In Loving Memory

BROCHURE – final

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).

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-27 at 14.29.06(2)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.

On Being Ghanaian – Gamma CORE

The third of four shared core attributes of our Ghanaianess; the Rule of Law.

GH crestOne of the symbols of our nation, our coat of arms, bears two key words; FREEDOM, JUSTICE. I think it most thoughtful and visionary that both words were included in the design of our coat of arms. The FREEDOM part is pretty much covered under the Alpha and Beta CORE attributes.

No, we don’t exactly go to war for trivia like Yor ker gali anymore, for the most part (bet you didn’t know that Gameh call gari gali). It used to be quite fashionable to war over an indignity, but that’s fallen out of favour, for most of humanity. Nevertheless, men have been known to leave their wives behind to be impregnated by the Gyasehene, as they go to war over unresolved injustices, or inequities. Therefore, to deliberately build a nation out of the collection of peoples from the former Gold Coast and Trans-Volta; a viable, coherent, peaceful and prosperous community desirable for living and thriving in, let us aspire and strive to deal justly and equitably with each other, just as we proclaim in our coat of arms.

Again, just for emphasis, peace isn’t evidenced by the mere absence of war, but also and more importantly, by the pervading and sustained presence of goodwill. The will that is good deals justly and equitably with the subjects of its attention. That will leaves no room for bitterness and resentment to fester, because of ignoble conduct. So, rather than busy ourselves attempting to put out fires we start through insensitivities, let us commit to one another in our National Pledge, to deal justly and equitably with each other at all times and to be held accountable to plant our feet where our mouths go, as our Gamma CORE attribute.

Now, that’s easier said than done. Its hard to uphold that with any degree of consistency in Ghana. Let me illustrate with an experience I had in a foreign land. You have a minute? Get yourself a drink and let’s chill.

On Thursday Sept. 1st, 2016 I walked through one of those experiences which sadly, I can’t look forward to in Ghana. I received a partial refund on an item I’d purchased on Aug. 8th; an item which I continue to possess and use. A sales clerk at Best Buy made the refund to me under her company’s Price Match programme. In simple terms, Best Buy has voluntarily committed to refund the difference, if the price of purchased merchandise falls during the 30 day return period. Price discounting usually occurs during promotional sales. Thursday Sept. 1st was 24 days from when I’d grudgingly purchased a new shredder, so I matched to the shop with intent, as my former headmaster once charged two consorting students with.

For background, I went to Best Buy on the morning of Aug. 8th purposely to buy a shredder and was greeted at the entrance by a sales clerk of Sub-Saharan African descent. Now, knowing as I do that there’s an isolation quotient attached to skin pigment in that country, I responded warmly, accepted the discount sales flyer he was offering and for small talk, asked whether they stock paper shredders in the particular shop. When I’d selected the model I wanted and was proceeding to the checkout area, I again run into the same sales clerk, which prompted me to ask somewhat pointlessly, “When are you guys going to place this model on sale? I’ll use it infrequently and don’t want to spend this much to acquire it?” He answered very properly that he wasn’t privy to information on their promotional sales programme, but there certainly would be a big sales event on Sept. 1st. I could check online to find out if the item was being discounted on that day and bring my receipt with me for a refund under their Price Match policy, if I chose. I decided not to forget that precious bit of information.

Come Sept. 1st, I happened to need an ear phone from the same shop and remembered the precious bit of info, but for the life of me, couldn’t recall where I’d saved the receipt for my disdained shredder. Well, I matched to the shop anyway and after I’d settled on the earphone I wanted to buy, I walked up to a sales clerk at the checkout counter and asked if I might return with the shredder’s receipt at a later date for a Price Match refund and how late that date could be.

“Its best to settle that today, because none of us know for how long an item will be offered at a discounted price. Do you have the payment card you used in purchasing the shredder?”
“I do.”
“Well then, let’s first settle the transaction on your new purchase and I’ll see to your refund.”

And true to her word, when I’d paid for my new purchase, she again swiped my card to retrieve and reprint the receipt for the dreaded shredder and proceeded to refund the price difference, simply because it was the company’s policy to make such refunds on demand. Now, shops don’t offer Price Match policies in Ghana, whether voluntarily or otherwise and if they did, I’d argue anyone any day and at anytime of that day, that I’d enjoy the benefit of the Price Match under special circumstances only, because Ghana isn’t founded on the rule of law; Ghana is founded on a regime of patronage. Ah ah; don’t pout now. Remember, its chill out time.

