Tunde Asaju: Death be not proud


Cousin Tunde Asaju gives his eulogy to Pius Photo copyright Black Ottawa Scene

Death Be Not Proud 

Alagemon tíì ṣe jẹjẹ ikú pa
Beletase ọpọlọ tí njan’ra rẹ mọ́lẹ̀ kolọ́jọ́ ó tó de
Odaju niku, ikú níkà nnun, ikú rorò pupọ jọjọ
Ikose m’ẹja kako ẹja ó nantan mọ

 Ọpọlọ ìí dédé nankáàka lásán ọlọ́jọ́ lo de
Bí  ó  bá  sì Ikú ,  ewúr é  ó gbọ́dọ̀ wọṣọ
N’jọ  ewúré bá  wọṣọ ọbẹ̀  nii da

Gbogbo èèyàn ló moni wípé ó gbajumọ ju ọlá lọ 
Ìgbà òní sì kú a gbẹlẹ lààtàn 
Ọlá wá ń sunkún ojú feere Ọlá ó dáké mon
A bí wọ́n titi pè kí ló ṣerúu wọn 
Ní wón ní ba ti sìnkú Òní laa sìnkú Ola
Lomije fií bo lójú wọn
Ọ daja nija
Ẹni ijamba ó bá bá nii pera rẹ l’ọkunrin
Beeni gbongbongbon ni kan l’oro omo amoke 

Bẹẹni kii kan ni ka yẹri orin Ogundare Foyanmu[1]


Death Be Not Proud[2] – A Eulogy in celebration of Professor Pius Adebola Adesanmi

Mr Death,

I hope you are watching in 7D, the events you have triggered by plucking an unripe fruit – Pius Adebola Adesanmi. If you had been conscious of the global ripples of your actions, you would have excused our dear Adebola.

If he was larger than life in real life, you would have seen that you’ve transformed him into a phenom, an enigma, the unsolved riddle that is now toasted from coast, to coast, to coast. We are saddened but not grieving, we’re diminished but not crushed, heavy but not lonesome, bent but unbroken.

Pius Adébolá Adesanmi was born to Mama Lois Adesanmi and Baba Joshua Olorundare Adesanmi in Isanlu, Yagba East local government area of Kogi State 47 years exactly on February 27, 2019. He is the younger brother of Iyabo Maria and Roseline Atinuke.

In Yagba land, a son is born to take over the heirloom. That is why no Yagba father addresses his son as Junior. Our culture envisage our children to be greater than us, go to the places we’ve never been carrying the family honour on each victory lap as they scale their Olympian heights.

Raising Yagba children is the core duty of every adult who would gleefully grant a corrective conk, a slap or the bitter flogging of uncovered legs. In spite of that spontaneous correction, the Yagba child dreads confronting parents for the double portion of the community beating. If you’ve seen childhood pictures of Adebola, you would have noticed that he had no flesh to withstand lashes, so he addressed himself to studying and making the best grades. As I recall, Adebola would wear the mournful look for scoring 95%. He was constantly in search of the hidden treasures of knowledge like a hungry lion searching for prey. His life was spent in the search for wisdom and its impartation on others. He mentored even those who are older than him.

He challenged mediocrity whether in the society or in people with better potentials. He was as much the corrupt politician’s nightmare as he was of the uncritical masses, including his own followers. He berated the shitstem that lavished resources on the privileged few while impoverishing the masses.

He exhibited unparalleled love for Africa and its development and despised social, political and religious parasites that are responsible for its stagnation.

He was religious without being fundamental. He craved prayers at every step of his ladder of success and especially before each flight. I am not surprised that with six and a half minutes left on earth, he was in silent meditation. That led him to post Psalm 139: 9,10 the sermon that reminds us that those who plan to seek God at the eleventh hour sometimes die at 10:59.

We have come to celebrate the life of Pius Adebola Adesanmi who stretched more mileage in 47 years than most people pack into a hundred. He broke rules but not laws. He questioned conventions, challenged logic and strived towards perfection. He shunned ostentation, was an epitome of modesty; he saw humanity, not colour, race or creed. He was so down to earth he cherished his Naija accent.

The gangling boy who as an undergraduate would not date girls as if they carried a deadly virus of distraction later became a passionate romantic. He could have ended up being a priest and he was a priest of love; the husband of Olumuyiwa Balogun and the doting father of Oluwadamilare and Oluwatise.

Mama Adesanmi usually chants his Oriki to her grandchildren –

Daun wa da,

Ẹhajare daun wada tim rí ọ,

daun wá dà.

Tunde Asaju
Ottawa, March 16


[1] Ojogbon Ogundare Foyanmu was a Nigerian hunter/poet of the Ijala genre. He was born in Ogbomoso, Oyo State. These excerpts were taken from one of his recorded albums knowns as Orin Mess and devoted to Death.

[2] Death Be Not Proud was the title of one of Metaphysical poet/prophet John Donne’s poems.

Pin It

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *