By Antoinette H. Condobrey
It is not everyday that we see the making of a paramount queen in any place. In the
Gbi Traditional Area, this is particularly rare. Joycelyn Adiku is the fourth ever in the town’s history set to fill this position. Many, including senior citizens, who witnessed her introduction on Saturday, July 17, 2021, did not witness those of her predecessors’. And, it would not be a stretch to say none before her was close to pomp - in making or governing.
Aptly named Mamaga Agoe Dewortornyo I, a combination of the titles of her predecessors - Agoe I and Dewotornyo I - the 35-year-old professional banker is a step closer to wearing the crown.
For many who truly understand the Gbi tradition, the weeks leading to this day was marked by breathless curiosity - whether they were in the loop or they just knew. Adiku’s first public appearance did not end it. Undoubtedly, something different is happening in Gbi with this pick, and curiosities remain piqued. When is the crowning? What does she bring to the table? What would her reign be like? How different would her style be from her predecessors’? How would Her Majesty inspire young women?
Born on September 7, 1986, Joycelyn Esinana Maloe Adiku, hails from Gbi-Hohoe and Gbi-Abansi. She is the daughter of Jonathan Adiku of blessed memory - Hohoe-Torkoni; and Regina Adza of Abansi-Daklovi. Adiku attended Happy Home School, Hohoe, for her primary and junior high education. St. Margaret Mary, Accra, is her senior high alma mater. The paramount queen-in-waiting is an honors and masters degree holder whom family describe as affable with a great sense of style. Her selection comes following the death of Mamaga Dewotornyo I, whose funeral she made her debut appearance at. When enstooled, she would double as the queen of the Torkoni clan and subdivision of Gbi-Hohoe. By virtue of her position as the paramount queen of Gbi Traditional Area, Agoe Dewotornyo I would also be the default queen of Gbi-Hohoe.
Adiku’s immediate predecessor reigned for fifty years and was president of Hohoe municipality’s council of queens until her death in 2019. Many who knew Mamaga Dewotornyo I describe her as a mother to all. Somehow, by some coincidence, her successor-in-waiting bears the same description. Adiku’s love for kids has earned her the nickname, Original Mother of all Children.
Something new is happening in Gbi Traditional Area and many can’t wait to see their latest Mamaga in full action. But this baton change has rules that must be followed strictly. Some queens are outdoored and installed completely in a single ceremony. Others must be outdoored so they can carry out critical duties to complete their installation. In accordance with Gbi Tradition, Agoe Dewotornyo becomes Agoe Dewotornyo I, with full status accorded, only upon completion of the installation process. For now, her predecessor is being laid to rest and she must preside over her final funeral rites.
Note: Joycelyn Adiku's number in the line of succession has changed from third to fourth since this article was first published. Written evidence point to two Agoes coming before Dewotornyo.