Theresa Aba Kufuor: A Life of Service and Resilience

Remembering the Legacy of Ghana’s Former First Lady

Theresa Aba Kufuor, the beloved former First Lady of Ghana, passed away on October 1, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of service, resilience, and dedication to improving the lives of women and children. Born on October 25, 1934, in Kumasi, Theresa, or Aba as she was affectionately known, grew up in a close-knit family that instilled in her a strong sense of love, faith, and determination. From her humble beginnings as a nurse to her role as the First Lady of Ghana, Theresa’s life was marked by her unwavering commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

1: A Journey of Self-Discovery and Education

Theresa’s journey began at St Benedict’s and Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) girls’ boarding school, where she excelled academically and showed a remarkable aptitude for languages. Despite the encouragement of her eldest brother, J.H. Mensah Jnr, to pursue further education, Theresa chose to work as a staff nurse at Komfo Anokye Hospital. Her decision to embark on a nursing career led her to Edinburgh, where she trained as a registered general nurse at the Edinburgh Southern Hospitals School of Nursing. Her time in Edinburgh was not only marked by her dedication to her studies but also by the friendships she formed, including one with a young man named John Agyekum Kufuor.

2: Love, Marriage, and Political Turmoil

Theresa’s path crossed with John Kufuor’s at a dance in London, and their friendship blossomed during their time in Oxford. After their return to Ghana, the couple faced political upheaval when the government of Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia was overthrown. John was detained, and Theresa found herself supporting her husband while raising their four young children. Her determination to visit John in prison, despite the policy against children’s visits, showcased her strength and unwavering love for her family.

3: A Mother to the Nation

When John Kufuor was released from prison, the couple focused on rebuilding their lives and supporting each other. In 2001, John was sworn in as President of Ghana, and Theresa assumed the role of First Lady. Despite her reluctance for the limelight, she embraced her responsibility as a mother to the nation. Drawing on her nursing background, she championed issues related to women’s and children’s health, education, and empowerment. She established the Mother and Child Community Development Foundation, which provided support to women and children in underprivileged areas.

4: Advocacy and Legacy

Even after leaving office, Theresa continued her advocacy work through her foundation. She tirelessly worked to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, improve access to education and healthcare, and empower women through vocational training and micro-enterprises. Her efforts to influence government policy and her commitment to making a difference in the lives of Ghanaians earned her recognition and respect both locally and internationally. Theresa’s retirement from public life due to ill-health did not diminish her impact or her determination to leave a lasting legacy.


Theresa Aba Kufuor’s life was a testament to the power of love, resilience, and service. From her early days as a nurse to her role as Ghana’s First Lady, she dedicated herself to improving the lives of women and children and advocating for social change. Her legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, reminding us of the importance of compassion, determination, and unwavering faith in the face of adversity. As Ghana mourns the loss of a remarkable woman, the nation also celebrates the indelible mark she left on the country and the world.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *