I have only one wife.
Believe it or not marriage never became an issue in my life until one year to my marriage. I thought that as a Christian my life is God’s; serve the Lord, love the Lord and at the right time marriage will sort itself out so I was not one of those who were looking for wives and other things; it was not even an issue. I did not marry until I was 27 years.
One of the things I enjoyed was Christian fellowship. I really cultivated friendship with a host of Christian brothers and sisters. You won’t believe that one day when I was in the university I wrote down all the people who were at the fellowship in my diary. I still have my diary there. Again during my long vacations, I was at either at a camp serving Scripture Union or participating in a GHAFES crusade or something of that nature but if I was not in that or in my village then I was travelling visiting Christian sisters with no strings attached. I thought that Christian sisters in particular who were isolated teachers or nurses in the village really needed the visit and encouragement of their Christian brothers. So I remember I would go to places like Adejuan, Niamampong, and I remember Cecilia Bretwum, who eventually got married to one of my good friends, Nicholas Asamoah. I went to Bekwai to visit a Christian sister who became the current wife of Rev. Dr. Aboagye-Mensah the immediate past moderator of the Methodist Church.I went all the way to Bolgatanga to visit my Christian sisters, but all totally without any strings attached.
Partly, maybe because I lacked sisters on my mother’s side, I had seven brothers and one sister, so I treasured my Christian sisters very well. I visited and encouraged them and also cared for them. In Legon Hall, I went to Volta Hall to visit the older people and was likely to eat for free, and to the younger ones to encourage them. Interestingly, out of my cycle of about twenty sisters very close to me was my wife. My wife and I were very good friends as well as Christian brother and sister. In truth for many years she was actually engaged to one of my best friends Rev. Dr. Asare. The idea of me marrying her was not an option since she and my friend were courting and so I was free with her and could go there with free consent and eat for free. In fact, I was overseas doing my masters when, I must say, unfortunately they broke up. I was so angry with my friend and wrote to him that he must have misbehaved himself. I think that, it has been a wonderful blessing for me and my children because they really had a lot of aunties and uncles who really liked them and were interested in them.
I married and my wife was a professional teacher teaching at the Women’s’ Training College in Aburi. I don’t think she has had to work for more than 9 years out of our 36 years of marriage so that one, I cannot recommend was a wise one.
But I just wrote it as an addendum and I continue my life as it was. But I think it was at the Easter house party of 1974 held at Aburi Girls by the Scripture Union and there was a Christian sister, who is dead now, from Kumasi whose family I knew well and who definitely was very interested in me. I was so close to my wife Georgina as a sister that I would tell her and we would laugh about it and she would advise me to be watchful and careful. That was how close we were as friends, so we had a good time. She was in charge of the kitchen there and I was the bell boy. I rung the bell, kept time. My job was to ring the bell for dining and waking up. With this position I was not considered a big man. I was the one to ring the bell when the bigger Christians were there. It was quite enjoyable and then of course, there was a photographer there. We took pictures and one of them I took with her. Later on the pictures were sent to her and me separately. But you know, it was amazing when I got the pictures, later on she said the same thing, she asked what was happening! We were looking at each other as if we were lovers. So interestingly both of us did the same thing independently, we just hid the photograph. But that is what triggered. Then she and my friend broke up in 1972 we are talking about 1974, two years had passed. But you know the biggest challenge to me, apparently she was also refusing, how can she be my wife? It was like saying you were going to marry your blood sister because that was how close we were. So I dismissed the idea, even though one has to pause sometimes and reflect. Then time passed so we forgot about it.
Principles one should use in choosing a Christian wife
the beginning of our wonderful courtship
Behold, she met all the three criteria I put down. I can say to the glory of God that at our time, if you take serious evangelical Christians in Ghana, Georgina would be among the top three.
As of my wife, she is the most beautiful woman that God has ever made. Beautiful in character, beautiful in appearance. So that was not an issue. When you are walking with her people will actually come and tell you “your lady is pretty.”
And her salary as a teacher was almost the salary I put down.
So I sent her a telex to come that I had something to discuss with her. Strangely, she was also going through the type of reflections I was going through. So she came, I met her at a nice place at the Airport. I drove her in my car around Airport and we went to sit under one of the trees. And I told her, “I love you, will you like to marry me?” She looked at my face quietly and said, “Yes!” Wow! That was the beginning of our wonderful courtship.
She was working in Aburi and I was working in Accra. During our time, there was no traffic. At least, every week I go to Aburi about five times. I will go and have lunch with her in Aburi and come back to Accra, all within a period of one and half hours.
