Controversy trails Bukky Ajayi’s burial site as her children recount her last moment

Few days after the burial of veteran actress, Bukky Ajayi, some people are kicking against the choice of her final resting place- Atan Cemetery.

Some industry stakeholders and Nigerians on social media, expressed their displeasure at the site of her burial saying she deserved better.

To many, the late Bukky Ajayi who had given her all to the world of theatre and made many lives beautiful with her talent deserved a befitting and respectful final resting place, not an almost dilapidated cemetery.

Femi Salawu, an entertainment journalist, in a post on Facebook that generated numerous reactions said he was saddened that Bukky Ajayi was interred at Atan Cemetery.

“If it is true that late veteran actress, Bukky Ajayi was buried at Atan Cemetery, Yaba, then I feel very sad about it,” he wrote.

Head of Jury, AMAA Awards, Shaibu Hussein, however disagreed with Femi. According to him, the most important thing is the salvation of soul of the dead and not the burial site. “How do you mean? Does it matter where the dead is buried? What should matter is the salvation of her soul sir. Let’s not sensationalise matters like this abeg,” he queried.

Then veteran actor and one of those who represented the industry at the late thespian’s house, Patrick Doyle, introduced another dimension to the debate when he shared a recent personal experience. In a post he titled, The state of Atan Cemetery, he wrote: “Today, I had the unwholesome task of overseeing the funeral of my niece. Grace Alovor was my late cousin, Afi’s only child. I am just three years older than her and we related more like brother and younger sister. The funeral took place at Atan Cemetery in Yaba. The state of that cemetery is to say the least appalling.

“I was responsible for securing the burial plot, so I had to visit the cemetery several times before the funeral. Each time I went there, I had to cringe at the utter state of desolation it was in. Old vaults bore the scars of grave robbery, either the bodies were dislodged to steal the caskets or for body snatchers to harvest body parts for rituals. The weeds were also massively overgrown with the obvious possibility of being infested with vermin and serpents.

“It would appear that our disdain for the value of human life also extends to the death of humans also. To think that the Yaba Local Government actually charges as much as N100, 000 for a burial plot at Atan but will not bother with landscaping the place. I guess I’m asking for too much to expect that the local government will even consider a word I have said, let’s just say I want to be on record as having pointed out this anomaly. ”

Meanwhile, her children, in an interview with Vanguard, have revealed the health issues she battled with, and how she raised them as a single mother.

According to Claudius Akinwade Peter-Thomas, her second son:

“There aren’t enough words to quantify Mama. She was an
independent woman who shouldered the responsibility of raising three
lions (sons) without raising her brows. I see her as a lioness. She was
also able to combine and manage her situation (single motherhood) and
her career. She was a good planner.

To that effect, my elder brother is nine years older than me, and I
am 11 years older than my younger brother. A good planner she was.
Despite being in the public glare, she ensured her private life remained
private. Many of my friends didn’t know I was the (child) of the
popular actress. This is not because she wasn’t proud of her children,
but because she was able to draw the line between her career and her
family. People relate with me as Raz CPT and not the daughter of a
celebrity, so to say.

Mummy has been struggling with her health, she had cancer of the breast, diabetic and was also hypertensive.”

Her last child, Kunle Fawole, described her last moments:

“I and mama were in the living room with some of my
friends when I noticed that her heart wasn’t moving, I mean like she
stopped breathing. Immediately, I checked her pulse and called my elder
brothers. We felt her pulse and heartbeat, did everything possible. But
alas, she has passed on. And that was at about 11:23 am on Wednesday.
She was a bit ill before this happened. She had been ill for a number of
years now. She had stroke some couple of years back. There was a time
she also had cerebral malaria. She became diabetic, hypertensive and
also suffered breast cancer before now.”

While her first son, 60-year-old Mr Alfred Oluwole Shoga, said:

“At 60, my mother still gives me money each time I visit
her and I will say, `Mum I’m suppose to give you money’ and she will say
I should use it for transportation.”


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