A TRIBUTE TO KWASI SEFA-BOAKYE:
A MAN FOR ALL PEOPLE
Friends, and fellow Ghanaians, on behalf of the Sefa-Boakye family, I come to commune with you, in celebrating the accomplishments of our dear brother Kwasi Sefa-Boakye during his brief stay with us on this planet. At this juncture, a little digression is in order. In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony addressed his shocked and confused audience that he came to bury Julius Caesar not to praise him. In contrast to Mark Anthony’s eulogy, we present a different message: Kwasi Sefa-Boakye, is not dead; because you cannot BURY A SPIRIT.
Jesus Christ has already conquered dead when he resurrected three days after his crucifixion! Kwasi has just transitioned into another dimension. A return trip to his spiritual eternal home! A natural process of evolution to a higher level. Therefore, it is only befitting that we shift our focus from gloom to honor, celebrate and embellish the planetary accomplishment of this Giant, our giant we affectionately call Soul Brother#1 Soulman, the Ghanaian inventor as he makes his planetary journey.
The Kwasi Sefa-Boakye we have known for the past six and half decades was a creative genius and a man on the go. There was something special and magical about him. An advocate for social justice, his fascinating and exciting accomplishments on this planet were intertwined with his deep-seated concern for the down trodden. His practical intellect, great sense of humor and infectious smile revolved around this vision. Those of us who were lucky to mingle with his life got a glimpse of this pre-science ideal about life. From infancy, he exhibited a unique gift of making every one that interfaced with him feel at ease.
He just has this unbelievably resilient and seductive personality sprinkled with huge optimism that you could count on during difficult times. Consequently, our home in Kumasi became a haven for countless individuals seeking all kinds of help. His compassion for the downtrodden was definitely an extension of our father’s work.
A product of Ghana’s political resurgence in the 60’s, Kwasi became a darling of Afro-Americans who flooded to Ghana in search of racial pride and political, cultural and social identity. He was always the envy of his colleagues because while his peers were timid and shy to interface with foreigners, Kwasi was always seen hobnobbing with African-Americans with the likes of Jackson Five, Chubby Checker, Mohamed Ali and James Brown at night clubs including Americana, Q-club, Cultural Center and numerous hotspots in the country. This popularity earned him the title, Soul Brother#1 and Soul Man!
The turning point of Kwasi’s creative genius emerged during his years in the US. Akwasi left for the US to continue his academic work in 1970. In the US while most of us were engrossed in our academic work in various universities in the US schools, Akwasi miraculously managed to mix his academic work with other endeavors fostering inter-continental understanding between Africans and African/Americans. These efforts culminated in the birth of Afreel, an organization that he formed specifically to foster positive relationship between Africans and African-American in the Diaspora.
The proudest moment and crowning accomplishment of Kwasi came when he was suddenly featured in the Jet Magazine in 1975 as the Ghanaian inventor, who has designed a model that could harness the sun’s energy to power computers. He instantly became an iconic figure among Africans and worldwide. Upon obtaining his Bachelors of Arts in Engineering at California State Polytechnic in 1977, several job offers gravitated to him. In 1977, he became the resident engineer for all satellite, voice and data circuits and maintenance of operation security at Western Union; Project Supervisor for Sprint 1985 – 1986 followed by nine-year employment at the United Telecom Greater Los Angeles Area as the Field Transmission Engineer at and later becoming a network supervisor at MCI from 1980-1989.
It has been scientifically and psychologically proven that our behaviors and our subjective presentation of the world are shaped by our genetic makeup and environmental experiences from infancy to adulthood. Brought up in the same environment and coming from same parents (genetically), it is needless to say that we share the same outlook in life. Consequently, your transition leaves a gaping hole in my life. It is like losing one hand and leg. Yet you have also bequeathed a monumental legacy to the family and fellow Ghanaians. Your selfless approach in sharing your experience, knowledge, ideas and life with us has made the world better place.
Kwasi our generation thank you, your son, Jeffrey and daughter Jennifer Sefa-Boakye who witnessed your life on earth and the rest of us are enormously proud of your remarkable accomplishments and the impact you have had on so many people. There will never be another one like you on this planet earth.
Someday, if ever we construct a monument to commemorate the great names of those who have left a mark on this planet, Kwasi should be at the top of the list!
Da Yie! Until we meet again!