Later on, this morning, being the 23rd of June 2017, we lay to rest an enigma in our lives – the legend called Richard Quist aka the UK’s own USHER or Q or DANCING LEG amongst the several other nicknames he has attached to his persona.
Our friendship dates back to the early 90s and Richard was that friend who will call in the late nights or early morning just to check up and then tease me about the old times. Awwww, the waves of laughter, the gossips, the business chats, the travel stories, the dreams, the pains and hopes …
The last FaceTime we had was when he was in Ghana before his birthday 21st April and we talked about crap as usual then onto life talks of which we laughed about the usual Ghana and Nigeria jokes including the ever-popular competition of the infamous jollof rice: Q, you were supposed to dine with me at 805 restaurant which never happened but I promise you that I will go and eat that jollof rice in your honour with a glass of Hennessey as you did in that photo you sent us all on your birthday whilst in Ghana.
It’s hard to really define Richard and what he was to each individual who made contact with him thus to claim him as a friend, associate, a close friend or even best friend would be difficult to quantify as he made each and everyone feel like he was their best friend and vice versa. He was that brother, confidante, leaning shoulder, club partner, fashion adviser, babysitter, gist-partner, drinking partner, travel companion, comforter, listener, encourager, motivator, ideal sharer and the list goes on… It was hard to be angry with Richard or for him to be angry or bear a grudge with someone; you just couldn’t as that smile just melted you and the bear hug will take over and eradicate any previous tension held.
Richard was the sort of person who was like a magnet to people especially the ladies. I sometimes used to wonder what was his charm – whether it was his smile or dance or soft voice or selfless nature or eccentric fashion or that hair. Hence the name – smooth charmer became one of his nicknames. Each lady he met melted under his charm and that was his selling point, but at the same time, he was our voice of reason when it came to relationship talks packed with wisdom, encouragement and motivation.
Richard was the one that always got us into a party whenever we gate-crashed and got kicked out. His smooth talk always saved the day or should I say ‘night-crawls’ that we undertook back in the early 90s and we sure left an impression afterwards that we always got invited back to the next party being held – all thanks to the Q-Man. Those days, we used to party 6-days a week then back to school or work and back for the hook-up again that evening. And I must say, we excelled in our studies and work but the friendships formed cannot and will never be broken. There was the clubs or venues of which exclusive membership was given without being asked for just because we were Richie’s friends:
Corks Wine Bar – Handover Grand – Ten Rooms – Subterrania – Southport – Ion Bar – Villa Stefano – Festac Bar – Bootleggers – Gulliver’s – Moonlighting – Hippodrome – Hammersmith Palais – Oasis / Woody’s – And much more to mention…
You were the soul and life of the Notting Hill Carnival with your special concoction drink which was lethal to others but you had that drink like a pro on which people often wondered what you had in it.
Richard has the warmest and tightest hugs which was called the bear hug. Even if he just met you for the first time, he always gave a hug which was his way of bonding with the person. He was never too tired to pick up the phone to check up on those he loved and always had a way to uplift one’s spirit and make them smile. He was always positive even when things were not going well with him. He always saw the good in people and was the eternal optimist always going the extra mile for people. He was a protector for those who were his friends aka sistas and you dare not mess with them when Richard and the boys were around.
What comes to mind about Richard especially during conversations was his favourite words or slang:
- ‘Everything will work out’
- ‘Everything was ‘sexy’ to him’
- ‘Yeah right’
- ‘You can do it’
- ‘This wouldn’t happen in Ghana’
- ‘Yeah Man – That’s my Boy, didn’t you know’
- ‘It’s not your fault’ – his favourite phrase…
The one thing which made Richard grow up was his kids – he loved Naima and Bailey with all his being and was so proud of them. Every time, we all met up – he was always on the lookout for what the kids will like and ensured that whenever he travelled especially to Ghana – he brought back African clothing for them and other artefacts. They were his pride and joy and reason for wanting to leave an amazing cultural legacy for them which he has and will continue for ages to come.
To summarise Richie: a true friend will always be there; always there in the good times and times of need. Richie – thanks for being that quiet voice and shoulder, was always there when I needed you and even when I didn’t. That day that you left will forever linger in my mind but I am honoured and proud to have known you and you will forever be in my heart. Love you Q, my Usher, My Friend …
So to our soldier, Richard A Quist aka Q: We Salute You, Bro!!!
Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady ©