Growing up as a little boy in Nandom, little did Naa Professor Edmund Nminyem Delle Chiir VIII know that he will one day grow up to be a responsible adult, fantastic teacher, revered Dermatologist and a distinctive traditional ruler of the historical Nandom traditional area.
This was especially so, when he had to compete with 42 other children of his father for food, space, wealth and good health.
He did not also know that he will grow up to establish 27 private branches of the popular Rabito skin disease clinics across the country.
But, as destiny will have it, this tiny little boy inspired by brothers; Dr Daniel Delle, Group Captain Delle, late Cardinal Peter Dery later rose up to the occasion, performed admirably well and succeeded in becoming a man of many ways; Teacher, Dermatologist, Political icon and of course a Solomonic traditional ruler.
The Genesis of his Journey
Born on November 18, 1943 to a Prince and Polygamist and with his mother as the last of his father’s numerous wives, little Delle got enrolled into school in Nandom in 1949 (now in the Upper West Region), not without problems, as the teachers challenged his stature.
His brilliance and magnanimity soon manifested, just after three months of schooling, a situation that catapulted him to become the Senior Prefect later.
After show of bravado and brilliance in topping his class all the time, it was just a matter of time to take him to a Middle school in Lawra.
In 1957, little Delle got admitted into Tamale Secondary, as it then was called.
Why Science Student?
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an exclusive interview in Accra, Naa Delle said he had to ballot to become a science student in Tamale Secondary School.
“I was so good in both Arts and Science; and while some teachers, friends and relatives were urging me on to take Arts because of my prowess and oratory in Literature in English and other Arts subjects, others were giving me the backing to take up Science.
“At the end of the day, the teachers who desperately wanted me to take up their courses had to ballot and subsequently I picked Science leaving the Arts Teachers in disappointment.”
Naa was among the only three students that had Division One in 1962, the grade that secured admission for him at the Sixth Form.
Naa as a teacher
After his Sixth Form Education, Naa Delle had a stint in Teaching at the St. Charles Minor Seminary in Tamale in the Northern Region.
He will later teach and practice at the Padua University in Italy, an institution that changed his narrative in educational pursuit.
He told the Ghana News Agency that, after teaching at St Charles Minor Seminary, he also worked at the UAC, where he garnered knowledge and experience in business entrepreneurship.
That later led him to a bigger picture, when an Indian Chemistry Teacher introduced him to a Catholic Bishop to get him a scholarship to study abroad.
He later gained admission into the Padua University in Italy in 1964, where he was to study medicine, just like any other student.
Origins of Rabito Clinic
At the Padua University in Italy, Naa Delle met one of the best Lecturers, who was a Dermatologist and was called Dr Rabito.
He was not only fond of Naa Professor, but also encouraged him to specialize in Dermatology.
“That was when I got in touch with him after developing some skin rashes. So in 1970 when I graduated as a Medical student, my thesis was on Eczema in Ghana as my enthusiasm soared in research into eczema and skin diseases.
He said although, he had initial opposition from other researchers, he was later vindicated as others realized that his attempts were apt and a step in the right direction.
“All these opposition came up because of the colonial ideas they had about Blacks and their inroads into research especially into the medical arena.
Undauntedly, Naa Professor Delle said he went ahead to study tropical medicine in Antwerp in Belgium, a place he was, when Dr Rabito re-called him to the Padua University in Italy.
“I recall my first case that I was to handle after my reunion with Dr Rabito, was a pregnancy case, so I was extra careful and prayed to God to give me the wisdom, to step successfully out of my trials, and God actually listened to me by making my first encounter, very successful, which later stirred up rumours that I was a magician and not a surgeon.”
How did he come back to Ghana?
Naa Professor told the Ghana News Agency that after successful trials in Italy and other jurisdictions, Colonel Felli, then a renowned politician, and late Cardinal Peter Dery encouraged him to come back to Ghana to help in Medical dispensation.
“I heeded their calls and came back to Ghana, but had to start on a table-top at Makola until one Major Solomon helped and encouraged me to set up a laboratory in 1974. I then developed a 30-year plan to establish 10 branches of the Rabito Clinic across country, fortunately I ended up with 27 branches, between 10 and 15 years.
“I am honoured to state categorically here that the late President Professor JEA Mills was one of my first patients I treated when I established the Rabito Clinic in Accra.
Naa Professor as a Politician
Naa Professor Delle told the GNA that his Political career began in 1962, when he was a member and later became the leader of Young Pioneers formed by late President Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah in his days in Tamale Secondary School.
“That background taught us patriotism, to love Ghana and Africa and so I grew up with and it was therefore not surprising that in 1992, I was roped in to party politics to bring together all the splinter Nkrumahist groups.”
Naa Professor later became very influential, when he assumed the National Chairmanship of the Convention People’s Party, where he wanted to graduate higher until he was made the paramount chief of the Nandom Traditional area.
“I had other ambitions in politics…but the rest is history now and here I am as the Paramount Chief of the Nandom Traditional Area.”
Naa’s focus as a paramount Chief.
“I have just began the Journey and I can assure you that my main focus is to ensure unity among my subjects. As a chief you are a national figure, and that is why I am not talking about Nandom alone, I may be called to solve other national issues. But all in all I believe that Unity is everything and I will continue to ensure that it prevails.”
In all the success, Naa Professor said there were so many people who contributed to his successful life, but acknowledged Dr Hall and Dr Eastmond, private Medical Practitioners who encouraged him to embark on the private journey.
Also in his acknowledgements included Dr Tamakloe, Dr Kumordji, and influence from Kofi Vigbedor, his former teacher at Tamale Secondary School and Kofi Batsa an astute Politician.