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Monica Kwansema Akwia Quashie

Moniek en tante KwansemaDuring my first visit, they welcomed me with an official ceremony, and I was installed as official family member. Daddy gives me my Ghanaian name, which has always been there for me: Monica Kwansema Akwia Quashie.

Monica is my European name. Kwansema is the name of my Auntie, the eldest sister of Daddy. Because I am his eldest child, that name is meant for me. Akwia means Wednesday, the day I was born, and Quashie is the family name. Auntie Kwansema is now, according to Ghanaian tradition, my mother.

I find it all funny, but I didn’t value it very much until Kwansema dies. Her funeral is postponed for a few months because I could not come to Ghana sooner. During that funeral I realise that I really am Ghanaian with the 'tasks' that go with it. The role of eldest of the family elder is, needless to say, transferred to me energetically.

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