Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings: Mother of the revolution

Sat, 4 Jun 2011 Source: Amenga-Etego, SaCut

Many are those Ghanaians who are completely oblivious of the seminal role women

played in the success of the great revolutions of 1979-1981 in Ghana. The heroes

have been counted severally and openly. The heroines have been largely ignored

in the proper context of our history as a nation. Yes, there were women in Ghana

who had ‘balls’ to stand up and support the efforts of those courageous and

determined young men of Ghana who sought to bring back this nation unto a

highway of progress and, indeed succeeded in doing so starting from in 1979 and

later regaining momentum in 1981- and this was at a time many men in Ghana

meekly put their tales between their legs an either hid away in foreign lands or

just simply and endured the social and political disorder of the time without

the courage to stand up to it.

The true history of this nation must be recorded properly. And if so, NANA

KONADU AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS for generations to come would be recognized as MOTHER OF

THE REVOLUTION. She demonstrated it when her husband and hero of the revolution

first attempted to pursue the agenda of change in a then morally bankrupt

political ruling class whose moral decadence indeed prompted the uprising. NANA

KONADU AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS demonstrated rare qualities during that period, and

which should be a political, cultural and social lesson for other women of

Ghana. Many ordinary young Ghanaian women from affluent backgrounds such as NANA

KONADU AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS would ordinary have taken flight from the beginning of

realizing that their husband was engaged in a mission that had a semblance of

utopia and adventurism and which almost certainly had an unpleasant and

expectant outcome in the almost certain event of failure- death.

NANA KONADU AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS did not hide herself away when Flt. Lt. Jerry John

Rawlings was arrested and detained after leading the failed mutiny of may 15

1979. She did not deny him or lament her association with the young air force

officer. Unlike many ordinary women, she did not lock up herself away in

lamentation. Instead, just like the legendary YAA ASANTEWAA she rose to the

occasion. She went about immediately organizing people who shared the ideals

that are espoused by J.J. Rawlings. Some people are quick to claim credit for

fighting to free Jerry Rawlings from his cell from where he awaited his

predetermined faith from the then military junta- and these are people who

abandoned ship at a time when the revolution really needed their talent and


Well, half a story has never been told.

NANA KONADU AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS as wife of detained of the revolution went ahead to

organize a team and more or less directed the operation that led to the freeing

of her captive husband from detention and execution. She was BOLD even at that

tender age to commandeer men into action that led to a successful prevention of

the truncation of the revolutionary process by the corrupted ruling elements of

the time who ruthlessly wanted to perpetuate their reign of degradation of the

dignity of the Ghanaian people. NANA KONADU AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS did not only play a

key role in preventing any truncation, she also practically pivoted the

re-engineering of the revolution in 1981 when she took on the role of giving

direction and empowerment to half the population of Ghana- women- through a

women’s movement (31DWM) which was her idea of affirmative action at a time male

chauvinism was at it’s peak in the world society. She led a challenge to the

status quo at the time when women’s role in society had been narrowly defined by

the same corrupted society.

From the onset, NANA KONADU AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS naturally rose to the occasion as

MOTHER OF THE REVOLUTION. She took up her burden without qualms and against

overwhelming odds. She demonstrated endurance throughout this challenge. She

diligently helped to shape the foundation and direction of the revolution. I

would even describe her in my books as RESCUER OF THE REVOLUTION. Why, she

rescued the revolution at the beginning when she succeeded in organizing men to

free her husband from detention and execution. She is here again to rescue it

now that the NDC- the present vehicle to carry forward the foundational ideals

of the revolution and founded based on the ideals of her husband and former

President of Ghana Jerry John Rawlings- is at the verge of loosing it’s identity

with a leadership of President Mills who has woefully failed to appreciate the

inseparable link between adherence and loyalty to the ideals and sustenance of

the movement- remember the revolution has a long way to go, and it has come to


Who else will be capably equipped with the required BOLDNESS and consecrated

determination to rescue the NDC in these crucial times other than NANA KONADU

AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS who ventured into this same task at a time when her husband was

in detention and the risks were much more greater than today? And does she not

stand an even greater chance of succeeding this time round in her rescue mission

now that her legendary husband and NDC founder Jerry Rawlings is standing

solidly behind her?

I have been asking this question and I’d like to ask again; isn’t it perhaps

time the NDC and Ghana acknowledged NANA KONADU AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS as MOTHER OF

THE GHANAIAN REVOLUTION that put Ghana on this HIGHWAY OF PROGRESS? Perhaps that

would be her crowning glory in July when she gallantly emerges as flag bearer of

the NDC with its original ideals, values and principles totally uncompromised

for the 2012 General election- our only hope of overcoming the planned and

projected ‘all die be die’ violent tactics of NANA AKUFFO ADDO and the NPP IN

2012. It is without doubt a truism when it is said that history will always find

a way to repeat itself.


SaCut Amenga-Etego


Columnist: Amenga-Etego, SaCut