Meet Edward Osei Boakye: The Man Who Touched Lives And Built Ghana's First Mattress Factory

Meet Edward Osei Boakye: The Man Who Touched Lives And Built Ghana's First Mattress Factory

  • The Trust set up by an unsung Ghanaian hero, Edward Osei Boakye, will celebrate him in May 2023
  • With May being his birth month, the trust fund, which has been doing alot of great work dedicates the month to doing more charity works
  • Edward Osei Boakye died in 2006 at the age of 73 having touched many lives with his vision, great work ethic, shrewd business sense

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Edward Osei Boakye, one of Ghana's unsung visionaries and entrepreneurs arrived in Ghana in 1959 to establish the United Mattress and Foam Company Ltd at the age of 26.

Mattresses were luxury items and very expensive in those days. The common mattress brand at the time was the Vono mattress imported from the UK. Edward Osei Boakye quickly saw the potential of assembling the Vono brand in Ghana.

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Boakye then began supplying his locally assembled mattresses to state-run schools and hospitals.

Edward Osei Boakye was an astute businessman
The logo of the 'Edward Osei Boakye Trust' (L) and an old photo of him sitting on a couch. Source: Facebook/@HenryNanaB
Source: Facebook

His hunger for business spurred him on to purchase the State Furniture and Joinery Centre. With this purchase, Boakye Mattress began production with the then-iconic "Goodnight sleep well" logo.

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His brand expanded across West Africa and beyond. The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Poland, Netherlands and Italy and the United States stocked the Boakye Mattress from Ghana.

Edward Boakye built Ghana's first private hospital

Edward Boakye was a visionary who saw opportunities faster than most people would. In the 1970s, constructed Ghana’s first fully-serviced private hospital. This is the edifice that now serves as the state-owned Police Hospital.

He also owned many commercial property developments, such as the FC Cosmetics Building, and had plans to set up a drive-in shopping mall at the Holy Gardens – Kwame Nkrumah Circle, among many others.

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Misfortune strikes Edward Osei Boakye's thriving business empire

The military coups in 1979 and again in 1981 took a toll on his businesses. Consistent with the atmosphere of the military takeover, Edward Osei Boakye, along with other thriving businessmen at the time, was accused of tax evasion and other unfounded offences. But he was lucky because he was in the UK when the coup occurred.

And just like that, his great visions and plans suddenly stalled. The military regime tried him in absentia and prevented him from having any contact with his family for about 15 years.

Undeterred by the setback back home, Edward Boakye continued his entrepreneurship in the UK. He went into textiles, retail, wholesale, and property development.

At one point, he even won a grant from the British government to build a mattress factory in Ireland. He also became involved in local politics in the UK as a member of the Conservative Party.

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He passionately campaigned for his friend Harry Greenway, who served as the former MP for Ealing North constituency from 1979 to 1997.

Edward Boakye returns to Ghana again

In the lead-up to the start of the 4th Republic of Ghana, Edward Osei Boakye arrived in Ghana. He arrived in Ghana in the early 1990s, determined to clear his name. And in 2000 when the opportunity presented itself, he spoke out about the injustices he had suffered at the National Reconciliation Commission.

In 2003, at the age of 70, he opened another mattress factory in Kumasi while firming up his interests in real estate around the same time.

Edward Osei Boakye's legacy lives on

Edward Osei Boakye died in 2006 at the age of 73, having touched many lives with his vision, incredible work ethic, shrewd business sense, and generosity.

Due to his love for life, family and friends, he left much of his estate to the E.O. Boakye Trust Fund to be administered for charitable works for the good of society.

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With May being his birth month, the trust fund, which has been doing a lot of great work dedicates the month to doing more charity.

Mysterious mansion with 150 rooms in Kumasi rumoured to have a dark past

Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh has reported in a separate story that a Ghanaian TikToker, @tailormarique, shared a video of a mansion in Kumasi on social media, which is rumoured to have a dark past.

According to the TikToker, the house has 150 rooms and once belonged to Edward Boakye.

He adds that many believed the house had crocodiles in it, which made entering the compound very dangerous.

US-based Ghanaian millionaire returns to build private school that cost over $250,000

Also, a US-based Ghanaian educator and businessman, Benjamin Parry, has disclosed that he spent $250,000 to establish the Parry Internation School.

The millionaire lived in the US for more than two decades before he returned to establish the Parry Group of Companies.

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Parry opened up about his life in the US and returning to Ghana to start his businesses, including the private school.

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Ken Sarpong: Meet the 26-year-old Ghanaian jeweller

YEN.com.gh reported in a separate story that Ghanaian entrepreneur Ken Sarpong opened up about how he started a jewellery business with no capital.

In an exclusive interview with the YEN.com.gh fashion editor, the University of Ghana graduate shares his trade secrets with young entrepreneurs.

Ken Sarpong talks about general challenges faced by most jewellers, especially those operating online businesses.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

Authors:
George Nyavor avatar

George Nyavor (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) George Nyavor writes for YEN.com.gh. He has been Head of the Politics and Current Affairs Desk since 2022. George has over 9 years of experience in managing media and communications (Myjoyonline and GhanaWeb). George is a member of the Catholic Association of Media Practitioners Ghana (CAMP-G). He obtained a BA in Communications Studies from the Ghana Institute of Journalism in 2010. Reach out to him via george.nyavor@yen.com.gh.

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