The notable effects of the rule of law on my visits to Best Buy started when I encountered the Sub-Saharan African sales clerk on Aug. 8th. He was under obligation to disclose relevant and authorised information which would make my visit rewarding and, in conformity with his employment contract, he didn’t hold back. The Ghanaian sales clerk might have given me an Ntsu, unless in his eyes, I was somebody, but more on somebody-ness in a moment.

The sales clerk I met on Sept. 1st was of South-East Asian descent, probably Pilipino. Her ethnicity has no relevance to my shopping experience in the foreign country where I was, but is in every way relevant to our shopping experiences in Ghana, as I’ll demonstrate in a moment. Like the 1st sales clerk, she too was under obligation to disclose all authorised, relevant information and assist in making my shopping visit rewarding and like the 1st sales clerk who happened to be Sub-Saharan, this presumably Pilipino lady applied herself to meet the terms of her employment contract.

Now, here are some of the special conditions under which I may, just may have received comparable service in Ghana (assuming of course, that the employer is implementing a Price Match policy):

  1. I’m a known relative of the sales clerk;
  2. I’m a known schoolmate, or fellow church member of the sales clerk;
  3. I’m a friend of one of the sales clerks, or a known friend of their own friend or relative;
  4. I’m known to the sales clerks as sharing ethnicity with them by birth, or less favorably, by marriage;
  5. One or more of conditions 1 – 4 apply and importantly also, I’m in the good books of the sales clerk;
  6. I offer a monetary incentive to them, or have been known to tip sales clerks generously during past visits and am therefore a favoured customer;
  7. I’m known to be a person of influence (somebody of influence) who might dispense patronage to them in a different setting; such as a Lecturer who might put in a word to have their ward admitted into the tertiary educational institution where I work;
  8. I’m known to be a medical doctor, or official of high standing (somebody to be feared), who might dispense patronage to their person or relative at some future date, or cause them extreme discomfort, if I’m displeased with their service;
  9. I spoke to them in their native tongue, however falteringly, as soon as I knew their ethnicity;
  10. The sales clerk saw me walk in and simply took a liking for me;
  11. I was extremely and hypocritically polite in addressing them, using such appellations as Chief, Master, Madam, Sister, or Ma;
  12. Now, here’s my favorite by far; I took on the fight in their behalf, in a dispute with another shopper, even though the sales clerks were in the wrong. I did, because the shopper was doing something too much.

I’m certain you get the drift of ways in which we procure patronage in Ghana and can add to this list till Christ comes, but the list isn’t the point of my rant on this matter. Irrespective of what protestations we make, this is how our society operates; this forms the foundation of our interaction with each other. It defines the fabric of our society. We may have solemnly declared and affirmed our commitment to the rule of law in the preambles of our Constitution. Parliament may enact what laws it wills. Local governments may script what by-laws and regulations they please. Employers may insert whatever conditions they fancy in employment contracts. All of those are but opportunities for the persons charged with implementing the laws, regulations, or terms to dispense patronage to who they please, or extract rent (a bribe) from persons they provide services to. If you happen to be a nipa boni, too bad for you. If you happen to be Mrs. Nobody, who cares? And you are doing something too much, ah, if you insist on your rights as a customer, or citizen. We’ll make certain obaa fo la.

Yet that too isn’t the point of my rant on this subject. So what is this about? When God …; of course, I was going to come round to the Beginning. When God created the nation Israel, one of the 1st things He did was to give them a body of laws; laws which have since become the foundation for modern liberal jurisprudence. That must be because He designed man to live in communities governed by the rule of law, not by patronage, because He pointedly taught Israel to deal justly with both the Jew and the sojourner among them without differentiating who is and who isn’t entitled to justice.

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8; NKJV)

Including the rule of law as a CORE attribute of our Ghanaianess is asking much. The rule of law doesn’t come to us naturally. Indeed, we resent it, because it introduces a rigidity which inhibits the flow of our 10%, kalabule, ways and means, cola, something for the chief, noko fioo for the boys, kpakpakpa …; you know what I’m referring to, don’t you? Or perhaps you’re not Ghanaian enough. I’m of course, alluding to those activities which are in fact, our preferred ways of maintaining ourselves. Call them anything you please, except the bribes and corrupt means that they are. How else shall a man remain competitive in maintaining his daughter’s peer as his mistress in a local university, while paying the fees and maintaining his daughter and son in universities abroad and all the while, financing the construction of his mansion without a mortgage loan, if he’s prevented from collecting facilitation fees? As the saying goes, no one works for Kingsway, yet collects his pay from UTC! Where you work is where you chop, both formally and informally.

