Ghanaian-South African singer Adina shared the impact of Liberia’s civil war on her family. Her mother returned to Ghana out of fear for their lives, and she later learned through the internet that her father had passed away.
Adina Thembi Ndamse, born in Liberia, was an infant when the initial Liberian civil war erupted in 1989. The war’s intensity and the struggle for survival led to her parents losing contact.
“Mum is Ghanaian; my father is South African. They met in Liberia when my mum went to Liberia to work. My father was in exile in Liberia because it was apartheid and his father was in government. He had to go somewhere to seek asylum because if he had stayed in South Africa a little longer, I don’t think he would have lived for long… That’s how he met my mum”, Adina told Stacy on the ‘Restoration With Stacy’ show.
“I was born in October; the war broke out a month or two later. By 1990, we came to Ghana… I wasn’t even a year old so I didn’t see anything”, the musician added.
Sharing the story of how events unfolded as narrated to her by the mother, Adina said her father was a doctor “and was working at a different region in Liberia”.
“When the war broke out, it was hard for my mum to go to where my dad was. A few times, he’d try but it was very risky because the rebels were on the street; randomly, they’d stop you and say ‘dance around with your naked body’. It was traumatizing. At a point where she realized it wasn’t safe, she decided to come to Ghana but he was too far away so they lost touch.”
They relocated to Ghana after being warned of an attack, she said.
“Where we lived, we were living comfortably until we had a tipoff that the rebels were going to blast the place the next morning so they (residents) literally run in the middle of the night”, said Adina.
She mentioned that the father wrote letters in his quest to communicate to the family but they received the letter years later. As one who had never met her father, she held the letters dearly.
“My attachment to my father was the letters he wrote,” she declared while disclosing that her father died. According to her, the mother hid news of her father’s demise from her because she did not want to burst her bubble considering how she [Adina] was eager to meet her father.
“When I grew up, my mum told me my dad was from South Africa. I didn’t know he had died”, Adina said, adding that she found out about her father’s departure to eternity through the internet when she was almost 18 years old.
“I cried. Everybody in the cafe came to console me. I broke down,” she recalled her reaction.
On how her mother has been affected by the development, Adina said: “My mum has PTSD [posttraumatic stress disorder]. She doesn’t like to watch movies that have guns because she actually saw people shot and killed during the war. She’s terrified of loud noises.”