Theresa Kufuor: The Media Shy First Lady Who Died Many Times Before Her Death

Theresa Kufuor: The Media Shy First Lady Who Died Many Times Before Her Death

Before Theresa Kufuor's death on October 1, 2023, there had been many rumours that the former First Lady had passed. The appeal of these hoaxes lies in the mystery surrounding her persona and her outlook on life.

Death hoaxes and fake news are among the unfortunate outcomes of the internet age and the information superhighway. And if there was one woman who suffered from these effects the most, it was the now-late Theresa Kufuor.

Before her death on October 1, 2023, there had been at least four viral news stories falsely claiming she had passed.

In 2015, shortly after one such fake news about her death, she appeared quietly at a public function to make a statement. She didn't choose the studio of a media house for that optics. It was not her style.

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Theresa Kufuor: The Media Shy First Lady Who Died Many Times Before Her Death
Former First Lady Theresa Kufuor. Source: Facebook/@Net2tvgh
Source: Facebook

It was the then-spokesperson for the former First Family at the time, Frank Agyekum, who used the media to firmly debunk her death rumour as a “blatant lie”.

But there would be more fake news about her passing and in 2019 another one hit. This time, because a certain "prophet" had predicted on the eve of the new year that Ghana would lose a First Lady, the hoax caught on quite well until it was debunked again by superior facts.

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The appeal of those death hoaxes, whether the result of a premeditated and vile agenda or honest mistakes, lies in a certain mystery surrounding her persona among the public.

Here was a First Lady, whose husband, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, wielded so much influence both in and out of office, but never once did she try to leverage that by appearing in the media to push a political or social agenda. She worked hard in silence, away from the pomp of party events and the prying eyes of the media.

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Theresa-Kufuor-UK
Theresa Kufuor in a royal carriage after a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade for the start of their State Visit to the United Kingdom on March 13, 2007, in London. Source: Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Very little is known about her impressive achievements as a First Lady, but her previous efforts were instrumental in Ghana's adoption of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) policy. FCUBE is a broad policy document that birthed Nana Akufo-Addo's Free SHS programme. The FCUBE was meant to ensure that basic education includes all children of school-going age from kindergarten to the end of second cycle education.

Theresa Kufuor pushed for policy changes in the Kufuor government’s white paper on educational reforms towards implementing the UNESCO-led FCUBE programme in 2007. Akufo-Addo decided to make education free at the SHS level, but thanks to the policy, there is hope that subsequently, free education will be extended to all levels of education at the basic.

Theresa Kufuor: The Media Shy First Lady Who Died Many Times Before Her Death
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor and his wife Theresa arrive for a state dinner on February 20, 2008. Source: Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Again in 2007, she called on other First Ladies on the continent to increase their commitment to assist their governments in responding to AIDS, working towards ambitious national targets on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

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“Let us be more conscious of the negative impact of AIDS on our people and let us increase our desire to make a difference,” she said.

Theresa Kufuor, born Theresa Aba Mensah, would be remembered as a staunch Catholic, whose kind heart and conservative stance on public life enabled her to make modest achievements for her country and family. Her deep spirit sets her firmly among the legends who once graced our country.

Kufuor seen crying after Theresa’s death

Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh reported in a related story that former President John Agyekum Kufuor was videoed crying following the death of his wife Theresa Kufuor.

Kufour is captured in a trending video wiping away tears as he engages with sympathisers mourning with him.

Former First Lady Theresa Kufuor died on Sunday, October 1, 2023, at the age of 87 in her home at Peduase.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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