Yet look around you at the nations of the world today. Which ones are achieving sustained and stellar performance in economic growth, social welfare, etc; measures which progressively enhance the dignity of their citizens and visitors? Almost invariably, its the likes of Singapore, South Korea, UK, Germany, Denmark, Finland; those nations which emphasise certainty by promoting the rule of law. Its not the likes of Italy, Greece, Ghana; the so-called soft states, where the rule of law is at best, restrained. The regime of patronage won’t get us anywhere near becoming a functional and high performing nation-state. We’re up against the grain of nature and we’re losing. Our regime of patronage cannot compete against the rule of law, so we’ve been losing by choice.

Let’s begin by owning our failure, start the engine of our drifting ship of state and turn her around, because it hasn’t exactly been going any place at any pace. Let’s begin to pledge to ourselves and strive to uphold the rule of law in all things, at all times and in all circumstances:

I promise on my honour to be faithful and loyal to my fellow Ghanaian.
I pledge to defend his right to remain different.
I pledge to uphold his constitutional rights at all times.
I pledge to treat him justly and equitably at all times. ©

Glossary


Yor ker gali : a dish of boiled beans, gari and spicy sauce or palm oil;
Nipa boni : literally, a bad person; an antisocial person (an Akan phrase);
Obaa fo la : literally, tears of blood; tears of frustration (a Ga phrase);
… doing something too much : Ghanaian phrase for a fusspot;
Kalabule : devious dealings, especially overcharging for goods and services;
Noko fioo : a tip, or bribe of low value (a Ga phrase);
Kpakpakpa : same as kalabule.

On Being Ghanaian – Beta CORE

The second of four shared attributes of our Ghanaianess; Constitutionality.

Ghana-FlagI’m Ghanaian, because the Constitution categorizes me as such and I, of my own volition and following accepted practice, subscribe to the supremacy of the Constitution on the matter. Now, just for the benefit of us the ordinary and mortal, I’ve reproduced the third chapter of our 1992 Constitution below in its entirety. Its the portion of the basic law of the land which defines who is Ghanaian. Oh, its my pleasure and you are very welcome. This service should keep us all equally informed on the subject during this conversation.

The Constitution imposes specific obligations on me, defines rights I’m entitled to by reason of being Ghanaian and indicates basic privileges I can enjoy for the same reason. The community of Ghanaians is right in expecting me to discharge those obligations without fail while I identify as a Ghanaian. By corollary reasoning, I’m entitled to expect the community of Ghanaians to uphold all my constitutional rights and privileges, at all times. Let us aspire to and make every effort to keep faith with each other by virtue of our common citizenship, as our Beta CORE attribute. It will profit us immensely. In large part, we won’t have to guess what our neighbour will, or will not do in specified circumstances but rather, can insist that he adhere to the unequivocal provisions of the Constitution he pledges to uphold.

I promise on my honour to be faithful and loyal to my fellow Ghanaian.
I pledge to defend his right to remain different.
I pledge to uphold his constitutional rights at all times.

Our Constitution certainly isn’t a perfect compendium of basic laws for Ghana. No constitution is, which is why they get amended from time to time to reflect altered circumstances, changed attitudes and so on. Thankfully, the Constituent Assembly which framed the 1992 Constitution included provisions for amending this basic law of the land. Therefore by implication, we have agreement on specific procedures for amending the basic obligations required of me as a citizen of Ghana, as well as curtailing, or augmenting my basic rights and privileges. The procedures are specific and clearly expressed in the document. There’s no uncertainty about when and to what extent my obligations, rights and privileges as a citizen should apply. In any case, we are agreed in promulgating the Constitution, that the Supreme Court shall have the final say, where clarity is needed in interpreting the document.

That offers me certainty in the specific matters covered by the Constitution, if I wish to carry myself about proudly as a Ghanaian, following as it were, the example of our President. However, I can possess that certainty only if members of the community of Ghanaians keep their part of the bargain, by upholding my right to be treated as a bona fide Ghanaian within the framework of the Constitution. And that is the reason why I should pledge to uphold your constitutional rights at all times and you, mine. There can be no uncertainty, for example, as to whether you are indeed a Ghanaian and therefore, entitled to vote in an upcoming election. To the extent that you satisfy the conditions for citizenship defined in the Constitution, I must stand ready to defend your right to be treated as such. Equally, there can be no uncertainty about my citizenship on the basis of the shape of my nose, or the amount of skin pigment I’m endowed with by nature, when the Constitution says nothing in regard to those physical attributes.

The Constitution
CHAPTER THREE
CITIZENSHIP

6.

