The news of Death is always awkwardly received. There are no given or laid down behavioural guidelines as to how one should receive such news. Hence here I am in my room, still in shock.
I sat in my room last night when my sis came in to break the news to me, I hoped for hours wanting to believe it was all a joke, a lie or a rumour.
Below is a piece written by my friend Tare who’s also a friend of Chuka’s.
Read his words and let us all take a moment, spare a thought as we remember our brother, friend and acquaintance.
Most of you might not have known him, but for those who did, he sure was special and will always be in our hearts, not just forever but he’ll stay with us forever young.
It was 22:30 on Monday 20th June, 2011 when I got the call. She was wailing, incoherent and inaudible. When I finally made out what she was saying I was sure she was confused, either that or she was joking; the wrong type of joke at the wrong time. I made two other calls and then I knew it was true. 20mins later, I was in their house. The house where I had been a million times before. The house where he had lived for as long as I had known him, but surely as the news had come, he was not there. A house where there had always been joy and laughter was cold; the life had literally been sucked out of it and death had encompassed the place and all you could hear was wailing. Why will she not wail? She has lost a companion, a friend…a BROTHER!
As a man, you have to be strong at times like these, especially for the women. I saw my friend in an obviously dazed state. He probably got the news long before others, but it had obviously not hit him yet. Less than 24hrs before, we had been talking; plans were being made to travel, to show support to our friend and his family at a joyous occasion; a wedding and now that trip will be pushed forward for all the wrong reasons. He was receiving calls and seemed to be ok which seemed to torment others. Then he made a particular call and I saw him breakdown. I saw the grief within him come out. To us he may have been a friend, but to him, he was a brother. They had grown up together and this was not how the story was to end. Where were the celebration; each other as best man at their wedding, where were the children and grand-children? Why should he not grieve? He had lost a companion, a friend…BROTHER! In his case, he has lost a FUTURE!!!
In our human understanding we don’t know why. We fear to question GOD or to ask HIM why, but in our minds we think it. We feel it could not possibly have been his time, not this one, not this guy. So reliable, so humble and so down-to-earth. If you met him and didn’t like him, there was obviously something wrong with you. From the house to the clubs, to the parks, to the gardens, the restaurants to the bukkas, Chicken republic or the corner shops in Gwarinpa, back to the house; he was real. He was funny, loyal and honest. Why will we not miss him? We have lost a good companion, a true friend and a loyal COMRADE!
Even in our grief, in our loss, we should remember his family. Not us who may have surrounded him day-to-day especially during his time in Abuja or at UniJos, not those on his BBM or the people following him on twitter. I mean his real family. The Okeke’s who brought him into this world, who nurtured him and moulded him into the man that we all love so much. The one’s who supported his dreams and aspiration with words and finances, the people he spent his last days with. We shall be grateful to GOD that he was able to spend those last days with them at such a wonderful occasion. We seek GOD’s consolation upon their hearts and soul. For they shall, grieve, they shall wail and they shall miss and why should they not? They have lost a BROTHER, a SON and a bright FUTURE. They deserve your prayers.
My friend Chuka Okeke is gone. Gone to the flames of a burning vehicle. He was loved by many and will be missed by us all. I know he would want us to be happy, but there is no happiness in this. He has departed from us at a time we all feel is not the right time, but GOD alone knows the right time.
C for Chuka…Rest in Peace. “T for Tare” is definitely going to miss you…
I’ll also like to point out that Chuka’s beloved sister, Uchenna was with him and also lost her life in the car crash along with 3 other people. She was a good friend of mine.
May the souls of the departed rest in Peace with our Lord.