Connect with us


Biography of Theresa Aba Kufuor (née Mensah)



The youthful Theresa Kufuor

Theresa Mensah was born on Wednesday 25 Oct 1934 in Kumasi. She was born to the late Joseph Henry Mensah Snr (aka Paapa), a colonial civil servant who hailed from Elmina, and Rose Mensah (née Maame Abena Tabuaa), the daughter of the Banmuhene of Sunyani Domase, Nana Kofi Amoah, and Obaapanyin Yaa Donkor. Maame supplied textiles geared up by the United African Agency. Theresa – or Aba, as she was popularly regarded – was the seventh of the ten younger youngsters born to the few who survived to maturity.

The family members settled in a considerable dwelling within the Adum enterprise district of Kumasi. They spoke Fante at dwelling and ended up religious Catholics. The relations was shut-knit, so she grew up supported and surrounded by respect.

Theresa started her most essential training at St Benedict’s and continued at Our Girl of Apostles (OLA) ladies’ boarding college within the Volta Area. During the vacations, she and a few of her siblings would go to their eldest sister, Grace Quist-Arcton, a senior educationist who lived in Tamale together with her companion, Edward A Quist-Arcton.

Theresa skilled an ear for languages and bought Ewe and Hausa, along with the Twi, Fante and English that she spoke flawlessly. Following Typical 7, she declined to full the types that might have approved her to hold on her training and studying at OLA. She trapped to her choice even though her eldest brother, J H Mensah Jnr (aka Brother Abew), to whom she was close to, inspired her to pursue tutorial research.

Theresa chosen as a replacement to carry out at Komfo Anokye Hospital as a staff nurse. She began this occupation with out her father’s know-how however he made obtainable her his help when he realised how determined she was. Paapa resolved that JH Jnr ought to actually help Theresa enrol in a nurse’s instruction course in Edinburgh in the UK. Brother Abew served his sister with all of the types, like her passport utility. The passport arrived late, when the nursing coaching course had already began out, and her brother found officers had created an error together with her date of begin. He pointed it out however Aba refused to carry off her journey even additional and the miscalculation grew to change into her formal day of supply.

Between 1958 and 1961 she correctly skilled as a registered fundamental nurse on the Edinburgh Southern Hospitals Faculty of Nursing. Life-style in Edinburgh was good even with the local weather. Theresa loved the social life and designed some wonderful friends. 1 of her pals, Emma Bentil, turned her sister-in-law when she married Dr Peter Mensah (now deceased), who was a sibling.

In 1962 Theresa achieved her Midwifery (Part I) on the Nuffield Maternity Family in Oxford, adopted by Facet II at Paddington Customary Healthcare facility on the Harrow Freeway in London, now often known as St Mary’s Paddington. She additionally undertook a category in untimely toddler nursing in 1963 and bought a certificates in superior nursing administration from the Royal School of Nursing in 1980.

Upfront of continuous her scientific research in Oxford, she attended a Republic Working day dance in London with a pal.

Not recognized to her, a youngster who had simply these days been known as to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn was additionally prone to the dance. Coincidentally, he was getting ready to shift on to Exeter School, Oxford, to much more his scientific research, and had been really helpful by a pal to accumulate a wonderful seem at Go up Theresa.

John Agyekum Kufuor had established his coronary coronary heart on functioning locally service and he required to discover a Ghanaian feminine to assist him in that occupation. He questioned to vary companions on the dance flooring and launched himself to Theresa. They grew to change into shut pals. They in a while noticed each different in Oxford and renewed their acquaintance.

The next 12 months, by a visit to Ghana to enroll in the Ghana Bar, John Kufuor knowledgeable his mother about his friendship with Aba. His mom understood of the Mensah relations, so she suggested him to decide on a bottle of schnapps to Okyeso, the Mensah household dwelling, by the use of an introduction. John was accompanied by a relative. At Okyeso, they noticed Maame and her senior brother, Grasp Buahin, who recognised John from his time at Govt Boys’ Faculty. J H Mensah Snr (aka Paapa) was cordial and acknowledged the bottle of schnapps, however regretably he died inside a few months.

