Adeline Baidoo’s journey through hell to triumph
"Girls, go and hide. I don't want anyone to see you with me and make sure you never tell anyone that I am your mother." These were the words which Adeline Baidoo and her sister heard from their mother, who abandoned them at birth, only to appear again years later.
"You think you're a gospel musician; I will disgrace you. We have been married for six months, and what have you produced? You deserve beatings."
These are the words Ms Baidoo recounts from the husband of her first marriage, a man she describes as a 'beast'.
In an interview with The Mirror in Accra last week, the gospel musician said she had faced a lot of tough situations that might have broken others.
"There were times when I slept next to refuse dumps, faced attempted rape, survived on eating once in three days, endured a miscarriage, domestic abuse, rejection, and shared gari with my five-month-old daughter," she told The Mirror .
Today, Ms Baidoo holds a Master’s Degree and is a final year PhD candidate in Arts and Culture, both from the University of Education, Winneba (UEW). She is also a lecturer at the Accra Technical University (ATU).
Active in the music industry for over 16 years, Ms Baidoo has released multiple albums and singles. Beyond this, she is the president of the Ghana Women Forum, a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering women.
She is also a single mother to her five-year-old daughter, Adeodata Yehowa Ani Quansah, who she had with a man she prefered not to mention.
Her latest release, 'Mabr3 p3n,' pays tribute to her journey, one she repeatedly described as ‘hell’.
According to Ms Baidoo, she hails from a village called Asuoabena –Nkwarteng within the Birim-North District of the Eastern Region. That was where she had her primary education.
Ms Baidoo said with both parents absent from her life, she and her sister passed through the hands of several relatives after living with her grandmother till the age of 12.
“I lived for a while with my uncle’s girlfriend and later with my father, Mr Francis Lord Baidoo, and his wife at Somanya where I attended junior high school (JHS).
With my father barely around, I faced maltreatment from my step-mother but I held on as I continued my schooling at the Somanya-Yilo JHS”, she said.
She added that there was a time when her dad was low on income, forcing her to eat once every three days, thus in the evenings at 4 p.m. she used to eat yogurt and bread.
Ms Baidoo said she had to later move in with an uncle who was a teacher at the Koforidua Secondary-Technical School in the Eastern Region where she had her senior high school education, studying Visual Arts.
“That was in 2009 when my mother, popped up one day on campus, introduced herself and left. Unfortunately, she was married and so did not want much to do with me and my sister, Constance Baidoo. I think, she only came back because she was unable to have any other children”, she said.
She added that soon after that, her (Ms Baidoo) uncle became cold and turned his back on her. “He sacked me from his house, saying that, ‘since your mother is back, she can take care of you’.
Ms Baidoo said by the grace of God, she was almost done with high school by then and so she moved in with a friend called Fidelia, who assisted her for a long while.
Training College and attempted rape
Touching on a traumatising experience , the gospel artiste recounted the experience of attempted rape by a senior at the Mount-Mary Teacher Training College.
“It was around 2002 or 2003. While on my way to prep, a senior asked for help, and being obliged to obey seniors back then, I went.
However, he had malicious intent and when I resisted, he tore my clothes, locked me in his room, and left, putting me through a traumatic ordeal," she said.
She added that it took the board of directors of the school and the school principal to investigate and resolve the matter. I was then transferred, upon my request, to the Accra Training College to continue my education.
“Glory be to God, I graduated with Teacher’s Certificate ‘A’ and I followed up with a Diploma, Distant Learning option, at the UEW. I was able to fund all these through side hustles, teacher training allowances, some money from my dad, relatives and friends”, she said.
As if she had not suffered enough, the 41-year-old Ms Baidoo said she got married to her enemy and a ‘beast’, for that matter.
“I met Solomon (not his real name) in 2008 and went ahead to accept his marriage proposal after my pastor assured me he was the one for me. I endured hell at his hands.
He would beat me and sometimes sack me from the room even when he wanted to have sex and I said I was tired. Even for him to eat, I have to beg him”, she said.
She added that because she did not want anybody to see what was happening, she would sneak out, get some plantain leaves, put it on the floor near the refuse dump and slept until the husband came looking for her.
“I was saved after three years through the intervention of Dr Mrs Avoke, who noticed my constant swollen eyes and weak body. She advised me to quickly get a divorce which I did”, she added.
Without losing faith in marriage, she married another man, Prince (not his real name) who turned out to be a gold-digger.
“I was working, running a small beads-making business and owned a car so I guess he thought I had money.”, she said.
Birth of daughter, Master’s and PhD
Ms Baidoo finally had a breath of fresh air when her biggest heart’s desire, childbirth, was answered. However, it did not come easy.
“I had just started my Master’s when I got pregnant and I was living on GH₵ 700 and begging. I had stopped my business and had several loans to pay but by the grace of God, the help of some old school colleagues, I managed to sail through.
She lamented that she lived alone while pregnant without a husband, mother, or friend and it was my first pregnancy”.
Throughout the period, YouTube and God were her guide and even though she had no motherly love, she said she was determined to endure any hardship so she could have her baby.
Triumph and joy
The lecturer gave all glory to the Lord, especially her appointment at ATU and her daughter.
“He did not let me go through all that in vain’, she said.
Today, she uses her story to empower, counsel and let women understand that whatever they were going through could be overcome.
Ghana Women Forum
Her organisation has been running for 11 months now with about 2000 members. “We have supporters such as the Deputy Minister of Gender and Social Protection, Madam Francisca Oteng Mensah, the Consulting President of the Laweh University College, Professor Goski Alabi, the quiz mistress of the National Science and Maths, Professor Elsie Effah Kaufman, musician, Okyeame Kwame and the Chief of Mankessim, Nana Ama Amissah III”, she added.