A thanksgiving mass was held at the Accra Ridge Church Wednesday to commemorate the 90th birthday of Mr K. B. Asante.
Songs of praise, hymns and prayers characterised the celebration of the life of the diplomat, educationist, politician, writer and social commentator. Family members and friends, including academicians, diplomats, politicians, lawyers, media practitioners, religious and traditional leaders, attended the mass.
Many of the people were dressed in white to signify their joy at the fulfilling life of the 90-year-old man.
Mr Asante, a columnist of the Daily Graphic, continues to inspire many Ghanaians with his feature articles which touch on governance, the economy, social development and other aspects of life.
Service to nation
The Most Rev Justice Ofei Akrofi, the retired Archbishop of the Province of West Africa, said Mr Asante had served his motherland, the world and the church with joy and gladness for decades.
He stressed that Mr Asante had been instrumental in supporting the work of the Catholic Church.
The Most Rev Justice Akrofi thanked God for protecting and preserving the life of Mr Asante and his family.
He prayed to God to add more years to Mr Asante’s life to continue to serve Ghana and the church.
Let’s celebrate life
In a brief remark, Mr Asante, who was at the church with his wife, Matilda, and his family, said friends had told him that in Ghana people were celebrated only after their death, noting that he disagreed with that position and believed that life should be celebrated for the many undeserved mercies.
“We should celebrate life for the privileges and many mercies that we do not deserve,” he said.
Mr Asante said it was for that reason that he chose to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Besides, he said, he would wish to witness his own funeral and the people who would be attending.
He said the presence of his many friends at the celebration of his 90th birthday had given him a clue that more of his friends would be at his funeral.
Mr Asante, born on March 6, 1924, attended O’Reilly Educational Institute, Tudu, Government Junior Boys’ School, Adabraka, and Government Senior Boys’ School, Kinbu, from 1927 to 1937.
He also attended Achimota College Upper Primary and Secondary School from 1938-1942 and obtained a degree in Mathematics at the University College, Durham University.
Mr Asante was a senior Mathematics tutor at the Achimota College from 1954-1955. He became Ghana’s Ambassador to Switzerland and the United Nations Offices in Geneva and the UN?establishment in Vienna, with concurrent accreditation as Ambassador to Australia from 1967-72.
He also served as the Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Economic Community from 1976-1978.
Mr Asante retired from the Civil Service in 1978 to form the Social Democratic Front to contest the 1979 elections.
The party won three parliamentary seats in those elections.
He was the Secretary for Trade and Tourism in the PNDC administration in 1982 and later Secretary for Education and Culture from 1986-1990.