July 23, 2024

A year after the devastating incidents in Turkey that ultimately and unfortunately led to death, the wife, sister, and agent of late Ghanaian footballer, Christian Atsu, have opened up on how they have been dealing with the demise of their beloved.

Christiana Twasam, Nana Sechere, and Marie Claire-Rupio, who is the surviving spouse of Christian Atsu, told UK-based The Athletic about how they have been coping with losing someone who was integral in their respective lives.

Christiana Twasam told a story of how the uncertainty surrounding his disappearance and death affected her and how the family made strenuous efforts to find him.

“When I got there, I was devastated because I thought no one was going to survive in that building,” says Christiana, recalling the sight of the collapsed Renaissance Residence five-star block where Christian was. Hatayspor’s sporting director Taner Savut was also in the wreckage.

“We would call out his name,” says Christiana. “The rescuers would alert us if they sensed a life, then bring out the body and you’d be asked to verify if it was someone you knew. It broke my heart when you saw a body bag coming — it was going to be your own relative or not,” she says. “We were like a family around the fire in the evening. When someone verified their relative and broke down, it reminded you that one day you would too.”

Nana Sechere, the agent of Christian Atsu spoke about a few moments when they received some hope that they were going to find him and hopefully alive.

“I spotted a shoe that looked very much like Christian’s through the legs of one of the search team,” says Nana. “He threw it over to me and it was one of his Yeezy trainers. We found the other one from the pair soon after, and it told us we were looking in the right place.”

After days of combing through the wreckage in search of their relative, who was mostly known for his philanthropic works, the bad news was finally delivered after a call came in the night where they were sleeping in tents and cars that a body had been located. Unfortunately for them, the said body was Atsu.

“Two officials took us to a body bag lying on the floor,” he says. “We had seen so many, that even before they were opened (we knew they) weren’t the right shape or size for Christian. But I could tell by the shape of it that it was Christian. We saw him and we broke down.”

It has been a year since the missing of Christian Atsu was announced following an earthquake in Turkey. The former Black Stars player was trapped under the rubble for about three days before he was found lifeless on February 8, 2023.

The full story is available here; https://theathletic.com/5224269/2024/02/05/christian-atsu-family-footballer-earthquake/?source=emp_shared_article

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