa Lamiley and my elder brother Charles, who shed tears when he heard she had passed away: having been with her only yesterday.

 She was the Abakomahene of Abiriw,  Akwapim, her hometown.

I am glad for her sake that she lived long enough to see the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, winning power again.

Her happiness knew no bounds when both her candidates in the presidential and parliamentary elections emerged victorious after the votes were counted - as I predicted to her they would: having seen the writing on the wall for the ruling National Democratic Congress regime of President Mahama, long before the 7th December, 2016, elections.

The icing on the cake for my jubilant mother after the 7th December, 2016, polls, was news a couple of days afterwards that there had been a phone call from President Mahama to Nana Akufo-Addo,  conceding defeat and congratulating him on his victory.

Politics was a source of friction between us, unfortunately. She knew I liked Nana Addo on a purely human level - but also knew that I loathed the NPP she was such a passionate supporter of. That drove us apart in a sense. Such is life.

(Incidentally, President Akufo-Addo's parents were dear friends of hers - and she was very fond of Nana Addo. She was happy for him and proud that he also became a President of the Republic of Ghana like his late father once was.)

Despite being frail, she  was resolute that she would go and cast her votes for the NPP's presidential and parliamentary candidates at the McCarthy Hill Weija constituency polling station that she was registered to vote at,  on 7th December, 2016, and did.

Like most old Achimotans of her generation (she was in Kingsley House and was an entertainment prefect), nothing could stop her, once her mind was made up. Before her secondary education at Achimota, she was a pupil at  Achimota Primary School.

As a result of her deep faith in God, she was a woman of great fortitude and imense courage. She confronted adversity head on, and always strove to overcome the difficulties that came her way  - doing so with the great dignity and poise she was noted for.

In a sense, her life's story, is also the history of  nursing in Ghana. She was amongst  the first wave of Ghanaian nurses to be trained in the UK during the colonial era.

She was a true professional and very innovative in her work. She served as Matron of the Kumasi Central Hospital, as it then was, and took Britain's Queen Elizabeth 11 round the hospital, when she paid an official visit to Ghana, during the Nkrumah era.

She was asked to serve as the first Senior Matron when the Korle BuTeaching Hospital's new modern-era specialist  departmental blocks were commissioned for its transformation into a new teaching hospital.

She was also the first Registrar of the Nurses and Midwives Council and served  as president of the Retired Midwives Association.

And because she loved adventure,  she was one of the first women who learnt to drive cars in Ghana.

Incredibly, for someone so gentle, for some extraordinary reason she loved sports cars and  drove at great speed, driving her Tahiti blue black-rubber-bumpered MGB GT and Mercedes Benz 250 SLC (with its top off at times) at a blistering pace.

She will be missed by many - as she was an empathetic soul who went out of her way to help others.

A  real beauty with a sharp mind, she made many friends of different nationalities on whom she apparently had a great impact as a result of her thoughtfulness and kindness, as she travelled the world attending workshops and international conferences.

She was also very forgiving and never bore anyone a grudge. I think it is the main reason for her longevity - and this blog would recommend that young people in Ghana cultivate that forgiving attitude too: as it makes for harmonious living and a stress-free life.

Alas, she was generous to a fault - something I couldn't cope with at times: because so many took advantage of that. But it made her happy - and that is what really counts in life, after all.

She has had a long innings, bless her. Pity her grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the UK and Japan couldn't be with her when she passed away. Such is life in today's world of far-flung families who live in different continents.

Because she adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren so much, she would definitely have loved to have had them surrounding her, as she breathed her last and departed  this earth. But it was not to be. Be that as it may, at least  they saw her last year, thank goodness.

Because she worked incredibly hard throughout her nursing  career, she had a very good life right up to the end. Having had her long innings, she  has now finally bowed out and departed from the crease. Bravo, to her.

I never knew I would miss her so much as a result of my being more or less estranged from her, but I do already - as my dear childhood friend and brother, the very wise Alfred Aning, once told me  I would. May her soul rest in peace.

Mama, nantew yie! Awurade emfa wukra ensie yie. Nana Konadu Yiadom-Boakye, Demerefa due!
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