Cover Stories, Interviews

HID Awolowo (2) -‘She was my friend’ -Yewande Subair, Grand-daughter


We will like to express our condolence on the death of your grandmother.

Thank you very much.

Where were you when you heard the news of her death?

I was just leaving Ikenne because we had centenary planning committee meeting yesterday.  We all came to Ikenne.  Mama herself hosted her family meeting.  She was not part of our meeting. It was just children, grandchildren and some other people we drafted.  During our meeting she came in, she was wheeled in on her wheelchair.  My mum said we should give her a grand welcome.  We all stood up and we were singing for her.  As we were singing, she was just praying for us.  We thought she would stay a little but she said no.  As she was being wheeled out she kept praying for us.  She said she was going to sleep.  When we finished our meeting and we were leaving she was still sleeping so, we didn’t say bye bye.  We were just crossing the express to Ilisan, because I was going to Ibadan, when my sister, Kemi, we left her and mum at the car park, called and said, o da bi wipe won ti lo (it seems mama is dead).  I asked, lo si bo, ta lo lo (go to where and who went where)?  She said, mama.  She said, as they stood there (car park), one of Mama aides came and said, Mama just woke up and wanted to sit up and as they were carrying her she started gasping.  So, they ran out to call my mummy. We just turned back.  When we came in they were still giving her CPR but clearly she had gone.  So, I was in Ikenne when she died.

What would you say you will miss about her?

Everything.  I always describe mama as granny my friend. She was a wonderful woman.

Before that Saturday meeting when was the last time you spoke with her one on one?

It must have been very early in August.  I just came back from my holiday and I was looking forward to seeing her.  I am so glad I came for the meeting because I wouldn’t have forgiven myself.  I spent a bit of time with Mama.  Mama is like a moving encyclopedia, an historian, she was an excellent company.  She has a fantastic sense of humour.  When I saw her yesterday (Saturday, September 19, 2015), she had lost some weight.  I asked one of the nurses, she said it was because she didn’t eat anything at all.  But yesterday she said wanted iyan koko (pounded cocoyam) and ate it with efo.  She left with a bang.

What is the burial arrangement like now?

We haven’t even sat down to discuss because we’ve been inundated with hosting of guests since yesterday.  I guess at some point today we have to sit down as a family and decide what we want to do.

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