01November2014

Articles

A Pall Over The Homeland

Like all Ghanaians, I am very saddened by the passage of some of our finest citizens in the past few days.

Out of respect for their illustrious memories and in homage to their splendid professional and personal contributions to our homeland, I would be very brief today, contenting myself with thumbnail sketches of the three individuals whose death have shaken all of us.

They are Professor Ewurama Addy, Komla Dumor and Dr Titus Morton.

I personally met Professor Ewurama Addy only once, in 2005 or so, at the funeral of my 91-year-old cousin at the All Saints Anglican Church in Adabraka. 

She was not difficult to make out; in her trademark headgear all dolled up in stylish dark funeral clothes. She was, of course, long before then, a household name, as the woman who brought the abstruse subject of science to our sitting rooms as the host of the popular science quiz show for SHS students on GTV. 

I approached her and courteously enquired about our meeting at the funeral, and she proudly told me the deceased was an aunt of hers who came from the famous 1923 Eyeson House in Saltpond. I refrained from telling her that in spite of the age difference, the deceased, Mrs Joana Akko, was actually my cousin, and that made her (the Professor) my niece. She was so vivacious and outgoing that we promised to connect again. We never did. She was a solid science scholar who made all of us proud. 

Not surprisingly, she acquired the highest symbol of scholarly and intellectual effort in this country when she was made a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. May her life’s achievements remain an inspiration to all of us, especially our womenfolk, for whom she was a shining role model. May she rest in peace.

The sudden demise of the BBC news presenter, Komla Dumor, has shaken all of us to the marrow. He seemed so full of life, his authoritative voice booming across to all of us every day from his London base. His meteoric progression in a profession he had not originally began life in, and the effortless manner that he reduced the tough and demanding job into was almost virtuoso-like.

I know many would find it difficult to believe that I met Komla too in person only once; at a restaurant in Osu where he was exiting as my brother Kakra and I entered for lunch, also in 2005 or so. 

He was friends with my brother with whom he had worked at Joy FM radio in the late 1990s. He came back into the restaurant to sit with us and chat awhile before leaving us.

What drew me to Komla as a radio presenter was the extremely hilarious programme he ran for some weeks in his early days in which he invited his Ewe kinfolk to call in so he could, with us the listeners, enjoy their inimitable accents in spoken English. That was the mark of a person of supreme confidence, a man on his way to greater things. 

And so it turned out to be in the end. At 41, we may complain to our Maker that he had shortchanged us, robbed us of many more fulfilling and satisfying years of excellent, pacesetting global broadcasting from a native of the soil. 

But Komla did not just vanish unremembered. He has left us a record of peerless accomplishments and tangible deeds in journalism which will live in our hearts for all time.The entire life of Komla is an object lesson. 

The Komla story is that our story as Ghanaians being enviable pacesetters has not ended yet.  He exemplified Ghana on the world stage; God Has A New Africa. Thank you Komla.

The last person whose passage has taken something out of all of us is Dr Titus Morton, who died some time ago, at the ripe age of 95, and whose funeral takes place tomorrow. I never knew or saw him in life. 

But all of us (in my generation) went to school with his children in his alma mater in Cape Coast.  As a 1937 old student of the Only School for Gentlemen in West Africa and Beyond, it is needless to try and locate his classmates; all of whom may be resting safely in heaven at this time.I am fully persuaded by the facts of his life; that he served very well the people of Accra, giving of himself and his resources to the rich and indigent from his imposing clinic at Adabraka. 

When two former presidents and the sitting one are listed among his chief mourners, then his life’s calling as a medical doctor was comprehensively impactful in his community and beyond. 

Personally, I can only sing to his eternal rest and memory the sixth stanza of our school anthem, to hasten his transition to the peace of heaven:

The golden evening brightens in the West,                                                                                                                                                         

Soon soon to faithful warriors cometh rest.

Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest. 

Alleluia.

Professor Marian Ewurama Addy, Komla Afeke Dumor and Dr Titus Aruna Morton, rest in peace. 

May the positive lessons in dedication, professionalism and integrity that your lives so richly exemplified live with us forever.

Source: Daily Graphic