In Loving Memory of Bunmi Owoso: We spent hours and hours together, sometimes daily. He was visibly enthused to be at Ilesha in 1972. I was not sure what it was that gave him so much joy at the time. Perhaps it was the fact that he had just put a University degree in his pocket, and from the highly esteemed University of Ibadan. Perhaps it was the fact the he was enjoying teaching young bright students of St. Lawrence’s Grammar School who took to him like magnet attracts iron. Perhaps it was his Ijesha blood that found a home within home by living in Ijeshaland for the first time in his life. Or perhaps it was just that, as I would know later, whatever he did, Bunmi Owoso put everything into it. He loved doing things and getting results. It was my final year at St. Lawrence’s Grammar School and it was a delight to be a young “friend” of my teacher. I listened in awe to his stories about his time at UI, an engaged university student’s life. I learned to enjoy listening to Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Billy Wright and many giants of soul music at his home in Ilesha. I watched with complete admiration when his friends visited and they discussed their jobs and next steps. I stood tall at home as broda Bunmi (that was what I called him from 1972 till ever) would come to our home to visit and chat with my grandmother, Iya Alakara. And I walked with visible pride when I accompanied him from our Igbaiye street to near Armels Transport where he lived. He was a star, and he made me feel just great. In later years, even when we have not been in touch for a long time, broda Bunmi would send a message either directly or through someone to let me know about his whereabout. I would look for him and he would be there, beaming with smile and pride at how I was making progress in life. We constantly found each other, again and again. I was there in London and went with him to the laboratory where he worked on his master’s degree in food technology. I spent days with him in Kaduna when he lectured at Kaduna Polytechnic… In recent years we were together in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nairobi. Just this year on Tuesday, March 3 we spent almost the whole day together at his home. We had so much to talk about as usual> Late in the day we decided to adjourn till another date. Alas, how would I have guessed that March 3 would be the last day that I would see you. It was the last time that you would look at me and say, “Do you remember….?” And another story would start. Barely two weeks earlier earlier you were at the meeting of our Lagos Branch of St. Lawrence’s Grammar School Old Students’ Association (LAGSLOSA) where you shone again as the star of the event. It was a surprise appearance that only Bayo Jimoh (my friend and President of the National SLOSA) and I were privy to, and planned with you. Your former students and admirers of 1972 and 1973 were overwhelmed with joy at seeing you again. They said that you hardly have changed. Perhaps true, perhaps their perception. Who cared. You were delighted to see them and they were overjoyed to see you again. You gave a beautiful speech. How I wish that it was recorded. No, we did not record it because it was merely seen as one speech of your expected many future interactions with us. Little did we know…that only the numerous WhatsApp texts that you and I sent each other would remain as memories of the following months. I still read the texts, often. “This young man, broda Bunmi”, I would say in introducing him somewhere in the world, “was my teacher at secondary school.” You should see how people would turn again to take a second look at him. Unbelievable, because he looked so young and we interacted like mates. He would smile and say to the confused folks, “Never mind him, he is my friend”. I would beam with pride at having such a mentor, such a gentle soul, such a pillar of support. There can never be another like you, Broda Bunmi. RIP.