Saturday 13 February 2021

A very befitting farewell

Learning new things

My thoughts have been contained in the events of the past few days surrounding the sending off and interment of a remarkably great man and my father’s best friend from childhood, Otunba Gabriel Ogunjimi Taiwo, who passed on in early November 2020.

Blog - The Vulture died of a ripe old age

The benefit of modern technology has allowed many of us who would have wanted to participate in honouring him with our presence to share in the moments with live broadcasts on Facebook. There are times we could have been swept into the situation and overcome with emotions it entails.

The traditions and the ceremony also revealed to me how somehow foreign everything seemed to me, it is like there has been a fundamental shift in these ceremonies from the solemnity I once knew that greets the preparations, the Service of Songs, the wake keeping, and the funerary rites to the outward flamboyance with performing pallbearers and much else.

Exhausted by spectacle

I could not begin to think of the energy and resolve of my friends in organising this feat whilst shouldering the broadest spectrum of feelings from sorrow through gratitude and joy of a life more than worthy of celebration, I, watching from afar, was exhausted that I feared whether I might ever have such strength.

My father gave a speech at the wake yesterday, he must feel the great loss of a friendship with the likelihood that in a quiet place, he could have let go of his emotions, it is a situation we cannot begin to fully understand apart from giving him support, consideration, and love.

For now and later

Then much as I want to be miffed about the untrammelled insatiable appetite of the clergy who steward our village church for donations, gifts, commitments, and other largesse after all that these men from their youth have contributed to the Ijesha-Ijebu community, using every opportunity to inveigle, plead, and entreat ever so unashamedly and blatantly, I will leave that to another time. Calmness and diplomacy demand that out of respect for our patriarch, we bring to a close the essential as it is needful.

Folusho, Niyi, and siblings, you have done well and done proud the legacy of your dad. May his soul rest in peace and the fond memories of his extraordinary life fill you with hope, strength, and grace into the future. Ẹkú Àẹ̀hìndè bàbá, jọ́ á jìnà síra. Gbérè!

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