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To My Dear Friend, Vincent Mccauley

Feature Article To My Dear Friend, Vincent Mccauley
MON, 19 FEB 2024 LISTEN

“Life is a queue of death. Every man shall have their turn.”

My first production at National Theatre was in June 2018. Before that, our shows were often on the university campuses. We had staged productions at University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and University of Mines and Technology. As a means of growth and expansion, we had to move to National Theatre. One of my guests for this first play of ours was Vincent McCauley.

He was the last person I expected at that show. Our following then were majorly students in the universities and a few young adults.

I knew Vincent from a distance ─ on television. Before we physically met on that fateful day in 2018, I had admired his eloquence on screen. As a boy, I used to watch the popular youth series, Things We Do For Love, whenever I had the chance to peep through the windows of our only neighbor who then had a television. Growing up, I had watched a few movies he had been featured in. Undoubtedly, he was a fine actor. He breathed life into every shoe of role he filled.

He was full of life when we met. As though we had met before, he hugged me passionately and sang my accolades. He confessed it was his ritual to read this column every Saturday. He further narrated how The Mirror newspaper had gradually become his favorite every weekend.

I was excited to hear him say all that. He reciprocated the same excitement. Little did I know that that brief meeting with him would spark a blossoming friendship that only death dare tear apart.

Day after day, we kept in touch. Anytime we planned to catch up physically, something came up. It was either I was unavailable or he was. That notwithstanding, he would always make time out of his busy schedule to be at every production of ours at the theatre and send me his feedback later. As a lover of feedback, I was always enthused to hear his opinion about our work and how to make such better subsequently.

Vincent was of great support since the day we met. He went all out to support me in my craft in any way possible. He would always ask when the next play was and how he could support us. In a selfish world we find ourselves in, it is rare to find his kind. Even though we had not known each other for long, he would relentlessly help me promote them as though they were his.

I remember when we were launching a book my wife and I had written for our son in 2022. He was to say a prayer during the event. I did not see him when it started. I began getting jittery. I tried reaching out to him but was futile. In the middle of the event, he rushed in. Unknowingly, he had been caught up in another engagement elsewhere, hence, had to rush to the book launch on a motorbike!

That was a typical Vincent McCauley ─ a friend who wanted to see others succeed regardless. He was that friend who was ready to push every visible boundary as long as it stood in the way of others. He was that friend who would give everything to see others climb to the top.

I will never forget his characteristic hug that reminded everyone how deeply he loved. I will never forget what a man of humility he was, condescending to the lowest level to admire people who admired him. His endearing smile which one could notice in all his pictures symbolized how happy a soul he was. He lived today because he knew tomorrow was not promised.

When I tried reaching out last December through WhatsApp, there was no response. His Instagram page was not visible. Maybe he had deleted it, I thought. His number was also unreachable when I called. I assumed he was taking some time off to rest. It indeed came as a great shock to me when I read, after he had passed away, that he had not been well all that while.

Today, I look back at all the great memories we shared as good friends who wanted to see each other succeed. I reminisce about the kind heart you had, Vincent. You were a good man who saw the good in every man you met. You exuded love wherever your presence was felt.

As long as your memories are etched on our hearts, we will continue to uphold the values you believed in. We will run life’s race with impact as our priority. Thank you for sharing your time with us.

We will continue to live each day to the best of our ability. When it is finally our turn to depart to eternity, we pray that we will have completed our labor for humanity.

Vincent, my sincere condolence to your family in these trying times as they mourn a soul as gentle as yours. God keep you until we meet again.

Kobina Ansah is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications ( www.scribecommltd.com ), an Accra-based writing firm. His new play, IN THE PANTS OF A WOMAN, is a musical themed on rape showing on Saturday, 20th April and Sunday, 21st April, 2024 at National Theatre. Inquiries - 0546098082.

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