‘Ma Edna King Will Be Remembered for Her Level of Care for Children’

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(From left) The hands of the woman, Ma Edna King, featured in the second photograph, who took care of Mayatu as a child and subsequently Mayatu's children (Photos by Grace Kromah)

— George Gooding says, as she is laid to rest tomorrow

George Gooding, a prominent Liberian businessman, says the Late Ma Edna King will be remembered for her level of care for children.

Ma Edna King died on July 18, 2019, and will be laid to rest on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at the Barnesville cemetery.

According to the family, Ms. King died from minor stroke, coupled with old-age.

She first worked in Liberia as a maid for Mayatu Peabody’s mother, Ms. Gladys Lewis Smith, and her consort, Mayatu’s father, Mr. Ousman Bah.

In 1987, Mrs. Peabody took Ma Edna King to the United States to help take care of Mayatu’s three children, which gave her an opportunity to be cared for, and also have a befitting burial.

Mr. Gooding said Ma King will also be remembered for helping to raise three beautiful kids of Mayatu, including Shantel Kromah, Nenneth Kromah and Grace Kromah. “Although Ms. King did not have a child throughout her life, she cherished Mayatu’s children like her own,” Mr. Gooding said.

Of the two kids, Mr. Gooding said one is currently in England and writing books for children, while Grace Kromah is a photographer, who employs digital and film photography supplemented by darkroom alternative processes, screen printing and writing in her work.

“Ma King nurtured these children to the best of her ability, and the children have decided to offer her a befitting burial. She also shared a befitting lifestyle with the kids and took them everywhere,” Gooding said.

He added that Ms. King lived with Mayatu’s family like a family, and not like nurse; a position that was admired by Mayatu and her family throughout those years.

“The story of Ma King tells us how people even if they do not have their own children, can be mothers to other people children. Secondly, people show gratitude like Mayatu’s family, because Ms. King left Liberia for 30 years, and was not just put on a plane, and say go back, but was brought back by the family due to her work over the years,” Mr. Gooding recalled.

Additionally, he said the children made a place comfortable for her, including house, car, food, electricity and telling her to go and retire.

Ma Edna remained in the USA for 30 years, and returned to Liberia last December in retirement. Mayatu renovated her home in Barnesville, outside Monrovia, furnished it for comfortable while spending the rest of her days on earth.

Her remains is currently at the Abraham Roberts funeral home in Gardnersville, and will be taken to the church at the Abraham Roberts Barnesville Chapel, and later taken to the cemetery behind the Barnesville estate for interment.

Grace’s art practice explores themes such as family trauma, historical trauma, immigration, Liberian culture, the African Diaspora and gender equity in America. Her goal was to tell her story, narrates her life experiences and illustrate recurring memories through analog and self-portraits.

Grace is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is expected to graduate in May 2020. This Institute is the second most prominent art institutes in America, the first being the one at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

These photographs were brought to Liberia and shared with the Daily Observer by Mr. George Gooding, a prominent Liberian businessman.

Mr. Gooding and Dr. Peabody, products of St. John’s Episcopal High School in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County (1966) and Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University), 1969, have remained lifelong friends and brothers, spanning nearly 60 years and counting.

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