Veteran actress and broadcaster Akumaa Mama Zimbi, otherwise called Mrs. Joyce Akumaa Dongotey-Padi on Saturday, June 22, 2013, hosted thousands of widows from across all corners of Ghana at the 5th National Widows Alliance Conference (NAWAC-2013).
The annual conference was on the theme, ‘Widowhood Is Not A Curse, Widowhood is Ordained By God’ and was held at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre in Accra.
The Widows Alliance Network (WANE) project for sustainable economic development of widows in Ghana, which is one of the projects undertaken by the Mama Zimbi Foundation (MZF), has been organizing this annual event on a large scale as the grand occasion where all of Ghana and Africa are made to appreciate the roles widows are playing as ambassadors of change in their communities.
It is also to serve as the ideal dialogue platform for the advocacy of a comprehensive policy and legal direction for elevating the standards of widows in Ghana.
Through WANE, over 300 widow groupings have been formed in Ghana with membership swelling to over 6,000 nationwide. Among the prominent personalities at the conference were Margaret Owen (Founder and President of Widows for Peace through Democracy – London), Anne Kyomugisha Executive Director of Forum for Community Change and Development – South Sudan) and Hon. Nana Oye Lithur (Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection).
Mama Zimbi stated that most widows in Africa, especially Ghana, are held responsible for their husbands’ death. She said it has proven quiet difficult to get rid of some bad widowhood rites because many people still have strong attachment to all sorts of superstitious beliefs.
However, education through advocacy and the provision of employable skills such as what the Widows Alliance Network (WANE) provides should be the most appreciable long-term solution to these problems plaguing our society.
For this and many other reasons, she said, “Mama Zimbi Foundation has come to remind widows in Africa and especially Ghana that, “Widowhood is not a curse. Your life is worth living. You are of value. And you can build a future for yourself and your family.”
Sponsors of NAWAC-2013 included Unibank, Gewah Homeopathic Hospital, Indomie Instant Noodles, Ice Cool Purified Water and Mobile Engineering Services.
Supporters were Blooms Cakes and More, Danny’s Décor, Last Hour Catering Services, Cocoa Processing Co. Ltd and Ghana International Trade Fair Centre.
Media partners were Multi TV, TV3, Metro TV, DDP, Citi FM, Joy FM, Adom FM, Media Fanbern, Websoft Solutions.