BIOGRAPHY OF MARGARET EFUA AHENFUA ABOAGYE-NYAME (NEE’ ARTHUR)
March 22, 1940 to August 15, 2014
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jer 29: 11
We take inspiration and consolation from Jeremiah to write this biography of Mrs. Margaret Efua Ahenfua Aboagye-Nyame affectionately called Auntie Maggie.
Auntie Maggie was born Margaret Arthur on Good Friday March 22, 1940 in Mankessim. Her father, John William Arthur (deceased), a native of Edumadze, Mankessim, ex Chief of Ekumfi Abaka, in the Central Region, belonged to the Adwenadze Family. Her mother, Esi Bentsiwa aka Maa Kakraba (deceased), a native of Mankesim in the Central Region, was from the Anona Family.
Auntie Maggie started her education in Mankessim but after the passing of her mother, when she was 12 years old, she moved to Besiase in the Central Region to live with her uncle Yaw Boakye where she completed her middle school education. Auntie Maggie later moved to Kumasi where she worked at the Bata Shoe Store as a Sales Assistant. Because of her passion for and the desire to have a career in fashion, she attended Mancells Vocational Institute in Kumasi where she studied dressmaking. She later obtained a Diploma in Fashion Design in London.
In 1964, while working at the Bata Shoe store in Kumasi, Auntie Maggie met and married a young pharmacist, Kofi Aboagye-Nyame. Their marriage was solemnized at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, South Suntreso, Kumasi on April 5, 1969. Auntie Maggie and her husband were blessed with seven children, six of whom are present today.
1. Francis Aboagye-Nyame aka Kofi Nyame, Virginia, USA
2. Mrs. Agartha Appiah, Ohio, USA
3. Mrs. Adelaide Mensah, London, UK
4. Peter Aboagye-Nyame, Kentucky, USA
5. Paul Aboagye-Nyame, London, UK
6. Vera Tawiah Aboagye-Nyame, (Deceased)
7. Mrs. Margaret Quansah, Accra, Ghana
She left behind 13 grandchildren, namely:
1. Adelaide Nana Ama Nyanta Korankye Appiah
2. Chelsea Maame Ama Amoah Korankye Appiah
3. Maame Ahenfua Akua Aboagye-Nyame
4. Nana Brago Akua Aboagye-Nyame
5. Brandon Kofi Awuah Korankye Appiah
6. Kofi Tawiah Aboagye-Nyame
7. Cyril Alexi Paa Kwesi Mensah
8. Benita Maame Adjoa Ahenfua Aboagye-Nyame
9. Vasanti Maame Yaa Amoakoa Aboagye-Nyame
10. Bryan Kwaku Korankye Appiah
11. Nanette Nana Adwoa Brago Aboagye-Nyame
12. Nathaniel Alwin Abeeku Mensah
13. Eliana Efua Nimfa Aboagye-Nyame
She also left behind several nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Auntie Maggie and her husband lived in several places due to transfers for work and school, including London, Tarkwa, Bolgatanga, and Kumasi. They finally settled in Accra in 1979.
Auntie Maggie was the most entrepreneurial person one would ever meet. Following her days in Bata Shoe Stores she studied dressmaking and obtained a Diploma in Fashion Design from London. In 1971, Auntie Maggie and her husband moved to Bolgatanga where she set up her dressmaking practice and opened a shop in the Bolgatanga Market. In addition to making and selling pretty dresses, she also sold iced kenkey, “abele walls” and iced water, among other things. In 1975, when her husband was transferred to Komfo Anokye-Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Auntie Maggie joined him and set up Boayam Cold Store at Kwadaso Estate selling frozen meat and fish.
During this time she also set up Gay Girl Garment Factory, a major manufacturer of fashion items, bed sheets and uniforms for major retailers including Glamor Stores, GNTC, UTC and secondary schools. In 1979, Auntie Maggie and her husband moved to settle in Accra. She joined her husband to establish Komarco Pharmacy Ltd. (Kofi-Margaret-Company)
Still with a desire to make a mark on the fashion scene, Auntie Maggie set up a fabric import and retail business in Kaneshie. She begun traveling to London and the USA for her purchases. When the store in Kaneshie could not accommodate the expending business, Auntie Maggie moved the business to the second floor of the UTC building in central Accra, where she became one of the major retailers and wholesalers of suiting fabrics in Accra. It was also during this time that she expanded the business to include ladies clothes and accessories with a major focus on bridal wear. She later moved the business to the then Kingsway building and established Manyame Bridals Enterprise, as one of the premier bridal wear shops in Accra. Manyame quickly grew to become the go to place for top quality bridal wear, brides maid dresses, business and casual wear. Today Manyame operates from two locations – Swanzy Arcade and Global Building both in Accra.
Before her untimely death, Auntie Maggie had begun discussions on expanding Manyame to various locations in Accra. Auntie Maggie was very hardworking and hands on in her business; traveling to the US two to three times a year to purchase clothes, shoes, bags etc. It was indeed amazing to see her shop and pack up to thirteen (13) suitcases and fly with them to Accra all alone.
As if the very successful Manyame Bridals was not enough, entrepreneurial Auntie Maggie also established M-Classics at Mallam Junction to deal in miscellaneous items including cosmetics, disinfectants, groceries, drinks, office equipment and furniture etc.
Auntie Maggie converted to Catholicism after she met her husband. She was a devout Catholic and very active in her parish. Her passion for things of the Lord was reflected in the Christian upbringing of her children. Auntie Maggie was an usher at the St. Theresa’s Parish for several years and was noted for the zeal with which she carried out the task. She was also a patron to the St. Theresa’s Choir. Auntie Maggie was initiated into the Noble Order of the Ladies of Marshall in Tamale in 1972. She was very active member and rose to the enviable rank of Respected Lady and was scheduled to be elevated to the rank of Most Respected Lady. Auntie Maggie contributed materially and financially to support the parish, priests and seminarians, the Noble Order and the church in general. On almost any major milestone in her life and that of her family she would donate something to the church.
In April 2014, Auntie Maggie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and following treatment in the USA and Ghana; she eventually joined her maker on August 15, 2014, on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus Auntie Maggie came into this world on Good Friday, the day our Lord died to save us, and departed on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God. We are assured that the Holy Mother continues to intercede with her son for her.
Auntie Maggie, Manyame, you touched the lives of many, you have inspired a lot; you have assisted many. You will forever be missed. Your husband, children, in-laws, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, staff, friends and acquaintances all say…
Da yie, Nyame nfa wo nko fie dwoo dwoo!!!