A friend sent me a text first: 'Did you hear that Sam Famakinwa died mysteriously in the North?'
There was something altogether too melodramatic about the text so I didnt give it much thought - or maybe it was that, as usual, I couldn't come to terms with the capacity of death to just ... kill. Kill faith, kill hope, kill life as we know it..
Although I have written for Thisday for about five years now, I have only been to the offices about three times and therefore do not know a lot of the people who I deal with almost every week. Samuel Famakinwa (he is known as a business journalism guru) I had only met over the phone, but like I joke with my friends, he is (was) one of the few Thisday Editors that don't have what I call the Thisday 'You're On Your Own' syndrome.
For the past two editions of the Thisday Music Festival for instance, he has been the one responsible for us at RedSTRAT getting tickets - and this even when he knows us only be reputation. And so it was just a few weeks ago that my friends met with him, spoke with him, gisted with him at the Le Meridien where the crew of the Festival stayed. And one of us even had a post-event meeting scheduled with him. And now he's ...dead.
And it turns out that text wasn't melodramatic: it's really one hell of a mysterious death.
To get a fuller gist of everything, you might want to read Simon Kolawole's (another one without the 'OYO' syndrome) palpably teary-eyed narration. It is convoluted in Kolawole's usual way, but the passion and his sincerity, as usual, comes through effectively.
What do we say to Death?
Only "Shame on you! You have done your worst! Whether you like it or not, Samuel Famakinwa lived a full life - and he will be missed."
P.S 1: By the way, there's something quite 'iffy' about the response of Samuel's employer to his death as narrated by Simon Kolawole. I dont know ... maybe it's just me. Hear this:
"Immediately, I called my chairman, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, to inform him. He was more than shocked. He was not aware Sam had travelled to Maiduguri. He asked me why I granted him casual leave in the first place." Huh?!
P.S 2: Speaking about death, something just died for me today. Something that should have died long ago actually. You know what they say: sometimes, one thing has to die for another to come to life... I'm sad, but I am more thankful for how free and light I finally feel ...