THIS IS MY STORY – SIS MERCY MAWUFEMOR MUSAH
Imagine being born into a family of a Muslim dad and a Christian mum with each side of the religious divide wanting you on their side. For many people, this may be a fairy tale as inter-religious marriages are very few in Ghana. My family is part of the statistical few, and here is my story.
I was born into a nuclear family of seven, my mum, dad of blessed memory and four siblings of which the eldest has shed the mortal coil. My dad’s reproduction factory was quite busy so I had step-brothers and sisters.
My dad was a Muslim so he married three wives including my mum who is a Christian. Ours is a religious cocktail—my mum attends the Methodist Church of Ghana, my three brothers are Muslims and I, a Catholic.
I was a Muslim until 2001 when I stopped. I don’t really know what happened that led to my conversion. I guess because my dad was not close to us, I found myself closer to my mum, more and more.
I occasionally accompanied her to church those days. She was a chorister and I always love listening to her sing and because of that, I developed some love for music. After I left the Islamic religion, I went to the Church of Pentecost and later joined my mother in her church.
My mum was not consistent in going to church so I also relaxed and spent most of my Saturday and Sundays helping her to sell. She sells at the GBC Bush Canteen. Those days, I had a childhood friend who usually comes around especially on Saturdays to chat with me and then leave for church.
I hated the fact that she didn’t stay long with me so one day, I asked permission from my mum and followed her to church thinking we could continue our conversations there.
Interestingly, she was going for choir practice and when I got there and heard them sing, my spirit was filled with joy. I saw myself singing with them because I had fallen in love with music then, thanks to my mum.
Without thinking twice about it, I joined the Christ the King Angelic Choir and the first song I learnt was “Lift up your heads”. That was the beginning of my Catholic life.
I joined the Catechism class with the help of the Choir Master, Mr. Charles Dawson-Otoo, the Choir Conductor, Mr. Daniel Donkor, and my guardian then Mrs. Emilia Sekyi-Aidoo, I was baptized into the Catholic Church on July 12, 2003, and received the Holy Communion on July 13, 2003 and then got confirmed on November 3, 2013.
They accused my mum of influencing me to join her. My brothers at a point in time converted to Christianity for a short period and later went back to the Muslim faith. The accusations were even worse when my brothers at one point or the other became Christians.
Well, my mum never gave up, especially on me. She always told her accusers “You have taken my sons away from me, I won’t allow you to take my one and only daughter.”
She encouraged me to go to church and attend choir practice after practice, since she was not all that active. She also taught me some hymns and songs when she got the chance. I really felt loved when I joined the Christ the King Angelic Choir the first day.
My choirmaster, conductors and members were very friendly and nice to me. Fortunately, I met some few faces I knew from my friend’s neighourhood as (we) as my area (Ruga and Kanda 441 – all in the Zongo community) and that made me feel more at home.
My guardian also gave me the support because she is a Catholic and a Marshallan as well. I lost some Muslim friends too when they got to know of my conversion.
Some refuse to talk to me till today. But in all these, I was not bothered in anyway; maybe because I had people I trust supporting me and I just didn’t want to leave the choir as well.
I was banned not to sing at home by our landlady till today, but I sing most of the time when I am in the room. My landlady, neighbours (who are all Muslims), my father’s family and some of my friends and some people in my community tried convincing me, but I only listened to them and convinced myself that I had made the right choice. Some of them gave up but others are still persuading me.
Probably because of my dedication to what I do, from 2008 to 2010, I was co-opted into the Angelic Choir’s Executive Committee and was elected as the Secretary of the Choir and Christ the King Parish Youth Council (CTK PYC) from 2010 to 2012.
I was elected the President of the Choir and the Chairperson of the Parish Youth Council (PYC) from 2012 to 2014. I am currently the Assistant Secretary of the Osu Deanery Catholic Youth Council.
I joined the Noble Order (Court 5, Okponglo) on October 4, 2014. I went to Flagstaff House Basic School, Labone Senior High School, Accra Polytechnic and I am now in my final year at the Catholic Institute of Business and Technology (CIBT).
I am currently working in the Christ the King International School as a Teaching Assistant. My ultimate career goal is to be a lawyer.
My role models are Mrs. Emilia Sekyi-Aidoo, my mum (Madam Mary Adwoa Tutu) and Celine Dion. I chose Mrs. Emilia Sekyi-Aidoo and my mum as role models because of their determination and hard work. Celine Dion because I one day wish to sing like her.