Nigerian Teacher Writes Wole Soyinka’s Obituary, Seeks To Meet Him Before Death

Nigerian Teacher Writes Wole Soyinka’s Obituary, Seeks To Meet Him Before Death


Fawaz Adebisi



Okoemu Okoemu Okoemu, a Nigerian teacher at at Ufua Memorial Catholic Education Centre Uromi, Edo State has written an obituary for a Nigerian Noble Laurette, Prof Wole Soyinka, even when he’s not dead.


The teacher, in his write-up, titled ‘Rest In Peace To A Iconic Legend- Professor Wole Soyinka’, expressed sadness, as he eulogized the professor for leaving a great impact on Nigerian youth.


However, he said the only painful part of Soyinka’s death is that he(Okoemu) didn’t fulfill his wish of meeting the icon.


Okoemu also praised the Nigerian author, as he said that on a local and global scale, Soyinka has organized numerous protests against injustices and poor leadership.


He wrote, “It is not sad but a thing of great joy to have a great man of Soyinka’s calibre passed on at this critical moment in the history of mankind. It is a privilege for me personally to send out this epistle in honour of this maverick icon. It is unfortunate that you are no more but it good, for one who laboured needs rest, eternal rest. And so I say at this point, ‘eterna rest grant unto Professor Wole Soyinka, and let perpetual light shine upon him; may the soul of Wole Soyinka and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen!


“Here is a man who has put his freedom on the line, for an entire nation and continent, a man who has risked his life for nations. Save to say, to save the deaths and genocides that was uncalled for in Nigeria many years ago, Wole was thrown into the gallows in chains and manacles. A man who was chased and declared wanted, dead or alive by the Sani led military government – an event that pushed him into exile for years because he stood against the tyranny of the government at the time. Wole has always been that man who fought for the masses even most people seemed not to acknowledge such rare benevolence.


“Wole has led series of protest against injustices and inept leadership both on local and international scale. At this juncture, the man who has been running this odious race of life for humanity has been called home to come and rest by Orisa his maker. I am at peace because Wole transited in his sleep, a thing we all prayed for. I am grateful that my prayers was answered because the gratest pain of my life would have been to see the old Wole after all the suffering and struggles for humanity which were all selflessly rendered would suffer again the intoxicating atmosphere of the hospital ward, and forced to the uncomfortable dieting on drugs, surgery and injections. As Kenny Roger rightly sang, ‘the best thing to hope for is die in your sleep.’ So this is my consolation that Wole died in his sleep.”


“My only pain in your passing on to glory is the fact that my life-time wish has suffered still-birth which was to meet with a sage like Wole Soyinka, I had so desired to meet with you. It is a fact that nearly everyone mourn the dead, this is so, not because we are not pleased by the passing on to glory of such person but so much so that his departure has caused a vacuum in our lives. Wole Soyinka has been one of the very few sources of inspiration to me, strength, courage and hope. I have always been excited whenever I find myself talking about his greatness among people. It is such a thing of joy when friends listened to me talked about this man as if I have lived with him.”


However, in his words, he disclosed that he had made efforts to become someone like Wole Soyinka.


He wrote, “To be frank, I had wished and made efforts to take Wole Soyinka’s place, to be the one to take the bartton from him. This unfortunately didn’t materialize even though I have tried to get published few times. I wanted this enigma live with the fulfilment of seeing Okoemu doing the arts especially, the writings.


“Even this I will always mourn never having the opportunity of sitting or standing with him which could have been an achievement for me in it self, I am consoled that I have had the privilege to live with this sage through the universe of books- his books.


“Professor Wole Soyinka, my master, my Lord, has been the brightest star in the gallery, the sun that gives life. You might not always agree with him, you just have no choice but to love, admire and respect him. Rest in perfect peace great one!”


He therefore said he wrote this to let the Noble Laurette know how much he loves him, saying “this is what I have to say when your day shall come to depart. I don’t have to wait to say it when you shall not be the one to hear or see it.”


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