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Why Komla Dumor’s ghost still haunts and taunts me!

Kobina Ansah Kobina Ansah

Fri, 13 May 2016 Source: Kobina Ansah

I pray the Police doesn’t pick me up before you are done reading this. I pray I am kept safe even as you read this torture I have endured for some time now. I pray what I am about to say, after all, gives me some nightmare-free sleep hereafter. I pray I am not haunted by his ghost anymore. I pray I sleep well, at least, after today… probably not in jail, but under my roof.

I have a confession to make. I am haunted and taunted by Komla’s ghost. Literally. Try much as I can, I still go to bed in fear. But… trust me, I didn’t kill him. I can bet you I didn’t. I don’t even know London, except the one at Kumasi.

Two years after his death, I am beginning to have a hint of why his ghost still haunts and taunts me. I will tell you but… for your ears only. Shhhh…

I used to love football as a kid. I used to play actually. I could literally smuggle my way out of home to play with friends. Guess what. I was the captain! I barely did score goals but my flawless role on the attacking front almost made me indispensable in the team. I would have rivalled Messi today, trust me. Hehe.

I quite remember during one eventful match, our opponents had a corner kick in the dying minutes of the first half of the game. It was a tough match; a goalless one as of then.

Upon the cross, I gently nudged an opponent in the eighteen (18) yard. It was just a gentle push, I vividly remember. But… he fell. Technically speaking, he dived. To my disappointment, he was awarded a penalty kick. As though that wasn’t enough, I was shown the exit- red card!

“Oh boss!” I muttered to the referee. “It wasn’t intentional. It was just a push. Besides, he is my friend. You can ask him.”

The decision had already been taken. There was no turning back.

I was yet to enjoy the game. I was yet to show off my dribbling prowess to impress my classmates who had long doubted my skills. But… time was up. I had to leave.

Anytime I cast my mind back to that red card incident, the ghost haunting mystery makes much sense to me. Indeed, that red card experience gives me a hint of my sleepless nights. Life will show each of us a red card… sooner or later. Life will show us the exit one day… like it did to Komla Dumor.

It doesn’t matter whether we are prepared or not. Whether it is fair or not, it doesn’t even matter. It may be untimely. It may be unexpected. It may be out of the blue. But… that is life. It is so-called because it is unpredictable.

Before life shows you a red card, would you have lived your life to the utmost? Would you have exploited every ability inside of you? Before you exit, would you have enjoyed this game of life well enough? Would you have played your heart out?

Komla stood for excellence. He stood for passion. He stood for life. If you live this life without passion, you indeed will live it with frustration. If all you live for is just to survive the next morning, then your life is indeed being lived out of frustration… and not passion.

I am haunted and taunted because I want to live more than a life of frustration. I want to live passion. I want to be passion! Like Komla, I want to live a life that doesn’t begin at forty (40). If you still think life begins at forty (40), then you might as well wait till sixty (60) or even seventy (70)!

Before life tells you to leave the pitch, would you have helped the sick and poor enough? Would your life have been an inspiration to the broken-hearted? Would you have lifted the fallen and comforted the bereaved? Would your life be recounted as one that just existed… and not lived?

Life is too short to have a tall list of excuses. There’s no time! A red card can be shown anytime… even just a minute into the game. But… before that, would you have loved enough? Would you have pampered yourself enough? Would have laughed at yourself hard enough?

Live to love. Love to live. Live passionately today as though it was your last. Love passionately today as though it was your first. Enjoy every minute of it. Celebrate your successes. Tease yourself when you fail but be sure to comfort yourself, too. Don’t entrust your happiness into anyone’s hands. Be happy. Choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice… not a wish.

Explore this life. Explore your talents, like Komla did. Take the risk of investing in yourself. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. No one would ever believe in you any more than how much you believe in yourself. Carry the weight of your dreams on your own instead of expecting others to help you carry it. You are on your own!

Before life slams the red card in your face, would you have lived as a good citizen? Would you have been honest enough? Would your tribute be true to say you were patriotic? Above all, before life sends you out of this game, would your name be in the Book of Life?

Dream all you can. Do all you can. That is what Komla Dumor stood for… and that is why his memory (ghost) gives me sleepless nights. I know he haunts and taunts you, too. As long as you have a burning desire to live (and not just exist), I know you may have such nightmarish dreams, too. For now, an alarm clock doesn’t wake us up. These sweet, nightmarish dreams do. Chai!

I pray the Police spares me for this ‘ugly’ confession. Have a great weekend friends!

The writer is a playwright and the Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, a writing company in Accra. (www.scribecommltd.com)

Columnist: Kobina Ansah