A Eulogy for My Auntie T
DR. SYLVANUS KOMLA FARAH
I am profoundly affected that my aunt Therese (“Auntie T” as I used to call her affectionately) and I will no longer have the opportunity to enjoy our weekly conversations, jousting, teasing and passionate exchanges of views on the events in the world. With challenging times looming ahead for Africa, her counsel, foresight, wisdom and wit will be greatly missed. It is a loss for all of us.
Auntie T was known to me as an elegant, well-mannered woman of refined education with impeccable command of the English and French languages. Gifted with a creative yet rigorous intelligence, and a sharp oratorical distinction. A judge by profession, she was punctual, polite, precise and notably a very private person. Those who knew her privately enjoyed her hidden fine sense of humour, true of brilliant minds and accomplished diplomats. She also had a keen sense of family, generously taking care of the overseas university education of some younger family members, nephews and nieces.
Looking back on the seventy years of my conscious life knowing Auntie T, thinking of her, I have in mind this quote from the Elders; it goes like this: “Agbonyila medÇa akÇlçe o.” [The keeper of a ram does not take a nap]. This Ewe proverb certainly applies to my Auntie T. An unanimously praised role model, symbol of success and towering figure advancing the cause of the modern African woman. Auntie T has had an impressive, distinguished, professional career, achieving worthwhile goals, and has never been distracted by any personal weaknesses.
Of Ambassador Striggner-Scott’s investiture for her 3-year Ambassadorship in Rome, Italy, I particularly recall that my wife and I decided on a whim, for a thrilling adventurous road trip with the children, crossing the French Alps to attend Auntie T's event. We then spent an unforgettable week of vacation and touristic exploration together, to acquaint ourselves with the region, the history and local delicacies.
Upon completing her diplomatic career, Auntie T reacquainted with her first passion as a judge. Amongst other deeds, she was recognized for her valuable contribution as an International Judge, to the reform of South Africa's civil code, during Nelson Mandela’s Presidency.
Auntie T and I often discussed spirituality, and she was highly inquisitive of my ideas that death is just a passage, and that life always goes on, with the testing of our five dimensions. I am comforted that she has now freed herself of this realm, and is now filled with Light and Love as she continues on her journey.
Although travelling the world all these years, being remote from my homeland, my special thoughts go to Geta and her children. I also send the rest of the Family and Friends, a great Light of Love and Peace.
Dr. Sylvanus K. Farah