Posted by From IKE NNAMDI, Washington DC, SEGUN AJAYI and AZUH AMATUS, Lagos on
Authorities of the Howard University Hospital, Washington D.C, United States of America, where the late music icon and preacher, Sonny Okosuns, died have explained why they could not save him.
• As musicians, actors, actresses mourn
Authorities of the Howard University Hospital, Washington D.C, United States of America, where the late music icon and preacher, Sonny Okosun, died have explained why they could not save him.
According to a release posted on the internet, Bruce Taylor, a hospital official revealed: “The hospital did all it could to save the late artiste.”
Taylor, who noted that the hospital is renowned for handling colon cancer cases, said that early intervention could have made a big difference in Okosuns’ life.
His words: “We have and still taking care of others who were admitted with colon cancer and they are responding well. It’s a pity that the disease had metastasized (spread) before he came into the hospital.”
He stated further, “the hospital could not operate on him because of his condition. We planned to stabilize him before taking a more aggressive approach, but he went into a coma and never came back to life.”
Meanwhile, thousands of fans of the late Oziddi King, who are resident in the U.S., have besieged the hospital to verify the reported death of the frontline musician. According to hospital reports, over 5,000 people had visited the institution while over 10,000 calls had been received, via phone, fax and e-mails.
Okosuns’ Ogba, Ikeja home, in Lagos, which also accommodates his church, House of Prayer Ministries, has been besieged by sympathizers and prominent Nigerians who paid him glowing tributes. Notable among them was the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, who disclosed he would work towards ensuring that the late artiste was given a state burial.
Extolling the virtues of Okosuns, Kayode described him as an epitome of celebration.
He said further, that there are a thousand and one Okosuns in Nigeria, who were yet to be discovered and celebrated. He, therefore, urged budding talents in the country to emulate the freedom fighter and deploy their talents positively in the best interest of the society. Kayode, who recalled, with nostalgia, his chance meeting with Okosuns, as a student of C.M.S. Grammar School, Yaba, Lagos, further described him as a great fighter, nationalist and a true patriot.
Also pouring encomiums on the late evangelist, factional President of the Performing Musicians Employer Association of Nigeria (PMAN), T-Mac Omatshola, saw Okosuns’tenure as the association’s president as not only successful but also a reference point in the history of the musicians’ body. The foremost flutist recalled how Okosuns’ performance in office inspired him to vie for the number one position.
“As for him, Okosuns was a great Nigerian who started the fire of music and kept it burning until his death. His death is a great and irreplaceable loss to the country,” the musician noted.
Notable Nollywood stars and entertainers have also joined millions of Nigerians in mourning and reacting over the death of Okosuns.
Speaking with Daily Sun, in an emotion laden voice, Mr Ejike Asiegbu, national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), regretted the demise of the Ozzidi exponent, which he described as a big loss to Nigeria and the African continent in general.
“Okosuns’ death was a big shock to all of us in the entertainment industry. We had a father and son relationship prior to his death and even acted together in a film once. He was a great freedom fighter and he died fighting. On behalf of AGN, we deeply and sincerely mourn with the Okosuns family,” Asiegbu said.
Also speaking, top actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo said Africa had lost a great anti-aparthied crusader and one of its finest musicians.
“Christendom has also lost a praise music revolutionary. I personally, have lost my most ardent admirer. He usually called me on phone to say that,” Kanayo said.
Lamenting further, another top actor, Zack Orji, said the entertainment industry, Nigeria and Africa had lost a precious gem who impacted and affected lives positively.
“He also influenced political change in Africa with his God-given talent and activity in music,” he said, adding that Okosuns’ transition was a journey all mortals must embark some day.
Lending his voice, top music producer and the presenter of Da New Live Beats on TV, Cally Ikpe, said Okosuns became a legend with his melody, rhyme and message, which impacted on the world positively.
“He has passed on but his works lives,” he said.
Nollywood actress, Stephanie Okereke, said Okosuns’ death was a big loss to the nation and his family, adding that the late musician was a sweet man with a beautiful mind.
“I had the opportunity of meeting him in the US in 2004. His legacies will continue to live and my sincere sympathy to his family and loved ones,” she said.
The acting duo of Chidi Mokeme and Victor Osuagwu also lamented the demise of Okosuns, describing it as a monumental loss to the Nigerian and African music industries.
“Luckily, his evergreen works will definitely keep his memories alive with us forever,” said Mokeme.
Osuagwu added that Okosuns would always be remembered as an activist, who fought aparthied with his music and soothing lyrics.
Top actress and reigning AMAA best actress, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, said she got the shocking news upon arrival from a foreign trip and had not been herself ever since.
“This sad news threw me off balance and I’m yet to recover from the shock,” she said.
Okosuns, 61, died last Saturday in the US, after a protracted battle with cancer of the colon.