Castro goes home today
•The late Castro
Burial takes place today at the Awudome Public Cemetery of Castro Zangina-Tong who died on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.
Uncle Castro, as he was affectionately called, was the News Editor and Acting. Sub-Editor of The Spectator.
The burial will be preceded by a funeral which will be held at his residence at Russia- Commanco near J &J Washing Bay.
The news of his death came as a surprise to many, especially his colleagues at work and friends in the media industry.
By Georgina Naa-Maku Quaittoo, Acting Editor of The Spectator
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:14)
The reality of the above scripture dawned on me when I heard the sad news of your sudden demise on August 1, late in the afternoon.
We had an emergency departmental staff meeting the day before to discuss The
Spectator’s production because that week’s edition had to be printed earlier than usual.
I had no idea that was my last time seeing you.
On that fateful day, I was so immersed in my work that I wanted to finish editing some of the
stories before having lunch. Then, just as I later set the food on the table I heard Abrefi shout loudly outside, “Eiii, Eiii we just learned he died last night in his sleep.”
Being so curious, I hurried outside to find out who it was, only to be informed that you were the person. In fact, when the former News Editor, Mr. Francis Xah also called about five minutes later to deliver the same tragic news to me over the phone, I was still in disbelief and suggested that it might be a different Castro, but he insisted that the police had reported the news to him.
Later, your family’s assurance that you have actually passed on to glory served as conclusive evidence.
I was very baffled by this development because you were robust when you reported to work the day before.
Indeed, your sudden demise is a proof that our lives are like a vapour that briefly emerges before dissipating. It is now clear to me why you insisted that a profile you wrote be published on the last Saturday before your
Castro, you had a strong commitment to New Times Corporation, particularly The Spectator. You were a diligent person who did not take kindly to young reporters when they made mistakes. You were dedicated, had a sense of humour and spoke your opinion at editorial meetings.
When addressing me, you would always say “My Sister,” to which I would respond, “My Brother.” You frequently inquired about my family’s well-being, particularly my young son, who shares your daughter’s name, Blessing.
I got the impression from our personal interactions that you were extremely outspoken
and unpredictable, therefore I was very diplomatic in relating to you to avoid any confrontation.
We would have wished that you stayed longer but God has His own plan for you.
In the inky fraternity, we have indeed lost a gem.
My brother, rest peacefully in the Lord’s bosom.
From Ernest Nutsugah
If I was going to write anything, I thought it would have been your personality profile when you retire from active service from the New Times Corporation.
I would have carefully detailed your wealth of experience and everything I learnt working with you. But now, you’ve ‘retired’ in an unceremonious way, and here I am writing a tribute.
I called you ‘Senior’ not only because you were ahead of me on the job, but it was also about the expertise you introduced in writing your own scripts and in editing those of junior writers.
You would explain why you were making a correction and why I shouldn’t repeat the same ‘mistake’ another time. You gave credit, where necessary, and occasionally shared jokes about news stories and anything that piqued your interest.
In all of this, you expressed your opinions strongly and tried to always whip your team in line. You did your work meticulously but also sought the views of your ‘brothers and sisters.’
I can write a book starting from my first interaction with you at The Spectator Secretary’s office, and continue with your work ethics, good counsel, security tips, the grammar lessons (which I still violate sometimes) as well as your overt love for all kinds of music.
You showed concern in everything to the extent that when I forgot my Samsung phone at the office one Tuesday evening (in my haste to catch a train home), you picked up the phone and virtually chased me to the train station so I can have it.
You picked key words in the stories I wrote and used them as my nicknames. I also did the same, and you’ll always laugh at me anytime I passed by your office to sing “Hey Alhaji…”
You showed respect but you were not a walkover. You always stood your ground and would often encourage the team to keep going when things got tough.
In the last few months before I ended my duties at The Spectator newsroom, you kept telling me how you plan to buy me a smock from the North when you make another trip to your hometown.
