Rawlings’ speech writer Valerie Anne Sackey dies at 88
An official statement has announced the passing of Valerie Anne Sackey, the former Director of the Castle Information Bureau during the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) administration from 1982 to 1992 and the Public Affairs Secretariat at the office of President J.J. Rawlings from 1992 to 2001.
Mrs. Sackey, born in 1935 in Accrington, United Kingdom to Valentine Lindoe, the Principal of the Accrington College of Art, and Nancy Lindoe, an arts teacher in the college, passed away on December 31,2023.
The Rawlings Foundation expressed regret and sorrow in their announcement of her death. Mrs. Sackey, formerly known as Valerie Anne Lindoe, met and married Horace Walter Kofi Sackey at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and together they arrived in Ghana just three days after the country’s independence in March 1957.
Below is the full statement:
VALERIE SACKEY PASSES AWAY
The J.J. Rawlings Foundation regrets to announce the death of Mrs. Valerie Anne Sackey, Director of the Castle Information Bureau during the administration of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) from 1982 to 1992 and of the Public Affairs Secretariat at the office of President Rawlings from 1992 to 2001. She passed away on 31st December 2023.
Mrs. Sackey (nee Valerie Anne Lindoe) was born in 1935 in Accrington in the United Kingdom to Valentine Lindoe, Principal of the Accrington College of Art and Nancy Lindoe, an arts teacher in the college. She met and married Mr. Horace Walter Kofi Sackey at the London School of Economics and Political Science where they were both studying, and came to Ghana three days after independence in March 1957.
On arrival in Ghana, she taught Geography at the Opoku Ware Secondary School and later joined the Department of Game and Wildlife and was posted to the Kumasi zoo. When her husband was appointed a Minister of State in the Progress Party government led by Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia in 1969, she moved to Accra and continued to work with the Department of Game and Wildlife.
On her return to Kumasi following the fall of the Progress Party government in 1972, Mrs. Valerie Sackey transferred to the Kumasi unit of the Department of Game and Wildlife and then on to teaching at St. Louis Secondary School in Kumasi.
During this period, she wrote on various topical issues for the Pioneer newspaper under the pen name of Yaa Asantewaa. Her direct and commonsensical approach to issues gained her a wide readership in a culture prone to using euphemisms to totter around uncomfortable facts of our socio political life.
In one of these articles, she sharply criticized the manner in which the various leaders of the PNDC were going round the country haranguing the people on radio and television and advised them to take a tape recorder and hear themselves speak.
This drew the attention of the Leader of the Revolution. Flt. Lt. J. J. Rawlings who secretly agreed with her expressed views and requested to meet her. He was however surprised to find that she was white.
After a number of interactions with her, Rawlings extended an invitation to her to join his personal office staff and take charge of his speeches, interviews with local and foreign media and official Press Statements.
Her schedule also included dealing with complaints and petitions to his office as well as responding to letters from members of the public. With the able assistance of Kwasi Opoku Acheampong, who was editor of the Pioneer in 1980-81, the Castle Information Bureau and the Public Affairs Secretariat became the most powerful and effective administrative organs of the Rawlings personal administrative units.
After 2001, Mrs. Valerie Sackey continued to work at the office of the late former President helping with his speeches, interviews and other media related matters.
She is survived by her children; Michael Sackey (London) Joseph Sackey (Los Angeles) Anne Asantewaa Sackey (Accra) and seven grandchildren. Her final funeral rites will be announced shortly.
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