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Ms Esther Cobbah — Mum Made Me Strong

By Daily Graphic

While growing up, Young Esther was so attached to her mother that leaving her bosom for school was a problem for her. For that reason, she never liked school as a child.

Unfortunately, four days after her mother took her to the Mmofraturo Girls’ School, Kumasi, to begin an independent life in boarding school, her mother died through a tragic motor accident.

Young Esther, who was 11, felt as if the world had crumbled under her feet. It was difficult for her to face life alone without her mum by her side.

According to her, the only way to console herself was to find solace in the Lord. She became deeply involved in church activities and with the help of two of her very good friends she was able to face the problems that confronted her.

The naive little girl from Eguase in the Central Region metamorphosed into a strong and confident woman who lived through her difficulties and is today, the Chief Executive Officer of Stratcomm Africa, a communications company she established. She is also the Director of the Centre for Development and Intercultural Communication (CEDIC), a non-governmental organisation which is aimed at improving the status of thousands of underprivileged persons using communication as a tool.

As chief executive, Ms Cobbah has led her team to develop and implement effective communications strategies for various organisations.

In a chat with her at her office at Asylum Down in Accra, Ms Cobbah never stopped talking about her mum and how the qualities she imbibed in her as a child had really carved her into what she is today.

“It was as if mum knew she would not be around for long. She taught me so many things in life at that young age that when she died they remained vivid in my memory,” she said.

Having been born in Sekondi, Young Esther started school at the Queen Elizabeth Day Care Centre but had to be transferred to about three different schools when her father, who was a postmaster, was posted to different towns. She, however, finally settled at the Komenda Primary School.

As a school-going child, she often assisted her mum in her trade, such as baking, as well as supplying bread to the Komenda Secondary School.

“I sold all kinds of things such as condensed milk and ‘alewa’ toffees and could even do marketing for mum when I was eight years,” she said with pride.

“Mum was very strict but she had her own way of coaxing us. When I refused to go to school, she moved me to the Ekuase Primary School where my auntie was a teacher so that I would feel secure in school. She expected every child to be neat and speak the truth always and beat us if any of us lied,” she said.

When Young Esther completed primary school, she wrote an entrance examination to Mmofraturo School and recalled how her mother sat on the veranda and waited for her till she finished the examination and took her home.

She said when her mother died, the closely knit family had to put up with a number of relatives but she confessed that that separation never divided but rather united them as siblings.

Young Esther wrote the Common Entrance Examination in Middle School Form Two and gained admission to Wesley Girls’ High School.

While in Form One at Wey Gey Hey, Young Esther joined the Evangel’s, a singing group comprising students of Wey Gey Hey and Adisadel College. This group later came together with the Noise of Joy which was made up of Wey Gey Hey and Mfantsipim School students to become Joyful Way Singers, now Joyful Way Incorporated.

She was a member of the Scripture Union and always joined the team that went on evangelism. Her favourite subjects were Literature, Bible Studies and History but she noted that she never allowed subjects she did not like to frustrate her.

Young Esther always took prizes in her favourite subjects from Form Four till she completed school. She also became the Senior Prefect at Wey Gey Hey.

“As a prefect, I tried to deepen my relationship with students to understand them but I was quite strict,” she added.

After completing Wesley Girls’, she entered the University of Ghana, Legon, where she studied English, Religions and History. She did her national service at PRESEC, Legon, where she taught Religious Studies.

Her burning desire to study communications saw her going back to the School of Communication Studies for a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism and Communications.

Fortunately, after graduating from the School of Communication Studies, she was recommended by the late Prof P.A.V. Ansah to the United States Information Service to undertake an internship there. Thereafter, she went to Cornell University in the USA and returned to Ghana in 1988.

Since then, Ms Cobbah has worked in various institutions such as the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, where she was the Public Affairs Manager. She was also the first External Public Affairs Manager for the West African Gas Pipeline.

She is married and has two sons.

Story : Hannah A. Amoah Share Your Thoughts on this article Name Email Location Comments Graphic Ghana may edit your comments and not all comments will be published