Ghanaians from all walks of life on Saturday and Sunday turned up at Nyamebekyere-Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region to pay their last respect to renowned businesswoman, Obaapanin Esther Abena Serwaa.
Obaapanin Serwaa, who passed away at the age of 92, was the grandmother of Mr Michael Kofi Gyau, Executive Chairman of the Nan Group.
Obaapanin Esther Abena Serwaa played many vital roles in the establishment of Nan Enterprises Ltd in Kumasi, a subsidiary of the NAN Group. Other subsidiaries of NAN Group include NAN-TEL Systems Ltd, OP Properties Ltd and Oak Plaza Hotels.
Clad in black attire, the mourners thronged the house of the deceased at Nyamebekyere-Berekum on Saturday, January 19, 2019, where the mortal remains were laid in state and later to Freeman Methodist Church Berekum for burial service.
From there, they moved to Seikwa near Berekum where the mortal remains of the departed were interred.
Final funeral rites took place the same day at Omanhene’s Park also in Berekum.
Berekum came to a standstill as traditional leaders, top businessmen, politicians, diplomats, the clergy, friends and sympathisers across the country and beyond stormed the town to pay their final respect to the astute businesswoman.
Dignitaries that attended the event include Brekumhemaa, Nana Akosua Amoahene II; Berekum Manhene, Daasebere Amankona Diawuo II; Bantamahene, Nana Bafour Owusu Amankwatia VI; Nana Manhyiahene, Nana Kwasi Prempeh; Kokofu Kronkohene, Nana Atakora Bonsra; Nana Kyeraahene, Barima Mintah Asare and Nana Yeboah Pene II, Kyeraahemaa/Dormaa Benkumhemaa.
Also, partners of NAN Group that attended the event include Unilever Ghana Ltd, Vodafone Ghana, B.B. Brothers, DBS Roofing Co. Ltd, Hippo Ltd., Cicero Hotel and Georgia Hotel in Kumasi were represented at the mammoth ceremony.
The clergy was also heavily represented. Among them were: Apostle Dr Emmanuel Osei Donkor, General Secretary of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC); Mr Stephen Oduro Kwarteng, CAC General Deacon; Rev. Joseph Gyimah, General Overseer-Maranatha Evangelistic Ministry and a high hierarchy of the Methodist Church of Ghana.
Politicians were not left out as National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia was present to pay his tribute.
Members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) including the Member of Parliament (MP) for Brekum East, Dr Kwamena Twum-Nuamah and MP for Nhyiaso, Kennedy Kankam were also present.
Gospel artiste, Evangelist Daina Asamoah, was also on hand to entertain the gathering with song ministration.
Tributes poured out from siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and management and staff of NAN Group.
Mr Michael Kofi Gyau, Executive Chairman of NAN Group in a tribute read on his behalf, recounted his days in the 80s when he began visiting his grandmother whilst schooling at Sunyani Secondary School.
"At the time she was a small-time trader at the Kumasi Central Market. During the school holidays, I used to attend vacation classes in Kumasi and would assist her in the shop. One day as I went doing my regular chores at the shop, I vividly remember one of her friends who prophesied that 'Serwaa this your grandchild will be a great businessman someday'.
"Her trust and confidence in my abilities and gifts were further solidified in 1989 when she received an invitation to visit my Aunty in London, prompting her to ask me to stop going to 6th Form and take over her market shop. Although the shop at that time was in financial trouble, she had confidence that I could turn things around. These events and grandma’s belief in me led to the birth of NAN Enterprises Ltd,” the tribute read in part.