I know many have waited on me to make known what happened at the burial and funeral of a dearly departed brother and colleague in the showbiz industry Eric Asante, whose death took the country Ghana by shock on December 5 2013. It was perhaps the first of the series of “cardiac arrests” that hit the Ghanaian media industry.
In the early hours of Saturday January 19 2014, the body of the late brother was laid in state for public viewing and paying of last respect at the Kumasi Cultural till around 10 am when the body was lifted for internment at the Ayigya cemetary. Unlike many, the corpse was seated in a chair in an upright position with his hands on his laps. (I would have loved to share a photograph with you but I hold a different view now of sharing such images as I take a cue from sharing late musician Nana Wusu’s own).
The funeral was well attended by industry personalities, the general public, members of the media and family. The event looked orderly until a torrential downpour after the burial got everybody dispersed at the funeral grounds and just like they do in their movies, there was a part two of the family sitting at the same venue on Sunday. Call it “Eric Asante’s funeral Reloaded“.
Fast forward to the burial grounds where a very despicable act of ignorance or perhaps superstition transpired. Amidst wailing and crying by loved ones, Ghanaian actress Vivian Jill Lawrence dropped her head gear and spectacles unto the coffin and asked it to be buried with the deceased; an act that got many heckle and attempt to remove the said materials as it had a spiritual significance in the local Akan setting. She however managed to achieve her purpose as the materials were buried with the corpse.
If my little knowledge of the Akan tradition is anything to go by, then until you are closely related or have a blood bond with a deceased, you have no right to let a possession of yours be buried along a dead person but that was not the case with Vivian Jill Lawrence. From my observation of events at the filing past the body prior to the internment, wife of the deceased had his wedding ring until the body was covered when she disposed off the ring. ( I don’t know where she kept it though). This act signified the break of any bond that existed between the two when he was alive so why a mere colleague?
It therefore comes as shocking when Vivian Jill defied all attempts and deposited her head gear and spectacles to be buried along the dead. Was it sheer ignorance or superstition as I heard others murmur? It is believed the dead has a way of communicating with the living and therefore any link established becomes the means through which such communication is made. I therefore wish Vivian Jill well.
Now to Nana Ama McBrown. Yes, we all know she had an accident recently and had a cut on her right arm; something she often covers and keeps from public eye. I would have genuinely believed she was hurt on the right arm and as a result her decision to bandage it and greet every Tom, Dick and Harry that approached her with her left hand until she clearly made her intents known to a colleague actor on the same day. SUPERSTITION and the believe that someone might use black magic on her. (Funny, isn’t it?)
I think it is never compulsory to greet people at funerals and therefore her decision to bandage her right arm and her reason leaves more to be desired.
This is not the first time such an act has happened as popular comedian and actor Kwadjo Nkansah Lilwin also had to bandage his right arm to avoid handshakes during his funeral of his late father which happened late last year. (IS KUMAWOOD BEDEVILED WITH THAT MUCH SUPERSTITION AND WICKEDNESS?)
Lilwin’s act of leaving the venue at the start of the pastor’s sermon although information had earlier been passed that no one steps out at the commencement of the sermon left people wondering what could be happening. He was further asked by the president of the Kumasi branch of the actors guild, Bill Asamoah not leave but that fell on deaf ears as he left with his entourage and a supposed pastor of his. He left the grounds and returned later during the heavy downpour. To the amazement of many, he alighted from his only to display and as many will say “claim fans”. He then got back into his car and off, he went.
So many things happened but in as much as I would love to write, I think I need to start preparing from my radio programme. Of course, that’s where I get my salary from. and not writing these. No hard feelings but I may just continue anytime from now and thanks to my good friend Danny, who helped a lot on this one.