The recent deadly attack which reigned terror on shoppers at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, though far off in East Africa, a country in West Africa - Ghana was hit hard. Ghana lost only one of her citizen, but it was a real strike, a giant of the players of words fraternity.
A Poet, Diplomat and Politician, Prof. Kofi Awoonor has descended the stage even before the applause could began via a gun touting member of Harakat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahideen (HSM) a splinter group from the Islamic Court Unions (ICU) of Somalia.
On 21st September, 2013, Ghana commemorated the birth day of the first President and founder of Ghana, the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The same date brought the falling of a statesman. When a person is born the fellow cries, while the community laughs. When that same person transitions to the land of our silent fathers' the fellow lays quietly, while the community cries. As Ghanaians celebrated the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah with nostalgia during the day, we were to cry in the evening. The bearer of gloom tidings from the East heading to the West of same landmark stop, for the tear wells of the Ghanaian has gone dry, since the day we lost the late Prof. Evans Atta-Mills. The Professors, Teachers and Statesmen are departing silently, we are pain choked, tears deprived and lost voices to cry. Oh Lord!
Here was laughter
There was hue and cry
There were bullets
Here were groundnuts
Here were smiles
There were tears
There flowed blood
Here flowed beer
Here was peace
There was chaos
Time is indeed the controller and conductor, like a Choir Master of mans' life. There is time for birth and death. In all these two articles in time's magazine, man has no control of where to be born and to die. Is man helpless in the face of time? “I believe in time but I fear time. I believe in time because in the arms of time lays the power of change. I fear time because of the change time brings. Change might not come, but should change come it can be in your favour or not in your favour”
Born in peace to the land of Anlo in the Volta Region, but dies violently in faraway Kenya, fallen to the gun of a coward. Time called on him at an unjustified hour. The admission is made here, since we do not choose when and where to be born, logically we cannot determine when and where to die. Fair and firm. But a 78 years old man deserves to die peacefully in his sleep not at the dastard expression of anger by a militant.
When the sound of the touting guns of the Al-Shabaab militants went dead at the Westgate Mall, many Kenyans went to look for their own. Ghana was slow to because, faraway Kenya for what. But, why should the lizard go pepper eating only for the frog to go sweating? Do we dare complain or try call these members of the “Movement of the boys or Movement of the youth” to order?
Time has so much under her sleeves when she rolls up her long sleeve shirt. We have already lost our literary giant. All we can do is to take care of each other to stay away from harm's way. Now do you understand why the African believe in the saying, “I am because we are?” What is termed as the “We feeling?”
It is said that, a woman bereft of men is the one anybody can beat and afterwards enjoy a catwalk. When the wise old man came under attack, he was alone and defenseless. If they were not cowards they should have come over to his back yard then we would have play the agbaza for them to take some steps, a dance they wouldn't forget. But, safe them, they were far off.
Fare thee well
To your maker well
While dry our tear well
Served your people well
Now in your maker's comforting hands sleep thee well
Prof. Kofi Awoonor, writers do not die, they live on from generation to generation through their works. Live on writer of writers, Prof. Awoonor, we will forever miss you physically but, you are with us in your writings.
Sleep on the royal of the land.