Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tribute to Cephas Sackitey (former Associate Director Alliance Française d'Accra​)

Cephas Sackitey
Tribute to Cephas Sackitey (former Associate Director Alliance Française d'Accra​)

I was searching for my temporary voters card on Monday night when I dug out my French class notebook from 2007.

In 2006, I moved to Ghana to work with Ovation Magazine as a correspondent. While in Accra, I found an old friend, arts and culture journalist John Owoo​ who I had met in 2003 while studying at Alliance Francaise Ikoyi.

With John initiating me into the Accra culture scene, I began to attend events and soirees at the AFA and there I met Cephas Sackitey, the centre's associate director.

Friendly, approachable and helpful, Monsieur Cephas was the typical culture expert. He encouraged people to learn French and regularly gave scholarships to journalists and artists to study at the centre.

I approached him of those evenings and told of how I would like to continue my language classes in Accra. But with my meagre income as a journalist, I would love a scholarship to study.

Cephas agreed to give me a three-month scholarship which lasted from October-December 2007. It was the note from that class that I found two days ago.

After that period, I again asked for another scholarship in 2009 which Cephas granted. So from October-December 2009, I studied at the centre. While there, I had the opportunity to report events and it was where I first met with and interviewed Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti​ among many others.

I left Accra in October 2010 to work fully in the Lagos office of Tell magazine as online editor after my stint as West African correspondent based in Accra.

There was really no opportunity to say goodbye to many of my friends. Even my flat in Adabraka with all my books and other stuff was left to a Nigerian friend who himself has sadly now passed.

When I found that notebook on Monday night, it brought back memories of a long ago period when I tried to find my feet as a young reporter in a foreign country.

So I tried to reach out to old friends that I remembered had helped pave the way for me in a new culture. I remembered Cephas and made a mental note to find him out and send a thank you mail.

Sadly, it was in my Facebook chat with John that I found out that Cephas had passed away two years ago after a short illness.

While looking through tributes online, I decided that I needed to pay tribute to this man who has helped the growth of music and culture in Ghana.

The journey of life is peopled by destiny helpers who get you along to your aim.

It was at AF Accra that I met artists, musicians, photographers and journalists like Yaw Dela Botri​, Francis Kokutse​, Kofi Setordji, Nii Obodai and a host of several others.

I also remember having an awkward dance with Bibi Brew during the World Music Festival.

Just like he did to me, I know that Cephas also gave scholarships to several other people.

I honour your memory Monsieur Cephas.


No comments:

Post a Comment