“Wow! This is the 352nd hair on your head! All covered in white!” said Thabisa, as she stood before Papa Tau’s bed.
Papa Tau is a well-known senior lecturer at the University of Akzua, Ghana. All his students are so fond of how detailed, analytical, and punctual he is. He lectures year one and final year students on two compulsory subjects. And for both levels, it is always fun, full of illustrations and happy moments of learning together. His favourite teaching tool is role-playing.
Thabisa looked at him and said, “Papa Tau, I don’t think you should lecture this week. You’re in deep pain and your voice is yet so fragile.”
“You know your Papa and how passionate he is about his students and all his academic commitments. I’m sure he’s just listening with the left ear. All the information will fly off in the right ear,” said Mama Kuo.
“But Mama, speak to him now. You know how best to persuade him not to go due to his health condition.”
Feuzo, Thabisa’s younger brother walked in. “My sister, just the other night Papa slept around 3 a.m. into the night. I saw him in his study writing the curriculum for the new course for some new students who were deficient in some vital areas. Papa can carry the students’ matter for head ooo…”
“Hmmmm. I’m not even surprised why Kwame my first son always says he wants to like to be like Papa Tau,” Thabisa said.
They heard a loud and deep cough from his room and they all ran into the room to stay with him.
“Papa, take some warm water,” said Feuzo.
He gently collected the mug and finally spoke out. “My daughter Thabisa, welcome. I have been expecting you. How is your husband and Kwame my young professor?”
“Papa, they are all fine. They asked me to send their soft greetings to you.”
Mama interrupted, “She also came with a two-filled basket of fruits oooo.”
“Thabisa, well done oo! God bless you and your family beyond your years. Amen!”
Feuzo announced, “Papa we have been discussing about you before you woke up.”
“Me? What about me?”
“When are you going to drop your lecturing hat and just enjoy your old age?”
“Hmm, my son. Looking at the present situation of my final-year students, I don’t think I should just exit like that. They aren’t fully ready for the labour market.”
Thabisa mentioned, “Papa, your health show always comes first! Please, help me loud it for him oooo. Because, if I should say anything now, he’ll keep mentioning all the names of his students in the university and saying…”
“They all still need me strong, active, and alive,” Mama said.
“My people, thank you. I know that you are all concerned about me. But the truth is that, until I see the purple elephant, I won’t retire! I will keep learning and equipping my ‘nation’s soldiers’ (as I like to call them) until I take my last breath. Please, don’t awaken the purple elephant until the time is ripe. Thank you. Please pass me the brown keg of palm wine,” Papa Tau said.