Our Lecturers became flabbergasted. They just could not fathom what had happened. Was there going to be more? Why did it have to happen to three of us? It had never happened before.
This month of May has unconsciously brought memories. Memories I do not want to throw out. Memories I want to keep.
This month of May marks three years since we completed our studies at the College of Art and Social Sciences, Department of Communication Design, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology, Kumasi.
We entered the university in 2004. With all excitement and glee, we made new friends, old friendships were tightened, bonds were created. Before we could complete first year, the ever loving, sweet, cute and beautiful Yaa Gyama succumbed to Leukemia. It was a pain, too much of a pain. It affected all of us so much and admittedly, Abena Yeboah was the worst hit. They were best friends. I remember when Yaa Gyama would tease just about anyone so far as she found a defect with your hair. It could be a wrong weave on, individually oversized braids or a bad combing. With pain in our hearts, we had to say goodbye to the fun loving Yaa Gyama.
We went on, by grace. But, is tragedy not part of this world? Is death not part of life? Is it not to be expected? Will it not happen in one of three ways. . .old age, disease or by accident? Before we could complete second year, our only male colleague in ponytail, Waleed Faisal Helwani also succumbed to death, inevitably through a motor accident. Waleed’s death hit us all. Gosh he was a free spirit. He said what he wanted and did what he felt like doing. Dave Glover lost weight and his zeal after his Waleed died. It was too much for poor Dave. Waleed and I were just becoming really cool friends and gosh! I did not want to believe it. I did not want to attend the funeral because NO! Waleed could not have died like that. Some of our colleagues who attended the burial came back with the same similar comments – drapped in all white, Waleed looked like he was sleeping. It was a very painful moment.
This is when our lecturers started telling us that this had never happened in the department. For one class to lose two colleagues while still under studies. They told us to be prayerful. Yes, some things are unavoidable but two deaths in a two year period to the same class was a blow.
What will be will be. What must be must be. What will come will come. Our pain was renewed in third year, or was it in second year? Am not sure of the time but we were faced with yet another tragedy. Joshua Lawson, a sickle cell patient also succumbed to death. I used to call him Lucy. I do not remember the origins of the name Lucy but that was me and him. His room and roommates was a hotspot throughout our studies. They were four best friends, all equally brilliant and creative. And very helpful gentlemen. Sadiq bentum, Richard Berkyi and Kweku Darteh were obviously the worst hit. Unconsciously, I think, in Joshua’s memory, they did not accept any new roommate. They stayed together, just the three of them till completion in May 2008. Quiet, unassuming but with a strong defense for his believes, Joshua was gone!
Three of our colleagues had left us.
This month, I just remember them in an extra way. Wherever they are, may The Lord keep them.
Forever remembered. . .May The Lord Abide With Us All
HYMNAL - Abide With Me
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.