That morning, I woke up to a text. “How is your daddy in Abuja?” it read, he’s fine I casually replied. Then she wrote, go home, daddy is ill.
I wasn’t worried because I saw you the night before, you told me you were happy at the way I was turning out and you believed in my plans and passion. You were convinced that I had what it takes to change the world.
I remember we talked about old age, and how after your magnificent achievements, you thought the best reward in life was growing old and grey, with your children and grandchildren to the third generation all around.
I know, we had several random conversations and you seriously tried to keep up and not judge my “new age” ideas. I remember we talked about the things I thought were possible and how the world was going to change drastically in a few years, Uncle, it’s happening. Things are changing and I wish you were here to say “ITUNU O MA TI N SELE KE?”
You had a personality that was larger than life itself, an amazing eloquence only comparable to that of the gods and of course Your heart was so big, the whole of Usi could live in it comfortably and we’d have room for people from Ilogbo and probably Ifaki.
I heard stories of you as a child, the way you loved our family even before we were born. I grew up wrapped up in that love; a constant reminder that “Daddy Oyeobu” was there and nothing could go wrong. I believed and still believe in the unconventionality of my future goals because you were there and I am secure in my difference because you made it easy to be Human.
You were a great influence to my humanity and now, uncle, I am a woman who doesn’t see colour, race, sexuality or creed remove the labelled veil and show me your humanity.
I hope you are proud of me.
You showed me that a person could have strength of character and yet be humane and empathetic.
I am sorry, I didn’t learn enough in that regard. I still struggle with empathy and I still would rather be respected than loved.
I remember that valentine’s day. I yapped on about not caring for such commercialised show of affection that lacked depth and significance, you looked at me as though I had lost my mind. You saw the importance of love, I still don’t. I want to learn.
Yes, I have made this about myself because I am angry. I couldn’t mourn you, I am angry death took you away from me (us). I am angry that my mother’s Christmas chicken lies there on the table and you’re not there to fake- steal it. I am angry that you’re not there to join my father when he argues with my mother about how his excessive meat consumption is healthy.
I am angry that I didn’t hug you good bye, I was in a hurry to get to the embassy. I am angry that mummy lost you that way, she loved you. I am angry that I never got to bond with my younger cousin. I love her but cannot tell her because I’d be the weirdo who’s over reaching.
I am angry because Iku ba ola je, o so ileola di ahoro. Your once robust life became something I couldn’t recognize. Unrecognizable doesn’t begin to describe it.
Uncle, I went to Gwarimpa until it was no more. I read some of your books, sat in your room and just reminisced about what a great man you were.
I wish I had monopoly of these thoughts and feelings, it would make me feel special, unfortunately, I do not. You impacted lives like a mini Jesus. Humane to a fault.
I hold memories of you dear and I haven’t felt a loss so deep in my entire life.
Thank You for making me human.
I wish you were here to see me now, I want mummy to make interesting comments about my make-up and hey! I would love above everything else to dance “moves like Jagger” with Seun just one more time.