This is the first time that I am speaking about the most recent development in the life of my friend, Roi Kwabena. My feelings are consistently positive and there has been no room for grief. The emotion that remains in its place can be more accurately described as a consternation over the persistent reports of his departure.
As Guanaguanare, I continue to fly, though more increasingly in silence these days, and in my wanderings, I have yet to feel the absence of Roi. My wings and soul continue to ride the currents of his uplifting presence. For some, the question might be, "Where is Roi?" For me, the question is, "Where is Roi not?" Cliched as this expression has become, I will use it once again - Roi will continue, as always, to be the wind beneath our wings.
In our e-mail correspondence, he would often end his messages with a special line of encouragement. He may have blessed others with similar expressions but I always felt that they were specially composed for me and I looked forward to these parting lines.
I list below some of these signature farewells, in the original colours and fonts, that I received from Roi:
swim deep as manatee
levitate as a kolibri
chanting like a macaw
SINGING as COKI
blowing like sandfly
dig deeper than anteater
I am following Roi, I am trying. Rod Stewart said it best in his song "Sailing:"
I am flying, I am flying
Like a bird, across the sky
I am flying, passing high clouds
To be with you, to be free.
Thank you, Roi Guanapo Ankhkara Kwabena, for flying with me.
Than you for continuing to honour the ancestors and their descendants yet unborn.
Thank you for loving Trinidad and Tobago and for being one of its most devoted ambassadors.
Thank you for the kindness and generousity that you always show me and which I have never been able to match.
Thank you for being a brother and a friend.
glimmer like the green horsewhip...
The ancestors are pleased.
"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.
Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.
Mweh ka allay!