Stories are told of men who have achieved greatness or influenced society at one particular time or the other. Today, I tell the story of an handsome and calm gentleman with great disposition and selfless devotion to God and his fellow human beings.

It is his birthday and as I celebrate him, I also laud him for his great foresight in seeing something in me way back when we had began the stage of our lives. I dedicate this day of my life to him on his day and celebrate his day with this tribute.

He was there at the very maturing stage of my life at the hill top of Adisadel College that will change my perspective into everything around me and about life. I say thank you to him.

Every year, I have as a duty to him, to remember your great words of encouragement in the midst of difficult times that have proven to be the best training.

When I first arrived at Adisadel College, it felt a strange feeling how I was going to cope with all the stories I have heard and been told. I thought the first person to meet and welcome me would be Prince Puplampu, who had told me to choose his house Quaque House. Infact when I told the senior housemaster that was not the house I was told to go, he said they don’t do preference house in Adisco. He refused to listen to me and I was not given. I had almost spent five hours and there was no sight and sign of Prince. I knew at once I was in for more disappointment. I was brought back to earth when I heard someone call my name and say congratulations. “You have made it here at last,” the voice behind me shouted in excitement. I turned to see Prince running towards me. Prince was my senior in Junior Secondary School at Sun Star. He was the school prefect and was a key part in influencing my choice of Adisadel College. He gave me a big embrace and asked if I was given Quaque House. I said no and pointed to a house I could not confidently pronounce. “Aglionby House,” he said as he held tight to me not wanting even a air passage between us.

“You have no worries at all. One of our seniors from Sun Star is in that house,” he said as he pulled me  behind him to go and see this senior at once. I was lost. I did not know who he was talking about since he had never told me of any senior or students from Ashaiman there. We were disappointed. He was not there. As I rested on my bed looking strangely at my new mates wondering how to adjust and live my new life, I heard my name called out by the dormitory supervisor. I rise only to see Prince and a tall looking senior approaching me. Before he could introduce himself to me, I heard “Luxzy, PP, you guys know him. He be stubborn pass. Flow him to chill for here is Adisco.” They laughed. I had had an a burst up with him the moment I entered the dorm. I thought he was a junior trying to play fast on me. Later I got to know he was my supervisor and I did the needful thing to apologise.   Apparently, David was called Luxzy and Prince’s name shortened to PP.

“Keith, this is David, out senior I was talking about,” Prince said. “Welcome Keith, the unfamiliar face greeted.” I returned the gesture highly happy within. The encounter was rather short to my disappointment. I thought he would spend many hours with me. Within no time, they all parted. At least I was not alone and I had someone to run to in case of difficulties.

He made life worth living and was one of the well respected seniors whom you hardly heard juniors complain about as was the norm. I soon realised that because of my close association with him, all other seniors wanted me to offer services to them. This was the discomforting aspect that he told me to embrace and do since it will set me apart from the rest. Even if they punished me, he would say, it is school life and would toughen you as a man for life. Never report any senior to the housemaster. I would complain I had done nothing wrong to deserve the punishment but he would tell me yes, he is aware and that the seniors are likening my presence. I though it was strange.

I understood him when one senior told him once when he had by pass ten beds to come call me to go and buy him rice. He saw my frown but said nothing. As I followed him, I said him why he had passed all my friends to come call me. He simply said, because we all like you and that you are hard working. I hated siesta for that was the time all the seniors would either send me or come for me to go entertain them. Luxzy would watch on though he never sent me during those times. On his wedding, his best man even once made me bath him. Afterwards, he lashed me with the sponge for not doing a good job. Hmmm..

At a point, I never wanted to wash for him because it meant all the seniors bringing theirs for washing. Yes! And if i was late, the same seniors would punish me. Today, punctuality is one of my virtues. One day, he told me to work hard and not complain because I had the potential to be a prefect. I cherished that position when I got to Adisco and since he said that word, I never again complained and I enjoyed more the training. Two years after he said this, I became the house prefect.

The only time David came to my rescue was when the school’s Major was in the process of landing his third slap at my face for telling him I won’t join the cadet. That day was pathetic for me. The Major was a huge figure and I felt the slaps well well. Since that day, I became a very good friend of the Major when Luxzy told him he was beating his boy too much. He stopped and asked me to go buy him food.

Our housemaster had died and David had told me the house prefect wanted me to write tribute on behalf of the house. I told him I can’t write since I don’t know the house master well. He still insisted I put something down. The lesson here is never say never when you have not given it a try. I did and the rest is where I am today. Life is better understood from the experience one go through. In no time, he left but his remarks for me to be a leader of the house kept me strong in everything I did. Academically, he challenged me as he will go and see my grade. He will urge me to keep it up and do more.

He made that rich experience of life possible. He made the growth and transition from ordinary to self belief achievable. Next year, will tell of the influence of his faith.

Senior, it is you I celebrate. I ask God to always remember you with goodness and extend the kindness of heart to your children. May your generation sing of your worth. May you remain steadfast in your convictions and devoted to your dreams. You shall be a great mentor to many. I salute you and we thank God for another year.

Others have laboured and we share their glory… Ours is to do exploits and add to their gains.

Be strong! Be bless! Be victorious in life. Play Up Santa

Cheers to your day.