I knew my dad for only 2 decades. On 18th of May, 2024 my family & 66 loved ones travelled over 20hrs to lay him to rest.

I couldn’t write him a tribute or even read him one, because I was more focused on a smooth & efficient burial event. But the storm is over, I can think now, so here are my last words about the most simple & kind human I knew.

My dad was the most innovative person I knew. He was almost always making stuff, you know. He could make anything out of nothing. He would make all these things behind the house. But in all this, nothing fascinated me more than the structural integrity of the things he was making. Even when he tied 2 things together, the sheer quality of the knot always amazed me. He was a creator.

My father will always ask you to sit down when eating, and will willingly share his food and more importantly, meat with you. My mom always hides his food when someone shows up unexpectedly in the house. It’s not because my mom is a bad person. It’s because the man cannot eat alone. Regardless of how unpresentable the food is for a visitor, he will still divide it into two.

My father travelled alot, both on military missions and personal ones. The family was always excited when he’s returning home. He’d bring gifts, toys and food. But what I cherished the most from these periods was the “indicator” that he was in the incoming vehicle. His signature move was to rest his arm on the window of the car and hold the hand grip at the top of the car. Once you saw that, you knew it was him. We’ll never see that again.

My father never asked me for money. And no, this is not some ego thing. And no, he wasn’t a rich man either. He was just very content with whatever he had. The closest I heard him talk about money was his frequent “I’ll fix my car for you when I get money okay. So you drive it”. Did this man even know that I was earning San Francisco salaries in accra? Seriously I always laughed in my head when he said that, because no way he thought a baller like me needed help. hahaha

My father was a catholic, and a very big believer in God. But that’s not relevant, the core thing about my dad was, he never forced his belief on anyone. The father I experienced was very tolerant and open. He knew God for himself. He had all these stories about miracles he personally experienced.

My father taught me how to do long division at the gate that leads to our porch. I don’t agree with the approach, but I can do long division quite well. He was supposed to go to work, but I remember him very well taking off his air blue and sitting down with me.

My father always checks on me you know. He always asks how I’m doing. My room is right opposite his, and I would always check on him in return by looking at his bed to see if he was moving. Thing is, my dad had essential tremor, so the easiest way I could tell if he was alive was to check if he was shaking. He would always say that, if I sleep for too long, wake me up my holding my leg.

My father was always quiet. But in hindsight, I think my dad just had immense social awareness. Which would explain his thoughtful personality. He didn’t hold grudges for long either. Personally I can’t relate though, cos like Jay Bhad said, wo ne me nya as3m aa, 3y3 forever.

My father loved chicken legs. My mom absolutely hated it. They would always have these little fights anytime he returned from town holding grilled chicken legs. He liked his okro and banku. He liked his kokonte. And oh, the dangerous military soup he used to make that traumatized my mom so much. hahahaha

Unlike most people, I didn’t grow up fearing my father. I would go to the houses of my friends and they would panic when their dads returned from work. I couldn’t never really make sense of it. Any fear I had for him was because he was my father in an African society, nothing else.

So who was my father? my father was well read, innovative & super smart. My father was extremely kind, thoughtful and open minded. My father lived a simple lifestyle and didn’t obsess over money. My dad was a great soldier. But in all, he was a great father and I can only aspire to be as amazing as he was.

Some of his favorite things to say were, “nyame w) k3”, “know your men and work with them” and “who are you in the ghana air force” when he was upset hahaha.

Everynow and then finality of it all pierces me badly. And I know you’re at rest, however your character, traits, memories, and amazing smile will live forever.

Sleep well, égya. Da yie, Ranger.