THE BOOK of Esther should mean a lot to the people of Ga. This is because we as Gas belong historically to the stock of Benjamin, one of the twelve tribes of Israel. History has confirmed this in several ways, including the culture of circumcision and the pattern of naming children to show which clan or family one belonged. But that is a debate and discussion for another day.
Being a wife of a King throughout history is a rare privilege. The wife, too, of a King or prominent personality has power – just like the King or CEO of an organization. Perhaps, that was why when a King in the Bible requested her wife to come dance during a festive occasion, and show her beauty to invited guests and she disregarded that honour, she lost the privilege and another wife was brought on board.
But turning back to the story of Esther, every Bible student or Christian remembers that circumstances surrounding Esther’s choice of a King as a husband, even though she was a foreigner, is both a phenomenon and revelation loaded with the destiny of a whole nation. As far as her uncle Mordecai was concerned, being in that position was crucial to the survival of Israel. And Mordecai and history proved that right. Up till this day, nations have fallen into abyss of stagnation or risen into heights of prominence, depending on the type of wife that nation or kingdom or State’s leader is.
In America we can cite the Clintons. We can cite, in the case of Ghana, Nana Konadu Rawlings; we can cite Dede Akai of the Ga State who for better or for worse impacted the Ga State and we can cite, too, the case of the French Revolution, which found its spring from the attitude and character of an influential feminine French Monarch. Today, we can cite, too, the pre-eminence of Queen Elizabeth.
What is Nuumo Sisabi driving at? It is simple. Of all the tribal grouping in Ghana, it is only the GaDangme people that have had a surfeit of First Ladies, comparing the figures from the days of Nkrumah till date. We may have complained about not having had much bite of the cherry in terms of where our Presidents or Heads of State have hailed from. However, out of the 10 or so Head of States that has ruled this nation, the GaDangmes have been blessed with four first ladies.
General J.A. Ankrah’s wife was a Ga. General AA Afrifa’s wife was Krobo; Kofi Abrefa Busia’s wife was a Ga – Naa Morkor Busia; and Professor JEA Atta Mills’ wife – Naadu Mills is a Dangme.
Without sounding political, I can add that if, today, Nana Akufo-Addo had become President, it adds to the number of how many GaDangmes have become wives of Presidents. If he doesn’t, however, become one, it still does not negate Nuumo Sisabi’s argument. The fact simply is that we have been blessed in that regard, without taking advantage of grace and gift.
Why should we disregard such a position, when our great grandfathers cherished it such that they risked their lives to work their way into such positions? Did you know that Christians risked their lives to become Communists just so that they can help collapse Communism which ate up their God-fearing forefathers and great-great grandfathers, and drove millions of them to the gas chambers? But do you also know that it would have been a different ball game altogether if Hitler’s wife had been a Jew?
Do you know what difference it would have made if in the last 30 years, when our lands began to be dissipated, if the Head or Head of State’s wife had been Ga? Perhaps, she could have pushed for legislations that would have protected our lands. Next time we are tempted to ask why we are not considered when it comes to the Number One Public Servant position in Ghana, let also ask ourselves whether a more strategic position is not available for our taking.
Pilate’s wife had influence on Pilate – very huge influence… such that she got Pilate to back off Jesus’ case and leave the Jews themselves to take their own Son’s blood. I believe strongly that we need to rethink our values and culture as a people and decide what our priorities will be as a unique State almost lost among other tribes who appear apprehensive of our intentions.
If you care to know, a position equal to an Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture in one of Africa’s emerging democracies has been offered to a Ghanaian just because a former tough Amazonian Mayor decided to speak into the ears of her businessman husband and power-brokers in Burkina Faso to lobby Cabinet on behalf of that Ghanaian chap. Incidentally, the Ghanaian appointed into that position is a Ga. That is the power of women.
We must not only start counting our blessings but also begin strategizing if we want to prove that we are really Jews – with a vision and mission. We must not accept being mere minnows to be used and abused; or play perpetual second fiddle to other compatriots.
Next time you find an indigenous Ga wife being in an influential position, just advise her to think about her people and home – for good effect- like in the case of Esther. The rewards may be greater than you imagined.