The heartbroken Theresa couldn’t present up at her father’s funeral. Nevertheless, John Agyekum Kufuor and his partner and youngsters ended up there.

The few decided to get engaged and have been married on the Brompton Oratory in Knightsbridge, London, on 8 September 1962. Theresa was unhappy that her father wouldn’t be strolling her down the aisle. Having stated that, her brother JH was in London on his option to a gathering, so he assumed that perform.

The newlyweds began their married lifetime in Oxford and shortly after they accomplished their research they moved to Muswell Hill in north London. The pair skilled just a few youngsters inside three many years. Their 1st child, John Addo Kwabo (aka Chief), was adopted by Anne-Marie Nana Ama Ampomah a 12 months later and Helen Nana Saah the 12 months following that. By this time (1965) the family members skilled returned to Ghana and arrange property in Kumasi, and Theresa started doing work at Tech Hospital on the campus of the College of Science and Know-how. She had numerous good pals and labored together with the perfect of her friends, Justina Osei-Bonsu.

In 1968, the few skilled a fourth boy or lady, a son named Edward Kojo Agyekum.

When the Growth Get collectively gained the widespread election of 1969 and Theresa Kufuor’s husband grew to change into a Member of Parliament, the partner and youngsters moved to Accra. He was appointed a deputy minister of abroad affairs so he travelled often on federal authorities enterprise. Theresa centered on supporting him, internet hosting dignitaries and boosting her babies. Her absolute best mate, Justina, had additionally moved to Accra because of the reality her partner, Kwabena Gyima Osei-Bonsu, was additionally an MP (for Asokwa) and a minister of level out.

The idyll was limited-lived. On 13 January 1972 the couple awoke to information that the federal authorities of Key Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia skilled been overthrown by Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, who put in the Nationwide Redemption Council.

Theresa’s companion entered detention at Ussher Fort in Accra when she was anticipating her fifth child. She started to spend regular visits to her husband in jail and set about rebuilding her lifetime together with her 4 youthful children. Her brother JH was additionally in detention at Nsawam Jail. She drew energy from her Catholic faith as she fasted and prayed. Her power of character and willpower to do issues her manner served all through this time interval. Family and good pals rallied throughout, together with her elder sister Cecilia’s partner Mr Frimpong (aka Bench) and her mom, Maame, remaining between the recurrent guests to the smaller dwelling in Kanda.

In June 1972, Theresa had her final child, a boy named Victor Kofi Owusu Afriyie Mensah.

She befriended among the wardens at Ussher Fort and they’d usually happen dwelling for a meal and to assemble her husband’s laundry earlier than their change. Youngsters had been not approved visits to the jail, a plan with which she disagreed. On Christmas Day, she took her children to Ussher Fort, muttering about them not presently being permitted to see their father. She suggested the older sorts to face outdoors by the small metal gate with bars within the wall which related the cells to the ready place and went inside with the kid wrapped in her fabric. Her perseverance compensated off: Mr Kufuor observed the toddler all through that go to and waved to the opposite babies as he walked, with a guard, to and from the visiting place.

Mrs Kufuor was a rigorous however loving mom. She taught her youngsters to carry out tough, present up at Mass routinely and sometimes place confidence in God. Their lives revolved round Christ the King Church and its school, which all of the younger youngsters attended. They’d been additionally registered as associates of the Catholic Youth Organisation and the Boy Scouts or Lady Guides. She appeared to know something that came about in her dwelling and anyone caught breaking a rule was handled. She was an excellent storyteller who had a manner with textual content and the residence was usually full of laughter. She might whistle every member of the family’s identify plainly, corresponding to her husband’s. She was sociable and caring and had a crew of loyal mates. She was additionally a mother to all style of people and the residence was usually complete.

