One thing was apparently clear among many of her fans and the general public that thronged the forecourt of the State House― they wanted to verify if, indeed, their one time celebrity was really dead and gone for good.
Of a truth, Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng who was famed and known in showbiz as Ebony Reigns was gone. The bespectacled corpse of the dancehall diva, draped in a white flowing gown with a touch of her Maame Hwɛ video looks of a scarf, laid still in a transparent glass enclosure.
Family members, friends, sympathizers and music lovers filed past the late songstress drowned in tears. The once vibrant young talent could not utter a word. That is how cruel death is when it lays its icy hands on one!
The tributes and speeches that poured in at the funeral were all very touchy. However, I must admit it was the sermon of Dr. Lawrence Tetteh, founder of World Miracle Outreach, which got me reflecting on what life really has for us as humans and how we must constantly remind ourselves that there is a God.
The preacher had said that his sermon was not directed at or for Ebony. He repeatedly reminded the thousands of mourners gathered at the forecourt of the State House and the million others who watched proceedings on television that one must seek God first above all things.
Indeed, Dr. Lawrence Tetteh had made use of many anecdotes and songs to buttress his point. His singing of Barima Sidney’s Obiara Nnyɛ Obiara, to wit, no individual is a cut above his fellow human, got me immersed in sober reflection.
“Ebony whose voice sounded better than that of birds is dead and gone? Former President John Evans Atta Mills who had an oversight of the whole nation was also gone for good? What about acclaimed mathematical physicist Professor Francis Kofi Ampenyi Allotey; a whole library gone!” I reflected.
Undoubtedly, many were also buried the very day Ebony was laid to rest. The world, perhaps, did not hear of their death and burial because they did not have the fame, influence and money like others. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, they all ended up shoved into the belly of mother earth. Indeed, Dr. Lawrence Tetteh was right; Obiara Nnyɛ Obiara!
We are all cut at par, no matter how gifted others may be. We are all equal in the sight of the Lord no matter how rich some are than others.
Back in my days in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region, I heard of musicians I never thought could meet… not to mention becoming a close friend. Then, in my first year at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, a lecturer gave us an assignment. My group was tasked to have a chat with a musician asking him/her about the assertion that musicians abuse drugs to perform well on stage.
We got in touch with Barima Sidney, arranged a day to meet him for an interview and that day came to pass. I have since 2012 been a very close friend of his. Years into our friendship, I realized he just did not sing Obiara Nnyɛ Obiara. He meant every bit of it.
No matter who you are, Barima Sidney finds room in his heart to accommodate you like a brother or sister. Today, before he releases a song he would send it to me to pass judgment on it. “Solo, listen to this single [song] to see if we are good to go,” he would send me a message.
I can say same about many other public figures’ good inter-personal relationship including FlowKing Stone. The question, therefore, is, why do other people at times feel bossy and better than others?
Ebony I never met or saw in person. However, one could tell from afar she was such a lively young girl; a musician sadly demonized by self-canonized saints who even passed judgment on her, right after her February 9, 2018 tragedy that she will go to hell. He who will go to heaven or hell is not in the hands of men… but God.
We are all not above criticism, hence, those who reprimanded her by drawing her attention to tone down on her apparel for her show business were not far from right. But for a fellow human being to proclaim outright hell on another, ‘I can’t think far!’ At least, students of the Bible know that a man condemned by the world was saved by Jesus Christ on the cross.
Dr. Lawrence Tetteh at Ebony’s funeral cautioned the world that watched and listened to him that his sermon was not for the girl who could no longer hear humans speak. It was directed at us; you and me. That, we must strive and find space in our hearts and serve the living God and as well as respect one another while we have breath.
Ebony was laid to rest at the Osu Cemetery in Accra. This cemetery has an inscription that reminds that the living shall one day return.
Sleep well, Nana Hemaa; the girl I dearly cherished from afar. May the Rock of Ages give us endurance to hold on to our faith and be humble.
The writer is a broadcast journalist with Media General (3FM/TV3). Views expressed here are solely his and do not, in anyway, reflect his organisation’s editorial policy.
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