People say the family is important, I say, the family is bullshit—most times.
It’s true that you need your family, especially when growing up and it’s also true that, when you are able to determine right from wrong, you shouldn’t allow your family to continue to hold your life in captivity.
A few weeks ago, I resurrected the conversation around choosing a life partner in the midst of family disapprovals—which mostly centres around unfounded tribal gibberish. Out of the conversation, it became evident that many young people in Ghana are still being held hostage by those supposed to love them, those called family—by not allowing them to choose their own life partners.
For this reason, Kofi Shanti Boafo has committed suicide—weirdly, 3 days after he posted his suicide note on Facebook.
When I say the family is bullshit most times, this clearly illustrates it. Kofi Boafo has two children with the love of his life who he has been with for many years, Prasad Deevi. Yet, Kofi’s mother is said to have sworn not to allow Kofi to marry Prasad Deevi, the mother of his children.
Do not think it was a mere talk: the mother meant business and after many years of enduring this pain on the back of hopes that things would somehow change, Prasad was compelled to call off her wedding to Kofi just a day to it—because her would be mother-in-law was still at that stage not in support of the union.
Despite having two kids with the love of his love and having created his own small family already irrespective of the approval of his mother and others, Kofi couldn’t cut through the thick nonsense of his mother and all those who disapproved of his relationship with the mother of his two kids. He cared so much about the approval of a bunch who did not care about him—and committed suicide.
Kofi’s suicide note which he posted on his Facebook page on 14 October read:
“Dear All, You have to know that you will not be seeing me any more, and perhaps the knowledge is better than the months of uncertainty which I have been through.
There are one or two things which I should like you to know, and which I have been too shy to let you know in person.
Firstly, let me say how splendid you both have been during this terrible “war”. Neither of you have shown how hard things must have been, and when peace comes this will serve to knit the family together as it should always have been knit.
As a family, we are terribly afraid of showing our feelings, but my life has uncovered unsuspected layers of affection beneath the crust of gentlemanly reserve.
Secondly, I would like to thank you all for what you have done for me personally. Nothing has been too much trouble, and I have appreciated this to the full, even if I have been unable to show it.
Finally, a word of comfort. You both know how I have gone through this life, but it has, however, done this for me. It has shown me new realms where man is free from earthly restrictions and conventions; where he can be himself playing hide and seek with the clouds, or watching a strangely silent world beneath, rolling quietly on, touched only by vague unsubstantial shadows moving placidly but unrelenting across its surface.
So please don’t pity me for the price I have had to pay for this experience. This price is incalculable, but it may just as well be incalculably small as incalculably large, so why worry?
And to Dad and Mum
If you get this message or reading this, then you should know I won’t be coming home. I am up in the stars now looking down on you making sure that you are happy as you wanted.
I am sorry for all the times I have been a pain but I know the good times outweighed the bad tenfold. Thank you for being the best parents anyone could ever have wished for. You gave me everything I could ever have wanted and more but not the marriage that I wanted.
You have both gotten long lives ahead of you yet, so make sure you make use of every second you have, because sitting here writing this now I know just how precious time is.
Tell the rest of the family I was thinking of them and make sure they take care.
Forgiveness is something everybody deserves because one day, it may be too late.
Remember that every time you are thinking of me, I am thinking of you, too. Look after yourselves and not to think of my children forget about them.
And to the love of my life Deevi
I cannot seem to say these words out loud. To me, saying goodbye has always seemed so final. Life is crazy like that. People come in and out of your life; neither one is ever expected. I have found, however, that some people will always come back to you. The ones meant to be in your life will return somewhere down the road. Unfortunately, I do not believe you will ever return. That is why I have to say goodbye.
Our relationship, like so many others, had its extreme ups and downs. I tried to focus on the ups, while relentlessly making excuses for you for the downs. “He’s just busy” and “He treats everyone like that” became the norm. I put you before almost anything and anyone else in my life. You knew I loved you, yet you did nothing about it. All I had was hope. You were so important to me. It is extremely difficult writing these words in the past tense. I once thought you would be in my life forever.
I can’t let you hurt me any longer. Life is too short to repeatedly get your heart broken by the same person without doing anything to fix it. Everyone deserves more than that. I need to do what is best for me. The only way to fix it is by saying goodbye.
