WHEN THE SUN SETS AT NOON…FOR A LITERARY ICON, PIUS

The great Shakespeare articulated it perfectly, “When beggars die, there are no comets seen, the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes” This does not invalidate the pain any death causes the bereaved but we also know that royalty that births princes is a notch higher than the commoners. However, the figurative prince referenced by Shakespeare is a metaphor for greatness of any hue. For those who were born great, those who achieved greatness and those who have greatness trust on them. Greatness that is achieved seem the most dignifying in the real sense.Then when the greatness is used for the good of others, it seeming trusts the individuals into people’s hearts globally. That is goodness… So a plane crashes in the woods of Ethiopia carrying 157 passengers and crew, all killed in the tragedy. A family in Kenya lost five members, a mother, a sister and three grand children. About 35 nations are in mourning. Nigeria lost two of their best, Prof. Pius Adesanmi, a writer, a multilingual, husband and father. The second Nigerian, not less distinguished, is a UN contract worker, Mr. Bashuar, a former UN and AU Deputy Joint Special Representative to Darfur.We pray they find peace from a very chaotic world. However, the ‘royalty’ that trails Pius comes from the life he led. A brilliant man that has been a teacher, a cultural ambassador, an advocate for good governance and a comedian of some sort. He wrote well, he wrote with depth and a versatility that is rare. His speeches and interviews were delightful because he was almost folkloric. He painted his intentions with words and you could not but be soaked in by the clarity of his expressions. He drew illustrative examples from the streets, villages, schools, countries and nature. He must have loved drama because he interspersed his writings with dramatic imageries and humour in good measure. So he touched any reader or Social Media follower of his deeply with the passion and depth he brought to his writings. Not a few feel a connection with him even when they never met him physically. But didn’t they say, a writer’s work is an eye to his soul? So as the irony of life goes, you hear of a death, you mourn and feel empathy but it hits you when a friend happens to be related to such an icon. So I found myself condoling with a colleague who is a family member of a Pius and his grief was unmistakable. The loss is a deeper one for those who are biologically closer. But there are lessons from this global tragedy. There is still value for integrity and sacrifice at any level. I wonder how many Nigerian politicians can receive the prayers and honour so far heaped on Pius. He was a ‘mere’ teacher, writer in a country that treats the two professions with levity. But he brought his brilliance to the table. He called out the politicians and the Nigerian followers. He decried the inefficiency and mediocrity in town. Then this picture says a million words. This is a man who loved to have fun. He backs his lovely daughter who he obviously dotted on in contrast to some patriarchally obstinate individuals that despised their girl children in a damned craving for a heir to some none existent kingdoms. This picture shows a man making a social statement by wearing the female cloth of strapping a child to the back, the African style. He practiced what he preached. His daughter and wife would definitely miss him but they would be eternally glad they had him in their lives. To have the whole world mourn with you and pray for your beloved is such an honour and a privilege. Pius in death stands tall as a prince whose demise has been heralded by a global comet. His was a short but purposeful life and like most writers, he wrote his own epitaphs death how syrupy that was!. Nigerians are very proud of his sense of purpose and patriotism. Fare thee well, may your daughter grow up proud of the man that brought her forth. Your life will always guide hers and she will be a better being to the world because a Professor Pius was her father….Your life would be a book she can never finish reading. May your family be consoled by the fact that as they say, it is not about how long but how well. You did well and you daughter will grow knowing that your conversations would continue in those ways only daughters communicate with great daddies…because your were great and will always have her back literarily and physically, well almost! Adieu!

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