A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF DR. EVELYN NAA DEDEI MARKWEI
Dr. Evelyn Naa Dedei Markwei (nee Sowah) was born on 13th May, 1957 to Mr. Samuel A. Sowah and Mrs. Christiana A. Sowah (both deceased).
Sister Dedei, as we affectionately called her, was the first of six siblings. She attended Labone Primary School and continued to La Presbyterian Girls School, for her elementary education. Sister Dedei had her secondary education at O’Reilly Secondary and Mfantsiman Girls School for her Ordinary and Advanced Level certificates respectively. She was keen on sports as far back as those early years; she played soccer with her brothers and netball, handball and table tennis at school. Her last table tennis game was on 13th May 2018, in fact, as part of her 61st birthday celebration, in fact.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Botany from the University of Cape-Coast in 1981, as well as a Diploma in Education. Sister Dedei began her career as a teaching assistant in the same university and went on from there to St. Thomas Aquinas secondary school, as a superintendent teacher of Biology, Agricultural science and general science.
She earned a postgraduate diploma in Library Studies from the University of Ghana in 1990. From 1992 to 1993, Sister Dedei worked as a Library Assistant at British Council Library, Lagos, Nigeria while her husband worked as a consultant to the federal government of Nigeria, on a World Bank financed project.
In 2001, she obtained a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in Library Studies and joined the Department of Information Studies, University of Ghana, as a Lecturer. In 2006, Sister Dedei began her PhD in Library, Archival and Information Studies, taking advantage of the Graduate Entrance Scholarship of University of British Columbia. She won a number of awards while studying there and published a couple of academic papers both during the period and in succeeding years.
In 2013, she was awarded a PhD in Library, Archival and Information Studies by the University of British Columbia. Dr. Evelyn Naa Dedei Markwei continued as a Lecturer at the University of Ghana from that date, teaching both graduate and undergraduate students. The students acknowledged her effectiveness in teaching them, by presenting her with the Most Inspiring Lecturer Award in 2013.
Her conjugal life started with Mr. Martei Markwei, when they got married in March 1986 and continued in that same union till her death. They are blessed with three children; Carol, Dorcas and David Markwei.
Dr. Evelyn Markwei’s life wasn’t exactly a bed of roses. She survived a lightning shock and Lou-gehrig disease, which latter ailment affected her looks, for example. Nevertheless, her faith in God, which began at an early age remained steadfast. She was an inspiration to all who came into contact with her, in that wise. All of us, her siblings, regarded her as the natural surrogate to our late mother. She was an untiring prayer warrior and spent sleepless nights interceding for members of her extended family. She had a heart for philanthropy also, reaching out to extend financial support to family, friends and strangers, as the occasion demanded.
Sister Dedei was a keen member of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana from her early years and served there as a children’s service teacher from her teens, until she joined Winners Chapel International about the year 2000. Her zeal for teaching children and evangelizing found easy expression at Winners Chapel and she immersed herself in work of the children’s department there and proselytizing indigenous communities in Accra, until the day before she took the fateful trip through London, on her way to visit Vancouver, BC where she keeps a home with her family. Sister Dedei was also a keen member of the Scripture Union and the Ghana Fellowship of Evangelical Students while in secondary school and in her undergraduate years. She remained a sponsor of both organizations until her untimely death, because, among other things, she regarded the contribution of these organizations to fostering understanding and community between members of diverse Christian denominations important to maintaining the wellbeing of the whole church of God. As a result of the saintly life she lived and unwavering faith in God, when the news broke that she had fallen and become comatose whole transiting through Heathrow Airport on June 26th, we all prayed and hoped against hope for her miraculous recovery. Yet God other plans for her. Our minds couldn’t fathom and still can’t grapple with the reality of her demise. We continue to struggle with our shared faith in God, because of her untimely death. We take consolation in the fact we will see her again, at the Resurrection. Jesus said in Jn. 11:25,26 “I am the resurrection and the life, he that believes in me though he were dead yet shall he live, and he that liveth and believeth in me shall never die”. We believe she is indeed sleeping, as our brother Nii Armah said when he went to see her on her hospital bed in London.
The summation of her entire life was soul winning. Prior to boarding the the flight on the evening of June 25th, Evelyn had been evangelizing the communities in Osu beach, Chorkor, James Town, etc. She always brought good reports with her from the regular visits she paid these communities, celebrating how receptive people there were to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how many lives were being touched and transformed. Her passion and love for the Lord has been exemplary and challenging to us. She truly planned her life as if she’d live for many more years, but lived through each moment as if she’d die in the next. We can only thank God for the unequalled measure of faith the Lord gave her. She lived to love her Maker as well as her neighbor. She was a notable person spiritually, academically and relationally; always clear minded on the essence of this life.
Death never takes the wise man by surprise, he is always ready to go.” – Jean de La Fontaine
Sister Dedei’s lifestyle was characterized by moral uprightness and remarkable adroitness, which were founded on a strong relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and anchored in a wholesome acceptance and faith in the word of God. She cherished the Scriptures as a manual for upright daily living. Her departure is a wake-up call to us to prepare to meet our Maker. Repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Those who wait for the 11th hour die may 10:30. Jesus said in Rev. 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens, I will come in and dine with him, and he with me.” Jesus is knocking now as your door, as you read this biography. Do not boast of tomorrow, for you do not know what tomorrow will bring. Do not harden your heart, for, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:31). Today is the day of salvation, tomorrow may be too late. Just as there is an expiry date on every perishable product, so there is an expiration date for every mortal human being, except it remains undisclosed. The wise still look for Jesus, what are you waiting for? What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul. If you miss heaven, don’t blame Jesus, because the decision about Him is yours to make. Jesus loves you, why not love him back?
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach
Rev. 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”
Fare thee well, Sister Dedei. You will be missed by the entire family, friends, relations, students and the church family. May you rest in perfect peace in the bosom of the Lord you have loved all your life.