His Majesty King Tackie Tawiah III was born to Madam Mary Lartey of the Asere Dzorshie Royal and Joseph Blankson Lartey a chief Spokesperson of the the Ga State and a grandson of King Tackie Tawiah I. As a child in school, Nii spent many hours playing football but his aspiration of becoming a great player was not supported by his ability. By divine assistance, however, he became a good server in the Anglican Church and enjoyed performing his duties as an alter boy. His love for singing got him into the church choir and though he was known to sing off key on occasions, this did not deter him from joining some or the local bands in Accra.
Through the influence of his firm father, Nii spent many learning days of his youth at Nai We, Sakumo We, Jaflotu We and the Royal Stool House of Abola: (the palaces of the Ga Mantse, Gbese Mantse, Abola Mantse and Lakaiman Mantse). These locations would soon become familiar territory to the young man. By such attachments, his understudying of the cultural normative of the Ga’s and their traditions also become very much enhanced. However, Lartey was happiest as a boy scout.
In that movement, he attained all the required qualifications and rose to the level of a Queen’s Scout. This attachment enabled him to lead the boy’s section of the Ghana Contingent to the Golden Jubilee Jamboree of the Boy’s Scout Movement in Warwickshire, England in 1957.
Upon his return to Ghana, he successfully secured employment with the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board as a messenger and rose to the position of weighing supervisor before returning to England at the beginning of 1960.
While in England, Nii adopted an initial interest in optics, but due to his employment at the Ghana High Commission in London, his interest shifted to politics and law. This path of study was probably influenced by his father who had then been imprisoned for a second time under the Preventive Detention Act. The two and a half years spent at the Ghana High Commission (particularly working with Sir Edward Asafo-Adjei and the Hon. Kwesi Armarh, the High Commissioners at the time) were very rewarding and educational.
In late 1962, Nii was transferred to New York, USA, to work with the Ghana Permanent Mission to the United Nations.
During his sixteen year career at the UN, he worked in a variety of areas in the support service of the Mission. One particular area was as an Executive Officer involved in administration, finance and research. He experienced career growth while pursuing and completing a University studies simultaneously.
Upon completing his graduate studies with distinction, Nii secured six years of experience as an adjunct lecturer in Political Science and Constitutional Law at Queens College of the City University of new York and at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice also located in New York City.
Working with so many highly regarded ambassadors and accomplished Ghanaian and international diplomats further enriched Nii’s interest in politics, international relations, economics and law.
Upon returning to Ghana after numerous years abroad, Nii became assigned to the Ghana Reinsurance Organisation as a member of their Executive Management where he served for ten years. During that, he was elected Secretary General of the West African Insurance Companies Association (WAICA) for six terms. He was also a member Planning Committee that created the West African Institute and of its Governing Council for seven year. Further, he lectured in Reinsurance and Management at the Institute.
Always driven by keen interest in politics, Nii became briefly involved in the activities of the Professionals Association and joined United National Convention (UNC) at its inception. He was elected Deputy Secretary under the leadership of notable personalities such as Paa Willie, the Hon. Harry Sawyer and Dr. Obed Asamoah.
Nii was commissioned to establish and manage the Contact office of the Ghana Reinsurance Organisation in London in 1981, and was positioned there for six years. During this period, he served as the President of the London Contact Offices Association. After being redeployed by the Ghana government, Nii gained employment with Alexander Howden Insurance Brokers as an insurance Technician and later with Harris and Dixon Insurance Broker Limited. He worked them until his retirement although he remains a consultant to them to date.
Nii is currently a member of the National Development Planning and Law Reform Commission. He also serves as Board Director of Donewell Insurance Company.
Additionally, Nii has a profound interest Freemasonry and is an active member of some of the fraternity’s different organisations. Also notable is his keen fondness of horse racing which led to his membership of the Board of Stewards of the Accra Turf Club for many years.
Nii has been married to Rev. Mrs. Faustina Armuzua Blankson for forty years and they have three children: Julian, Lillian and Joel in addition to two grandchildren: Christian and Jolynn.
Dr. Jo Blankson was officially installed King Tackie Tawiah III Paramount Chief of the Ga State on the 11the June 2006.
The Sudden Demise of King Tackie Tawiah III
The Ga Mantse, Nii Tackie Tawiah III has passed away.
He died in a hospital in London in December 2012 after a short illness.
With the formal announcement of his death in Accra, a state of wailing and mourning is envisaged across the Ga State and the entire nation in the days ahead.
The Ga Dzaasetse, Nii Tetteh Kwei II, confirming the death of the 20th Ga Mantse to some journalists at a briefing Tuesday, said, “We want to say to you with all the sorrow in our hearts that a really mighty oak tree has had its roots blown off this earth.”
He said details of arrangements for the interment of the late King Tackie Tawiah, who was known in private life as Dr Jo Blankson, would be announced later.
Present at the briefing were a corps of traditional luminaries of the Ga State, including the Gbese Mantse, Nii Adu Mensah Tackie, who is also the Head of the Teiko Tsuru We; the Ga Seitse, Nii Tetteh Ashong V, and an Elder of the Ga Dzaase, Nii Tackie Komme Hammond.
According to Nii Kwei, King Tackie Tawiah was flown to London some time last year to undergo medical treatment, “but as God wanted it, he never made it”.
“We are here to let you know that the Paramount Chief of the Ga State has kicked the bucket honourably,” he said.
Rumours about the King’s passing had been rife long before he was pronounced dead by medical doctors in London, according to the Ga Dzaasetse.
Nii Kwei expressed the hope that with the formal announcement of King Tackie Tawiah’s death, the rumours would die, adding that people must learn to investigate and speak the truth at all times and not just say anything for the sake of freedom of expression.
According to Ga history, King Tackie Tawiah is the fourth Ga Mantse since 1863 to have died while on the stool.
May his Soul rest in Peace.
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