By Tunde Asaju
These days, especially since the unexpected exit of our dear Prof Pius Adesanmi, I have become indifferent to death, always fantasizing about my own exit. The Covid years have robbed humanity of some of its best from every walk of life – from the arts, science, humanities, philosophy – name it. Truth is, I got tired of sending condolences.
Yesterday, when I saw the picture of Prof Tunde Fatunde on the wall of our mutual friend, Mac Amarere, fear did not let me comment initially. I also escaped from FB – after all, our elders say for the eye not to see evil, the feet must be primed for 440.
But it is now confirmed, our own Oga na Thief Man, one of the best playwrights of conscience and the struggle Prof Tunde Fatunde has left the building. Dr Fatunde was a towering colossus of the arts in all its ramifications – literature, history, drama and theatre and of course history in a hurry – journalism. A consummate gentleman distinguished not in his tie and die tops and excellent in grace. Soft spoken, erudite and very deep in character.
Wherever I went in my journalism career especially in le monde francophonie, people immediately pick interest – est-tu Tuuuuuude Fatunde d’Africa Numero Un? It is always a pleasure to be compared to an icon. Most of them do not know that I was honoured to be his paid researcher at some point, gathering information for him on politics especially in Abuja and northern Nigeria. I want to put on record that he did pay me handsomely for it too. Plus, whenever he was in Abuja, he’d leave the poshness of his hotel restaurant to ho anywhere there is fresh fish or peppersoup and he generously picked the tab.
The winds of life has drifted us all our different ways in recent years, but we were in touch through Pius until he rushed ahead to be our ancestor. They are both reunited now and we are here waiting our turn.
Dear Prof Fatunde, you came, you saw, you played well your part and left indelible marks on the souls of men. May your memory rekindle hope in our life and may your awesome soul rest in peace. I pray that your family is comforted.
Adieu Professor Tunde Fatunde, we will miss you.
*Tunde Asaju, multi-lingual journalist and public affairs analyst, writes from Ottawa, Canada