I LEARNT with the deepest shock about the death of my favourite high school teacher for English and Times of Zambia education columnist Nana Ofusu Asante.
I’m sure that many of us have had teachers who have made a significant difference in our lives – Mr Asante was one of those amazing teachers for me.
My first contact with him was between early 1995 and 1999 during my junior and senior high school days at Lubuto Secondary School in Ndola.
Mr Asante was a truly inspirational teacher who held his class in rapt attention.
The classroom was his theatre. His lessons were, in the true sense of the word, awesome. He held us spellbound with his idiomatic expressions.
Lessons would begin with what a friend has described as ‘a ferocious, almost neurotic intensity’. They could be very funny, as long as the class — or set, as it was called at school — was performing to the highest level.
He had a complete passion not only for his subject but also for education as could be seen in his weekly education column with this newspaper.
What was most important to him was his pupils’ intellectual grasp of English, and he was not afraid to tell his charges when they were failing to reach his high standards.
Aside from his brilliance as a teacher, most of us dwell on one thing. The handkerchief produced for dramatic effect, before a flamboyant swipe of his bald head.
Though I had not stayed in touch with my Mr Asante since I left high school, I religiously followed his education column and had plans of getting in touch with him.
But who was I to know that it was all going to come to this when I am not the Almighty? Alas! All I can do now is to nurse the hurt and treasure the memories of my great teacher for English.
I cannot decipher how the wind of death could push a teaching giant like Mr Asante in one fell swoop without an opportunity to fight back. Oh! Death how brutal thou art!
To my late great teacher for English, Mr Asante, I say, asante sana for the seed of English you sowed in this life and others. May your gentle soul rest in peace.