by michael eli dokosi/www.blakkpepper.com/Ghana
Theirs was a bond so deep and profound yet it wasn’t without its fractious moments especially regarding the choice of marrying wife Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.
However the years saw son Jeremiah John Rawlings and mother Victoria Agbotui bond closely even during the turbulence of Rawlings’ military days which nearly cost him his life.
Madam Agbotui was the second of six children and one of 20 bore her father. She was born in Keta on September 9, 1919 to Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Agbotui, a District Court Registrar, and Christiana Aku Tamakloe, a trader.
Being a gifted dressmaker, she gained employment with United Trading Company (UTC). With time however, her intense passion for cooking prevailed where she landed at the Ambassador Hotel (now Movenpick Ambassador Hotel) as a caterer in 1957.
She moved to the Catering Division of the State Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, eventually rising to the headship position before retiring in 1979, when her son assumed office as the Head of State and Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).
Madam Agbotui married Thomas Alton Addy and bore three children — Isaac Newton Nii Addy, Elizabeth Dangboki and Jerry John Rawlings had with Scottish chemist James Ramsey John.
Madam Victoria Agbotui celebrated her 101th birthday this year surrounded by son, in-law and grandchildren only to pass at home a few weeks later on Thursday, September 24, 2020.
Although devastated by her demise, Ghana’s former President Jerry Rawlings oversaw that she had a burial service at the forecourt of the State House in Accra attracting notables before being conveyed to her hometown of Keta in the Volta Region for interment at the Sokpui Family Cemetery on October 24.
Although largely composed during the burial service and interment, there were times Ghana’s first President of the Fourth Republic was seen lost in thought and at times even bore a look of disbelief about her mum’s passing. Some reckon, her demise proved too much for the former Air Force officer to bear hence his hospitalization days after her burial and eventual death on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The love and bond shared by mother and son is one of the world’s most sacred and it does appear some cannot bear to lose a part of their being and so follow suit to the great beyond.
Blakkpepper wishes the family strength during this difficult time.