Written by Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey
There are two types of philanthropists – those who are loud and those who are quiet.
The loud ones are those who blow their own horns. I gave that school 100 computers; I gave Ososo Chairman GH¢100 million; I this, I that… the Bible says don’t even let your right hand know what the left hand is doing, so that the Lord who knows your heart can bless you.
As for those on the quiet, reader, they are wonderful; they are just amazing. You don’t hear of them on radio; you don’t see them on television screens; you don’t read of them in newspapers, but they are around, solid, from word to mouth, and their full measure is known only after they are dead, lying in the casket…
One such person was KWAKU ABOAGYE AGYEI, popularly known as MAXIBILLION…; the guy was, indeed, a MAN. Interesting enough, I met him only ONCE in my life, but thereafter, he used to call me, and ask: “Captain, how are you? I hope all is well…”
Then all of a sudden, absolutely without warning, no sign of sickness or long ailment, we heard in the news that Maxbillion was gone. Oh, just like that?
This is one funeral I must attend, and even though I learnt of the funeral arrangements with only two days notice, I decided I have to be at the final roll call of Maxibillion with humanity.
But his hometown, reader, APROMASIE! Where the deuce in this world is APROMASIE?
“Oh Captain, after St Louis Training College turn left past Donyina…”
“No no no! Captain, just after Kwayo turn left, before Boankra…”
“Captain, you are lost. At Ejisu, after Anita Hotel, turn left, straight to Apromasie…”
So, at exactly 0200 hrs Saturday 31st August 2019, I left my Kasoa abode, and after fueling at Achimota Shell, set off for Kumasi: objective: APROMASIE…”
Just after the ongoing Interchange works at Pokuase, I bent down my head, only to wake up to see that we were in EJISU – time check 0600 hrs. We turned left along a modern asphaltic road, and hit APROMASIE – a typical Asante community, but, reader, call it “Small London” and you will not be wrong.
I saw some executive enviable oriental mansion overlooking the school park, and I assumed this must be Maxbillion’s house, but no, his house was further down the road, fifty yards away.
At that early hour, circa 0700 hrs, the family was fully seated on the fully tiled compound of the yellow walled house. The paparazzi there saw me and I could hear live commentary on some radio station, mentioning my name.
I was escorted into the living room of an imposing building, and to the far left corner I saw the open casket of Maxibillion. I stood there and took a good look at the mortal remains of the man I met physically only ONCE in my life. I bowed as a soldier and left to the funeral grounds.
At about 0930 hours, the casket was brought to the school park, escorted by the “Boys Brigade” of Apromase Methodist Church. A procession of literally who is who in the Methodist Church of Ghana took place, and I saw good old Most Rev Dr S. Asante Antwi, Most Rev Dr Aboagye Mensah, Most Rev Dr Emmanuel Asante – all formerly Ridge Church pastors and Presiding Bishops of the Methodist Church. At the far back of the long procession solemnly walked Most Rev Dr Boafo, the current Presiding Bishop.
Present at the dais to represent the Government of Ghana was Hackman Owusu Agyeman, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman of the Council of Elders, four times attempted National Chairman of NPP Stephen Ntim, National Security Minister Ken Dapaah, former Chieftaincy and Culture Minister S.K. Boafo, Kwamena Bartels, and Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor – former Defence Minister – and a whole lot of bigwigs.
I was very surprised to see Mr Justice Samuel Alan Brobbey, former Chief Justice of Gambia and retired Supreme Court Judge, seated very quietly in his role as “Head of Family…” Kwame Pianim, with his expatriate wife and several big men, was there.
If Maxibillion, who never held any political appointment, could attract such Grade A top figures in Ghana to his funeral, then reader, the man was really a Power House.
Preaching the sermon, Most Rev Dr Paul Boafo, Head of the Methodist Church, gave a tall list of philanthropic works by the deceased, notable the school block of the Methodist Church, which we could all see, distribution of Holy Bibles to the northern community, donations of cutlasses, laptops, and computers.
Rev Boafo told us that like Job said, ‘life is short and full of troubles,’ and that we should not always be thinking of I, I, I, I, all the time – no – we should think of what we can do for others to make life better for them.
The Methodist Church capo said God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. He is our Helper, in whom one can trust. No wonder King David said in Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd.”
I was surprised to notice that within one hour, everything was over, and the Boys Brigade came to lift the cadaver for a private burial.
As we drove back to Accra, I kept on asking myself – which is better? To make noise from the rooftops that I am this, I am that, I have the latest BMW, I am King, General… or to quietly slip through life, doing good all the time, with only God as your witness?