Finally at Peace - Dela Bobobee

With your music
you offered so much to the world
with your lovely voice
raised emotions to new heights
with your incredible voice
reached the hearts of the masses

with your love life
we know you didn’t get enough in return
with abusive lover, spat on, scorned
surrounded by friends, family and staff
yet isolated in the midst of the crowd
no love was as expressed as in your music

with your troubled talent
you paid the high price of isolation
the gap between public adoration
and private pain, tight in accepting support
with the pain of exquisite sensitivity
underscored flaws that influenced escapism

with your sudden death
you transformed into an ethereal message
with your tragic loss a reminder:
the ability to take in affection and care
is perhaps as important as giving it out

with the hope of immortality
Whitney, please when you finally get there
do extend our love and appreciation to Janis Joplin,
Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Michael Jackson,
who like you were cruelly tossed about by fame and fortune...
and are finally at peace.


LS said...


one learns something new everyday, for example, that drabness is not the only reason Moth dares not call itself Butterfly.

I didn't know Ghanaian students in Nigeria have to pay international student fees. I thought all ECOWAS citizens paid the same tuition as home students. Is all that talk of Panafricanism just a mare's nest? Who can blame them, it was K.A. Busia who first chucked them out, under whatever Alien Act or something.

Prince Mensah said...


Thanks for your brilliant insights in tenacity and for using your life story as an elaborative literary device.

I was honored by your notes on my poem for Whitney and excited to know that her songs influenced you at critical stages in your life.

Thses lines in Stanza 3 of 'Finally At Peace' capture the gist of Whitney's life -

with your troubled talent
you paid the high price of isolation
the gap between public adoration
and private pain,

It also portrays human behavioral dichotomy, which makes us put up a certain face before many and another face before a few.

We find our own lives reflected in the showcasing of other lives. It is the constant analysis that we all must go through. It is the constant reminder that we will have both high and low moments, we will have good and bad lovers, we will step into light or suffer in darkness. However, we must live the kind of life that inspires (like you did with your sojourn to attain education).

There is an Akan proverb that states that

whispers begin a conversation

Whispers about a life, Whitney Houston's life, begun this conversation and it has been a blessing to listen to the nuggets of wisdom dropped here at OGOV.

Moving from one life to a sequence of lives that were cut short, Dela states in the fifth stanza that

with the hope of immortality
Whitney, please when you finally get there
do extend our love and appreciation to Janis Joplin,
Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Michael Jackson,
who like you were cruelly tossed about by fame and fortune

It is interesting how Dela positions two things that most people seek in this life to be very things that caused the most discomfort and, eventual, demise of those talented people.

Well done, Dela. After reading 'Finally At Peace', I walked away with one concrete insight - in remembering the dead, let us not forget the living.

Darko Antwi said...

The sentiment within 'Finally at Peace' is as deep among works of elegy as the depth of Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.

With an orderly craftsmanship, the poem creates a collage of the highly talented, her glorious stardom, her stormy jinx and final passage into eternal peace. What a poem!

After reading it, I sat silent for a while: in memory of Ms Houston, and in respect to the life and open-heartedness of MSP Bobobee, the literary personae of delight.

Most Snr Poet Dela Bobobee, keep going strong in spirit and mind. God bless you.

Dela Bobobee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dela Bobobee said...

LS, thanks for the mention. You raised some very interesting points that would be really fascinating to most international relation experts. Perhaps it is true that “drabness is not the only reason why the Moth dares not call itself Butterfly.” I understand your reaction to the fact that Ghanaian students in Nigeria have to pay international student fees. Yes, I know why you thought that all ECOWAS citizens pay the same tuition as home students. Actually, that action on their part was as a result of reaction to the University of Ghana charging foreign students in dollars. But the fact remains that Legon charges foreign students from Europe and America for tuition in African Studies course, not ECOWAS students. Yes indeed, unlike during my time, there is now disparity in the tuition costs for ECOWAS and other African students who now pay in the naira local currency, while other foreign nationals pay in dollars. In any case, I remain grateful to God Almighty for the opportunity.

Your other question, “Is all that talk of Panafricanism just a mare's nest?” Well, in my candid opinion, I see both ECOWAS and African Union as entities that stemmed from cheap imitation of the erstwhile European Economic Community (EEC), which later evolved as the European Union. It is just regional economic agreement among the neighboring states which today is trying hybrid intergovernmental and supranational organization of countries across the continent. If one carefully studies their charters, it could be gleaned that most of their aims are targeted more on economic aspects rather than encompassing socio-political aspirations that may perhaps result in the masses being direct beneficiaries of the real dividends accrued to its community citizens.

