One of the African Pioneers for Children and Women’s Rights Movement, Felicia Dede Adadzawa will be laid to rest on March 13 at Ho Dome in the Volta Region.
Late Felicia Dede Adadzawa will go down history as a charismatic, long-suffering, selfless, hardworking, and role model to many due to her spirited fight for justice and equal rights for women and children.
Late Adadzawa was no match for any modern woman who grew up in modern times if the truth was anything to go by.
She was not the type of woman who enjoyed dating, making marriage proposals, flaunting expensive engagement rings, and getting down the aisle in a puffy-designer wedding gown, to finally say, "Yes, I do!", instead, she represented the face of those women who were forced into early marriages, overworked, and treated without respect and consideration.
Growing up when women were oppressed and suppressed, viewed as reproductive objects, farm laborers, and lesser human beings, she ended up in a non-consented married at a tender age.
She later jumped out of wedlock a few years after the birth of her first child.
Despite marrying a rich man with a pretty fair share in the real estate industry, and a higher education level, things weren't rosy, as she had to work even in her last trimester of pregnancy and so, it was for other co-wives.
During those dark days of male chauvinism and gender discrimination in African communities, no woman had a right—be it the right to expression, decision-making, or just the right to live an independent life.
Therefore, women had no absolute right to opt-out of a forceful marriage. And in case one would do, the consequences were brutal and life-threatening.
Therefore, committing such an offense would make you liable to exile from the community or be condemned to death if you would lose in a traditional court.
Despite her knowledge of the imminent punishment that comes with committing what was regarded as a taboo, Adadzawa defied the odds, revolted, and incited other women to do so in protest of the oppression and suppression that they were undergoing.
With a strong commitment to gaining her freedom, Adadzawa divorced her rich and powerful husband, a move that landed her into a fierce battle in a traditional court known as the Horlutiedome.
An Epic Win for Late Felicia Dede Adadzawa in a traditional court completely changed everything.
After her bitter fallout with her husband, it was now time for the deviant and long-suffering Adadzawa to face a disciplinary case before chiefs and elders.
Having it in mind that losing the case would have serious ramifications on her future, she explained the magnitude of her plight in-depth, and breadth beyond conviction, securing a landmark win that marked an incredible milestone in the fight for equality.
Owing to her confidence, charisma, and sharp wits, Late Dede Felicia warmed the hearts of many, including the high-profile juries who had no better option than granting her freedom.
But it wasn't without a cost. She was ordered to compensate her husband, with European Schnapps and other staff, which she did and secured her freedom.
The epic win opened a new chapter on how women and children are viewed and treated in society.
In her parting shot, Adadzawa convinced the crowd and the traditional judges that women are our mothers, sisters, and daughters.
Women, too, are human beings and deserve to be treated fairly with respect and tolerance just like men. She explained the hardships of pregnancy and the pain and risk women go through in childbirth and demanded that no pregnant woman should be forced to slave-work on the farm to protect the life of the unborn baby and the mother.
She further demanded that every child must have the right to live and the girl child should no more be forced into marriage.
Instead, they must be allowed to choose whom they want to marry from that day, men were ordered to treat their wives fairly; anyone who didn't was punished.
Following her efforts in liberating women and children from the long-time oppression and suppression, she became a hero, and her name was sung and praised by women and children.
Late Felicia Dede Adadzawa's second chance in marriage changed her life for good.
After her freedom, Late Adadzawa got married to a man of her dreams.
With her strong belief in hard work and well-honed work ethics, she sold foodstuffs and clothes to get money for her children's school fees and fend for other needs.
She also extended a hand of kindness to other needy children and made a difference in their lives.
Her love for humanity, philanthropy, and commitment to fight for gender equality made her dearly loved.
Her children are Mrs. Irene Asase Dagadzi, the founder of Dr. Asase Memorial Children's Home, the first orphanage ever in the Volta Region.
Other children are Mr. Alexanda Atade Kofi, Mrs. Vero Avor Ahianglo, and Mr. George Agbehali Ohene Adjei.
She was also blessed with many grandchildren, including Rejoice Serwah Latzoo, Dorcas Latzoo, Shine Kelly Dagadzi, Moses Ohene Adjei, and the notorious Swiss Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist and Author Mabelle Prior.
Felicia also has many great-grandchildren in Switzerland and Ghana, Including Perry, Sese, Nuny, Christina, Dorcas, and Lina, and many more.
Other grandchildren include Dr. Cephas Kwame of the USA and Mr. Frank Kwame of the USA. With well-fought life-changing battle, and a race well won, Felicia Dede Adadzawa left a legacy forever.
We honor Felicia Dede Adadzawa.
Forever in our hearts
Credit: Joshua Kwabena Smith