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It is 1.34am morning of Thursday June 20th. I had just finished clearing up personal paperwork and other schedules when suddenly; I feel a depression in my heart. I was meant to have slept at this time of the day but when I looked up, I remembered that the next day would be my friend’s burial ceremony, someone I have shared some memories with and someone I will never see again till Christ unites us all in peace forever. Tears flow loosely from my eyes as I began to mutter strange words from my lips. Was it prayers? Incantations? or whispers? My deepest fears was that of losing a kindred spirit and all that I can hear within the deepest valleys of my soul is ‘what is life? How do we live forever?
I began searching for my Jay’Z CD, okay! Here it is then! I slot it in and the track forever young’ began to play. I then take a walk outside to see if I would find Francis sitting somewhere. Nay! Alas, I walk in again and then reality hit me in the face like a Muhammad Ali blow. It’s gonna be some few hours to Friday the 21st of June, Francis will be laid to be with the lord.
I’ve lost hold of where I am and all I heard were voices saying’ put him down. ‘Put him down’At that point. I knew I’d lost my consciousness. ‘I had fainted. I had absolved an unbelievable shock for about four weeks and 2days!

 

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                    Emele Francis Omumu

On  Sunday May 19th , time on the wall says 17;56 and I was having an intercessory prayer in Church when  I received an alert on my BBM, at first it vibrated ceaselessly but when it became too much, I had to excuse myself from  the voice of the pastor and went outside. On my BBM contact list, I had to check the several notifications there in and the first I saw was from Ifeyinwa Asiwe, an old time classmate and friend right from my secondary school days. Curiosity drew my attention to her display picture and then there was the shocker

“RIP EMELE’. How? When? Where. I took out my other phone and called Ify, what’s the problem? What sort of joke is this? Before she could offer a credible answer, I had crashed her down with several instances of what I had been faced with over the past few months.- Isikwenu Oruaro, Vivian Osemiha,, Mrs Helen Udume,  and now Emele? How? Gently she calmed me down and explained how it all happened,. Right there in front of the Church, my manliness’ was beaten down to a pulp, my courage shrank, my mood enveloped in utter disbelief as I let out a loud cry! Obviously the instruments playing in the church weren’t  enough to swallow the cries I had let out and the doors flung open and wide. Right beside me were two brothers who came to my rescue to ask what was going on. Meanwhile before now, just some 20 minutes ago, before I had called Ifeyinwa Asiwe, the theme of our prayer request was “God Protect our families and close friends, Prosper them, and Pull them out from any difficulty they may find themselves in. I was scared of questioning the wisdom of God. I know he (God) knew what my questions were and that was- Why did you have to let my friend go like this!

 

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                  Emele Francis Omumu

And when those brothers in church asked me what was wrong, they never believed till they saw tears in my eyes- I could then, relate with that had happened to the owner of CNN, Mr Ted Turner. How he had refused to believe that God existed when he lost his sister after series of prayers.

The shock was too much for me, no sooner had I been helped into the church than another close friend of mine- Ufuoma Okonoko put in another call to me, She began’ Ozor tell me it’s a joke, please te-e-ll me it’s a joke, this is not true .As I began to console her, on the phone, she began to cry again. In the church, when it was discovered that I had received a bad news of a friend far away in the United Kingdom that I had lost, I was called to the altar to be prayed for. I just lay down there, weeping no thanks to the cold weather that day.

My pains were not for death, my pains were for the mother, the siblings and the people whose lives and times, Emele had influenced shapened and being a part of. I began to imagine how Mrs Florence and Dr Efeizomor Shedrach Omumu would take in the shock.

