I remember walking into your office that morning some months ago. I had been in the same office with you for about 5 months and our interaction was nothing more than the occasional ‘Hi’ and general ‘Goodnight’ to yourself and your colleagues. But this day was different… You smiled at me.
It was like I just noticed the glow in your eyes and that cute contagious smile for the first time. I walked up to you and said…”Good Morning, what’s your name?” You told me. “Oh what a beautiful name”, I replied. You chuckled.
And that was how our beautiful friendship started! What a helpful, caring friend you were. I remember you helping me to get the AC remote from your colleagues whom I wasn’t so close to and helping me print and scan stuff. You were always willing to help. You gave me the nick-name A-Tizzle and yours was AKB. I remember how we would stand in front of Henrietta’s desk during the occasional break and gist till we realised we’d been out for too long and had to get back to work. You and Henrietta would take pictures and people passing by would tease you one way or the other. I remember you asking me what the response to the popular tease about your home town, “Omo Badan ki ni soo…” was.
I remember having lunch with you almost every working day. I teased you about bringing lunch to work and never eating the canteen food. You’d help me choose lunch, keep my space in the queue, warm my food in the microwave and even share your fruit dessert with me. I remember how I tried to copy you and started bringing my lunch from home too… that didn’t work out for long though obviously as my cooking experiments didn’t turn out quite as tasty as I envisaged.
I remember how I would walk you to your car after work and make your driver, “Baba”, wait another 30 minutes just because we were gisting. I remember the few times I’d ask you to drive home and how you told me about the little accident you had on Bourdillon. However you drove a couple of times, looking extremely cool in your orange or black pair of Ray-ban sunglasses.
I remember how sweet you were to your parents and family… buying them a cake just to appreciate all they had done for you, the beautiful cake you gave your aunty on her birthday two Sundays ago. You still owe me a piece of that cake though. I remember you asking for places where your younger sister could intern this summer. I remember you telling me you missed your older sister and how you wanted to visit her in Abuja soon.
I finally met your parents this week… I saw your dad’s “breakable” art collection you told me about and your fine, “ayounge” mum that you always boasted about.
I remember our shared amusement and strange interest in Africa Magic Yoruba movies.
I remember how you would say sorry and console me when I had my occasional cold and allergy.
I remember how you shared confidential business thoughts with me and how you wanted me to help out and convinced me to join the team in the future. I remember sharing my funny and embarrassing experience of selling female stuff and how you laughed and admired my hustle and entrepreneurial ability. Unfortunately, your business was still in the planning phase and I never met your partner. I hope we are able to somehow make it a reality.
I remember how you begged me to take you to my church’s midweek service and how you and Henrietta would tease and bully me about it. I eventually took you to church two Sundays ago. I remember how you praised and worshipped God that day. You were so moved. After service, you asked if I could remember the worship song played during the service that you loved. How I wish I could remember that song! I’ll try to get the tape of that service though. I remember how you said you liked my church and you wouldn’t mind attending our services more often. Sadly, that was the last church service you attended…
You were altruistic and cared for the less privileged. I remember you gisting me about your trip to a village in Ghana on a charity teaching program and the smart little girl whom you took a liking to because she was so smart and adorable (guess she reminded you of yourself but you never said so). I remember you asking me for advice when her teacher contacted you that she hasn’t been coming to school because her parents couldn’t pay her school fees and she didn’t have clothes and shoes. I remember us walking to lunch that day and you telling me “That girl must finish school o, over my dead body will she not go to school”. Sigh! Be rest assured that her scholarship will be formalised and she will be sponsored through school in your name.
I remember how humble and respectful you were. You called your colleagues in such a sweet but respectful way…”Mr George, Mrs O”, etc
I remember how I would disturb you to tell me what was wrong whenever something was on your mind or you were sad and how you tried to be strong and deal with it alone. The days you were sad, almost everyone around you felt it. I felt it so bad that I’ll worry so much and tell you to cheer up. I remember how you would be stubborn and ask me not to worry, that you’ll be fine but I should pray for you.
You were more than a friend… my lunch buddy, my trusted advisor, my little sister, my very dear friend. Within a few weeks of knowing you, we had shared so many deep and precious moments…
I’m glad our paths crossed and for all that we shared, however little it was. I know you are in a better place… away from all the strife and craziness of this world.
Written by “A-Tizzle” in fond memory of his dear friend, Kunbi Adebiyi who went to be with the Lord on the 3rd of June, 2012.
Hope you’ve been well. I know I might have done this through other media but I’d like to send my condolences to all who lost friends, family, colleagues or acquaintances in the crash of June 3rd 2012. I know a few people who lost dear ones and it has been totally heartbreaking watching them trying to be strong or not even bothering at all. This is a guest post by a good friend who was friends with Irene Adekunbi Adebiyi, one of the departed.
A service of songs was held today in her honour and my oh my, the Word of God is truly refreshing. I could feel a burden lift off as the Pastors spoke. One of her best friends paid a tribute to her and I totally commend her strength as she delivered a beautiful summary of who Kunbi was. It gave an insight into the type of person she was, especially to those of us who didn’t know her.