Ghana has lost some high-profile personalities this year, majority of them being due to prolonged illness or as a result of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
As is often said, death is no respecter of persons and once it comes knocking, even the most powerful people have no control over it.
This year, some notable personalities across various sectors lost their lives.
Actors, musicians, political figures, etc. were among those who left us feeling distraught.
Some of these personalities are highlighted below:
Former President Jerry John Rawlings:
Perhaps the most shocking death this year was the passing of former President Jerry John Rawlings. A man adored by many in Ghana for his contribution to Ghana’s democracy and current stature in the world. The former president died at age 73 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital due to an unnamed ailment.
Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie a.k.a Sir John:
Former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, also passed away this year. He was reported to have died on Wednesday 1st July 2020 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness. It was also reported that Sir John tested positive for Corona Virus and passed on after battling the illness for over a week.
In February 2020, legendary highlife musician Kofi B also passed away after battling illness for some time. Kofi B, born Kofi Boakye Yiadom, was known for hit songs such as Mmbrowa, Bantama Kofi Boakye, Koforidua Flowers among other hit songs.
In May, Ghana was shocked with the news of the passing of popular Kumawood actor Bernard Nyarko. A month before his demise, the actor reportedly quit his acting career to become a full-time preacher of the gospel. He stated in a video that went viral that there was too much evil in the movie industry hence his decision to quit the industry. “I have stopped because it’s full of evil. Every day, you would meet different people; every day, you would see different girls. All of them want you to become their friends and some of them are coming from the marine sea, they should take their movie,” he said.
Another highlife legend, Nana Tuffour also passed away this year. The 66-year old was reported to have died at home after suffering an illness. 9-9-2-4’ as the musician was affectionately called, had over 15 albums, and a number of awards to his credit. His popular songs included ‘Abeiku’, ‘Me Yere Dada’, ‘Owuo Sei Fie’, ‘Adeepena’ and ‘Manu Me Ho’.
Evangelist Emmanuel Apraku:
Pastor Emmanuel Kwaku Apraku, widely known as “Apraku My Daughter”, was found dead in his room in May. This happened about a month after he came out in April to dispel rumours that he was dead. Before he died, he was spotted in a viral video looking shabby and out of sorts. Several people including gospel musician Sonny Badu reached out to him on social media to offer some assistance. Apraku my daughter gained popularity in the late 90s and early 2000s. He was known across the country and had over 25 branches with a huge following.
Dr. Plange Rhule:
Ghanaian medical doctor and professor Jacob Plange-Rhule passed away this year. He is reported to have died in April after battling illness for some time. The former President of the Ghana Medical Association and former Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons made monumental contributions to the medical field both as a doctor and lecturer.
Confirming his passing, Dr Sodzi-Sodzi Tettey wrote: “I did not receive any letter to come here. I am here out of respect for Sodzi and Ernest who asked me to come, but if we really want to improve the quality of care and set up proper structures, then we ourselves have to do things properly and formally appoint people into those roles!” Prof. Jacob Plange-Rhule, Rector, Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons. RIP Prof!!! Below the belt! What a bad day! Damirifa due, due, due …”