Sometime in July last year during that wet season, when our roads are easily flooded some washed away. I was stopped over in Okene on my way from Abuja were I had gone to bid a friend farewell. A friend who resisted joining the brain-drain bludgeoning this country of mine daily. I logged into my twitter account and there I saw a tweet from Pa Ikhide, he was in Nigeria, not just in Nigeria he was right there in my ‘backyard’ he came to see Papalolo who had taken ill but sadly passed on a year later after fighting every inch of the way, to stay alive. I was happy and immediately sent him a message I will be coming to see him where he was lodged and that was how I came to know Izuma, a woman that represents dedication, hard work and unending faith in the good that can come out of the most impossible of situation. A true representation of the African woman’s dedication to her husband, yes this is about Izuma not about Pa Ikhide who is now Papalolo 2 with then passing of the great Papalolo. Throughout the months of Papalolo’s illness she was by his side all the time, day and night, through thick and thin and sometimes the weariness was written all over her face but never for once complained about her own health. It was all about her husband and doing all she could to see he gets better. The day he was able to stand with some support where days you saw Izuma’s face wrinkled with smile, dispelling the despair of yesterday. The burden she bore during those months cannot not be paid back in monetary terms. The ups and downs, the pains, hunger the fear, that moment of joy, the disappointment and sometimes the anger at the whole situation. It is an emotional roller coaster taking care of people who become dependent on you for activity of daily living, they take over your life so much so you wonder why you are still alive at their demise!
So here is me saying thank you to Izuma for giving all she had in those months, daily fighting every inch of the way. This is a tribute to a woman who represents one of the key things we have going for us in our traditional African culture-family support.