Eventually, we got married in 1975 on 6th July at Accra Ridge Church. A lot of people attended our wedding. About three hundred, at our time this was a sizeable number. It was a very simple wedding. We used my doctor friend, Dr. Awotwe, s car. I gave my car out to carry my parents. The only incident was that the sermon was too long. The Pastor decided to preach for about 45 minutes and I can still remember how long he preached. But when we came out of the church, there was a brand new car waiting for us. Apparently, one of my classmates who was more matured than us and became World Visions Director, Bismark Nyarkotey Tetteh, had gone to do his masters in France and when he was coming he bought a brand new car. So we just moved the decorations from the old car and put them on the new one. I did buy a new suit. My wife used her uniform. We borrowed wedding decorations. Our cake was a gift from my wife’s school. We told our friends if they had something for us they should make it cash otherwise, we gave them list of items we needed. After our wedding, we had about $600.00. This was big money, enough to furnish our house. Our wedding ended up to be a very nice and big wedding.
I remember a speech I gave at the wedding. I told our family, friends and all the people there that; “if we are marrying as Christians, divorce is out, if you see her commit adultery don’t tell me, pray for me. I am going to marry her for life.” Some of my family members were so offended that for three years some of them did not talk to me.
The next day we went to church at Kaneshie Presby. From there, we went to Kyebi for our honeymoon. My wife’s foster father had a house there. We were there for a week. From there we went for a tour, to visit her mother at Kwahu and then went to my village for about a week. We came back and settled in a shared house I rented with some friend, Mr. Perbi – currently a Managing Partner of KPMG. The house was at Pig Farm in Accra, a three bedroom house. We later got a flat near that place so we moved out and left the house for Perbi. Later we got a bigger one at Abelenkpe. Then we had to leave for Australia for me to go and do my doctorate degree.
But while we were in Ghana we lost our first child. The experience in Korle Bu Teaching Hospital was so bad. There was a separation of placenta and the doctor was saying he was too busy and for a week she had not been attended to. So the baby died in her womb and it was God’s grace that she survived.
So I decided not to have my children in Ghana again. And as it turned out all my four babies were not born in Ghana. We went to Australia in 1977 to do my doctorate. I went to Australia two months before my wife joined me. My wife got pregnant and in October, 1977 we had our first son, Stephen. This brought us lots of joy. A year and a half later we had Eunice and a year and eight months after Eunice we had Priscilla so we had three of them in Australia. I had just finished my doctorate degree when Priscilla was born. So after six months we came back to Ghana.
Our children were much close. It was interesting. If you buy one piece of clothing, all of them wear it. If you look at their pictures, you will see particular clothing that all of them had pictures with.
We stayed in Ghana for about five years and went to Britain so it was there we had our last born Timothy. After Timothy’s birth we all had to move to America for six and half years before we moved to Namibia. By then Stephen was in college, Eunice and Priscilla were in high school at SOS and GIS respectively in Ghana. After four and half years in Namibia, we came back to Ghana. This was because we had decided to come and head GIMPA.
In fact living in GIMPA was one of the interesting things for me especially coming back from overseas. The transition was okay for me and my wife but not our son Timothy. He had all his thirteen (13) years outside Ghana. When we took him to Achimota School and they tested him, his standard was very high so they enrolled him straight to the secondary school. So he finished secondary school at the age of sixteen (16).
We thought he was too young to go to the university and at that time we had established Ghana Christian International High School, so he went there to do ‘A’ level before going to the university. Timothy entered Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology at seventeen (17).
Our Passion As A Couple
For my wife and me, our children are our passion. What people mostly know us for is very secondary to us. We are basically a family and our children are of great importance to us. Our first son, Stephen has two first degrees, Bachelor of Structural Engineering and Bachelor of Commence. He has also done his masters in Project Management. He is very brilliant. He is in Australia now. Eunice went to University of Cape Town to do medicine. She is a pediatrician. She works at Korle Bu teaching Hospital. The third one, she is the only one who is married now. She is in Australia. She has three first degrees and on masters degree. Timothy went to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to do Bachelor of Electronics and Electrical Engineering and did his service at GIMPA. He has also done another first in Information Technology. He is now working with Pentecost University. He is currently doing his masters online at Accra Institute of Technology (AIT). He is quite business oriented. He has an advertising company with a friend. His specialty is cartooning, graphics and designing. He likes photography as well.