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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 March 2008, 09:18 GMT
Concert helps Ama Sumani orphans
Ama Sumani
Ama Sumani was working in Wales to pay for her children's education
A benefit concert for Ama Sumani will still go ahead following her death - with money raised going to help her orphaned children.

The widow died in her home country of Ghana on Wednesday after being removed from a Cardiff hospital while having treatment for terminal cancer.

The concert at Cardiff's Clwb Ifor Bach on Sunday aimed to boost a fund set up to help prolong the 39-year-old's life.

Ms Sumani's friends say they will ensure her two children are cared for.

Her death in Accra came hours after she had been told doctors in the UK and South Africa had been found to treat her.

She had been receiving kidney dialysis in Ghana's Korle-Bu hospital after immigration officials removed Ms Sumani from the University Hospital of Wales in January.

For Ama, the children's education was the most important thing
Janet Symmons, friend

But the drug she needed to prolong her life - thalidomide - is not available in Ghana and more than 70,000 was raised from public donations to help her receive it in another country.

Ms Sumani's friend, Janet Symmons, said the concert in Cardiff, featuring local music acts, was still going ahead to help the children - Mary, 16 and seven-year-old Samede.

"She said to her brother not to worry and if anything happened to her me and my friends will look after the children," she said.

"Her brother hasn't got a decent job and to look after his own children is hard enough."

There have been offers from families in the UK to care for the children, said Mrs Symmons, and there was also the possibility of the local community in Ghana caring for them.

Scholarship hope

Ms Sumani's daughter Mary attends a boarding school and her son Samede is currently in the care of his mother's church friends in Ghana.

But both children's upkeep was being paid for with money their mother earned while working in Wales.

"For Ama, the children's education was the most important thing," said Mrs Symmons, from Cardiff, who returned from a month in Ghana last Saturday.

"That was the main reason she came here - to improve herself to give them a better education than she had.

"There's still hope and I'm looking for someone that could give the children a scholarship to a school or college."


Meanwhile, it has emerged that Ms Sumani had not told her children she had cancer and had still been sending them money each month, despite being ill in hospital.

"The children only found out after she was sent back to Ghana," said Mrs Symmons.

"She wanted to give them the impression she was still working."

Ms Sumani came to the UK five years ago to become an accountancy student but began working in contravention of her visa regulations.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, has criticised the British government's decision to remove her while she was being treated and said her death "was on the nation's conscience".

But the Home Office said the case had been carefully considered through the independent judicial process.

The Ama Sumani benefit concert is at Clwb Ifor Bach from 1930 GMT on Sunday.


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