In Memory of Salam Suberu, 1942-2018

An evening in memory of Salam Suberu

They trickled in one by one but they all came. By the end of the function, there was a large gathering. They all came to spend an evening in memory of the late Suberu Salam. There were tributes galore all testifying to the central place the deceased had occupied in the African community and in the lives of many of those who spoke of him. Mrs Ladi Suberu gave a moving tribute as she thanked everybody for all they had done for the family. It was enough to draw many people to tears.

Joe Etbon, who played a major role in putting the evening together, guided the night’s proceedings as programledare med en säkert hand. He started by introducing all the major figures in the African community who had come to remember Mr Suberu. Professor Atuma was there as well as a representative from Noa’s Ark. The embassy in Köpenhamn could not come but sent a message and a contribution. All the former presidents of the Ghana Union who were present were also introduced – Mr Enoch Abloh, Mr Emmanuel Osei-Poku, and Mr. Francis Boamah.

It was an evening of music, food and tributes upon tributes. Majeed, the youngest of the Suberu children, opened the tributes by talking about his father stressing the political discussions he had always had with the kids. Just before his passing away, he had predicted exactly what the SD would get – a frightening 17% percent of the votes (read Majeed’s biography and tribute here…).

Anthony Turkson, who had known Mr Suberu for a long time, paid a glowing tribute to him. He talked a lot about his political activism and views. He called him a “Muslim socialist” and a man of open ideas. He described him as the “last of the incorruptibles” and the “president for live of the Ghana union in Stockholm” and said: “God created the world but Suberu made Ghana Union”. He also talked of his love of kosvans (cow tail), a love that he, Turkson, picked from him. He was a specialist in what he describes as KSS (Ko Svans Soppa). Turkson ended his tribute by singing a Fante dirge in memory of the deceased.

Others who paid tributes to Suberu included a representative of Noa’s Ark, Ms Jane Masimango, Baba Ibrahim Nabigah (read his tribute here…) who remembered his long association with him and the fact that he was godfather to his children, Connie representing GaDangme Union of which the deceased was a member (read GaDangme’s tribute here) and Joe Franz who recalled that he was one of the first Ghanaians he met in Stockholm on first coming here as a youngster in 1980.
There were tributes also from Ken Dechor Hien who described him as a true Ghanaian, Etbon who used his tribute to call on all Ghanaians to resuscitate the Ghana Union as a legacy of the deceased (read Etbon’s tribute here…). Vida Atta, Josefina Antwi, and Jerry Tetteh who recalled the help he received from Suberu on first coming here by way of the job he helped procure for him and trained him on all spoke well of the man.

But the most moving tribute was from the widow Suberu left behind. Speaking extemporaneously, Mrs Ladi Suberu thanked all those who stood by her in the difficult times. She said she had always told her people in Ghana not to be worried about her whenever anything happened to her here because she had lots of people who would come to her aid. The death of her husband proved to her that she had always been right. She also urged the Ghanaian community in Stokholm to hold on to their unity irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation as a legacy to her late husband.

The ladies who cooked freely for the occasion were called on stage and thanked for their services.  Nana Yaa Gyamfi, Nana Yaa Nyamekye, Adelaide Kooran, Diana Ablorh, Josefin Antwi, and Getty Etbon gladly cooked great food using their own time and means.

Babs Salami Suberu passed away on 4th October 2018 after a period of illness. He was buried on October 10th in the Muslim section of S:t Bodvids begravningsplats, Huddinge, according to Islamic rights. On the of October, an adua was held for him at Kista where the traditional Muslim prayers were said. The memorial night was the last of the events to mark the passing away of one of the pillars of the Ghanaian and, indeed, African community in Stockholm. All three occasions were very well attended which is a reflection of his stature in the society. Many people who had not been seen around for some time were there too and the occasion served to meet long lost friends. Suberu will be remembered for long.

Suberu’s death is the second this year of long standing members of the Ghana Union. Saanle Akolor died in January in Ghana.

May the departed rest in perfect peace.

Read the note of gratitude from the Suberu Family here…

Read tribute from Nii Dzale, a friend from Accra...

Fotos and report: Kofi Sapathy, Dec., 2018

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