posted by RUMNET on March 27, 2017
Hajara Ibrahim Taimako, is lively and energetic. She has a strong desire for the economic emancipation of women. She is a women’s advocate whose passion for the alleviating of poverty among rural women-farmers is as profound as an abyss. Hajara Ibrahim Taimako, popularly called Borborbor, has founded over 30 women’s groups across northern Ghana that she is helping to be self-sufficient.
Borborbor has a strong character and is persistent in her beliefs and convictions. Her perseverance in the pursuit of women’s rights has sent shivers down the spine of many men.
Born to a father who was a traditional medicine seller and an uneducated mother who was passionate about helping her fellow women, Borborbor was raised in a town called ‘Emlo’ in a house called “Efikesie” translating as “big house” in Kumasi. A frafra by tribe, Boboboo is the third amongst 5 boys and 4 ladies. She stayed in Kumasi for 6 years after which her family moved to settle in Tamale.
Though her mother was uneducated, she wanted her to go to school. She began her education at the Sakasaka School and on weekends, she would go to an Islamic school popularly known as ‘Makaranta’ at Ambariya Islamic School, both in Tamale. She got to middle school form four where she ended and continued to help her mother in her traditional herbal business.
Borborbor admits it was her mother (still alive) who aroused her interest in the family business of processing traditional herbal medicine, which eventually led to her current business of soybean processing. It only triggered after her father’s death. According to her, her father Mallam Ibrahim Taimako was the first traditional healer to brew medicine in Ghana and sell it around the country and beyond. She credits the establishment of their selling branches of their traditional medicine in Togo and Burkina to her father’s business voyages across the borders of Ghana.
After his death, her mother saw the need to continue the legacy her husband had left. Being a woman who had some experience in producing traditional herbal medicine from her mother, she saw the need to plant medicinal herbs. Getting some support from the agro forestry department then, she had access to mahogany seedlings and training in how to raise her own seedlings. Borborbor was chosen by her mother to undergo the training, as she was the one who was closely working with her to establish a plant nursery. With training on how to practice grafting and layering of various plants and fruits, she transferred the knowledge into improving her mother’s nursery which is now beginning to take shape. She says this is how she officially became a part of her mother’s business.
To upgrade her skills, her mother with the intervention of the then country director of UNDP, Dr. Quartey, was able to convince the Dean of Bonsu Agricultural College to allow Borborbor get access to practical training on nursing and raising seedlings.
For three months and two weeks, Bobobor together with a female relative underwent training in the nursing and raising of seedlings. After the training, she came back home to further improve on her mother’s botanical and herbal garden, which they named after her father (Taimako Plants Research Centre). Whilst helping her mother she was also learning how to brew herbal medicine and to treat people. She learnt about some medicinal herbs and methods that could be used to help women during childbirth from her mother’s collaboration with traditional birth attendants. Today, the garden still exists in the compound of their residence in Kanvili.
On a normal day, you can find Aunty Borborbor mixing some herbs from their herbal medicinal garden or training and facilitating the activities of the women at her soybean processing unit just metres away from her home in Kanvili.
Published in the May 2016 Edition of “The Advocate”
By Khadijah Abdul-SAMED