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The Life Story of Madam Christiana Kwaley Sawyerr

Naa Kwarley Sawyerr

Christiana House in Tudu – Painting by Charles Paddy Sawyerr Jnr

This is the life story of Madam Christiana Kwaley Sawyerr, my great grandmother.  It is a New Year and I am trying to do new things.  The Year of Return has triggered a desire to also go search my roots.  I am hoping that my Sawyerr family will get more focused on finding out a little bit more about my great grandfather whose name I proudly carry – Jacobson Williamson Sawyerr.  My niece, Amazia is doing a good job bringing our cousins together and may just draw up the Mould family tree this year.  I know that my wife is also exploring her family tree and there is certainly more documented information about her Jamaican forebears.

But look what I found in my endeavours, a story about my great grandmother, she died in the year I was born and this amazing story about her Christian life has been languishing in the Basel Museum for so many years.

I had to get their permission and the permission fo the children of Rev SS Odonkor who wrote it to publish it.  I also include a painting by Charles Paddy Sawyerr Jnr, a great-great-grandson of Christiana House that still proudly stands in Tudu, Accra built by her son Gosford Collins Sawyerr and named in her honour.

Stories about the past are always  worth preserving because they provide an insight into the future. Obviously, I am very excited to have found the life story of Madam Christiana Kwaley Sawyerr  and hope that you all enjoy reading it all 6 pages of this beautiful story and I hope that it will inspire all of you in your search for stories about your ancestors and how they lived putting you into the narrative of your own history and thereby bringing your own history to life.

Please send me a comment to

Thanking you all in advance

Ade Sawyerr


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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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