Pan-Africanism on the other hand, to me is more like a measly nomenclature striving to exist under the faint ambient of socio-cultural matrix of the African people. Ironically, I see it reduced drastically more in the light of our unique ways of life that makes us Africans; such as our indigenous culture portrayed in extended family system, respect and care for the aged, veneration of the dead, festivals and the totality of our beliefs. As for the real political will of the constituent African member states, it has long ago lost its bearing and jeopardized its very core meaning right from the very start when Nkrumah’s shred vision for a unified African State was truncated by divergent ideological camps like the Casablanca and Monrovia blocs. They should have listened to Nkrumah because it would indeed have been easier to achieve that at the very dawn when the sleeping giant African continent was lazily waking up from its slumber by shaking off the yoke of colonialism.

Dela Bobobee said...

My appreciation goes to LS Mensah, Prince Mensah and Snr. Poet Darko Antwi for their insightful comments on the poem “Finally at Peace”. I also thank OGOV for showcasing the two poems, and to all those who celebrated and mourned Whitney’s life and death in one way or another.
I guess there are essentially six important lessons one could learn from Whitney Houston’s life and death.

1.That talent is a gift that sometimes comes with a high price.

2.That the fame and fortune that may follow a talent can be emotionally isolating and painful.

3.That the adoration of millions of fans is disorienting, as the more that others know these artists the less they seem to know themselves.

4.That the ability to take in affection and care is perhaps as important as giving it out.

5.That as Africans we need to be careful in imitating some certain foreign lifestyles but learn to value modesty in life and the importance of family circle while trying to avoid the pitfalls of reckless lifestyles that may lead to heartaches, divorces, broken homes and untimely deaths.

6.That life is living and living is life, but humans sometimes tend to love life more in postmortem, as if death means more in life than living.

The last point can be arguably explained with the fact that is to be expected. It is expected that Whitney’s record sales would quadruple after her death. This was exactly what happened when Michael Jackson died. The statistics of his record sales shows less than 3 million dollars in 2007 but skyrocketed to a whopping 31 million dollars in 2009.

Prince K. Mensah said...

Mister Darko Antwi, I am always humbled by your take on poetry. I must confess that I always write new poems knowing that, at least, there is one great man who appreciates what I do. Thanks for what you bring to our sojourn as writers.

LS said...

Efo Dela,

Forgive me, I was speaking from those days when Nigerian students at Legon paid the fee same as Ghanaians, though to be fair those Nigerians were born in Ghana. Thanks for the elaboration, but perhaps one could re-jig the saying as:

Moth and Butterfly are both coloured insects. Moth chose the drabness of brown, to counter the shouting sun; Butterfly opted for the colour palette, in order to fight the blind night.

And both I suppose, lead us down different paths when we begin to discuss the ideal and the idea that Panafricanism is. It was always going to be a more fertile dream in the imagination of poets, artists and writers. The political landscape is much more challenging don't you think, as you yourself brought up the divisions and different visions of the Monrovia and Casablanca blocs. How can you unite a continent of disparate plp who never imagined themselves as one until the European Other? I’m no expert, but it is my belief that, in as far as we dare go back, our own oral literatures rarely mention other ethnicities, and when they do, it is to illustrate difference rather than sameness.

So long as we struggle with the problems that result from uniting different ethnicities under one flag, and so long as there are issues of mass unemployment, and vast sections of the population miss out on a good education, economic opportunities and whatever kind of political representation, we would focus perhaps narrowly on our selves. Woe to any politician who mentions Panafricanism, when their own citizens go without adequate food and shelter, and corruption continues to plague us. Yes, perhaps if they had gone with Nkrumah’s vision we would well be on our way, but then come any economic crisis, and plp begin to retreat, as can be observed from the example of the EU.

Unlike us, Europeans shared a past; from a combination of their Judeo-Christian heritage and the Classical Civilizations of Greece and Rome. We think ours go right back to the Pharaohs, but we don’t make the effort to move beyond that, and into that, do we? Even the legacy of Ancient Egypt throws a light on old ideas of what it meant to be a person from the continent. Did the Pharaohs even think themselves African? I believe mostly not. For them there was only Upper and Lower Egypt. However maybe if we look at the distinctly black (Kushite) Pharaohs from Nubia, e.g. Piankhi and his son Tarharqo and their rule, we might begin to pick some ideas on what it meant to be a black person ruling a united Egypt, even if they took their legitimacy from the Cult of Amun/Amun-ra/Amin-ra, and how some of those ideas then passed down to us. I remember Osofo Okomfo Damoah’s Afrikania Mission.