Friday, 29 June 2012

Akumaa Mama Zimbi

Ace actress and cultural icon Akumaa Mama Zimbi, known in privately life as Mrs. Joyce Akumaa Dongotey-Padi, hosted over 2,000 widows from across all corners of Ghana last Saturday.
Widows from places like Twifo Praso, Dunkwa-on-Offin, Tema, Bawku, Hikpo, Techiman, Sampa, Accra, Ketekrachie, Elmina and many other parts of the country gathered at Pavilion A of the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre, Accra for the 4th national Widows Alliance Conference (WAC).
This is an initiative by Mama Zimbi Foundation (MZF) through its Widows Alliance Network (WANE) project for sustainable socio-economic development of widows in Ghana.
Activities at the conference included traditional drumming and dancing, cooking competition, exhibitions and song ministrations by Annette Danso and DSP Kofi Sarpong.
Rev. Dr. Gabriel Ansah, the Chancellor of Nasem University Fellowship, who was the keynote speaker, encouraged and motivated the widows and gave them practical solutions on how they could come out of their shells and live their lives fully as God wanted.
At the conference, Mama Zimbi stated that widowhood was not by choice or curse, as it was just like any natural phenomenon that was ordained by God.
According to her, “the Bible (James 1:27) ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’ So, how can someone become a widow without the death of her partner? Why then does our society brand widows as witches, murderers and public outcasts? Therefore, widows and widowers in Ghana are to be treated as any dignified human being.”
Mama Zimbi added, “Widows especially have not been treated fairly treated traditionally and even in modern times in Ghana. Though it has proven quite difficult to get rid of some bad widowhood rites because many people still have strong attachment to all sorts of superstitious beliefs, education through advocacy and the provision of employable skills as what Mama Zimbi Foundation (MZF) is doing through its Widows Alliance Network (WANE), should be the most appreciable long-term solution to these problems plaguing our society.”
“This is because the women who mostly succumb to these rites are the ones whose source of livelihoods is non-existent. There is the fear of hardship, hunger, and fear that the education of their children will be truncated and so on. If these women had their own source of income without always being so dependent, then their woes could be reduced modestly.”
She concluded, “Widowhood brings a lot of challenges like economic burden, single parenthood and loneliness, so Ghana needs to help its widows and widowers to grow in self confidence and lead a normal life as every other human being. It is for this reason why the annual National Widows Alliance Conference (WAC), an initiative of the Mama Zimbi Foundation (MZF) for sustainable socio-economic development of widows for advocacy and national widows cohesion came about.”
The conference, in its fourth year, is organized on a large scale as the grand occasion where all of Ghana and Africa are made to appreciate the roles widows are playing as ambassadors of change in their communities. It also serves as the ideal dialogue platform for the advocacy of a comprehensive policy and legal direction for elevating the standards of widows in Ghana. This conference is organised on June 23 every year, and it is also to celebrate the United Nations International Widows Day.
Sponsors included Imajin Advertising, Nestle Ghana Limited, Ice Cool Purified Water, Bloom Cakes and More, Danny’s Decoration, Asadu Royal Waste Management, Cocoa Processing Company Limited and Ghana International Trade Fair Centre. The media partners were Multimedia Group Limited, Media Fanbern, Daily Guide, DDP Outdoor Limited and News-One.

credit: NEWS-ONE



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Award winning Ghanaian Journalist with Western Publications Limited; publishers of Daily Guide, Business Guide, News-One and Young Blazers.

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