Tribute To Madam Akua Mariama Denteh

The late Madam Akua Mariana Denteh The late Madam Akua Mariana Denteh

On Thursday July 23, 2020, the country came to a standstill as videos of you going through unwarranted ordeal, until you took your last breathe went viral.

You were guilty of old age. You were accused of witchcraft, and murdered in the full glare of unlookers in a region, called Savannah.

As I put pen to paper to pay tribute to this great woman, who was blessed to reach the age of 90, I will try to recapture her last moment before she went the way of all mortals.

A short video that showed people gathered and watching as some women hit her with objects and eventually set her ablaze. Nothing can be described as barbaric as this.

On behalf of a remorseful nation, I apologized profusely. Unfortunate as it is, Madam Denteh, will be remembered not through the ordeal, she went through before taking her final breathe, but as a martyr.

Like George Floyd, whose death pricked the conscience of Americans and once again questioned the racial disparities of a nation, your death was a sacrifice.

Our society is a compassionate one, we are each other's keeper, but once in a while, the animal part of us, take hold of our humanity and we do things that are reminiscent of the Stone Age.

I have never heard of you, while you were alive, and I cannot pretend to go through the ordeal you went through and survive, but remember Ghanaians from all walks of life, shed a tear or two for you.

Your death was one of the occasion that the whole country came together in condemning those, who took part in ending your life in a cruel manner.

We all said prayers for your departed soul and on the occasion of your unfortunate passing, regardless of political persuasion, we all condemned in no uncertain terms and called on the authorities to deal with your assailants.

The sheer mindless brutality of the incident and waste of life depicted in the viral video, was too much to bear and had our leaders condemning it and calling for swift action against the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, expressed his revulsion at your awful killing. He noted that the tragic incident had disfigured Ghana. The president, urged the police to ensure that justice was done.

In his reaction, this is what former president John Dramani Mahama, had to say about your gruesome murder "I've been unable to watch the whole video. Our society and institutions failed the poor 90 year old woman.

Where were our Assembly Members, Unit Committees, the Police and BNI when it mattered most? It was sad to see a crowd standing by and watching the gruesome spectacle. Very sad reflection on us as a people in the 21st century.

Just by luck, someone captured the sorry sight on a smart phone. How many more Dente Akua's have died pitiful unrecorded deaths?

At least an example can be set with the perpetrators to prevent any such future macabre incidents. I join Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang in condemning the killing and calling for justice for the family.On her part, a mother, sister, grandmother, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, the running mate of the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), had this to say, "If we choose to be anywhere as a country, the destination should not include a place where a 90-year-old woman, Akua Denteh, is stoned to death because someone has decided that she is a witch".

There are usually three main challenges confronting your age group. The first is poverty due to loss or reduction of earning power. The second is the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, with the accompanying increased healthcare utilization and financial burdens. Elder abuse has also been gaining attention as a major social problem.

As often the case, whenever people murder an alleged witch, there is a public outcry. Security services, suddenly spring into action and issue a condemnation. They vow to bring the perpetrators to justice. A few people are arrested, if at all, and prosecuted, and then the matter ends there.

Let the lynching of Akua Denteh serve as a wakeup call to the government and people of Ghana. Let no one get back to sleep again.

Let everyone remain vigilant until it is confirmed that Akua Denteh has become the last alleged witch to be murdered in Ghana.

Like Akua Denteh, victims of witchcraft allegations are usually elderly women who live in remote villages. They do not know where the police stations are located or cannot afford to go and lodge complaints even if they do. So the idea that police wait in their offices for alleged witches to come and report before they intervene needs to be revisited.

The death of Akua Denteh, underscores the need for an effective advocacy against witch persecution in Ghana.

As someone who works in the media, I promise you that your death will not be in vain, I will dedicate myself every week to asking the relevant authorities, what is being done to assailants, who are in the grips of the Police.

Your murder will not be added to the list of unresolved murders, with the perpetrators walking free. Crime must not and should not become fashionable in this country, where people commit crime with reckless abundance. our noise and anger must translate into prosecution.

On Thursday July 23, the world marked your loss, Madam Akua Denteh, lived for 32850 days, she was alive in this world for 1, 079.1787 months, she spent approximately 4, 692.8571 weeks and she breathed for 47,304,000 minutes.

To all who loved her; her community, neighbors, admirers, friends and family, especially her elder son, Mr Mahama Salami and his other siblings;"May the Almighty reward you and help you to apply patient endurance and appreciation. Indeed our spirit, possessions and families are magnificent gifts, which God has loaned us for a period and he takes them away after the termination of that period. Gratitude becomes necessary when He gives, and patience is mandatory when He takes. Madam Akua Denteh, your neighbor, friend, sister, and mother, was from among that great gift which God allowed you to enjoy in a way that was fortunate and gratifying. Although you loved her, her place is with her maker now. As she has returned home, it is your duty to show patience in her death and gratitude for her life. May the Almighty augment your recompense, be kind in your misfortune, forgive the deceased, encourage you with endurance and give you peace. I pray you have the fortitude to bear her loss."

As time ruthlessly rolls on towards the next death, I pray that almighty Allah forgives and has mercy on the soul of Madam Akua Denteh.

May Allah keep her safe and sound, protect the place where she has rested and make her entrance wide; bless her for her good deeds and surround her with a garden filled with beauty. May she receive the gentle blow of a cool breeze, be washed with snowflakes, ice, sleet, water and everything pure and cleansed of sin as a white cloth is purified perfectly. I pray Allah admits Madam Akua Mariama Denteh to Paradise and may her grave be spacious and filled with light; Ameen.