Her partner was unveiled from jail after 15 months and so they established about rebuilding their lives. In the course of 1973, she began get the job performed because the very first matron of the freshly arrange Cocoa Clinic.

The Third Republic was inaugurated in 1979 and Theresa’s partner re-entered Parliament because the deputy minority chief. Partner and youngsters life was quick paced, with the children engaged in extracurricular actions although Theresa continued to perform entire-time and help her husband. Instantly after Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings seized vitality in a coup in 1981, having stated that, life grew to change into tough. The pair resolved to ship out the extra mature younger youngsters to London for fundamental security. In 1982 the eldest two nonetheless left and so they ended up adopted a yr later by the third. Mrs Kufuor was now supporting her family members on two continents. She left Cocoa Clinic and ventured into self-employment.

In 1992 it was resolved that Ghana would return to democratic rule and Theresa threw herself into supporting her companion in all his campaigning. She extended her group, attended rallies and used her regional language abilities to excellent consequence. She spoke Ga fluently, far too. She was at her husband’s side when he acquired the nomination to steer the New Patriotic Event within the 1996 presidential election and was there when he conceded defeat to President Rawlings.

He ran but once more in 2000 and he or she turned the First Lady when John Kufuor was sworn in as President on 7 January 2001.

Theresa shunned the limelight however graciously permitted the accountability of staying a mother to the nation. As she was a nurse, she decided to focus on points that had a bearing on girls’s and youngsters’s life – the require to offer recommendation and vocational training potentialities for youthful girls native community-run crèches pre-college companies and micro-enterprises that might information to extended-phrase self-sufficiency. She attended Mass at Christ the King routinely no matter her hectic program, and was usually to be discovered singing with the choir, which she joined in 1995.

Mrs Kufuor arrange a non-governmental organisation, the Mother and Little one Group Enchancment Basis, to assist ladies and youngsters dwelling in disadvantaged areas. Her achievements embody the establishment of growth centres in underdeveloped components of Accra corresponding to Kotobabi and Amasaman. She facilitated the acquisition and arrange of a mammogram tools for Sunyani Primary Clinic and sponsored education in cleansing soap-generating, gown-making and shea butter processing in locations corresponding to Kumasi, Koforidua and the then three Northern areas.

The Foundation additionally developed and equipped a bakery in Nsawam.

She spoke tirelessly about the necessity to need to help suppress the distribute of HIV/Aids in Africa by setting targets for avoidance, remedy methodology, care and assist. She travelled extensively, domestically and internationally, with and with no her husband. Theresa was an excellent ambassador for Ghana. She labored powering the scenes to affect governing administration plan in components these as completely free school feeding, completely free skilled medical remedy for pregnant women and free, obligatory and customary elementary training.

Following her partner left enterprise workplace in January 2009, Theresa continued her advocacy and steerage carry out by the use of her Foundation. She additionally put in much more time together with her youngsters, grandchildren, extended family members and buddies. She frequented her siblings Brother JH, Brother Peter and Sister Ama often. She attended Mass even when she was unwell, just because she didn’t need her brother to overlook observing her at church and be involved. She was joyful when, in 2010, the Vatican bestowed on her the award of Papal Dame of the Purchase of Saint Gregory the Great.

Theresa retired from group on a regular basis dwelling owing to sick-well being. She bore her illness bravely and with peaceable dignity.

She caught a cold on the finish of August 2023 and was admitted to hospital. She rallied and was discharged instantly after just a few instances however she remained frail. She slipped away gracefully and peacefully on the relations home in Peduase within the afternoon of 1 October 2023 together with her household gathered about her.

She is survived by her partner of 61 a very long time, John Agyekum Kufuor, one explicit sister, all 5 of her babies and 14 grandchildren.

Theresa Aba Kufuor

Born 25 October 1934 (formally 25 Oct 1935)

Died 1 Oct 2023