Boateng, Evelyn (Akosua Nuro Kyerewaa)
Born to Opanin Kofi Boateng and Madam Akua Pokuaa on May 31, 1951 in Kumase, Asante, Ghana, Evelyn Boateng was given a typical Asante name, Akosua Nuro Kyerewaa. Although not born into the Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church, Evelyn Boateng, populary known as "Kakra" ("Junior of a set of twins"), virtually grew up as an Adventist. She went to church at an early age with her mother and siblings who had also joined the church. Her oldest sister, Nana Anim, had married an Adventist, Twum Antwi, and Nana brought her family with her into the SDA Church.
Kakra began her primary school education in Kumase in an SDA School and finished it at the South Suntreso SDA School. Subsequently, she went to the secondary school, first at Amaniampon Secondary School at Mampon, Asante and then at the Adonten Secondary School at Aburi in Akuapem where she completed her Ordinary Levels (O' Levels) in 1971. For a short period she also attended the Kumase Polytechnic in 1972.
From there, Kakra decided to go into business, starting out as a petty-trader in Kumase and climbing to her current position as a businesswoman. She married Ebenezer O. Nunoo in 1973 and they had three children, a boy and two girls.
In the late 1970s, Kakra got involved in the evangelistic work of the SDA Church in league with people like Emmanuel Osei, two African-American Adventist laymen, L. Thomas and Goodlett, Matthew Bediako, and Matilda Okyere (Abenaa Abebrese).
Over the years, Evelyn has gotten more and more involved in gospel ministry by helping with funds for the advancement of the Lord's work and for the training of young Adventists, particularly as ministers and evangelists. She concentrated the early stages of her fund drives on the financing of evangelism equipment such as electric generators, public address systems, and projectors for church leaders and evangelists. She also provided funds for the construction of many SDA Churches in Ghana and sponsored students in Adventist institutions.
Recently, in her vision to spread the gospel to the people worldwide, Kakra has started a fund at several conferences and missions in Ghana to aid the SDA Church's evangelistic programs. These various funds are called "The Evelyn Boateng Evangelistic Fund." The SDA recipient organizations include the Central Ghana Conference, the South-Central Ghana Conference, the Mid-West Ghana Conference, the South Ghana Conference, the South-West Ghana Conference and the North Ghana Mission.
Kakra has also funded several orphanages,--a work that she particularly loves.
In recognition of her work with the SDA Church, several conferences and a mission have honored Kakra, including the Central Ghana Conference, the South Ghana Conference, the North Ghana Mission, and both the Africa-Indian Ocean Division and the General Conference of the church which gave her citations and plaques of honor in 1990.
Few are surprised at the work of this great laywoman of the SDA Church. Many knew her as a girl in the Asante New Town SDA Church in Kumase, Ghana in the sixties when she was an active member of the Missionary Volunteer (currently the Adventist Youth) Society and demonstrated her commitment to the Lord and His truth. One day Kakra, then in her teens, challenged a preacher in Kagyetia in Kumase not to pollute the minds of his hearers but to teach God's Word correctly. Evelyn had learned the Holy Scriptures from her infancy, like Timothy of old, and she could not allow a preacher, claiming to speak for God, to get away with a "counterfeit gospel."
She currently lives in Kumase with her second husband, Alexander Boateng Wiredu, an Adventist from Sekyedomase in Asante.
K. Owusu-Mensa, Ghana Seventh-Day Adventism: A History, (Accra: The Advent Press, forthcoming).
--------, Saturday God and Adventism in Ghana (New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 1993).
This article, received in 2001, was researched and written by Dr. Kofi Owusu-Mensa, Professor of History and DACB Liaison Coordinator at Valley View University, Oyibi, a DACB Participating Institution in Accra, Ghana.