Death is the road we all have to take-over the bridge of signs into eternity says Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegard [1813-1855]
It matters not how man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not important, it lasts so short a timeâ€ Samuel Johnson, British Lexicographer [1790-1784.]
What a bad news for me this evening. Does it mean that Nana Sarkodie Bandoh has been reported dead? That was the question I asked myself at 5:30p.m on October 9, 2010 Ghana time 9:30p.m.
Still in shock after reading the caption with one of his nicest photograph posted on Kokorokoo website and later on Ghana web credited to my brother Jerry who operates the Kokorokkoo,I quickly scrolled down in attempt to read the whole text of the story as I was in disbelieve that Nana Bandoh was really dead.
For the rest of the evening and a couple of days afterwards both to and from work and even on the buses I commuted in the community I remained quiet as I tried to recall one of the happiest moments I enjoyed with one of Ghana’s finest chiefs who ever lived in Toronto.
It was because of humility, respect, trust, honesty and dedication to the traditional institution, his commitment and contributions at Ghanaian events to the people in Toronto community and beyond, raising the tradition and culture I felt the sudden passing of Nana Sarkodie Bandoh deserve notice.
Nana Sarkodie Bandoh, [a.k.a Colosa] as we used to call him, was the former Asantefuohene of Toronto when I first met him and it was church service at Ghana Methodist Society 19, Penn Drive on Finch where he came to invite members to attend a special festival he was going to host last year.
His infectious smiles, respect to even the young, attention to all persons, patience in attending to issues, majestic walks, smart appearance in traditional clothes, calculated footsteps in native sandals and perfect turns in traditional dances always won him spontaneous applause amidst shouts of â€œNana O, Nana Oâ€ .
He was always present at events be it naming ceremonies, funeral, wedding, birth days, send offs or any other event worth of a sort. I had always been a fan of Colosa.
I appreciated his wit, eloquent speeches and unassuming manner. It was greatly amused at the way he supported the Asantefuo Kuo in Canada by leading the association to offer various forms of assistance in terms of donations of materials to their branch in Ghana. In fact he was a friend to the people of Gas, Fantes, Akyems, Akuapems, Krobos, Ewes Dagombas, Housas and every living being anywhere he met them.
Nana never got angry with any member of his association or sub chiefs at the time he was Asantefuohene of Toronto. Even at a point where one has offended him, he will crack jokes and use it to defuse tension saying â€œmedehyie never do that again because I am your chief okay?â€
Colosa, was more fit at his age 51 years and was going to every part of the province of Ontario especially attending every important event so I was shocked to hear his sudden passing without seriously being ill.
His death is a shock to me and I fear his unique style of leadership as a former chief will never be duplicated. That is the way it should be.
I appreciate Nana Bandoh as tens of Ghanaians in Toronto and for that matter Canada did and am grateful to God for the days I spent with such a gracious and natural gentleman.
Finally, with a saying from an English Poet Edmond Spencer [1552-1599],â€sleep after toil, port after stormy seas, death after life does greatly pleaseâ€, I will like to say Nana Sarkodie Bandoh has conquered death which he thought and find it least of all evils and resting with past members in the bosom of the almighty God.
Colosa’s death should end all malingering, libeling, shadow boxing and infighting amongst Ghanaians living in Toronto.
May his soul rest in peace.
Stephen A. Quaye, Toronto-Canada