Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The horses and the chariots of Ghana- A Lamentation in memory of President Atta Mills





“Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.
He comes forth like a flower and fades away;
He flees like a shadow and does not continue"
Job 14: 1-2






The tintinnabulation calls, the students sit for the lecture, but the lecturer’s seat is empty
The castle doors open, the Press is ready to cover the news, but the microphone is silent
The program goes on air, the pundits are ready to debate, but the agenda sheet is empty
Suddenly, the quite is broken by the ominous tune of the sacred  bamboo
The atenteben is giving a message  “….Se ye de brodie ma asasea, asase yi no kain kain kain; se ye de abro ma asasea, asase yi no kain kain kain; na se ye di onipa ma asasea, na asase afa no kora kora kora”
The commander runs to the castle, ‘Chief, Chief where are you ?’
‘My men are ready to defend Ghana.’ ‘ We await your orders’. ‘Where is the commander in chief?’
The only response is the dirge from the atenteben, ‘asase afa no kora, kora kora’
Oh no! The horses and the Chariots of Ghana!

It is the visit we dread yet we know he will come. When I heard the ululations, ‘mewue, mewue’ I knew that my worst fear had overtaken me. Man’s nemesis, death, stretched his icy hand towards our house and what a wreck. He pulled down a great tree and took the shine out of a star. Oh how are the mighty fallen! It cannot be true, President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana is no more? But alas! It is so.

Our grief is deep, our hearts are broken. There is no pond big enough to contain our tears, nor leaf bitter enough to take away our pain. But  for Prof, there is no more pain, he feels no more hurt. He succumbed to his physical frailties so he takes away their sting.  It is dusk. The argument is finished.

Asomdwehene Professor Mills, who will teach us tax law? Who will the opposition blame for Ghana’s problems? Who will the government communicators hold up as a symbol of integrity? Your final move is unprecedented and no one can challenge this one. As you take the lead to the village, we have been sobered, and it just sunk in, our differences and disagreements aside, we share one attribute- we are all mortals after all.  Hopefully we will debate with respect for each other, speak with humility, and serve with forthrightness, knowing that no one will be spared this journey, it is only a matter of time. We will miss your quips, - the cat hunter, dzi wo fie asem, gargantuan heckling and more.

Suddenly, for you this scripture is real
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  
 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (II Tim 4:7- 8).

Damirifa due! Damirifa due! Damirifa due ne amanehunu!

Adieu good Professor. May your soul find rest with the Lord.

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