The Deputy Minister for Tourism Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa Gomashie, has paid a visit to the family of the late, Bishop Bob Okala, known in private life as, Samuel Kwadwo Buabeng, at his residence at Amasaman in Accra.
Last Thursday’s visit, was to mourn with the family of the veteran comedian, who reportedly collapsed on stage during a show at Koforidua, and died later at the Koforidua Regional Hospital early Sunday, March 12.
The deputy minister, who in the early 90s, worked with the late entertainer, was accompanied by producer of the popular Key Soap Concert party, Anastasias Agbeyagah.
Speaking to the family, Madam Gomashie said, “it was a real tragedy to come to terms with the news that the man who brought so much joy to Ghanaian homes was no more”.
She was particularly dejected that, within a short period, several members of the creative arts, have died at a time when the industry was growing and being given the right attention and recognition.
She prayed that Okala’s death, ends any bad news hovering around anyone in the industry.
She said in the past, the industry did not have a ministry, but now same cannot be said, and wished that those who have paid their dues over the past decades, would live to see and contribute in whichever way to its growth.
According to Madam Dzifa, it was regrettable that, the likes of Rev. Eddy Coffie, president of the Ghana Actors Guild, Solomon Sampah, Nkomodie and now Bob Okala, within a short period of time, were no more around to entertain Ghanaians. Nkomodie who died on February 5 this year, is also yet to be buried.
Both Bishop Bob Okala and Nkomodie, used to fiercely contest for “Who Is Who” in the Key Soap Concert Party show, thrilling Ghanaian watchers and fans with very hilarious stage comedy.
While, Bob Okala, who was 62 years, is believed to have died from heart attack, Nkomodie, is said to have died from a tumor-related illness.
She said even though it was sad, especially for the entertainment industry, “It is our duty to take the good and the bad” as a ministry. The deputy minister, a veteran actress, tasked the family to stay united, especially at this difficult time and trust in the Lord.
Madam Dzifa, presented boxes of bottled water as tradition demands and an undisclosed amount of money to Bob Okala’s widow, Madam Yaa Serwaa.
A member of the family, Kofi Gyimah, who briefed the minister, said plans were in place to observe the one week commemoration on April 1, 2016, with the final funeral and burial rites to be announced afterwards.
He assured that, the family which was being led by “Easy Way” was preparing to officially inform government about the demise of the ace comedian.
Bob Okala, was among some entertainers, who reenacted the Gold Coast police performance during Ghana’s 59th Independence Day Celebrations at the Black Star Square in Accra. They spiced up the celebrations so much that, the President, John Dramani Mahama, in an interview last Monday with TV3, mentioned it as one of the acts that left him laughing all throughout.
The president also noted that, that same day, the group paid a visit to his house and noted the comedian wasn’t well, and so he asked that he be taken to the hospital for treatment, but after the necessary diagnoses, he was asked to rest so that treatment starts, but next thing he heard was that, he had travelled to Koforidua and died there.
Present at the family house were, another comedian and a friend to Okala, Cocoa Tea, Kofi Adams Buabeng Okala’s son, who accompanied him to the Joy Herbal Industries show at the Koforidau Jackson Park, and other family members.
Okala, will be remembered for his exploits in the 1990s, when he became champion of the Key Soap Concert party shown on GTV every Saturday evening.
He was always seen on stage with a big wall clock on his wrist and “tapoli” tied around his neck with painted white face.