This is the worst news I have heard all year. I was mentioned in a tweet by Nana Wireko this afternoon asking if it was indeed true that Laud Affum Asamoah had passed away. I couldn’t believe it. Was it a sick joke? I immediately reached for my phone and called Laud. I felt a sigh of relief when the I heard it ringing on the other side just to be told moments after that the number cannot be reached at the moment. After 3 tries, I checked his Facebook and behold RIP posts on his wall. I checked his brother’s wall and he hasn’t posted anything in a while. Reading through the posts, I made a couple of calls to my brother and a couple of people we went to school with. They all didn’t seem to have an idea. I finally checked his girlfriend’s wall and she had an RIP message too.
Laud Affum Asamoah, you will sorely be missed. You are one of the best people I have gotten to know.
Laud became my best friend from Class 6 through Junior High. He was part of the bunch of kids who joined Holy Spirit School in 1996. Laud had come from Ridge Experimental and he was known to everyone as the kid from Chiraa. He was commuting to school from Chiraa daily. Back then, we pronounced his name |loud| instead of |lôd|. Together with Shadrack Osei Antwi, Dickson Akomea and Anthony Owusu Acheampong, we formed a strong bond. We would walk home together; we would share ‘ice kenkey’ together and we would talk politics and sports. In junior high, we would share opposing views on politics in Ghana. I can’t forget how we used to talk about 2pac and Notorious BIG and how he used to rock K-Swiss. It was his signature shoe then.
He was the first person I knew with rheumatism. Though it wasn’t funny, I used to laugh and tease him about it. Laud would also tease me for crying when I had bad grades in maths in class 6. Laud offered me a lot of advice in junior high. There was a time when I did some bad stuff worthy of isolation by my friends as Dickson suggested but Laud and Shadrack urged that we move past it and stay friends. He was indeed a true friend. His friendship shaped me. It thought me some real values.
We drifted apart after junior high. Laud went to Prempeh College and I went to St. James and he also had to move to Goaso where his father had been transferred to.
Though life kept keeping us apart, we reunited after senior high. He went to the Regional Maritime University and I went to the University of Ghana. I remember Laud paid me a visit in Legon one Saturday and we had a pleasant conversation.
After uni, we would meet every time we were in Sunyani. Laud was a true friend. He would get in taxi and visit every weekday. We would share music, movies, tv series, talk, joke, cook or go find food and all. Politics and national development was something we talked about a lot. I remember the pre and post 2008 elections. We were together when Dr. Afari Gyan announce the run-off results and the Tain vote; memorable times.
When Laud graduated from RMU, he was posted to the Upper West Region to teach in a Junior High. We sure laughed about it. For someone who had studied Ports and Harbour Administration, posting him to a school in the North made little sense to us. Laud wasn’t keen of changing his posting. He had taught in Goaso after Prempeh and he was prepared to be a positive impact on the kids. We would talk over the phone about the conditions there and how difficult it was. Haven taught at St. James and Alfred teaching at Methodist High, we would meet when he was in Sunyani and share our experience. He had some pretty hilarious stories to tell.
How can I forget how I came to call him Sir Laud. Laud came over one day. He had a new Sony Laptop. We booted it and the login screen popped up with the name ‘Sir Laud’. As usual I laughed about it. We all started calling him Sir Laud. Laud had more nicknames than me; another addition to Asamoah Kɔkɔte and the other names.
Life kept us apart and being the best of friends. I got a job in Accra and he landed a job in Tema. We barely spoke because of our busy schedules. The last time we spoke was when I need some prices of commodities. Before that we had a lengthy chat when Anas Aremeyaw Anas released his video on corruption at the Tema Harbour. We shared ideas about making Ghana better. Oh Laud!
Raised Methodist, I have had Lewis Hartsough’s ‘I hear Thy welcome voice’, Methodist hymn 351 playing since I heard the news. I know you are in the Lord’s bosom now. My condolences to his family and girlfriend.
Laud Kwabena Affum Asamoah, I will sorely miss you. Till we meet again.