Jennifer Sara Awula Adjiko Abbey nee Hansen – Sleep well my Soul Sister

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Jennifer Sara Awula Adjiko Abbey nee Hansen – Sleep well my Soul Sister
27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:27-31
I am still struggling to come to terms with my shock over the passing of this beautiful, confident and virtuous lady who I feel privileged to have known over the years.  She was first introduced to me by a relative, Bob, who was totally besotted with her and had put her on the pedestal she deserved
Adjiko became my soul sister from then on and was supportive of my mission whenever I visited at her mother’s house.  I was also a frequent visitor to the house at Akwashong Link that Bob shared with his mate Kwame Akoto and their ‘housemaster’ Mr. Joseph Adama.  Those were happy days talking about any and every issue and she expressed her views to us ‘hustlers’ trying to get a foot on the ladder of independent life, providing intellectual dimensions to our discussions. Her views were refreshingly innocent.
She and Bob were married after a fairy tale courtship that included a sojourn in England. Their son Adotey was born in Ghana and soon after that the family moved to Liberia, the start of many more moves as her husband pursued his career.
Because we lived on different continents we saw each other infrequently but Adjiko and I kept in touch by telephone and email, most of these calls just to catch up and reminiscence about the good old days.  I was full of admiration for her determination to challenge herself and go back to college to undertake a Master’s degree despite having a young son in tow. This was after many years as a teacher in several countries around Africa.
A pattern developed to our conversations, an indication that ‘the troubles’ as I called them could not be resolved.  She would vent her frustrations and I would listen, then ask her about her career and her plans for the future and always assured her that all would be well. We would talk about almost everything.  Whenever I sent her an article I had written for comment, she would give me her honest feedback thereby giving me an opportunity to write back or call to talk about all sorts of things.
Years ago, she called and asked me to find her son for her. I was taken aback because he was somewhere in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso and I was in London.  This was a tall order as I had no idea how I was going to be able to do what she was asking as I had never been to that country. Nevertheless, I assured her that I would do my best to honour my promise to find the young man.  I persevered and after numerous efforts armed with a telephone number, the young man was eventually found. Adjiko was very grateful and relieved that she now knew where her son was, he was safe and sound.
How was I to know that our last conversation about a month ago was an obvious farewell? We spoke for over two hours and it was not tittle tattle at all.  We discussed our Ga and Ghanaian culture and about her mixed roots and heritage; it was a deep exposition of knowledge about the family that had been passed on to her. We talked about why she still valued maintaining family ties, wondering how we can transfer those values down to our children despite having chosen a life as a near recluse herself.  She also talked about pining for her grandchildren one of whom she had never seen because they were far away in Canada. She told me how happy it would make her if the waving of a magic wand would grant her greatest wish of seeing both grandchildren one day. But alas, it was not to be!
The discussion was tinged with nostalgia, religiosity, emotions.  She was deep and I sensed that there was some relief when I assured her that I was in contact with her son and that I would do all in my power to support and guide him.  Adjiko and I did not speak again but continued to exchange texts on Facebook, WhatsApp and the social media that some of us are now slaves to.
I now realise that as a mere mortal what I said were just words and that I would never be able to achieve what I hoped I could; making everything right in this word.
All I know is that you Awula Adjiko have gone to a better place and your memory will forever be cherished by all those you met in this life.
Sleep well elegant majestic lady that I once knew, sleep well my soul sister.
From the older brother that you claim you always wanted but never had
Ade Sawyerr
London, June 2017

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The Matters Arising blog is a collection of thought-provoking, thought-leadership pieces sprinkled with some blue-sky thinking on pertinent issues affecting African communities both in the diaspora and at home. It includes articles on culture, politics, social and economic advancement, diversity and inclusion, community cohesion topics. It is also a repository of the political history of Ghana, traditions of the Gadagme people of Ghana, and the Pan-African politics of Kwame Nkrumah. Read, enjoy, like, share, and join!

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