Nature herself came when mourners gathered at Beo-Kansigo, a community in Ghana’s Bongo District, for the funeral of Victor Abisiyine Ayine on Saturday, 22 July 2023.
The mineworker, described by many as a kindhearted workhorse, went missing and was found dead while on duty inside Earl International Group Ghana Gold Limited’s yard, four months after his 44th birthday.
His casket, placed on a catafalque at the centre of the funeral ground, was painted in the bright yellow colour of the gold he had helped the Chinese company to mine as an electrician from October in 2015 to July in 2023.
Some employees of the Talensi-based Chinese firm, also referred to as Shaanxi Mining Company Limited, were present at the funeral. But their Chinese employers and co-workers were absent.
It was good weather all through the funeral service, which began at 9:00 am, until the casket was partly opened in the middle of the event for public viewing.
Soon after the viewing procession began, clouds gathered suddenly, signaling the imminence of a rainfall that was not expected.
The black and red funeral clothes, predominantly worn by the mourners, turned gloomier as the clouds dimmed the sunlight overhead with their dark, grey tone.
At the sudden change in weather, the casket was closed and those awaiting their turns in line to see Victor’s face for the last time, and for some the first time, asked to resume their seats.
As the programme proceeded smoothly, the clouds receded briskly. Rain did not fall until the programme ended and until the last guest left after Victor was laid to rest in front of the family’s house, next to the grave of his father who died in 2022.
The rainclouds vanished. They never returned to the venue. And once again, the sky was as blue as the blank screen of a television set tuned to a dead channel.
For some observers, nature, perhaps, summoned the dark clouds to cut short the public viewing of Victor’s body because nature herself is so unhappy about how his journey on earth was cut short inside what sources, who prior to the funeral had visited the underground spot where he drew his last breath, described as a “deathtrap”.
No relative, no community member, protested at the event. But nature did. Through the clouds. But she did not disrupt the farewell gathering. Because she wanted it devoid of hitch, out of her love for the departed gifted singer and drummer.
His brother, Jonathan, whose search for missing Victor ended in his all-night fears coming true when he arrived at the company’s yard early morning on 11 July 2023, read a tribute on the family’s behalf at the requiem, saying:
“Whosoever boasts or takes responsibility [for] Victor’s death will surely face the wrath of God.”
In his “Weep Not” sermon, famous preacher and Head of the Holy Ghost Temple branch of the Assemblies of God, Pastor Dominic Ziba, stressed: “There is pain. But weep not. Leave this matter with God. He has decided to allow it. Leave it with Him.”
Officials of the Savannah Research and Advocacy Network (SRAN) and TAMA Foundation attended the funeral. The two civil society organisations joined other mourners in making cash donations to the young family Victor left behind.
Victor’s family had prepared a grave for his burial the very day his body was pulled out of Shaanxi’s tainted wastewater, but the funeral was rescheduled for a police team to physically examine the body first to determine the cause of death.
The police team, Media Without Borders learns, is acting on the instructions of Ghana’s Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, to get to the bottom of the matter.
The public awaits the results of the physical examination as the family, going forward, decides who to listen to— Dr. Dampare or Pastor Ziba.
Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/mwbonline.org