Patricia Kabbah

Patricia Kabbah

Patricia Kabbah (born Patricia Tucker on March 17, 1933 - May 8, 1998) was the wife of Sierra Leone's 3rd President, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah; was First Lady of Sierra Leone from 1996 until her death in 1998. She was an ethnic Sherbro from Bonthe District, in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone.

Early life and teaching career

Patricia Tucker was born on March 17, 1938 in Gbap, Bonthe District, in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone, to ethnic Sherbro parents. She attended St. Joseph’s Convent Primary School in Bonthe and St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School in Freetown. She was later employed by the Catholic Mission to teach English and French at St. Joseph’s Secondary School in Freetown.

After two years of teaching, Miss Tucker studied in the United States and received her Bachelor's degree in English at the University of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio in 1959 and a Master's degree in French Language at the University of Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois in 1963.

Career

She returned to Sierra Leone in 1963 where she was appointed Assistant Secretary, under former Sierra Leone's Prime Minister Milton Margai's administration. During this time she met and married eventual president of Sierra Leone, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in 1965. She went with Kabbah to England where they both studied law.

She joined her husband in Lesotho where she commenced the practice of law in the chambers of the distinguished jurist, where she was the sole female attorney in the entire country. She also practiced law in Tanzania and became involved in diplomatic activities such as reporting on the legal status of the African child and mother at UNICEF.

The family moved to New York in 1981 where Mrs Kabbah obtained a Political Affairs Research appointment at the De-colonization Committee of the United Nations. She was later promoted as Head of the Executive Office, Department of Political Affairs, De-colonization of Trusteeship, with special responsibility for Budget, Personnel and General Administration. Mrs Kabbah also taught French and English at the City University of New York.

Politics

Mrs Kabbah moved back to Sierra Leone in 1995. During that time she accepted the chairmanship of the committee established to formulate plans for a return to civilian government, and to draft a new constitution. When the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC), a military government under the leadership of Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio organised general election in 1996, the country's first general election since March, 1967, her husband Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) emerged victorious and became the new president of Sierra Leone; Patricia then became the first lady until her death in 1998..


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