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My Teacher

Prof, though we never met. I heard aboua you on Facebook and wasweager to be your friend but you had exceeexc your friend limit. But I had to follow you on Facebook and since then I learnt a lot from you. I was taught by you how to love and respect nigeNig., how to write in English. I wish you could write for us to read here. Rest bro . Sleep on Prof . Goodnight 

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Adieu Prof Pius Adesanmi

Pius, you packed over 70 years into the 47 years you spent on this planet earth. Death has robbed us of a brilliant and very resourceful academic of repute. Your writings were very deep, educational, humorous and inspiring. I requested for your friendship on Facebook but your quota was filled. I followed you all through and never missed any of your updates. The story of how your mother struggled to educate you brought tears to my eyes because my story was similar. May your soul rest in peace. I pray that God will console your wife, daughters and mother. He shall strengthen and give them Christian fortitude to bear the loss. Sun re o Ojogbon Pius omo Adesanmi

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Adieu Prof Pius Adesanmi

Pius, you packed over 70 years into the 47 years you spent on this planet earth. Death has robbed us of a brilliant and very resourceful academic of repute. Your writings were very deep, educational, humorous and inspiring. I requested for your friendship on Facebook but your quota was filled. I followed you all through and never missed any of your updates. The story of how your mother struggled to educate you brought tears to my eyes because my story was similar. May your soul rest in peace. I pray that God will console your wife, daughters and mother. He shall strengthen and give them Christian fortitude to bear the loss. Sun re o Ojogbon Pius omo Adesanmi

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Africa's love, GONE to always be REMEMBERED! ❣

March 10th, 2019, a day I still wish should have never happened and if possible, be erased from the sands of time, so our Prof. wouldn't have made that ill-fated flight and would still have been with us now, until into his ripe old age but it's indeed sad because these are just mere wishes of mine that they are 😢.

I never met you in person, Prof. but I connected to and met your Facebook articles that resonated a whole lot with me and impacted my life in many diverse ways. You were to me, a model, a mentor and truly a teacher for all that word is worth because all who ever came in contact with you either fled because your positive influence was overwhelming their negativities, or stayed on because they encountered that paradigm shift in their mindsets, in which you wielded absolute knowledge of and power over and totally craved for more of such positivity.

I'd continue to say you're IRREPLACEABLE, Prof because your love for Africa and Nigeria stood you out and I saw in you, a Voice of the voiceless, a Messiah of the masses and a Hero of humanity.

I'm ever grateful to have encountered your page when I did and I'm one of those privileged to have been blessed by your endless writings...how you ever craved for an educated and more enlightened populace. 

Thanks to God and your family for such a wonderful gift of you to our continent and the world at large. I pray your immediate family find consolation in this undeniable fact 💜💜.

Now, it's left for those of us you left behind to live out your ideals and continue your good work towards a country, continent and people of our reality.

Live on, Prof. We love you and continue to miss you here. Send our love to heroes past who have fought the good fight as you did and now rest in the beyond. Someday, we shall all meet again at the place where there is no more sorrow, toil or pain, but joy forever!

Adieu Prof. Pius Adebola Adesanmi.

Sun re ooooo!!!!.

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sleep the big sleep

Death is just another stage of life, although the one you kind of hope comes last.He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.     He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave. Loving memories last forever, I am at a loss for words during this sorrowful time. Please know that I am thinking of you and praying for peace and comfort. Rest in peace friend, we know you are in a better place and one day we shall meet again.I know that you have left the earth, and my heart is heavy with pain. But I also know that we shall be united one day in heavens above.

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I want to die like Pius Adesanmi when I grow up.

I want to die like these right-living people! I want an end just like theirs!

Those were the words of a prophet that was contracted to do a job. It was a simple job. King Balak’s land was being invaded by the Jews. He was no believer or a God fearing man, but he must have heard about Prophet Balaam as he went out of his way to seek him out to place a curse on the Jews. The prophet got to the job site alright but rather than curse, he blessed the Jews. He said so many gracious things to the Jews. The king was horrified. At the end of the day, he ended the consulting job by saying he wants to die like the Jews would, he wanted an end just like theirs.

I didn’t hear the news on time. I had been bragging to everyone who cared to listen that Manchester United was going to trash Arsenal. I mean they had just defied all odds and shamed the book makers to beat PSG on their home turf. So after being forced to hide my tail between by legs, I opened twitter to see who was getting bashed and I saw Pius Adsesanmi trending, beneath that was Ethopian Airlines and then prof. Post after post after post confirmed it. It was no hoax, the man was gone. Just like that.

