Christian Atsu who passed away tragically in an earthquake that shook Turkey was laid to rest in a state funeral honours by Ghana on Friday.
The sun had just risen over the small village of Ada on Ghana’s southeast coast, casting a warm glow on the streets as people went about their daily business. But there was a palpable sadness in the air, as the community prepared to bid farewell to one of its own.
He was a hero to many, a gifted footballer who had made it to the top of his game, playing for top clubs like Chelsea and Newcastle United.
But beyond his success on the pitch, Atsu was loved for his philanthropic work. He had used his fame and fortune to give back to his community, sponsoring poor children’s education and paying fines to release prisoners from jail.
As the day wore on, people from all over the country began to converge on Ada, his hometown to pay their respects to Atsu. The streets were lined with mourners, many of them wearing black shirts with Atsu’s image emblazoned on the front.
The ceremony was held in a large field near the center of town, where a white marquee tent had been set up to house Atsu’s coffin. Traditional performers played music and danced, while dignitaries from across Ghana and beyond paid their respects.
Atsu’s wife, Marie-Claire Rupio, was there too, her eyes red from crying. She stood up to give a eulogy, but could barely speak through her tears.
Christian Atsu’s wife couldn’t read her tribute . Hmm sad man ???pic.twitter.com/inCJ4GFbel
— Mempeasem President (@AsieduMends) March 17, 2023
“You did not go alone for part of me went with you. Your love is still my guide, and though I cannot see you, you are always so full of life,” Rupio said. “You seemed to be immortal. Your smile, your love, I see you in our children’s smile.”
As the ceremony came to a close, Atsu’s coffin was lifted onto the shoulders of his former teammates, who carried him through the streets of Ada one last time. The crowds followed, singing and dancing in tribute to their fallen hero.
Atsu’s legacy would live on, not just on the football pitch, but in the hearts and minds of the people he had touched throughout his life. And as the sun set over Ada that evening, there was a sense of closure, of a life well-lived, and a man deeply loved.
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