I know this is going to be a long and difficult journey, but it is something I must do. My heart is so full of you. Waking up every morning without you in my life will get a little easier every day until you are nothing but a memory to me. I’m glad we have few same friends so your name won’t get brought up in conversation. It is time to move on. I can erase you from my life, but the memories will remain forever.
I may have lost someone that didn’t love me, but you lost someone that truly loved you.
This is my goodbye
There is only one thing to add. Good luck to you all
Shanti writes to you all.
Am much grateful and appreciate your time and effort to me.”
Three days after this note, Kofi disregarded the pieces of advice many of his Facebook and offline friends served him and still proceeded to kill himself.
Obviously, he had given up way before even writing the note and he did not see any prudent alternative out of his pain than to kill himself. The people he cherished so much failed to place his interest first—same way he probably did not consider how killing himself would affect his two children.
Anansewaa Papa Kwadwo Sarpong, a friend of the deceased wrote this below the suicide note yesterday:
“Kofi, You know when you posted this…i was the first to see it. I didnt like it or comment on it. I just called…We spoke from 5am to 6am…I was ironing for mommy and daddy since they we travelling….I told you about how my life has been. The pain that hides behind my ever smiling face. And how i am holding on becos i believe there is a brighter tomorrow. Remember, i made u to think about Parvati that if you go, i can never replace you..
There is only one Dada Kofi…thats her mantra. That mantra works magic for her…becos whenever she calls your name you appear. She doesnt know krishna, shiva, Ganesh, etc. She knows only one God You. So dont disappoint her. You told me u have a plan for her n Ram. I told u a girls first love is her dad. You agreed and I said someday if Ram goes through the same situation, u would be the person to redeem him. I told you, i wont be the one to tell them what u did….I sworn and i wont do it…I told you so many things….Told you about Techreed, The social media program with Prof which u would be the key player. We talk about you planning and working on u designing the monastery website n strangely they took that jib from you.
Told u so many things that u promise u are calm n better and i promised to call u at 11am..Your fone was off at 9am so i text someone close to u to check on u and was told u are okay. I called you again in the evening to show i honor my promise. I went to the temple on sunday becos of you. I was worried and spoke so much to Afolabi and Krishna n the first tin i told Ramshiv when he enter the temple as early as 6 was i have a meeting with him. becos i didnt want us to fail becos the temple population is not 1million that we can be strongly connected to hold each other….
Sunday we talked for like 4mins and you told me u had a visited. that was around 9pm so i felt mission accomplished. There is someone around so when u never called back, i never got worried. Monday….You know i hv a problem with my laptop? and u are to help me fixed so thats why i called but u didnt answer…my guess..at work….
I have called u today, check around 10am…no answer…normal…but few mins after facebook announce your departure. I have all the kirtans on my laptop to keep me being a strong hindu who accept death…and not worry so much. Note am not worried. i am only hurt becos u failed to keep u promise but i wont…Even at your final church service, i will walk out or wont show up becos i promise not to show up if u leave us this way.”
Another friend, Ross AO Jatabi commented: “Kofi you took away my victory dance, all because you were not strong enough to stand the rocking tide and you gave in the cowardly way. I will not under any circumstance understand or accept that you thought the only way to accept whats happening to you is by taking your life. Trust me i would have made you “chop” slap if i were by you. The first time we met in person was a couple of years back when you hosted me and my wife in you flat when we attended clauds wedding in takoradi, so why kofi? Why?
Not even the thought of those 2 lovely kids made you change your mind a day or 2 after that scary note of yours? Ahhh kofi you fuck up big time.
The kids not even a thought of the kids….
An angry friend-Dennis Akuoku-Frimpong had this to say: “You’re just selfish!!! All you think about is yourself…you don’t care about the emotional trauma and the future of your kids and baby mama. You NEVER loved them as you purported! Shame on you Kofi! And may you reincarnate and face whichever karmic actions you have selfishly truncated!!!”
Many others have commented, saying, perhaps Kofi had a mental illness which was not noticed.
Kofi is gone, largely because he could not bring himself to see that family is sometimes bullshit, especially when members take irrational positions against your choice. They should have cut his mother and whoever didn’t want them to be together off, and carry on with their union.
But it’s too late now. We should all learn to take a stand and not give him to those who seek to make our lives hell by disapproval the choices we make. It’s our own lives and everyone should be allowed to make their own decisions, especially when it comes to choosing who to marry or settle down with.
Rest in peace Kofi!