She has a reason to why especially some modern-day women die at a younger age, and an advice for them to live longer – even beyond her age.
So, I asked how old is she? She could only give me an event to calculate it myself. She says “When Yaa Asantewa, the historical warrior queen mother of Ejiso in the Ashanti region of Ghana fired her first gunshot, I could be equated to a class four pupil in our days.” Wow! That means she was already about 10 in the year 1900; for that is the date of the Yaa Asantewa war. Interesting, isn’t it? Yes, it is normal with some ancient people who never had a formal education to be able to read and write: with this background, don’t be surprised she doesn’t know her actual date of birth.
Thank God she didn’t leave us clueless of her age. We can applause her for having an event in mind to give us an idea of her age. Thinking of how old she is? Have you started the calculation? Relax, I’ll tell you.
Her name is Agnes Sakyibea. As I have heard most people share their worry and wonder why people have been dying at young ages these days, it was her dilemma too. According to madam Sakyibea she could guess the cause of the women’s death on the basis of her experience in life and as an elderly woman.
Madam Sakyibea in an interview attributes the cause of many young women dying to unnecessary rivalry. She says if you are a woman and you allow yourself to be overtaken by anger all because your husband has intentions of marrying another woman, or has already married another woman to add to you, then you have signed your own death warrant. She added that in the case of modern women, it may not even be a husband she is fighting over with another woman but a boyfriend.
At this point of our discussion, I thought madam Sakyibea was under the influence of old age and didn’t know what she was saying.
Why shouldn’t a woman be worried if a man, whether she is married to him or he is just a boyfriend of hers, tries to go for another woman in addition to her, was my query?
“I was the first wife of two and many concubines of my husband. I remember I used to fetch water for my rival to bath in my own will, can the modern women do the same?’’ She asked. Briskly, I answered no. She said, then, that is why some of the young women are dying young. They trouble themselves with what they cannot prevent men from doing – if the man will not change his attitude. I always made sure I saved my mind and heart from thinking evil of another woman all because I have seen her around my husband. It kills and the women of today should desist from that and I believe some of the early deaths of women will reduce, she further said.
Madam Sakyibea said she made beads for her husband’s second wife the day she came to her matrimonial home. “I sometimes connived with the second wife to convince our husband to invite some of her concubines from the village to come and spend the weekend with us. Although she (the second wife) often disagreed with her (Agnes Sakyibea), we made him invite some of them (concubines) so he will slaughter some of his sheep for meals. This, the women of today cannot afford to do. Meanwhile, they (women of today) are possessive in the name of love. They will harbour hatred in them and scheme of how to destroy the other woman encroaching her husband; and when this does happen, you the schemer of evil has already prepared a poison for yourself.” Madam Sakyibea is of the view that attitudes such as this will definitely kill any woman who allows herself to feel such rivalry.
Our conversation had gone far and I still could not believe I was hearing all that the elderly woman was saying. Hmmm! Could this indeed be the reason why some women are dying young?
Madam Sakyibea in her case spoke about her husband and did not just understand why at the mere boyfriend and girlfriend stage, some women could hang themselves or engage in exchanges to the extent that it can turn violent for one to be wounded, and in most cases die as a result. She attributed all these to the harbouring of hatred. Once anger dominates you because of love affairs, if God doesn’t intervene, your heart no longer works normally, your pressure rises and your whole being changes; days after days, if you continue to live in hatred, you die slowly.
I asked her if she has a super heart because all of what she has outlined, most women of our time cannot do it.
“So, when men have not changed their attitude, should women die of what they decide to do?” Madam Sakyibea threw back this question to me as an answer. “I made sure I avoided rivalry. I tell you, it really prolonged my life span on earth”, she said.
My next question to her was: do you endorse polygamy?
“Never, never, never, but there is certainly no way a woman should think her heart out, be emotionally destabilized and cut short her life span because a man wants to bring in another woman. When the man is a polygamist, make peace like I did in my case, else, you will go into your grave early” madam Sakyibea quickly added. She again stated that polygamous marriages have always gone against the men; your attention is always divided and a man can be emotionally imbalanced if the women are quarrelsome and not helpful in terms of economic assistance.
Madam Agnes Sakyibea says as her final advice that women should just not engage in rivalry, for it sucks the heart, body and soul.
These were the words of Madam Agnes Sakyibea a month before she died. She was my granny. She died in the year 2011 at the age of 121 years – taking into consideration the Yaa Asantewa war in 1900, at which time she says she was about 10 years of age.
Granny’s revelation of what contributed to her old age I know is hard to comply by women of our time, but these were her words on what she believed among many other things that kept her free from heart-related sicknesses that sent women of her type to their early graves.