I didn’t know the man personally, but I sort of knew him from his Facebook posts. He said it as it was, funny, sarcastic, witty, intelligent, everything. His integrity was not for sale. Proud of being a Nigerian, talked about his daughter, his home town and state and his love for Orijin. He defied death a few months ago, little did we know it would come back so quickly to take him. He was respected in his field and even outside his field. He criticized the government constructively, had the defiance of a Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the determination of a Gani Fawehinmi. The man was maybe ahead of his time.

I was sad. I was sad in a way I will be sad if I lose a family member. The comments on twitter kept pouring in, he was in death even larger than he was in life. His legacy lives on through his writings and his students. Through the people he has impacted and indirectly through people like me he didn’t know he was mentoring from a distance. That man was loved not because he had the fattest bank account or that he was state governor. Not because he employed a thousand people but because he touched lives in every way possible. I wondered if there would be this much outpouring of love if any of our Nigerian “big men” died.

So yesterday reinforced a decision I made a while back. That meaning and not money will drive my actions and decisions. It reminded me that at the end of my days, it won’t be the Banana Island houses that will count or the Bentleys and Lamboghinis, it won’t be the five star dining or the first class travels that will matter. It will all come down to who did my life change, inspire, transform and uplift. Who even though never met you or knew you personally will take his time to write this tribute and wish to die like you.

So yes, when I am grown, I wish to die like Pius Adesanmi, not in a plane crash but having lived life to the fullest, touched and inspired lives in countless ways and touched the souls of people and it should not matter if I die at 35, 45 or 85. Every day will be taken as extra time as we never know when the referee will blow the final whistle. So I challenge you also, to take stock of your life. You don’t want to get to the end of your days and not having lived or made any meaningful impact with your life. The history of tomorrow is written by the actions of today.

While we may mourn the man, he has played his part and only his actions or inactions will be remembered in the history books. We mourn, yet we stay inspired knowing a man from a humble beginning can leave an indelible mark in the world. While we may cry, we are comforted knowing though the sun set at noon, we are glad it shone in the first place.

So join me in lighting a candle as a true son of Africa takes his place in the stars.

Adieu Professor.

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How We Never Met

Professor Pius Adesanmi’s thought kept banging at my heart since the day I heard of his death. First I can’t believe it, second, I can’t rest with all the thoughts of him lying in my body until I finally gathered strength today to get this out of my chest. Till now, my heart jumps at the sight of the social media avi bearing his pictures.

I have never felt so personal for the death of someone I had never met. I found myself receiving condolence from friends whom I shared Prof Pius Adesanmi’s writing with. His death, in the words of one of them, “is a loss of intellectual giant” but we cannot measure his loss in worth, as Siward said in Macbeth, because it is endless.

For days I would be woken up in the middle of the night by disturbing thoughts and murmuring disbelievingly to myself, meditating in moody solemnity what would all of this mean! If those of us who know him only through social media and texts feel as deeply touched, what of those of you who know him personally?

Pius was warm and affable. This could be felt even through social media screen. As he was to everyone who knew him as a public intellectual, mentor, teacher; he is an activist who took Panadol for our own headache. Pius was who we go to every day to seek interpretation of our own life. His verbal artistry and humor gave us laughter in the midst of tragedy, consoled us and offered insights into the sublime, the most common and the most mundane. His swift, timely intervention and interpretation to political events made us quickly realize the error in our own thinking, how we are violated and traumatized as citizens to accept the unnormal as normal without us knowing.

We live in a cave, as he showed boldly in his writings, but in knowing there is a light outside we became terribly disturbed and agitated. For it was him who told us if you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria you can never experience twenty-first century in the twenty-first century. His absence is acutely felt already in the face of current political happenings.

At the global level, Pius was able to open our mind to see things from the Africanist humanist perspective. Prof Adesanmi believed the solution to all of these is quality education.

