African Oral Narratives
Military Intelligence in Apartheid-era South Africa

Three Interviews at Tanzui: A child custody dispute

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Courtesy of Mary Esther Dakubu
Creator: Dakubu, Mary Esther Kropp
Atindana, Paulina
Woman, name withheld
Contributing Institutions: Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu; Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana; MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University
Biography: The person interviewed was an elderly lady, probably about 60. She spoke no English and had not been to school. The interviewer was a student at the University of Ghana, in her early 20s.
Description: The second and third interviews are continuations of the first, in an attempt to find out if the cse was finally resolved. The interviewee had a case in the Bongo and Bolga Chiefs' courts. Her daughter had been divorced by a Bongo man. The issue was whether the interviewee would let the father's family take back the daughter's child before they had returned some bowls she had given her daughter and paid medical expenses she had incurred for the child. She also felt that her daughter had been badly treated. In this patrilineal society the father's family is normally entitled to custody of children, and the interviewee did not dispute that. It appears that the chiefs' courts, which are entirely male, did not take the case very seriously. The grandchild, about 6 years old, was present during the first two interviews. The transcription is broadly phonetic.
Date: June 2000
Location: Bolgatanga (Tanzui section), Upper East, Ghana
Format: Audio/mp3
Language: English
Rights Management: Education use only, no other permissions given.
Digitizer: MATRIX/ M.E. Kropp Dakubu

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