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Tribute to Martin Krah, 1936-2020

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It has been a great honour and privilege to know and be associated with the great Martin Krah, a Ghanaian national who died recently at Oxford, United Kingdom, aged 83. He was a man of the world, a kind and generous character who refused to be tainted by pettiness. He was colour-blind to race, preferring to judge the individual by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin. He lived a life that triumphed over the pettiness of ethnicity and religion, achieving for himself a true greatness that surpassed what the ordinary mind would erroneously attribute to bank balances and positions of authority held.

My association with the late Krah spanned a quarter of a century and was a highly beneficial one. We shared the same anxieties about the continent of Africa and its place in the world. Krah would always recall the hope and enthusiasm of his generation at independence, especially that of Ghana in 1957, and how a succession of bad leadership had eroded such hope and enthusiasm. Even when we both agreed that colonisation had exploitative motives and agenda, Martin would nevertheless give credit to the colonisers for their conscientious approach to duty and the infrastructures they bequeathed to their once-colonised people.

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He would argue with great objectivity that the continent of Africa would have been a lot more developed had the post-independence leaders, especially those of Ghana and Nigeria, shown greater patriotism and commitment in expanding and improving on inherited educational and social structures. Rather than do this, what we had sadly witnessed from a succession of leaders were corruption and ostentatious living.

The late Krah, a resident of the United Kingdom for decades, would endlessly compare the fairness of his host environment to what obtained back home. The fact that things were done or achieved based on merit in one place compared with the corruption and nepotism in the other. Even when racial prejudices are elements in the world we live in, there would still be praise for any society that has chosen not to elevate such prejudices to an article of faith. This might have been one reason why he participated actively in the social and economic life of his host community.

He did his own bit in distributing educative leaflets as well as lending a helping hand at polling stations during elections, among numerous other activities. His hatred for dishonesty was legendary, always bemoaning how the image of his beloved continent had been rubbished by compatriots who greedily cheated the benevolence of their host nation-crooks who cheated the benefit system thinking they were being smart or clever.

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Krah was a very good Christian. However, his life was not predominated by religion and religiosity. His idea of being a good Christian was in one trying to be a good human being as much as it is humanly possible-kindness, empathy, sympathy, and love for your neighbour, as well as obedience to the laws of the land.
Anthony Akinola, wrote from the United Kingdom

He was a critic of any religion that seeks to promote irrationality of members and the greed of leadership. He would endlessly bemoan the deceit and flamboyance of those pastors who fed on the gullibility of their followers-pastors who rode exotic cars and flew private jets. The Church he attended in Oxford, Christian Life Centre, was his idea of a good church-the fact that its pastors dwelt more on the morality of members rather than the volume of money they could harvest, the help they render to poor members as well as their financial and material contributions to some poor communities of the African continent.

Mr. Krah would be remembered for being the great intellectual that he was a ubiquitous face at seminars and an enthusiastic debater of historical and contemporary issues. He was one great family man who showed evident love to his beautiful wife, Emina, and their lovely children and grandchildren. May his soul find peace with God, and may the family he left behind be consoled.
Anthony Akinola, wrote from the United Kingdom

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