Growing up in Ghana, living in a compound house, the sound of ‘Maame o dende’ always brought joy to my heart. This was because it meant that the mother’s generous comfort and caring hands were imminent.
Traditionally in Ghana, a woman returning home from the day’s business or from a trip brings home gifts for the child, but more importantly, the sheer affection of a mother.
In July this year the Flagbearer of the NDC made the historic announcement of Professor Jane Naana Opoku- Agyeman as his running mate. Since then, Maame O Dende has been heard from young and old across the country as they welcome Prof Jane Nana Opoku – Agyemang to various communities in the country. A cry, welcoming someone they see as a long-awaited individual who can help build the nation and make our lives better than what we are currently experiencing.
When children are left by their mothers for the day, they surely are not left unattended. Yet they cry, Maame O Dende,at the sight of their mother. This is because they yearn for the affection of a mother who they believe will have their interest at heart at all cost.
Maame O Dende continues to ring through the length and breadth of our dear country in many forms from young and old. The deep yearning rings out loud and clear. Why is this?Why the clarion call, Maame O Dende?
The reasons that come out include the desperate desire to see inclusiveness in our politics. For many, Naana represents inclusiveness, just as a woman draws all her children to her heart and ensures equal distribution of the household resources among them, no matter how small. Naana is knowledgeable and has leadership and managerial qualities, tried and tested. Many see Naana as a woman with credibility.
Children cry Maame O Dende because they know that with mother home, they will be in trusted hands. Wise counsel is seen as a quality of a good mother and having mother by your side is always a source of comfort and encouragement. Wise counsel, genuineness of heart, ability to do a lot with little, spreading the family resources to cover all are some key qualities Ghana needs in her leaders now.
John Dramani Mahama understands this. No wonder! He is one of the few politicians in Ghana who has served from the local level to the African Parliament and to the position of President of the Republic of Ghana. John Mahama has come to appreciate what would serve as the appropriate complement to him on the NDC Presidential Ticket.
A woman of substance, whose substance is made up of what every Ghanaian respects, dreams of and works hard towards. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, a woman whose presence in the highest levels of government will help us to address the gender gap. Ghana, indeed the world, is trying urgently to close this gap. President-elect Joe Biden also recognized this and chose Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris and they are now poised to lead the United States of America. It is an urgent matter.
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