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I buried two men and a baby, all in the name of love

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I married John when I was 25. He was the love of my life. Our wedding was on September 11th. He was John. I was 25 and our wedding was on the 11. That gave us John 25:11:

Jesus said to her: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”

It didn’t make sense to people but to us, it made a lot of sense. The most important numbers in our lives give us a beautiful bible verse and it meant a lot to us.

We stayed for two years and had a boy, James. He was our blessing and all the grace we sought for in our marriage.

When James was one, we decided to take him to visit my husband’s parents. It was Christmas, so in a way, we were celebrating Xmas and also bringing James to his dad’s hometown for the first time.

We got to Asankragua at 11:am and picked a taxi home. At a point, our taxi had to branch and make a U-turn to join the main road. Immediately the driver negotiated the curve and was about to hit the main road, a speeding vehicle out of nowhere ran into the side of the taxi.

The loud noise of the collision was enough to kill the faint-hearted. I didn’t see anything again. I passed out. The only thing I recall was the shout “Jesus!” just before the car crashed into ours. But I don’t remember who shouted.

I regained consciousness at the hospital. My left arm was in a bandage and had stitches just below my right jaw. I couldn’t speak clearly. My husband’s parents were called in when I got conscious. The mother wasn’t looking good. Her eyes were swollen and looking like she’d cried a river.

I asked where my husband and kid were. My husband’s father told me there were in a good shape and were in another ward. Something didn’t look right. A lot of things actually.

Immediately I asked the whereabouts of my husband and kid, my husband’s mother started crying. The husband was trying to shush her but she couldn’t help it.

I knew something was wrong. I knew they were trying to hide something from me…

My husband and kid couldn’t make it. That was the truth they were hiding from me.

Everything became blurry. Somehow, I wished I was the one dead so John and James survived. I cried but nothing could bring them back to life. I asked God, “but you told us if we believe, we’ll live even if we die? So why are they dead with all their beliefs in their hearts?

No answer came. Obviously

Soon it was a year. Another year passed by and I still had traces of pain written all over my life. Time heals but it doesn’t erase the scars I guess.

At 31, I got married again—Martin. Martin was kind to me from day one. He was very sympathetic to my story and even offered to take me to the graveside of my boy and husband.

When he proposed marriage, I was skeptical at first but he was real. He was very authentic about his feelings towards me and I appreciated that.

We had a small traditional wedding and started a life together. Seven months later, I was pregnant. The joy was boundless, even greater than the joy I felt when I conceived James.

I was nine or 10 months pregnant when Martin had to travel to Prestea for his usual contract works. He told me: “It’s not anything big. By two or three days we would be done.”

I hope you don’t have to travel again when you return. From the look of things, if we don’t take care, you’ll be away when I deliver.”

He smiled: “By all means, I would be home when it happens, you don’t have to worry.”

When he got to Prestea, he called me. We spoke all night until there was no word to say.

He said: “Say hi to the baby for me.” I ran my hand over my stomach and said: “Dad says hi.” We said our goodnights and hang up.

I saw his missed call when I woke up the next morning. I tried calling back but he didn’t pick. Some hours later, I called again, he didn’t pick. “That’s so unlike him,” I said to myself.

It was already noon and he still hadn’t called back. Schedules might have been tight, I thought. I called him again anyway. He didn’t pick anyway.

I heard my phone ringing. It was some minutes after 4:pm. It was him. Martin. I picked up and immediately started ranting: “I’ve been calling you all day. Has work been so tight that you couldn’t even pick up to say hi to me? Anyway, I’ve been thinking about you all day.

“I’m sorry, this is not Martin. I presume you’re the wife?” The voice on the other side asked.

I got embarrassed. I laughed and said: “Ow sorry about my etiquette, I thought it was Martin. Yeah, this is the wife. Has he misplaced his phone?”

There was silence. “Hello, are you there?” I asked. Still, silence. “Hello, talk to me. I’m the wife. Why are you calling with Martin’s phone?”

For some seconds, the voice said nothing. Later, he gave a huge sigh and said; “I’m sorry to be the one to break this news to you. Martin got electrocuted from one of our 11KV lines. He couldn’t survive it.”

“Hello, hello..you mean, you…you mean what? Martin did what?” I was losing my breath. But I wasn’t sure if I heard him right. I kept asking…

“Hello, could you come again? I didn’t get it the first time. What did you say? What happened to Martin?” I was already broken and in tears. I felt my heart was breaking inside my chest, I wasn’t sure what I heard but something rung true.

Calmly he said again: “Yeah I can understand your shock. We are equally broken and don’t know how we are going to go on from here….he died. He got burnt from the electrocution.”

