Of Death and Friendship
This is by way of tribute to an old classmate in SS3B who passed into eternal glory of recent.
Man is a spirit who has a soul and dwells in a body. Therefore, man does not die. We only translate from our earthen vessel(human body) into eternity. As christians, we have hope that we shall see again on another side of this divide. If death was the end of us, we would have been of all men, most miserable. This is why our earthly existence matters alot and is actually a preparation towards eternity. We are all moving towards the end, either by rapture or by death.
Unfortunately, some live in this world like they have no hope. They carry on as if this world is the final stage, yeah, which is why they continue to amass limitless wealth, build mansions on earth, fickle in thoughts and imaginations, vain etc
Like the good book says “Lord, make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, what is; that i may know how frail i am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth;and my age is as nothing before thee:verily every man at his best state is ALTOGETHER VANITY, selah.
In SS3B, about fourteen years ago, i knew him to be a gentle, unassuming and cool-headed guy. We never talked, not even for once that i can remember. But he was a significant part of that class. I dont know why we never talked though, because at least i was friendly enough with most of the dudes in my class, even the most gentle ones like Theophilus Ajiro, Tiamiyu Olawumi and another guy they nicknamed ‘valency'(we were all together in uni except for Ajiro). I had a good enough rapport with the Seuns'(Falade and Morawo), Sesan Akinwale, Kayode Obilaja, Oscar Stanley and others.
I had met Kayode Obilaja at Aleshinloye market, Ibadan where i went to buy a suit for my final year defence. He was in the market for the same purpose and even though in a hurry to make it back to school(Covenant Uni) where he took exit, he still followed me from shop to shop and helped me select what he termed as ‘trendy’ after trying on few ones. So, i settled for the ‘trendy one’ based on his word. I was very happy to have met him on that day and he played a big bro role(chuckling). He’s still my padi. A very fashionable dude.
Morawo’s chair was directly behind mine in SS3B(i think so) while Sesan’s was behind Bisi Martins, maybe Niyi Jegede’s was behind Jibola Ogungbile’s chair. I cant remember who sat behind Aanu. That memory is kind of foggy but i sure remember that those dudes formed a row behind us(jibola, aanu olowolafe, bisi martins, yetunde, nike winjobi, seun koleosho in that order). Remind me if am wrong though.
According to Morawo’s blog/tribute, yes, i noticed Jegede Olaniyi because of his crush on a very fair, tall and graceful damsel with long hair(like mammy water..just kidding, lol but i envied that long hair if she must know)who was friends with Omolara Musbau(that’s another phenomenal babe), Tosin Fakuade(we were together in uni,too) and Bidemi Olaleye. He looked for every available means to talk to her. I saw them together a couple of times even though the damsel was unwilling by her body language. It was an open secret. Was there ever a secret on matters of the heart in SS3B? Nah! Code it all you like. And by the way, if you ever had a crush on me in SS3B, come out and tell me now o#shoutingontopofmyvoice#. I want to know you(ROTFL).
So, we all left school and some 10 or 11years later, i ran into Jegede in my church at Olaogun(the sword of the spirit ministries). Apart from Omolayo Diya(of SS3A) whom i regularly saw in church(she was in media and regularly carried the video camera and we both belonged to another unit), it was a surprise seeing Jegede Olaniyi too.
So i walked up to him on a sunday after service to say ‘hi’…but recognition didnt dawn on him. He said he couldnt recognise me. Yeah, i was shocked and embarassed. He even asked for my name(am laughing now) but we greeted warmly and went our different ways.
On another sunday, i noticed him among testifiers. He said he went to OAU, UI, Ajayi Crowther Uni etc but left. I didnt know he was sick at a time or the reason why he left those schools. But i saw a change in him. It was the change that really got me enthralled. He was more committed to God, i saw him regularly at church events and conventions asking questions from Bishop Oke. I stole several glances at him during praise/worship session to see how he danced. And i asked myself if it was really Jegede.
I left Ibadan after a while and didnt see him again until 2013 when he passed while i was at a friend’s shop in Kongi, Bodija. That was the last time i caught a glimpse of him physically. Then, again, i saw his facebook picture last year where he was bestman, still in ‘our’ church.
The news of his death hit me below the belt. It was a rude shock. Thank God i spoke to him when i did even though we were never friends in school. Thank God he knew God. Am hoping he made it HOME. Reading about him through Seun Morawo’s blog gave me an understanding of his person, his brilliance and tenacity. It was a good read. Thanks to Seun.
So, knowing that we all won’t be around forever, i have resolved to be friendlier, be genuinely interested in other people(yeah, people are going through stuffs). Most of us didnt even know the guy was sick.
I would always keep this in mind..that Life is a test, life is a trust, life is a temporary assignment, (according to the guy who wrote ‘purpose driven life’). Sleep on, Jegede Olaniyi, death isnt the end of you. Yeah, He has conquered death.
Yetunde Olasiyan(of SS3B, lol)
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