DSF: Tribute To A Shining Starlet.
Oh death! Where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Another
Casualty of a broken and failed State. Your story is particularly Gut
Wrenching as it is equally heartbreaking.
You spent near enough all but two of your 25 years on earth in the
Country of your Birth, the United Kingdom where your Parents and entire
family reside. You were born, bred and educated in the United Kingdom.
But two years ago, immediately after you graduated, you elected to visit
Nigeria where your Grandparents reside – both of whom are in their Mid
You signed up for the National Youth Service having freshly graduated
with a sterling First Degree in Law and a Post Grad immediately
afterwards. You were headhunted by an Energy Firm before you completed
your NYSC and a presto you gallantly announced to your Nervous Parents –
Dad a Diplomat with the United Nations based in Italy and Mum a
Pharmacist based in the United Kingdom, your country of Birth – that you
were going to permanently relocate and make Nigeria your permanent
abode. Your Grandparents were ecstatic, you being their most favourite
You were a straight A student right from when you passed your GCSEs
through to when you excelled in your A’levels…so much so that
Prestigious Queen Mary’s London University snapped you to study Law. You
missed a First by whisker’s. Nevertheless you made your mark all the
Then it all came crashing down.
What was supposed to be a routine journey to Church on a relatively
sombre, otherwise uneventful Sunday morning on the Lekki/Ajah Expressway
around the Lekki Phase 1 approach turned into a living and eternal
nightmare for those of us left struggling to pick up the pieces. Our
lives changed forever, never to be the same again.
A victim of the reckless and probably high on drinks/drugs ‘Danfo’
Driver. The most galling of the entire episode was the fact that the
driver of that Danfo survived unscathed, RAN away from the scene leaving
a trail of Death and Destruction in his wake. Four people died at the
scene. Your New Toyota Corolla was a crumpled wreck. But the Fighter
that you were, despite massive injuries, you fought and fought and
Your Dad, via his status at the United Nations, got you into Lagoon
Hospital where you were for a few days. When it became clear that the
extent of your injuries was too severe for the local facilities here in
Nigeria, An Air Ambulance was scrambled from the United Kingdom to get
you much needed Specialist Care in the United Kingdom. Your tireless mum
who flew in from the United Kingdom, barely 48 hours after the
accident, accompanied you in the Air Ambulance. Still we Prayed and
Prayed and Hoped for the Best.
Sadly We lost you a day after you arrived in the United Kingdom. The
Surgeons tried desperately. You fought desperately to hang on. But in
the end, it was not to be.
The pain is palpably raw as it is numbling. We asked again and again,
Why you? Why You? If only you had stayed on in the country of your
Birth, If only…so many questions but very few answers. Your Parents,
Your Grandparents, Oh! Your Grandma, with whom you celebrated her 80th
Birthday over here in Nigeria a few years ago has refused to eat since
she was informed of your passing nearly a week ago…All she repeatedly
does is wail, wail to space “God Take Me instead, Give My Granddaughter
back to Nigeria. Nigeria Needs Her, Her Parents Need her. God Take me.
God Take Me.”.
These are indeed extremely perilous times. And so it was that having
just spent barely a few weeks in Nigeria after a prolonged Winter
holiday and Christmas in the United Kingdom with family and friends, I
now find myself in the rather unenviable position of scrambling for the
next flight out back to the United Kingdom just so that I can attend
your Funeral this weekend. Someone retorted to me “Oh, you know, ‘our
tradition’ forbids older relatives attending and being present at
funerals where the deceased is much younger than us…” I snapped back,
which tradition? And what has tradition ever done for us? What did
Tradition ever give to HER?
I am here like a Zombie, mechanically and circuitously packing a few
items for my flight out in the morning. The Family has decided that
yours would be a Celebratory Sending Forth, so RED rather than the
traditional Grey, Black would be the colour to be worn on the Day.
DSF as you were very fondly called, you touched so many lives in the
quarter century, (twenty five years only!) you ran your race on earth.
You were considerate to the end so much so that you waited until you got
back home – nearer your parents and many siblings – before you finally
bade the World Farewell.
Doyin Sarah Fagbenro, My Learned Friend in the Profession, My lil
Sister, My Cousin, Sleep Well till we meet again.
O Death! Where is Thy Sting!