William Jacob Paatii Ofosu-Amaah – Goodbye!

William Jacob Paatii Ofosu-Amaah: 1950-2016

Good bye – Ruby Tuesday 
She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or on the darkest night
No-one knows
 She comes and goes
Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you.

Most will attest that Paatii was easily and undeniably one of the most accomplished sons of Adedainkpo and Jamestown who rose to great heights in his professional life. Indeed, whenever anyone mentioned the World Bank in any conversation with me, I always made it a point to let it be known that I also know somebody “important” who worked there, someone I had grown up with and in whose achievements I take great pride.  I enjoyed basking in the compliments, acknowledgements and of course the heart warming praise about how good he was at his job.  He was a coach and a mentor to many, often offering sound advice to several younger people in their professions.  He made Ghana proud by rising to the top position of a Vice President, and in recent years making his mark as a diplomat and lawyer helping to solve some of the intractable political problems in Africa at large.

I have not quite got over the shock of his passing and painful as it is for me, I must say goodbye to my ‘older brother’ by remembering those good old childhood and teen years.

Paatii was christened William Jacob to my Jacob Williamson, three and a half months older than me, a fact he never failed to remind me of during our formative years.  We were closest in age within the larger Mould family and we were inseparable as children.  He insisted that I should always obey his every command if he was to get me out of the many sticky situations that I landed in as we walked around the streets and alleyways of Adedainkpo – playing at Gbonbon, Awusa Gormli and other ‘areas’ around the lagoon that were out of bounds to us. We played with lorry tyres and played football down the park from Bartholomew and even created a game of sorts out of the tote cards that Dad would bring home on Saturdays after his work at the turf club.  We made our own toys as was the fashion in those days of the early 1950s, the sardine tins with agbomi wheels and playing alokoto out of snail shells. But our pre-school childhood was also about studying.  With all his older siblings around there were always books around and somebody to teach us the ABC and 123. Also because Mother was a teacher we could always lay our hands on some play dough and even crayons to draw with on real paper instead of learning to write on the concrete floors with charcoal.  Those were our competitive years.

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