Thu, 28 Dec 2023 Feature Article

How heartlessly my father’s relatives treated his wives and children soon after his passing and.....

(A must-read true story)
How heartlessly my fathers relatives treated his wives and children soon after his passing and.....
28 DEC 2023 LISTEN

Why at all have I chosen to revisit the unforgettable painful moments when my mum, her children and some of my half-siblings were mistreated by the very people they had expected to support them? What at all has come upon me by these revisitations if I may ask myself? Nothing.

I want to make the fast-expanding family of the decedent Awo Serwaah and Op. Kwame Basoah know about the most painful tortuous path we had travelled to come this far. Apart from one of the numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren of Awo Serwaah, all the rest were not born when Op. Basoah passed in 1981.

Before coming to discuss the pains, it will interest the descendants of the mentioned parents to understand that Awo hailed from Juaben in the Ashanti region by matrilineal descent. However, her father, Op. Kwadwo Ampate, was from Abenaso near Abotanso in the Kumawu traditional area.

When my dad was alive, his wives and children like his relatives, used to feed from his matrilineal family’s farmlands at Abotanso. Nobody had any problem with the other by this practice of my father’s wives and children cultivating portions of same vast farmlands alongside his sisters and their children. We just had common boundaries with our farms side by side one another’s.

I remember, but not vividly well, what happened one day that infuriated my dad so much so that he summoned his relatives, told them, should they insist doing what had incensed him, he would share the farmlands among them, then part with his share to his wives and children.

They pleaded with him not to, and that they wouldn’t do that again.

However, within months of my dad passing, his younger brother, then Staff Sergeant Basoah that inherited him, gathered his sisters, and shared their family farmlands among them.

The farmlands are situated at “ dɔme, kwayɛmu, tɛɛmini, etc.” By this act, my dad’s wives and children were immediately prohibited from any further cultivations of the usual portions of the farmlands they were used to.

How callous could they be? What mischief were they up to? Your guess is as good as mine.

Before the above incident, and on the traditional fortieth day celebration of his demise, this army officer brother to my dad, called me to a private meeting along with his then younger half-sibling, a private soldier, who has passed about a month ago, and due to be buried in March 2024.

We were joined by other members of his family including Kwasi Tawiah. He said, “if we go to court to read your dad’s will and it turns out that he has given his Kumasi house to his children, stand up and tell the judge that you don’t want it or else, I will instruct my “Boys Company” guys to proceed to blow it up”.

I instantly got annoyed, told him off, and then walked away.

How dare him threaten to task his Boys Company trainees to knock down the house if his worst nightmare became a reality?

He was an instructor at the Kumasi Boys Company at the military Uaddara Barracks.

As if their wickedness towards my dad’s wives and children was not enough and limitless, they continued behaving irresponsibly maliciously towards us.

My stepmothers moved out of my dad’s house into their own or out of Kumawu.

My immediate senior sister then, and still, in Europe, had to quickly develop the plot my dad had purchased my mum in Kumawu to move her out of his house.

Again, some of the relatives, had the shameless audacity to rain insults on my deceased father for willing his Kumasi house to his children.

One of such nephews of my dad, Kwabena Boye, that I went my own way, did whatever I could to facilitate his chances of securing a job as government omnibus conductor, in Accra, showed conspicuous bravery attacking the image of my dad. Somebody who had catered for his education.

Why did Boye bear my father’s name but not his own dad’s, (Agya Tutu), while in school and after school? Would he do that if my dad had not been of immense help to him in his life?

Folks, in the 1970s, it was not easy to procure bus conductor job with the Omnibus Services. One had to pass the difficult English and Maths tests they set, then attend interview if one passed the exams. In all these, I was there for Boye. However, he was among those that visibly plotted against my siblings and mums. He used unprintable words for my dad, I heard.

When he fell ill years later, he went to kneel before my mum and some of my siblings pleading for forgiveness and reconciliation. Anyway, he was forgiven, he died a few months later.

By the grace of God, my mum and her siblings moved out of Kumawu to Kumasi when my sister built a house there. As I speak, my siblings have built their own houses in different parts of Kumasi and some in Accra and Juaben. Some of them even don’t want to go to Kumawu when they visit Ghana on holiday, but I do.

We never behaved such wickedly towards the children of our matrilineal side of grandfathers when they decease. We allow their children and wives to continue to feed from our family farmlands at Juaben.

By their devilish behaviours towards us, the cordial relationship between us ebbed away. The pain is always fresh in our minds.

I think they had better make amends for us to come back like it was during the lifetime of my dad.

Let me single out two of my dad’s nephews to be full of praise for them. They are Kwame Isaac aka Omane Kodua. He was against what his relatives were doing to us. He was hated for expressing sympathy for us by many a member of his relatives.

The second person is Samuel Ankrah aka Kwabena Antwi. He is until today a gem to my siblings. Thank you to him, an expression of appreciation from the bottom of my heart.

Isaac had passed about thirty years ago. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

It hurts a lot when the very person you help turns against you at a point in time for all stupid reasons or sheer wickedness.

Why am I washing my dirty linen in public, one may query? It is to educate people to not be such evil, biting the very finger that fed them. Again, to let people understand that as long as they live, they can turn around their life for the better, God willing.

To my siblings and our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, I shall advise you to learn bitter lessons from what befell Awo Serwaah, Op. Basoah, Nana Gyamfuah and Nana Asieduaa to know how best to live your lives.

There are certain things that I shall discuss with you in private, posting them on the family platform and or, to your individual WhatsApp handles.

I hope those married into our family will also be interested in our stories as I tell them, to be guided as to how to conduct themselves.

I wrote this true family story on Wednesday, 27 December 2023.

To be continued.