I didn’t know why you insisted on ‘appreciating’ me, although I told you not to bother yourself that much. Hearing news about your sudden demise, barely a month after I signed off with you, is something I am still trying to come to terms with.
It has now dawned on me that you were planning an ‘eternal trip’ up North but refused to say that to me in plain language. You’ve pulled a fast one on me, Senior! And it is very unusual of you to leave without notice.
Keep resting well, and I’m sure you’re editing this script with your red pen.
FROM: Godwin Ofosu-Acheampong (Pepeni)
It is never easy for me to say good bye ‘Koo Mooshie’ as I affectionately called you with your response ‘Koo Pepeni.’ It hurts so much that you are gone, my best friend in NTC.
We had our good and bad moments and never did we ‘let the sun go down on our anger’ over any misunderstanding between us.
You were a true friend; you left your footprints in the ‘Times’ yard especially at the gate at 5pm where you would usually say “I can one day be assigned to become a security officer so I’m practising.”
The day before your departure, we were the last to leave the yard. We enjoyed our time together, discussing our plans for the following day. However, we must remember that we cannot challenge the will of God. As the saying goes, ‘Man plans, God decides.’
You were loved by all that came into contact with you.
May the Lord keep you safe and sound. Da yie. Tribute by Michael D. Abayateye
Your dedication to duty and quest to beat deadlines was a huge inspiration to me as I admired your strength and ability to navigate tough times.
You always met me with an infectious smile and never missed asking, “My brother, how are you doing?” It was devastating to hear the news of your demise on the morning of Tuesday, August 1 since I always looked forward to that usual greetings and particular show of concern for my wellbeing.
You were a strong person who did not only fight for your rights but that of others and ensured you defended people even in their absence.
You were principled and believed that everyone should be treated fairly since we were all working for the same objectives.
On this day of solemn reflections, we could only take the opportunity to remind ourselves of the essence of life; love, honesty and compassion to all.
We will do our best not to fill our hearts with pain and sorrow but remember the joy, the laughter and the smiles we shared; with the hope that you only left to rest in the bosom of the Almighty.
Mr Castro Zangina-Tong left a huge vacuum that could hardly be filled and we would only wish that you REST IN PEACE. God be with you till we meet again! Tribute to Castro by Francis Xah, former News Editor
Castro was a man of many parts. The two of us adopted a parlance ‘Only the legs of the fowl’ as a greeting in the office because of his dislike for cheating.
The big men deserve a whole food, then we the down trodden also deserve at least the legs of the fowl, for our survival.
He was also noted for his very insightful proverbs ‘Every prostitute was once a virgin’ to demonstrate why society should not be too hard on these ladies because most of them were driven into that trade by economic hardship they faced.
Even though you are gone, we shall miss you sorely. Your thorough attention to details and grammar for stories would also be remembered for a very long time.
Castro, fare thee well in the bossom of the Lord, until we all meet again to greet each other with ‘Only the legs of the fowl.’
Tribute of Uncle Castro by Portia Hutton-Mills
I’ve been trying to come up with something to say for days; I wish we could talk about both domestic and international politics and security. I wish it were more like the frequent questions I asked you (such as, “Uncle, have you heard the latest on the international front, or Uncle, there’s fire on the mountain”). You see, Uncle, because of your passing, I must now refer to you in the past tense.
Your untimely passing demonstrates, among other things, that nobody can predict which year, month, day, hour, minute, or even second would be their last.
I still remember your comment on the story I wrote when the former Editor of The Spectator, Mr Emmanuel Amponsah, retired: “Naa, this is a perfect story.”
And when I suggested the headline for your very last story, “Andy Osei Okrah shows the way to transformational leadership,” you were so much in love with it. I remember the smile on your face and the passion. To my surprise, you even followed up to have that story designed. Maybe you were giving us a sign…
The next Monday, we had snack together while working and carried on our usual discussion of politics and security. I should have stayed back so that we could converse more but I was unaware that our time together was to be our last.
