By Oludare Lasisi
(In Memory of Waheed Bakare, Saturday Editor, New Telegraph).
This life is a complex web of mysteries and this particular COVID-19 era in history is not going to be a sweet memory in many hearts for many years to come.It is a global tragedy.
For more than 2 months, a strange virus from a remote village in China suddenly transformed itself into a global police officer as it continues to torment the whole universe without remorse.
It’s like a frustrated hen who suddenly landed on a rope, this feathery creature’s body is not aching and the rope is not feeling any strain or stress.(Adiye ba lookun, ara orokun, ara oro adiye).
The death of Waheed Bakare in Lagos came to me as a rude shock because we were both founding members of UCJ(Union of Campus Journalists) during our Unilorin days. We vibrated and entertained the mini-campus with our pens in the 1990s.
Campus journalism was even one of the bogus reasons for my unlawful expulsion from the University of Ilorin in 1996 during the Abacha military dictatorship. The rest is now history. Perfect peace for this brilliant gentleman with the heart of gold.
Some years ago, I was so happy when he told me of his new appointment as a weekend editor of a national newspaper in Nigeria. He even wanted me to work as a freelance foreign correspondent for the newspaper.
Death just plucked away a brilliant Nigerian writer! We are still mourning the death of Brother Olatunji K Ayoola JP and now Waheed Bakare also travelled to the great beyond. But why?
To die during this pandemic is not funny with social distancing regulations to curb the spread of this strange virus. Friends, colleagues, and relations cannot even pay their last respect.
I always think about death on a regular basis because nobody is above or below death. Every soul created by God must taste the bitter pills of death. That’s a sure banker.
Our good deeds and kindness to fellow human beings while on earth shall surely become the true companions in our lonely graves, coming to us as food, water, fresh air, and good friends. That’s my own philosophy of life.
Nobody knows tomorrow of anybody, and nobody knows the next victim of an angel of death. Death is a constant reminder that all human beings are temporary visitors to this sinful world.
We all crave longevity in good health, abundant wealth, peace of mind, and wisdom but it depends on the discretion of the Supreme Commander of the whole universe.
In my own little way, I always try to share my wealth and knowledge with people around me (both online and offline) despite personal challenges, at least if death comes anytime, I shall be remembered by many lives I touched. That’s the hard truth. No long story. No argument. No controversy.
This is beyond of blowing one’s trumpet or an act to provoke sick haters to bang heads on Olumo rock but a matter of personal conviction. Only God can judge me, not “Alabosian” human beings.
The modern English poet(T.S Eliot) once said, “Not everything can go wrong but birth and death must surely go round.”
Waheed, words failed me today because I don’t know how best to weave consoling words for my troubled heart. You died before your 50th birthday!
Shame on death! Shame on death! Shame on death!
My dear brother, with tears in my eyes, move from earth to earth and to the deepest of the earth. We shall always miss you among the Unilorin Alumni Association.
To be honest, I cannot advise you not to swallow centipedes and millipedes because I don’t know of any available heavenly food but I am very sure your good deeds shall surely put you in a comfortable position as you meet your Creator.
Waheed, sun re ooo, iku dooro, iku seka o mu eni ire lo.
May God expands the graves of all our departed friends, colleagues, former school mates, and relations, overlook their earthly sins and open the gates of paradise for them. Amen.
*Dare Lasisi, former Commonwealth Journalist writes from the UK University of the year, University of Strathclyde, Faculty of Science, Department of Computer & Information sciences, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.