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The pain of inability to locate decades-old missed childhood or adulthood friends

Friends Meeting 37 File photo: Attempts to locate old friends sometimes proves futile

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 Source: Rockson Adofo

Has anyone ever felt the pain of their desperate wish to locate their once childhood, school or teenage friends after missing them for several years?

Unless you are the type of person who may eerily blink at the sight of your old friends, thinking to avoid them or have nothing to do with them because you have moved up the ladder of prosperity and in a higher social group, you will really miss your old friends.

Many are my old friends that I had previously made many futile attempts to locate them. Among them are principally the late Mr Appiah Kubi, my primary 4 and 5 schoolteachers at Kumawu Roman Catholic Primary School in mid-1960s, Kwasi Koranteng and Christiana Kutin.

Teacher Appiah was such a caring teacher who loved his pupils and taught them well. He never used to cane us, unlike the other teachers. By his humble nature and art of imparting knowledge to his pupils without ever scolding or caning them, although corporal punishment was sanctioned in Ghana in those days, he helped bring the best out of me. The beginning of my academic excellence is attributed to him.

He was from Mampong in the Ashanti region. When he left Kumawu to pursue further teacher training education in Tumu in the northern region when I was going to primary six was the last time I set eyes upon him. When I grew up, travelled outside Ghana, I started looking for him. I contacted almost all my elementary schoolmates who knew him and could possibly get in touch with two of his family members he brought to Kumawu (Asantewaah and Kwasi Taylor) who were my classmates, in my desperate attempts to establish contact with him. However, all my attempts were to no avail. I was only to hear from one of my classmates about seven months ago that he had passed away about six years ago. How painful the news of his death was to me, when I heard it.

Kwasi Koranteng is from Akwapim Mamfe, I should think. His father was one Mr Boateng, the bursar at Kumawu Tweneboa Kodua Secondary School (TKSS), now Kumawu Senior High School, from 1970 to about 1980, if my memory will serve me right. While Kwasi was at Kumawu Presbyterian Middle School, I was at Kumawu Local Authority Middle School. We were both year mates and good friends of approximately the same age. Nevertheless, he became my junior at T.K.S.S. His father rented a flat in my father’s house. His siblings were Kofi Amisshadai (eldest brother but not very sure of the spelling of his name), Jojo, Kwaku Mante, Amma, Yaw, Efua and other two little ones each of whom will now be around forty-five years.

Mr Boateng and Jojo are understood to be dead. Kwasi, Amma and their mother are in the United States of America, someone from Bechem in formerly Brong-Ahafo, but now Ahafo, region, once told me. Kwasi is said to be in New York while Amma is in another state with her mum babysitting her grandchildren. Kwasi’s mum will not be less than eighty-five years if she is still alive. Lest I forget, Mr Boateng was transferred from T.K.S.S to Bechem Teachers Training College during the PNDC regime in the 1980s.

Christiana Kutin was then a young girl living near Kumasi Star Nite Club by the Kumasi Sports Stadium, now Baba Yara Sports Stadium. I got to know her through one Abenaa who rented an accommodation in my father’s Asokwa building. Abenaa was such a nice girl who was more of a sister to me than someone renting accommodation in my father’s house. Christiana was originally from Obuasi Adansi. The last time I saw her from afar, when she was an apprentice seamstress at Kumasi Afful Nkwanta was in 1978.

She used to be the best friend of Abenaa hence automatically became a family friend to me in what is, “The friends of my friends are my friends”. She may surely be married and have children and possibly grandchildren by now. She may be in her early 60s if she is still alive. In those days, the name Christiana became very popular because of the co-incidentally hit song called CHRISTIANA by one Prince Nico Mbarga and his Rocafill Jazz band as remixed by Tilda.

I also missed Abenaa for years when she left my father’s house and myself travelled outside the country. I was only to briefly see her in 1992 when she introduced her children to me, two of whom were students of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and in 1996 when I learned of her husband’s death.

One can just imagine the pain one feels when they are desperate to find people who had once been generous to them to express their gratitude to them or to pay them in kind but cannot find them. Will seeing their children or members of family not suffice your desperation to establish contact with these lost friends?

We are now in a global world where technology has made the world smaller than it actually is, especially, when you are trying to locate friends or get needed information. If it is so, then help me find Kwasi Koranteng, Christiana Kutin (probably bearing her husband’s name which is now different from what I knew her by), Abenaa and the children of the late Teacher Appiah Kubi.

The countdown of the conundrum starts now, Sunday, 13 June 13, 2021. With your active participation, lost friends can easily be located.

Columnist: Rockson Adofo