(1) Every person who, on the coming into force of this Constitution, is a citizen of Ghana by law shall continue to be a citizen of Ghana.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a person born in or outside Ghana after the coming into force of this Constitution, shall become a citizen of Ghana at the date of his birth if either of his parents or grandparents is or was a citizen of Ghana.

(3) A child of not more than seven years of age found in Ghana whose parents are not know shall be presumed to be a citizen of Ghana by birth.

(4) A child of not more than sixteen years of age neither of whose parents is a citizen of Ghana who is adopted by a citizen of Ghana shall, be virtue of the adoption, be a citizen of Ghana.

7.

(1) A woman married to a man who is a citizen of Ghana or a man married to a woman who is a citizen of Ghana may, upon making an application in the manner prescribed by Parliament, be registered as a citizen of Ghana.

(2) Clause (1) of this article applies also to a person who was married to a person who, but for his or her death, would have continued to be a citizen of Ghana under clause (1) of article 6 of this Constitution.

(3) Where the marriage of a woman is annulled after she has been registered as a citizen of Ghana under clause (1) of this article, she shall, unless she renounces that citizenship, continue to be a citizen of Ghana.

(4) Any child of a marriage of a woman registered as a citizen of Ghana under clause (1) of this article to which clause (3) of this article applies, shall continue to be a citizen of Ghana unless he renounces that citizenship.

(5) Where upon an application by a man for registration under clause (1) of this article, it appears to the authority responsible for the registration that a marriage has been entered into primarily with a view to obtaining the registration, the authority may request the applicant to satisfy him that the marriage was entered into in good faith; and the authority may only effect the registration upon being so satisfied.

(6) In the case of a man seeking registration, clause (1) of this article applies only if the applicant permanently resides in Ghana.

8.

(1) Subject to this article, a citizen of Ghana Shall cease forthwith to be a citizen of Ghana if, on attaining the age of twenty-one years, he, by a voluntary act, other than marriage, acquired or retains the citizenship of a country other than Ghana.

(2) A person who becomes a citizen of Ghana by registration and immediately after the day on which he becomes a citizen of Ghana is also a citizen of some other country, shall cease to be a citizen of Ghana unless he has renounced his citizenship of that other country, taken the oath of allegiance specified in the Second Schedule to this Constitution and made and registered such declaration of his intentions concerning residence as may be prescribed by law, or unless he has obtained an extension of time for taking those steps and the extended period has not expired.

(3) A Ghanaian citizen who loses his Ghanaian citizenship as a result of the acquisition or possession of the citizenship of a country other than Ghana shall, on the renunciation of his citizenship of that other country, become a citizen of Ghana.

(4) Where the law of a country, other than Ghana, requires a person who marries a citizen of that country to renounce the citizenship of his own country by virtue of that marriage, a citizen of Ghana who is deprived of his citizenship of Ghana by virtue of that marriage shall, on the dissolution of that marriage, if he thereby loses his citizenship acquired by that marriage, become a citizen of Ghana.

9.

(1) Parliamentary may make provision for the acquisition of citizenship of Ghana by persons who are not eligible to become citizens of Ghana under the provision of this Constitution.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in article 7 of this Constitution, a person shall not be registered as a citizen of Ghana unless at the time of his application for registration he is able to speak and understand an indigenous language of Ghana.

(3) The High Court may, on an application made for the purpose by the Attorney-General, deprive a person who is a citizen of Ghana, otherwise than by birth, of that citizenship on the ground.

(a) that the activities of that person are inimical of the security of the State or prejudicial to public morality or the public interest; or

(b) that the citizenship was acquired by fraud, misrepresentation or any other improper or irregular practice.

(4) There shall be published in the Gazette by the appropriate authority and within three months after the application or the registration, as the case may be, the name,. particulars and other details of a person who, under this article applies to be registered as a citizen of Ghana or has been registered as a citizen of Ghana.

(5) Parliament may make provision for the renunciation by any person of his citizenship of Ghana.

10.

(1) A reference in this Chapter to the citizenship of the parent of a person at the time of the birth of that person shall, in relation to a person born after the death of the parent, be construed as a reference to the citizenship of the parent at the time of the parent’s death.

(2) For the purposes of clause (1) of this article, where the death occurred before the coming into force of this Constitution, the citizenship that the parent would have had if he or she had died on the coming into force of this Constitution shall be deemed to be his or her citizenship at the time of his or her death.

(SOURCE: https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.ghana.gov.gh/images/documents/constitution_ghana.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwiTutbEubHSAhVIyGMKHSUlCl4QFgg3MAg&usg=AFQjCNFjoJu7bS8b_Y5sBUEgdR4HWcC4cA)