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Sun, 16 Jun 2024 Feature Article

My Father Was A Farmer, Businessman, Politician And An Engineer But Had No Formal Education

My Father Was A Farmer, Businessman, Politician And An Engineer But Had No Formal Education
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My late father, Ing. Ziblim Salifu was born to Mr. Wuni Ziblim and Mr. Ziblim Alimatu Manwumya in Bongbini, East Mamprusi Municipality in the present day North East Region, formerly, Northern Region. He was the fourth child of six children. He married four wives as Islamic religion 'demands' and at the time of his death, he left behind twenty five surviving children and I am the first born.

The late Ing. Ziblim Salifu was born into a farming community and family, hence, he was naturally a born farmer. His father died when he and his siblings were still young. Painfully, I never grew up to meet my grandfather but thankfully I met my late grandmother, Mpoa Manwumya. My late father and his siblings were raised by their uncles. My late father used to tell me that they never knew farming season and dry season, they were always in the farm all year round. He finally gained independence and became an independent farmer.

Yes, he was also a Businessman, who used to trade with goods to big markets like Techiman and Bolga. He was very industrious in that he was well known in our area as the best in preparing tea for sale in the night during occasions. It eaned him a name 'Lamyiki' literally meant 'taste and fly'. He was doing all these in a quest to take care of us to become responsible persons in society.

You may be wondering why I indicated that he was a politician. Yes, he was a very active politician, though he had no formal education. Ing. Salifu keenly contested Assembly Elections to become Assembly Member for Bongbini Electoral Area but was not successful. It was largely due to his educational status. But thankfully, he had the opportunity to vigorously campaign for his own biological nephew (Hon. Braimah Mahamadu Collins) to become the Assembly Member for Bongbini Electoral Area on two keenly contested elections. He was a strong loyalist of former President Jerry John Rawlings and then a strong supporter of National Democratic Congress (NDC). Predictably and fortunately, he left NDC to join the New Patriotic Party (NPP) when some leaders in NDC began disrespecting former President Rawlings. He campaigned actively for NPP in the 2012 and 2016 general elections. It must be put on record that he joined NPP with many members of the NDC in the community. It is also unarguable fact that his joining NPP gave us a very strong and solid foundation and that has aided us to always win in Bongbini electoral area. The 2016 general election was a very crucial one in our electoral area in that, the then DCE, who was my uncle, was from our community. I can remember that year, most community rallies were done at the forecourt of our house, though my late father was not the Chairman.

The fact is also that he was an engineer. Bongbini and the surrounding communities attested to his engineering abilities. Yes, every engineer is an engineer. He was a very popular and good bicycle engineer who was widely known as 'Saafu Fitter'. He was also a very good vulcanizer of all vehicles. Yes, that was my late father, the engineer without formal education.

Because, he did not get opportunity to be educated formally, he was passionate about our education and we are proud of what he has done for us. Sadly, he did not live to fully enjoy his sacrifice.

Dear Dad, you have gone to your Maker but your good legacies and pieces of advice are still with us and guiding us. I do not forget the advice that shaped my life when I was about going to secondary school. You advised me to take my studies seriously and stay away from girls for HIV/AIDS is real. I took your advice and I am a better person today. I am now an advocate against HIV infection with better understanding of the condition, thanks to you, Dad. I believe, every advice and care I give to humanity, you have a share of the reward.

Father like no other. A night before your death, we spoke on phone for about three hours, little did I know that all that you were telling me was your goodbye message. I wished I knew, I would have recorded every conversation that night. I now understand why you took certain decisions when you were alive. I personally missed you and would continue to pray for you until I join you, Dad.

May You Be Among The Blessed Souls, Resting In Jannatul Firdaws. Happy Father's Day, Our Wonderful Late Father.

Thank you
Alhaji Salifu Hadara
A Son Of The Late Farmer, Businessman, Politician And Engineer Who Never Had Formal Education.

East Mamprusi Municipality
Bongbini
[email protected]
16/06/24

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