By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh.com |
It was moments of inspiration and memories as friends and families gathered at Peki Dzake in the South Dayi District of the Volta Region for a thanksgiving and memorial service at Tomb site of Ghanaian industrialist and microlending pioneer, Dr. Mrs. Esther Afua Ocloo (nee Nkulenu) who was a proud daughter of the land.
The solemn ceremony which had the widower, children, family, friends and traditional leaders in attendance, was also attended by workers of her company, the first food processing plant established some 77 years ago, Nkulenu Industries.
The Women advocate and co-founder of Women World Banking (WWB) International and WWB Ghana to financially empower women, who died in 2002, would have been 100 years on April 18, 2019.
The service on Saturday formed part of activities lined up including memorial inaugural lecture, photo and other exhibitions by all stakeholders, announcement of launch of essay competition for senior high schools and thanksgiving and memorial service at Achimota, to mark her centenary celebrations under the theme, “Honouring a Legend of Her Time”.
In a sermon at the service, Assistant District Pastor, Madina EP Church, Rev. Jehoiada Godwin Amuzu called on the citizenry to honour the memory of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Hall of Famer by living her legacies.
According to Rev. Amuzu, that would mean dedicating one’s life to be an inspiration to others, helping the cause of others and through the can-do spirit, give hope to the hopeless as had characterised Dr. Ocloo’s life on earth.
“The biggest homage you can pay to her is emulating her examples. Whatever you are doing, know that God is counting on you to be light. Wherever you are, you must shine.”
Speaking in an interview with Voltaonlinegh.com, the widower, Stephen Ocloo described his late wife as a selfless and dedicated woman who was passionate about empowering women, contributing to the development of Ghanaian industries and promoting Ghana-made goods beyond the shores of Ghana.
Mr. Ocloo said that her dedication had won her several local, national and international awards including 1990 African Prize for Leadership.
He recounted how they met and got married saying, their bond developed when she was the President and he, the Secretary to the Federation of Ghana Industries (initially Ghana Manufacturers’ Association formed by her) which has now become AGI.
Daughter of the one-time Adviser to the Council of Women and Development, Vicentia Canacco spoke of the importance of celebrating her mother saying, “this celebration is to inspire many Ghanaians, women in particular that no matter what they are doing, small or big, they can succeed at something not only for themselves but most importantly, to help others succeed also.”
Mrs. Canacco said though their mother had challenges playing her role as mother because she had to check on the factory, go for meetings, visit the regions to take women through food processing, and carry out her national and international duties, they were inspired by her works and so, did what was expected of them as children.