Death could be described as the absence of life. Or better still the permanent end of existence by any mortal that has blood running in his/her body. According to the late literary icon William Shakespeare: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Equally he declared in his eventful era: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
The great WS simply left us centuries ago with a poser: “death, where is thy sting?” For the late French philosopher Victor Hugo: “Man’s great actions are performed in minor struggles. There are obstinate and unknown braves who defend themselves inch by inch in the shadows against the fatal invasion of want and turpitude. There are noble and mysterious triumphs which no eye sees and no renown rewards. Life’s misfortunes, isolation, abandonment and poverty are battlefields which have their heros”. Of course in the larger world there are heros and villains; some heros died unsung and others post-humously celebrated by succeeding generations. Villains die and the world remembers them for their grievous sins against humanity.
When Pope John Paul died the world stood still and mourned the great Catholic Pontiff whose Papacy saw ecumenical bridge-building and dialogue between great faiths. His burial in the
When heros like MKO Abiola, Kudirat Abiola, Fela Kuti, Tai Solarin, Bola Ige, Alfred Rewane, Dele Giwa, Nnamdi Azikiwe died people genuinely grieved for them. But when perverts and villains like Abacha died a whole generation expressed happiness for surviving a scorching tyranny that was set to defeat progressivism.
Understanding death therefore has two angles to it: physical and spiritual. We have to view it from these angles because those who believe in purgatory or life hereafter hinge their fate on resurrection. The road to
From the physical aspect we die only but once whenever our breath ceases and the heart stops beating. The dead returns to dust through which it was made in the first instance. It is appointed unto man to die, the Bible admonishes us. Spiritually the dead may gain celestial life elsewhere beyond our planet or even here because we live with some ghosts: they go to the market, take a walk on the street and visit nightclubs! Sometimes we hear they draw salaries from ministries, institutions and parastatals! We have heard bizarre stories of some people certified dead at home only for them to continue living elsewhere in another city or country. The cosmic world is very deep indeed and the more you try to understand it the more you get astounded.
Just last Friday I was rudely shocked to read a horrible report of the assassination of one of the greatest reggae artists in the world Lucky Phillip Dube. The legendary Dube, whom I had watched perform on more than one occasion, according to the report drove his son to a brother’s house in a suburb of
Lucky Dube was a talented musician, gifted in his chosen field where he had excelled with laurels to show for it! That he was cut down by assassins’ bullets brought to the fore the issue of escalating ubiquitous violence which
Barely few weeks back Tuface Idibia, the Nigerian popular musician was nearly killed with his friends as they drove from MMA Lagos to his house in
The Golden Eaglets’ Chief Coach Yemi Tella died over the weekend in LUTH Lagos after battling with cancer. I read with indignation early last week how the wife was shedding tears and appealing to President Yar’Adua to intervene in her husband’s case. The Federal Government did intervene but belatedly. Other Nigerians and corporate bodies equally responded to the SOS message but Tella still answered the call of death. I was wondering as I read his obituary over the weekend if help had come earlier than when it came and he was flown abroad what would have happened. May be he would have still been alive.
Last week equally a member of the House of Reps, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Safana from
Patricia Olubunmi Etteh must be told in clear terms that the Federal House of Representatives is not a beauty parlour where she had excelled. The PDP, a part
y without scruples and scrupulous men and women must rein in Etteh before she and her supporters cause more damage to the integrity of the House. With Etteh defiantly presiding over affairs in the House democracy suffers more mortal moral blows. Etteh’s Speakership position must ‘die’ therefore for democracy to prevail.
While death may be seen as normal in the evolution of man the abnormality lies in its permanence, perpetuity and indiscrimination. As many are born daily many die daily in a cycle only God could explain better. The pain in death is that it separates loved ones, heros and families and friends. It shocks emotionally and inflicts sadistic memories. But we have no choice but to live with this reality; by doing good to all people and telling the truth, even in death, one may have left the stage better and contributed his quota to the betterment of his society.
The ultimate truth worth emphasizing here, in the final analysis, is that we are all strangers here! Here we are indeed strangers!!