By KABS KANU :
The spate of deaths in New Jersey within just one year have confirmed to me once again that life is futile –absolutely futile. My late mother used to say DUNIA FUU ! ! (Life is futile ) whenever news came of the death of somebody. While grieving the death of that person, she would say it the whole day–DUNIA FUU. As a young child who did not understand Temne then, I asked her one day what she meant by’ Dunia Fuu’ . She explained that the human life is futile. We come on this earth and we leave it just as if we are of no consequence. I was to get further instruction on the futility of life later from the Bible. DUNIA FUU. Nothing has reinforced this belief first planted in my mind by my mum than yesterday’s shocking and unbelievable death of a friend , brother and journalism colleague, Mr. Dauda Sekou Bangura.
THE LATE DAUDA BANGURA ( SECOND FROM RIGHT ) WITH MADINA RAHMAN AND JOE NGAOJIA DURING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF SIERRA LEONE’S INDEPENDENCE
Though we in New Jersey know that death is a certainty, Dauda was the last man everybody would have expected to die at this time. He seemed one of the fittest–very healthy, slim and always bouyant and on the go. While there are many of us battling all kinds of debilitating illnesses, Dauda was one man who never complained of ill-health. He was the most visible face in social occasions in New Jersey.He belonged to all kinds of organizations. He would travel in and out of state to cover funerals, weddings, dances and other social functions . He was a true community journalist . But all of a sudden yesterday, death laid its hands on the young and promising gentleman. Cruel Death descended on New Jersey yesterday afternoon and laid hands on one of its most unexpected victims and and left a whole society devastated.
The lessons of life are now sobering to us each time we have this shocking deaths. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. We spend all our lives on this earth chasing utopia and unrealistic dreams, hating and fighting each other, backstabbing and betraying one another. During the past two days, my blood pressure problem had been worsened by two members of my own party . In today’s world, the people more capable of hurting you most are those you erroneously thought were your own. When I heard about the death of Dauda yesterday afternoon and started grieving , the sobering feeling I had was whether it was worth all the efforts I put in to reclaim what these lunatics had taken from me . Death in the family makes us question ourselves whether the time we put in to pursue certain endeavours on this earth are really worth the while. May be, I should have let them have their way and moved on , because life is too short to spend it striving with people. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity ( Ecclesiastes 12:8 ).
Through these shocking deaths, let us all learn that everything we do in this world is futile and one day, some of us would die too. God had drawn a line that we will never cross alive and when you reach the end of that line, nothing will make you cross it alive . Neither our riches, nor our education can stave death the day it is our turn to die. Let us therefore take our time to treat each other right and make our sojourn on this earth peaceful for ourselves and other people because sooner or later, we will have to depart and return to God who made us. Naked we came and naked we shall depart (Job 1: 21).
Our brothers and sisters dying now did nothing to deserve death. Some of them were the finest ladies and gentlemen we had ever interfaced with in this life. FELIX RISK, HINDOLO TRYE, AHMAD MUSTAPHA, FATU DUMBUYA, SIGISMOND MASSAQUOI , DAUDA BANGURA–All these people had one thing in common. They were some of the nicest persons on earth.If death took note of the good character of people, these members of our society would have still been alive. But today, they are no more. They did nothing to cause their deaths. Their time to die simply arrived . Our own time will arrive, sooner or later. Only God knows the time and when that time comes, nobody, nothing can abort it . Therefore, every waking moment of our lives let us not forget that as these people have died so will we likewise die sooner or later. Let this thought guide us to treat others better than we do now and make us be more concerned about the legacies we will leave on this earth. Let us avoid living our lives like we are going to remain on this earth forever. We are only strangers on this earth. We are just passing through. Dauda was with us only yesterday.He was such a remarkable gentleman. He was an excellent orator and a well-educated man with impressive academic credentials. Today, he is sadly gone. Such is life. May God forgive his sins and give him eternal rest. May God comfort his wife, children and family and well-wishers.
It may also be time for us in New Jersey to start thinking about forming a super benevolent organization that will be geared towards helping the struggling spouses of our brothers and sisters who have to bear the weight of the illnesses and deaths of their partners. Does anybody pause to find out what the better-halves of the people we have buried recently had to go through from the day their spouses took ill and could no longer take part in gainful employment until they died ? What about the fate of the children orphaned ? In America, life is very hard for a single parent. Let us form an organization solely devoted to helping widows, especially and widowers and children left by members of our society who die . The organization could even be responsible for counseling the wives and family of the deceased to prepare them for the daunting task of facing the world after the funeral. The frequent deaths in our community call for the setting up of structures that should help us become more supportive of one another in times of troubles and grief. As we age, more people will die. More people will get sick. We hail from an extended family system. We hail from a culture where we care for one another. Let us give more thought to this as we mourn the passing of another member of the family. It is coming to a time when merely expressing sympathy is not enough.
Mr.Dauda Bangura, rest in perfect peace, our brother . We will always remember your good deeds and your support and service to this community. May God give you eternal bliss in the land beyond. We are not far behind you. We are coming. May God keep you until we meet again.