The Budding Light on Our Candle has Gone out; Tribute to a Brother and Colleague, St-louis Elaigwu Esq.

By Akintayo Balogun, Esq. 

Brotherly, it hurts so much that I now talk about you in the past. The last 2 weeks turned silent and sour for me each time my thoughts go to you and the beautiful history you had created before your departure from this troubled earth. I could barely muster a word around anything pertaining to you or to your demise. It’s really been hurting each time I realize you are not another face to be seen on earth again. 

When I got a call from a friend on the fateful morning of 29th December 2021, trying to confirm if I heard anything about your demise. I feared to open our class WhatsApp group to either confirm or refute the report. I prayed it was just another hoarse. I feared to call your number either because you have never been thought of or seen as another person who will exit this life at this young age. Alas…. the news was true. You had passed on. Wow… I cannot count how many times I echoed within me and even loudly, “No, not you brother”, however, as the days go by, reality dawns on us that you have indeed exited the earth. 

My brother, through the 4/5 years we were classmates in the University, our class had a lot of diversity on issues. We didn’t agree on so many things and there was quite a lot of rancor within the hierarchy. Leaving school was more or less like we were all done and departed. However, you on your own volition, without being coarse, forced, cajoled, took it upon yourself to reinvent a bond in the class that might never be surpassed. Firstly, you created a Facebook account for the class which has been in active operation for not less than 9 years now. You have jealously managed and guided activities on the account. Most especially and most fondly of you is the fact that you try your best to mark the birthdays of every member of the class with beautiful renditions and add some historical flavor to it which is posted on the Facebook account and the class WhatsApp group. As a class, we laughed over, played, queried, adored, or esteemed your write-ups so much that many now eagerly lookout to the epistle you will have to write on their birthdays. 

Unconsciously to us, this rather harmless and playful rendition of yours became one of the rallying points of the class. Each time you do a beautiful rendition on colleagues, we find ourselves going back to history lane. Savoring memorable times in the past as students in the University came alive. Brotherly, who will fit into your big shoes? Who will carry your burden? You have left all these beautiful selfless duties of yours to take a rest in the great beyond. Each time the thought of your demise crosses my mind, I keep wondering how we will progress as a class from here. You played your part brother. Yes, you did. Indeed, the budding light on our candle has gone out but it forever sits deep in our memory lane. I remembered back in our final year in the University in 2009 when we lost Bartholomew, a classmate to the cold hands of death. He was a very close friend of yours, I still picture you in dark glasses during the procession and brief service held at the faculty in honour of the brother. You found it hard to come to terms with the reality that stood before you. I remember wondering within myself back then, how you would cope, it hurts that we are stuck with the same reality as you.  

Brotherly, in your brief but eventful lifetime, you have built bridges, you have served your God, you have served humanity, you have played your part in the legal space, no matter how minute it could have been. As far as this life is concerned, you have done your bit, you have fought your good fight of faith, you have kept your faith and you have returned to your creator. Farewell, brother. Fading away like the stars of the morning, Losing their light in the glorious sun, Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling, Only remembered by what we have done. Brotherly, you forever remain in our memories, and you are remembered for the good works you have left us with. 

Today, 13th January 2022, your earthly body is committed to mother earth, from dust we come, from dust we return. Rest on my brother, you have done your bit, may the Almighty God grant the faithful departed eternal rest, may your family and friends and especially the young wife and child you have left behind be comforted and consoled. Rest on sweet brother. Your memories reign. 


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