 

 

Memory Lane

Way back during our undergraduate days, Francis used to come all the way from the Rivers State University Of Science & Technology, down to the University of Port Harcourt, Choba to see us. His visits were more like a presidential visit and always, was in the company of Meju Anslem, Gerald Tibi and Chris Agwaife. Sometimes Meju Hilary and Kester Etuonu would also join the convoy. His visits had more to do with Gerald, who often times came to see to the welfare of his younger sister Ifeoma, who also was a student of the University of Port Harcourt. But apart from that, Francis had the attitude of checking up on some of us as at then, whose ‘cribs’ he knew. From Paul Udume, Ngozi Osaje, down to Shepherds Villa where I, Charles Ogbenna, Chuks Elema , Aziz Oladele, and then Emma Oseghale resided. Emele was the real description of the word ‘humble’. Always smiling, never to be seen frowning and was a cheerful giver to a fault! I can’t put to figures how many time his personal philanthropy had helped me  out in  trying times.

Most  to  be remembered of his  kindness were the  times we had always met at Standard Trust Bank along Olu-Obasanjo Road, in Port Harcourt which had always been a meeting point of close acquaintances from Agbor who has sojourned to the land of ‘pitakwa’ for academic reasons.

 

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                                     Emele Francis Omumu

Born Francis Emele Omumu, to the family of Florence and Dr Shedrach Efeizomor Omumu, Emele attended the University of Science and Technology, Nkpolu Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt where he had a degree in Civil Engineering. He had a brief stint with Oceanic Bank before he proceeded to England, United Kingdom for his Masters Degree programme. Left to mourn him are his family, friends and alumni of the schools he had attended in his lifetime.

Very few people would always be remembered after death, but Emele will always be remembered for his humane nature, humility, warm affection towards others and how encouraging his words were to anyone who was in deep difficulty. As someone would put it ‘Emele was my hero, he was the one who encouraged me to take my PMP classes.

If life was worth buying back, we would have done all we can to bring you back to life Emele. I miss you, the entire Staff Model Secondary School family so does, your family miss you too, friends miss you. but God loves you most.

 

 

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                    Emele Francis Omumu

Elegy For Emele Omumu

There’s no better day to die

Neither do we welcome death by invitation

It comes when we least observe

And steals away those who we treasure

In the dark cloak of pain,

Does death dwell,

But in that same darkness, God shines forth his light!

But victory is for us through Christ and we are sure of that

 

From childhood,

You had a pure heart

You wore like an ornament

Those charming smiles

Little seeds of kindness sown has heaped into treasures of life

Little foot, early morning showers, mom’s endless late night watches

Kidde’s birthday parties

All gone like shadows across the skies

 

As a man,

You were of warm spirits

Relentless, Brave and an industrious fellow

I search within my thoughts

To see if you would be here again

In the immortal memories of mortal minds

Where you are, drawn in this fleeting breath

With eyes closed in eternal rest.

And we wait earnestly, on the beautiful shores to wave you goodnight.

 

 

A mother’s pain who can tell

From wards to labour room

Infancy transformed to adolescent

A boy now a man

Bearing fruits in his season

And we reason he would be risen some day

Even in death, God’s arms still rests on us

 

A father’s pain who can imagine

Of closer ties than cemented bricks

Of warm embrace and closer hugs

Of new terms and unending semesters- Daddy’s phone never rests

A constant visitor to the bank, not for debts

But endless credits,

Investing in the future, a distant land of bliss

For the sake of posterity.

 

He will be home soon they say

And the doors swing open

Yet mother nature lets in air

They say its ventilation

I call it invisible visitation

 

 

Francis is now immortal, body gone, bones dried

Spirit lives,

Soul glows in endless spiritual luminescence

Earthlings weep, friends wail, heaven rejoices

With open arms, beckoning hands

Jesus says, welcome home my son

For you were courageous even unto death

And fought till you won

 

 

There is darkness where God resides

He remains there for us in times like these

For death is our last enemy-so the bible says

And I’m not in shock anymore

For Jesus loves you even in death.

Rest in peace till resurrection morning Emele.

Chukwuka Anslem Ozor

3.23am Thursday June 20th 2013

 

His funeral comes up tomorrow 21st June 10am @ St Johns Anglican Church Agbor. 

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