Ex WO1 Favour Aku Ziwu, my mother, is the best and most beautiful woman on planet earth. Giving birth to six children did not stop her from mothering other non-biological children some from extended family and others well beyond.
My mother, a most reliable Anchor, instilled discipline in all her children. Her training as a soldier and that of my father Late Ahorbo Ben Coffie, also a soldier, made our home a mini-military training camp with the children Agbeko, Edem, Enya, Venunye, Selasi and Eyram serving almost like potential recruits.
By our parents’ designations, we underwent various regimental orders on daily basis where chain of command was strictly observed.
Pressing military uniforms, shining boots, weeding the compound, cooking and respect for Ewe cultural norms were a common feature on the training manual at home.
Ex Favour Aku Ziwu gave birth to all her six children while serving in the Ghana Armed Forces as a soldier. At a point in her life, she worked for two years on Border Guard duties at Manusu/Dankwanta in the Volta Region without pay while pregnant with Venunye my younger brother. The unlawful intimidation and punishment by the military authority never deterred her from “soldiering on.” She served 32 years, 62 days in the Ghana Armed Forces.
Three of us, Agbeko, Edem and Enya, once lived with our grandmother Mama Afavi Adjeiza of blessed memory and Aunty Judith Akpene Ziwu at Woe in the Anlo District of the Volta Region. Venunye later joined us. Our time at Woe was very eventful.It was an opportunity to help us study the Ewe language and other cultural practices.
As a soldier, Mother also served in various peacekeeping missions in Rwanda, Liberia, Lebanon and many other operational theatres as ordered by the Military.
As we observe Mother’s Day today May 10th, we your children, your in-laws and grandchildren are very proud of you and wish to express our sincerest gratitude to you for helping us through school and imbibing in us Christian values. Your love and kindness is unparalleled.
Maame Soldier, you’ll remain loved forever. You are indeed my anchor.
About the author: Agbeko Ben Coffie is a Journalist, a member of GJA and a member of the African Union (AU) network of journalists for Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) and has undergone training in leadership and governance in London and China. His interest is in issues affecting rural communities particularly in the Volta Region of Ghana.