General News of Friday, 14 September 2018
Professor Atukwei Okai, former Secretary-General of the Pan African Writer’s Association (PAWA), has finally been laid to rest at the new Military Cemetery Friday, September 14, in Accra.
The funeral service which took place at the Accra International Conference Center saw dignitaries such as the President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo , Former President Rawlings with the wife Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, Former President John Dramani Mahama, Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Oquaye, family members, friends and loved ones.
According to the wife, while reading her tribute at the funeral service, she extolled her husband for supporting her throughout their marriage especially through the hard times.
She hinted that her consolation is that he died peacefully.
“You faithfully stood by me during my major surgery, never missing any of my physiotherapy appointments after my surgery. You were visibly happy for me when you realized I could walk again without difficulty. My one consolidation is that you went peacefully. You sang praises and worshipped with us in the eve of your departure.”
“You were so many things to so many people but to me and the girls, you will forever live in our hearts as the kindhearted, humane, peaceful and gentle soul that ever trod this earth.”
“My dear Atukwei, you have indeed fought the good fight with all your might. You led a full life; a genius, lengendary figure. You have left a footprints in the sands of time.”
Prof Okai was a national icon, a former Government Minister and Secretary General of the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA). He died at age 77 and was survived by his wife Mrs Beatrice Okai and five daughters.
The children of the late Professor Atukwei Okai in their tributes sang songs of praise of their father.
“Oh daddy was a remarkable man, and anyone who interacted with him always left having felt his heart -His purity of spirit. No malice, only strength, dignity and love.”
The children revealed how difficult it is to accept his departure. “It’s truly difficult to accept that you’ve moved on to the other side; that you’re no longer here with is in the physical. You were full of live that we felt we’d have you with us forever.”
Former MP for Ningo-Prampram, E.T. Mensah shared some of fondest memories of Professor Atukwei Okai with the media. He hinted that the late Prof was one who helped in structuring Accra to what it is now.
“He has played his role, the Accra that you see today, you people do not know he was one of those in the difficult years who came on board… so pushing Accra to where it is he was one of the building blocks and we wish him safe journey home.”
In an interview with Ghanaian actress Akorfa Ejeani, she applauded Prof Okai for championing the arts and culture in Ghana. She added that he inspired her in poetry and was like a father to her, who smiled and would always share warm embrace.
“I will remember him as one of the people that inspires me to read a lot of poetry. He’s one if the reasons I recite poetry at functions… he will be fondly missed. I always call him my elder and he always smile, give me open arms and hug me… he’s that simple, he embraces everybody, he’s very nice, I hope we will all live that kind of life,” she said.