I have come to interact with him once, back as an undergraduate in university. After mentioning a book he coedited with Georges Herault in one of his posts, Jeunes Culture de la rue et Violence Urbaine en Afrique acts du Symposium International d’Abidjan, I went to the school library and excavated the book and reported back to him what I believed were some corrections. But as a student, and this was a whole professor, I was afraid to tell him. I risked it anyway, instead of wielding mighty high degrees, he taught me that he was a human who could err and had the courage of intellectual honesty. He accepted the corrections and promised to amend in the next edition. No if, no but, no at that time there was…

I am not used to that. I was stunned and reeled in a mixture of disbelief and excitement. This warmth gave me an inch to go further. I requested a gift of his You’re Not A Country, Africa (2011). He collected my number and in his characteristic ebullience – easily noticeable in his writing – promised to see me anytime he came to Nigeria. I was in Zaria then.

That was how we never met. We did not exchange any correspondence on this again, me giving him so much room considering his busy schedule and status, keeping at the back of my mind that somehow he was aware but caught in some other commitments, somehow he had forgotten but we were going to meet one day in whatever case. Already with a leg in Theory and Literature and as an African, your encounter with postcoloniality and subalternity is unavoidable and Pius was a master of these.

I owe so much to Prof Pius Adesanmi as citizen and student for working on the quality of my thinking and sharpening my political consciousness, literary enthusiasm and for serving as a role model in various spheres of life. He made us proud and determined to hold until the truth and humanity.

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Gone Too Soon

I need to do this…, I am afraid if I don’t do this, then my heart will remain heavy for as long

as your memory lasts. Prof. Pius Adésanmí, I met you in 2017 during a three week program at Kwara State University, Abíọ́lá Ìrèlé School of theory and Criticism. I remember telling you

about the scholarship I got to study in Germany. You immediately started searching frantically for how to connect me to somebody in Germany. I remember you were searching through your phone just so you could put me in touch with at least someone who could help me to settle when I get here. You linked me with Dr. Ọlọ́runshọlá Adénẹ́kàn of Bremen University. Ẹgbọ́nm - that was your name because immediately I told you that I am from Erùkú, you started speaking Yàgbà to me. Ẹgbọ́nm, you advised me to apply for the German visa along with my family. I expressed my fears, I said I got the scholarship, not my family, you insisted I apply with the whole of my family. Your reason was that if I apply alone, it would be difficult to invite my family to join me in future. I started the application process, I searched for accommodation in Germany on the internet, there seemed to be no hope, there seemed to be no help… I called to tell you about it and why it was easier to apply for the visa alone. Your response was, “àbúrò, all of you should go! If you apply alone, it will take a long time for you to get your family to join you!” I took the bold step, I applied without a clue of accommodation for a family of four, without any hope of survival in a foreign country but your voice kept on ringing in my head, “don’t apply to go alone… apply with your family!” Ẹgbọ́nm, thank you for being a natural being. Thank you for your selflessness. Thank you for just being Ẹgbọ́nm that I call you. I am grateful for that advice. I am here with my family, but I have seen colleagues trying to bring their families to join them with so much pain.

...but you did not wait for the response from Prof. Na’Allah, the Vice Chancellor of

Kwara State University. You insisted I inform the VC about the empty salary alert that I get

every month. I tried to explain to you that probably I get the empty alert because my name is

still on the payroll of the University. You said I should never assume, you said I should mail

the VC and get back to you. Ẹgbọ́nm, I did as you instructed and I am waiting for his response to get back to you… Ah, ikú dóró, ènìyàn tòótó lọ. Alabama, the song writer wrote…

“Oh, I believe there are Angels Among us,

Sent down to us from somewhere up above.

They come to you and me in our darkest hours

To show us how to live

To teach us how to give

To guide us with a light of love.”

Death is surely a debt we must pay someday, somehow. Sleep well my dear brother, till we

meet again.

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A shining light that death couldn't dim

I got to know Prof Pius Adesanmi through his writings on Sahara Reporters and Premium Times.

He was fearless and always spoke truth to those in power without mincing words.

Any where I see his writings o would always read because of his intelligence and relevant contribution to our dear Nigeria in particular.

How I wished we could have him for longer but the cold hands of death snatched him From us when we needed him most.

My prayers to his immediate family, extended family, the people of Nigeria and Canada and all those impacted by his life.

Adieu Prof Adesanmi odaaro ooo.

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A blessing to your generation

Prof, we are still in shock but we all put our hope in God. You impacted generations with your teachings which centred around cultural changes that are needed in Nigeria and across our continent. You will be forever remembered for your impactful, motivational and inspiring messages to generations. Rest In Peace.