I dropped the phone, sat on the floor and rested my head on the bed next to me. I was in denial. “No no, not again. Martin didn’t die. No..someone should call me and say something different. They should tell me it was a lie.”

I screamed my lungs out…Nooooooo!!

That was when neighbors started rushing in and asking why. But all I said was “No no no this can’t happen. Martin didn’t die”

They started screaming and those who can cry started crying too.

I called Martin’s line again: “Sorry, the number you’re trying to call…” They put his phone off.

My parents heard the news and came for me. Somehow, Martin’s parents also heard the news. They called and I confirmed I’ve heard the news.

Two men. Both buried. Two marriages that ended in heartbreak. What could I have done to save the lives of these two important men in my life? I had a little say in the events that took their lives.

John went with our one-year-old son. Martin left me with an unborn baby…a son I named Martin. Somehow, he’s a piece of the father so I gave him his father’s name.

I won’t talk about the disgusting names people called me after the event. No, I won’t talk about the maltreatment I received from Martin’s family. To them, I killed their son with my witchcraft.

To the society and the little world around me, I am a witch who only prefers to eat husbands. Men are scared to get closer to me, not that I care. I’m over love and I don’t have any desire to marry again but the stigma I go through sometimes gets to me.

I’m a strong-willed woman. This too shall pass I know but for how long, I don’t know.

I’ve loved two men to death but all I get in return is abuse and stigma from same people who ought to give me love, but you see: “Those who believe in him shall live even if they die.”

Physically, I’m dead but I’m alive through Christ who strengthens me.

Amen!

-Dede Acheampong, Dunkwa-Ghana

General News

GACA, 2021 Rewards Arts And Culture Industry Excellence 

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GACA, 2021 Rewards Arts And Culture Industry Excellence

The 2021 Ghana Arts and Culture Awards came off on Saturday 20 November 2021 at the Alisa Hotel, North Ridge in Accra. The Ghana Arts and Culture Awards seeks to reward individuals and brands excelling within the Arts and Culture industry in Ghana. The event was in partnership with the National Commission on Culture, Ghana Tourism Authority, National Folklore Board and Tourism Society of Ghana under the auspices of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. The event was also sponsored by Alisa Hotel, Planet drink, Verna Mineral Water, Ceejay Multimedia, Ankobra Beach Resort, Virtual Hub, Beyond the Return and the Ghana Tourism Authority.
In all, there were 24 categories for various awards on the night.


Check the full list of winners below;
1. Lifetime Achievement Award – Osibisa Band
2. Honorary Award – Amandzeba Nat Brew
3. Honorary Award – Alisa Hotel
4. Honorary Award – Bob Pixel
5. Outstanding Cultural Personality – Nana Krobea Asante Kwahu Mpraeso Adontehene
6. Corporate Support for Arts and Culture – Ghana Tourism Authority
7. Cultural Heritage Entrepreneur – Theophilus Agyekum Sarpong ( Getbusy Art Konsult)
8. Ghanaian Artiste – Ssue
9. Indigenous Caterer – Dimensa
10. Arts and Culture Media (Radio) – Angel fm
11. Arts and Culture Media (Television) – Kantanka Tv
12. Arts and culture media (blog) – Voyageafriq
13. Arts and Culture Media ( Photography) – Dromotion Pictures
14. Arts Festival Event – Black Arts Street Festival
15. Ghanaian Fashion Designer – Eugene d’ Wise
16. Discovery of the Year – Patti Blueh Art
17. Traditional Dance Group – African Music and Dance Foundation
18. Traditional Music Group – Ananse Band
19. Cultural Television Program – Efiri tete (Garden City Tv)
20. Cultural Radio Program – Odomankoma (Opemsuo fm)
21. Spoken Word Artist – Fapempong Acheampong
22. Ghanaian Visual Artist (Sculpture/Ceramic) – Kumi Samuel
23. Ghanaian Visual Artist (Drawing) – Rosebird Ama Dadzie
24. Ghanaian Visual Artist (Painting / Graffiti) – James Mishio

The night also witnessed energizing cultural dance and music performances from Fapempong Acheampong, Akuma Dance Ensemble, Miishe Band and African Dance and Music Foundation. The High Commissioner of South Africa (Her Excellency Grace Mason), Mr. Kifalu S. Masha General Manager of Alisa Hotel, Prophetess Mercy Coffie Chief Servant of Mesukkah Organization Ministry International and CEO of Aunty Aku systems, Mr. Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi Deputy Corporate Affairs Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority ,Mr. Bessa Simons Ag. President MUSIGA, Mrs. Brandina Djaba Wear Ghana Ambassador, Mrs. Alisa Osei Asamoah President of Tour Operators Union of Ghana, Mr. Eric Bannerman CEO of Goldstar Air, Mrs. Delphine Brew Hammond CEO of Miss Tourism Ghana, Mr. Isaac Larmie CEO of Miss Culture Ghana, Mr. Joel F. K Abakah General Manager Ankobra Beach Resort, Mr. Benjamin Oduro Arhin Jnr Asst. Lecturer of School of Creative Arts University of Education Winneba, Gregg Kofi of Osibisa band, Amandzeba Nat Brew, Mr. Peter Akai Anum Executive Director The Head of State Award Scheme and past winners of Miss Tourism Ghana were present at the award ceremony.

