“A few days before the BBC “Focus On Africa” programme was taken off air, the BBC kept announcing it. So that was when my sadness started.”
My learned friend, I am sad to inform you about the unexpected death of one of my best and most reliable teachers (that teacher taught me everything; not only English). My teacher died yesterday [Friday, June 2, 2023] at 7:30 pm.
That teacher taught me world affairs, international politics, English, literature, journalism, writing, speaking, science etc etc. After existing for sixty years, the maker decided to call my teacher home.
I could not stand the anguish as my teacher’s life ebbed away before my eyes. I saw the dying embers of a dear teacher.
I saw the dying flames as I listened to my teacher’s last words. I experienced the agony of not hearing that experienced and knowledgeable teacher’s voice ever again.
By the way, I stood by my late teacher’s bed, watching, tasting, feeling, breathing, smelling and hearing everything around my teacher.
All my senses were engaged at that moment as a sentient being. It was as if a chunk of me was also dying gradually with my teacher.
At 3pm yesterday, I was at my teacher’s bedside. At 5pm, I was there once again. Then, at 7pm, I visited my teacher for the very last time before the very last minute of my teacher’s death, 7:30 pm.
I was glad that I met and learnt from that great teacher for more than three-quarters of my current age. However, I’m sad that I lost such a great teacher; a teacher whose knowledge knew no bounds. Should I be singing a dirge? Should I be singing an ode?
Be it a dirge or an ode that I should be singing, the fact remains that on Friday, The Second Day of June, In The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty-Three, my great teacher died. Who is my next teacher! Still wondering. Hmmmm.
Fare thee well, BBC “Focus On Africa,” [on radio] my late teacher.
60 years on air
A few days before the BBC “Focus On Africa” programme was taken off air, the BBC kept announcing it. So that was when my sadness started.
Then came yesterday, the day when the programme was finally going to be taken off air after its sixty years of existence. So I listened to the 3 pm, the 5pm and, finally, the 7pm editions. I was sad as I listened to some of the various presenters for the very last time.
Ironically, yesterday was the first time I got to know the real names of the “Resident Presidents,” of “Focus On Africa,” Ali and Jude, as they were interviewed. Coincidentally, the end of the programme marked the end of Veronique Edwards’s illustrious career with the BBC. Veronique Edwards, that tough interviewer and quiz mistress of the monthly BBC quiz.
I was really sad yesterday as I listened to the programme for the last time. This morning, in response to a question by a friend, I narrated my feelings about the folding up of the programme.
Nana Kwaku Kumi, the writer is a lawyer and journalist. He works with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Head Office, Accra.