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Top Journalist Bids Farewell To Favourite Uncle

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Growing up, I heard of an uncle who lived in London. He was revered and adorred by his parents, almost all his nine siblings and us (the children of his siblings).

Naabarima and Naabaa (our grandparents) regularly received cash and gifts from Wofa Kwaasarpong (Kwame Sarpong) through his friends and sisters of his wife. These included medications, confectionery and clothings.

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I associated with the level of respect and admiration he was given when I saw him for first time. He was handsome, gentle,wise and had a good sense of humour.

Wofa Kwaasarpong was the nineth of my grandparents’ thirteen children.
I got the impression that he was the wealthiest in the family.

So in 1996 when I faced difficulties raising money to register for my final exams at St. Monica’s SHS, I wrote an emotional letter to him.

He on many occasions told me and others that he threw my letter for assistance somewhere in his sitting room because he had had enough of requests for one assistance or the other from the family.

His son Michael Sarpong would go for the letter and read the content aloud; occasionally mocking him with my last line in the letter (Uncle You Are My Last Hope). This became my uncle’s name.

One Sunday afternoon according to him, he was enjoying cool bottles of beer and some steak with his friends when Michael appeared waving my letter amidst intermittent shouts of “Uncle you are my last Hope”.

He felt embarrassed and decided to offer me the financial assistance I badly needed.
My uncle sent me an amount of £200 through the post concealed in a letter to me.

That was the beginning of our “love story “.
I would visit him with my mother anytime he visits Ghana and always received clothings for my siblings and I.

There existed a special bond between him and my mother and he transferred this love to us her children especially my goodself.

All his friends and close associates referred to me as Mr. Sarpong’s niece and mine called him Akoto Wofa.

Uncle professed his love for me anytime and anywhere without minding which of his numerous nephews and nieces got offended.
He is one of the few people who genuinely loved and cared for me. I was never wrong in his estimation.

The few occasions that he got disappointed with me were because I had failed to inform him of a trip out of Ghana or of my graduations or birthday celebrations.

He was Honorable, Intelligent, Kindhearted and Warm. He bore no grudges against anyone and hated none.

He would buy food and drinks for my friends when he met them at restaurants and pubs.
He did his best for everyone who needed his support.

He would occasionally visit our family house at Ashanti New Town and register or renew the NHIS subscription of the entire household and sometimes pay the utility bills.

Uncle was always available to attend all events organised by us, his nieces and nephews.
He fully assumed the role of both our mother and father after their demise some fifteen years ago. He was always there for us.

Uncle attended a few of my annual birthday celebrations and made them memorable.
He loved life and really lived it. He would always visit places of interest and had fun even after 80 years.

He attributed his longevity to God’s grace, honesty, free spiritedness, kindness and having clean conscience.

I have indeed lost a treasure, a rare gem who is irreplaceable. I will miss your love and support.
Although I feel shattered by his death, the consolation comes from the many amazing testimonies being shared by those who encountered him.

He was full of life and that explains why many were shocked to learn about his passing.

Uncle, although I can’t find you among the living anymore, your values are eternally engraved on my heart. You taught me how to live with kindness, courage and joy.

I have been struggling with how best to honour you, and I have decided that the best way is through how I live my own life – by emulating your goodness. Your gentle soul shall be kept alive. I can’t quantify your invaluable goodness to me. I love you Uncle.

Me da wo ase Wofa Nimounyamfoɔ wɔ wo dɔ ne mmoa ahodoɔ aa wo maa me ne abusua nyinaa. Rest peacefully my Uncle, Father and Friend.


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