The brother of Raphael Dwamena talks about death of former Black Stars striker

Samuel wears a pair of slippers, jeans, a cap, and a shirt from the German side FC Bayern Munich, one of his two favorite clubs. He also has a passion for Chelsea. He would have loved to see his brother play for the “Blues” someday.

But that won’t happen. His brother collapsed in mid-November during a football match in Albania, and passed away shortly after in the ambulance. The brother was Raphael Dwamena (†28). Former La Liga striker, eight-time Ghanaian international player, once a celebrated star – with a tragic course of life and career.

Since Raphael’s death, the world hasn’t been the same for Samuel. “I saw my brother die through my phone screen,” he says, sitting on the stands next to the pitch where Raphael Dwamena’s funeral took place a month ago.

Samuel speaks of his brother, but that’s only half true: Samuel and Raphael share the same mother but not the same father. This difference doesn’t matter to the 20-year-old; his grief remains the same. “You can’t imagine what it feels like, and you don’t want to,” he says. His voice becomes quieter, it breaks. A tear rolls down his cheek, he buries his face in his hands, he needs a break.

Today, he’s doing okay – considering the circumstances, he says. Death was just God’s plan, he and his family have to accept that now, says Samuel, who, like his brother, has a strong faith.

He hopes that God has a plan for him too. He hopes for a career in Europe. “It was my big dream to play on the field with Raphael one day and give him an assist,” he admits with a smile.

Although he’s already 20, older than many other football talents in the country, he wants to make it to Europe. “I’ve even considered changing my age. Many do that.” That this could not only be illegal but also morally reprehensible is less of a matter: “Look. I believe in God, and God says you should always be honest. But sometimes in life, you just have to grab your chance.”

According to Samuel, Raphael himself never thought much of the idea of changing the age. He preferred to motivate his younger brother to perform better on the field, even paying a personal trainer to coach him. Currently, Samuel is without a club, keeping himself fit in private. “Raphael wanted to bring me to a third-division team here. But that didn’t work out.” Now, Samuel hopes that maybe one of Raphael’s old clubs will reach out to him.

Due to family circumstances, the Dwamena brothers only got to know each other late in life. “We met once or twice before he went to Europe.“ Only after he left, their relationship became closer: “Whenever he was in Ghana, he called me. We often spent time together, went out to eat, or just talked,” says the young man. He seems a bit more composed by now.

Raphael Dwamena cared about his family in West Africa, sending money monthly for clothes, food, and other necessities.

“Raphael even wanted to build us a small house here. He was going to start the plans in December.” Samuel doesn’t know what happened to Raphael’s money that was earned during his career.

It probably remains with his widow, who, although she also lives in Ghana, he says she doesn’t call the family anymore. “It doesn’t make me angry, just sad. I’m a Christian, I don’t feel any hate. God will judge one day. She knows what she did.”

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