Feature Article: Is it time to say goodbye, Castro?

Castro at Ghana Meets Naija-nydjlive-A
Castro at Ghana Meets Naija

It is very sad that a serious issue such as the alleged drowning of hiplife artiste, Castro, and his female companion, Janet Bandu at Ada during a Jet Ski accident on Sunday, July 6, has in some cases been reduced to mere mockery.

Even if we refuse to see the seriousness of the issue at hand and rather choose to create trashy jokes out of it for undeserved humour and laughter, we must not forget that so far as people go to such places, water accidents will always remain a challenge to deal with.

Two weeks after the accident, perhaps, it is understandable that the intensive search for the two missing persons have been brought to an end but finding a lasting solution to such tragic accidents would go far in helping the country, especially the operators and guests of such resorts.

In other countries, a more serious and pragmatic approach would have begun to find a solution to the problem but in Ghana, no, instead, we are joking with the situation with speculations, tales, and spiritual innuendos and forthright lies. And the sad part is that, many think the twists given to the accident are funny.

Every day, a different story comes out and I wonder how many more we are to expect. I will advise that we adopt the “You and I were not there” approach and not rely on all the funny stories being churned out on a daily basis. The stories and the theories don’t even tally.

Castro’s situation had become a subject for mockery for self-styled mallams, prophets and traditional priests who are cashing in on this unfortunate story.

A lot has already been said and in all indications, a lot more would be said as Castro has not been found yet and nothing shows that he would be found dead or alive anytime soon.

Social media is the trending source of information as it has taken over traditional media such as newspapers, television and radio. The way news of Castro’s disappearance has been disseminated confirms this.

On that fateful day, Sunday, July 6, 2014, I got to know of this sad news on social media after I had received lots of calls, SMS and WhatsApp messages from friends who had wanted me to confirm the sad news they had also heard from other sources.

Initially, I treated the news as trivial until I logged onto other social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, and was bombarded with tributes upon tributes to the alleged departed soul of Castro who had been a dear friend to a lot of music enthusiasts.

I shed a tear for Castro. I do so not only because I have followed his music career closely, but also because I have personally experienced near-drowning before and I’m aware how painful it is to lose someone close to you.

Last week, when hopes of finding the missing Castro and Janet Bandu appeared to have faded, award winning music producer, Hammer of the Last Two, posted on his Facebook wall something that attracted my attention and got me thinking.

Hammer posted these words on his page: “Forgive me but I’m pretty sure it’s time to pronounce Castro dead officially, so some of us can pay our respects accordingly. Speculations have robbed him of the appropriate courtesy paid to the departed… And failure to do this might further disrespect his memory. There’s no conspiracy or superstition to this so the denial needs to end”.

An obviously not so enthused Hammer continued: “Castro suffered a fatal accident and is not with us anymore. All these agents of dark forces should cut the crap about Maame Water and shouldn’t be encouraged with an audience at all cos Castro was a God fearing man. Let’s do what needs to be done. Just saying #RestinpeaceCastro.”

Like I said, the above words got me and several others thinking deeply about the whole situation. Shouldn’t Castro be pronounced dead, so people can offer their last respects to him and let the sleeping dog lie comfortably like Hammer is suggesting?

However, the other question that begs for an answer is whether Castro can be declared dead even when his body has not been found yet? If not, for how long are we prepared to wait?

I’m not in any way pronouncing Castro dead or advocating for him to be pronounced dead but can one live under water for two weeks and still stay alive? Or is somebody playing a prank on Ghanaians?

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