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Opinions of Sunday, 16 September 2018

Columnist: Amarkine Amarteifio

'Let Atukwei be'

The late Prof Atukwei Okai The late Prof Atukwei Okai

When words run out of their essence, And I no longer answer to them,

And sounds return to their silent origins, And all the drums of Africa

Go back to their beginnings in the skins and forests And the skillful minds of the ancient sculptors, And I no longer dance to their tunes,

Don’t ever think I am gone,

For I Atukwei,

Have returned to the primordial vibrations of life, And like a pause, be spoken again,

In tones livelier than before:

Let Atukwei be!

Let Atukwei be!

And from the soul of a thousand poets, I shall be!

I am the ancient rhythm,

The lorgorligi sensation that tickles

The hearts of Africa’s women to wiggle and waggle,

I am the passion that fires the phoenix back to life,

And the sphinx that holds the mystery key.

I am the life in the guise of the hope you raise each day.

I am the hesitation in your thoughts that guides your reflections Into golden moments of perfection.

I am the persistent inner voice that forever Proclaims your worth.

Don’t you ever think I am gone!

I have returned to the eternal vibrations of life, And like a pause, be spoken again,

In utterances purer than before: Let Atukwei be!

Let Atukwei be!

Friday of my Fathers,

Friday of my mothers,

This day, I Atukwei,

Shall be at my funeral,
I shall be there with all our founding fathers,

From Sijilmasa to Awdaghost

From Timbuktu to Kumbi Saleh

And from the apex of Egypt’s great pyramid,

We shall descend on Ga Mashie

Together with Ayi Kushie,

And dance the Kolomashie,

And cross the Kpeshie,

And rouse the energies of life,

And watch how you lay my dense body.

I’ll see who turns my mind’s thoughts into a body of knowledge, And state so passionately how much alive I have become.

So don’t say I am gone,

Don’t ever say goodbye to me,

When my body lays still

We who are dead, don’t even say that,

My mind’s energy moves still

I have only returned to the finer vibrations of life And like a pause, be spoken again

In whispers purer than words:

Let Atukwei be

Let Atukwei be!