Originally posted on kasaKOA:
Death as a phenomenon generally elicits negative feelings; these emotions tend to run deeper if the person who dies was an admirable person. Even in some cases where the person in question was not well liked while alive, the solemnity of death can inspire an appreciable level of reverence. While we typically mark the gravity of death, it is equally important (if not more crucial) to let that somberness inform our actions as we continue to live.
This blog has examined death-related themes a couple of times: both subjects – a Nigerian and a Ghanaian – left us after traversing the diamond jubilee mark. In most parts of Africa, the death of a person above a certain age (typically 70) is observed with appreciative emotion rather than marked by overt mourning. The two personalities – Chinua Achebe and Kofi Awoonor – lived full and fulfilled lives; while Achebe passed on in an American hospital after a long illness, his colleague Awoonor was an inadvertent victim, brutally murdered in a nasty political conflict in Kenya. Even though we celebrated them, these two incidents darkened 2013. In 2014 the trend has not been markedly different. A prominent daughter of Africa, Prof. Ewurama Addy for instance passed recently (she will receive her own blog-post soon).