Then, on Tuesday afternoon, I received a call informing me of your passing. We had a lot to discuss because, as you can see, its election season, and we had some plans, but you are no longer here.
You know, one of the things I appreciated about you was the manner in which you brought up your kids. Though I have encountered hundreds of kids and I am able to discern each one’s own personality, I have never encountered a girl as respectful and polite as your daughter, Blessing.
Even though you were a kind person who cared about everyone’s problems, you never displayed any signs of distress and you never brought it up in conversation. I’m lost for words right now, so I just have to ask: what happened to you on that tragic morning of August 1?
Rest well Uncle…
RIBUTE to Castro Zangina-Tong by Herty
“For none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. (Roman 14:7-9)
My heart is filled with grief at the shocking news of the departure of my beloved Castro Zangina-Tong. The news was devastating and unbelievable.
Naturally, when a loved one dies, we are engulfed in darkness, fear, hopelessness, despair and anxiety. This was the state I found myself when I heard of the sudden death of my dear Uncle Castro, on the morning of Tuesday, August 1, 2023.
Uncle Castro, my colleague and friend, why so soon? Why have you left me in the dark? I will never forget the jokes we shared together.
Despite my pain and disappointment about this big loss, I give thanks to God for having you as my beloved friend.
In my grief and despair, I am consoled by the fact that Castro was a good and honest person, hence God will grant him eternity. He was a very tough personality, courageous and upheld the truth. He was fair and spiritual.
From dusk to dawn, I will forever hear you whispering on honesty and righteousness. Your good deeds and kind-heartedness would never be forgotten.
Uncle Castro, you lived an exemplary life and I pray that God will have mercy on your soul and welcome you into His bosom. Uncle Castro, rest on.
Fare thee well.
By Raymond Kyekye
When confronted with an unexpected news, one is tempted to ask myriad of questions as to why certain things happen in life. This was exactly my state of mind when l received the news that Mr Castro Zangina-Tong was no more. Though death is destined to come at God’s appointed time, Castro’s has taken us by surprise and some of us are still pondering over this unfortunate news.
He was meticulous in carrying out his job, punctual, quick to point out loopholes or mistakes in stories, very particular about the choice of words used, and staying late to work in the office became a compulsion. Castro referred to me as a brother, a close confidant and we maintained that cordial relationship and mutual respect for each other. We shared moments of joy, sadness and plans about the future. He was unpredictable, hence the need to be extremely careful with the sort of questions to pose to him at a particular time.
In moments of joy, you can’t begrudge Castro singing popular reggae songs of the legendary Bob Marley. A classmate of his intimated that Castro’s ardent love for reggae music influenced him to develop a strong love for reggae. The long period he spent as a court correspondent availed him the opportunity to know some renowned crime officers, and as a result he was able to get good stories for publication.
We find it difficult to comprehend how lively he was on the last day he spent in the office. The way he conducted himself still leaves many confounded. Following the death of his wife a couple of months ago, he remained a dependable pillar for his children and we admired the close bond of love which existed between them over the period. He was very outspoken and always determined not to be cowed by threats or any sign of intimidation no matter the personality.
My Brother, as we part company today, l pray that God, the arbiter of our lives, keep your soul safe, pardon your infirmities and grant you peaceful rest. Amen.
Tribute by George Obeng Osei
I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to my dedicated news editor. Your commitment to ensuring accurate, timely, and engaging news coverage has been instrumental in keeping our readers informed and engaged. Your tireless effort behind the scenes, coordinating stories and editing has contributed immensely in making New Times Corporation stand out.
In less than a year of knowing you, I can confidently proclaim that you are truly exceptional despite your unpredictable character. Mr Obeng or 50 billion dollars as you affectionately called me has soon come to an end.
I never anticipated that our journey together would end so soon. As a National Service person, your guidance to plan for the future meant the world to me. You treated me like a son, giving me your unwavering support and care.
I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for everything you have done for me. Your death will continue to be a blast from the past to me.
May the good Lord grant you a peaceful and perfect rest.