BY BENJAMIN NJOKU
Emotion was very high last Friday, when the remains of Ogbonna Amadi were laid to eternal rest in a crypt fit for a king. But besides the grief and numbness that rented the air, late Amadi’s aging mother, Grace Amadi in this brief conversation with Showtime, relives memories of her last moments with her late son and what his death meant to her. The story…
On Amadi’s state of health
Speaking in Igbo , she made a startling revelation that Ogbonna was not born with the sickness. According to her, “my son was not born with asthma.He was already matured before he was diagnosed with asthma. And it wasn’t all that bad at the initial stage.
While he lived, he never took his health for granted because he was always with his inhaler to void complication. That’s why I said he died a natural death. It was time for him to return to his maker. He was already an adult before he started suffering from asthma.
“I know that my son suffered asthma and I also know that he died a natural death. I have been reading all that friends and well wishers have written about him and I am happy. I am no longer crying because my son lived a fulfilled life both professionally and as a family man. I urge you, the colleagues, not to abandon the children and the family he left behind.”
My closeness with him
I wouldn’t tell you that I knew the kind of person he was going to become in life. Rather, he happened to be the one who unlocked my womb after four years I gave birth to his elder brother. He was my only son that I had in Yorubaland. That was why he was called Oluremi loku (meaning my God heard my cry).
If you visit where we were living in Lagos in those days, our neigbours used to call me Iya remi. That could explain why he married a Yoruba woman. I give God all the glory for the good life he lived here on earth. I also put my trust in Him that He will console me through his wife and three children. I want them to be very close to me as Ogbonna was.
Our last meeting
Recalling Amadi’s last days with her, she said “my problem was that he hardly come home, but not quite a month ago, he came home and everybody was happy and there was wild celebration in the family. I prayed fervently for God to bring him home and He answered my prayer.
He renovated the entire house, bought things for people. He also settled his friends and brothers’ request and promised that he will now be coming home more frequently. I did not know that it was going to be the last time I would see him. But I take solace in the fact that he became born again before his death.”
Amadi was a prince
For the deceased’s first cousin, Professor A.N Amadi, of the Department of Health Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri(FUTO), the late Amadi was born a prince. “He was born a Prince. His late father Osidua Eke was the founder of this community. So, that actually gave him the ego to see every other person in the kingdom as his subject.
Though, he wasn’t visiting home regularly because of the nature of his work, every festive period, he was always in touch with us. He was a grassroot man. And that’s why you could see his age grade, the development union and the kindred represented at the burial rites.
He was a young man.He was yet to do some of the rituals a man should undertake in Ohafia and anytime we see his age mate we remember him. Ogbonna died as a boy, that’s the tradition of our people. As a Prince, he was expected to take all the titles as tradition allows no matter the level he attained in the society.