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Apostle Ekow Ansah Aggrey lashes out on galamsey activities in Ghana

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Apostle Ekow Ansah Aggrey lashes out on galamsey activities in Ghana

General Overseer of the Fountain of Grace Royal Chapel, Apostle Ekow Ansah Aggrey has condemned galamsey activities in certain parts of the country leading to the destruction of River bodies and arable lands.

He has therefore called on Ghanaians to halt the practice and find alternative means of livelihoods.

Apostle Ansah Aggrey who said this in a sermon during a Sunday Church Service in Takoradi on the theme,” Ye Are The Salt and Light of the World, said the pollution of the river bodies by galamsey activities was a source of worry as the mercury and cyanide were toxin to fishes consumed from the polluted river bodies.

Apostle Ansah Aggrey said as the salt of the Earth, it behoved on believers to preserve the natural environment and some cocoa farmers were selling their farmlands for galamsey activities due to obsession about money.

“Some of the lands for the cultivation of crops are also being degraded beyond reclamation”.

The Minister of the gospel said though people tend to blame foreigners in the galamsey business, most Ghanaians were neck deep in the galamsey menace.

He said while the Western world usually planned ahead for the third and fourth generations and would always preserve resources for the coming generations, African countries were only selfish and did not think about generations yet unborn.

Apostle Ansah Aggrey appealed to government to take steps to redress the galamsey canker.

GNA

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Lifestyle

Child labour still endemic on the Volta Lake – Gender Ministry 

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Child labour still endemic on the Volta Lake – Gender Ministry

Madam Abena Annobea Asare, a Director at the Human Trafficking Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, says child labour is still endemic on the Volta Lake.

She said despite the collaborative efforts from the Child Labour Unit of the Ministry, Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service, and other stakeholders, 20 per cent of children labourers were rescued from the Volta Lake.

Madam Asare was speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop in Accra on building a sustainable protection network to eliminate child labour as a result of human trafficking on the Volta Lake.

The workshop was part of a project implementation by the Labour Department, in collaboration with the Network for Community Planning and Development (NECPAD) and its partners.

The project is a 30-month intervention, dubbed: The Sustainable Nets Project.”

She said the fishing sector was one of the main areas of child labour and exploitation, which came in the form of trafficked, forced into labour or bondage, and even work in hazardous conditions under the purpose of exploitation.

From 2017 to 2020, there had been 1,917 victims of human trafficking and labour cases recorded.

A total of 997 of these victims are children, whilst 920 were adults.

Similarly, 1,040 are victims of labour exploitation as 151 fell prey to sex abuses.

Madam Asare said Ghanaians involved were 1,427 with other nationals totaling 489, with the number comprising 979 females and 938 males.

“Trafficking is an organised crime and must be fought by a well-organised agency,” she said.

“We must continue to work together, work as a team so that our efforts will be greater than the traffickers.”

“The 1992 Constitution, The Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560), The Human Trafficking Act, 2005 (Act 694) and some other policies and regulations protect the interest of children, but traffickers somehow have not relented on their illegality.”

Madam Asare said the perpetrators used deception, offer juicy agreement to parents when the purpose was to be exploitative, adding that some of the signs associated with the victims were bruises, cuts, poor living conditions, and depression.

All the rescued victims had been rehabilitated and reintegrated with their families and a session of them had been engaged in apprenticeship whilst others were in school, she said.

Chief Superintendent Michael Baah, the Head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of Criminal Investigations Department, said the prosecution had led to 44 convictions between 2018 to date.

Also, hundreds of victims had been rescued with 556 investigations between 2016 and 2020.

He said it was the responsibility of every citizen, particularly agencies mandated by law to protect the children, to give them a better future to save them from becoming miscreants to torment the very society that shirked its responsibility.

The Ghana Police Service, since 2015, introduced a child-friendly policing programme into its mainstream policing, with the idea being to empower officers with skills to engage and rescue children in a friendly manner.

Mr Paul Asamoah Kukwaw, the Director for NECPAD, said the Network targeted rescuing between 60 and 120 children with a rollout of a sustainable livelihood scheme to put them into apprenticeship training.

He pledged his organisation’s commitment to work in unison with all stakeholders to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate victims.
GNA

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