Last night, I went to bed rather early. Just after reading a chapter in a friend's ms I slept off hoping to wake in the middle of the night to do some writing. Barely ten minutes after I slept off, just about 11.25pm or thereabout my younger brother banged on my door and dragged me to the sitting room, right in front of the Television.
'Michael is dead! Michael is dead!'
I couldn’t make anything of his rambling and I was vexed to be woken from my sleep, yet my brain, automatically, was sorting out the Michaels I knew and what death had got to do with them. It was the presenter’s voice on TV that cleared my sleepiness and helped the message sink deep. In few minutes goose pimples covered my arms.
'Michael Jackson dead?!'
Since yesterday, I have been mulling over the death. And I'm of the opinion that everywhere in the world Michael Jackson meant something to every one of us. He's a mystery we may never unravel, because his eccentricities have only confounded us into thinking all sorts of him. His talents undeniably changed our world - good, bad, whatever...
Michael is one who has influenced hundreds of musicians, inspired many and made them aspire, even checked some into focus and taught others caution. And who are we to condemn a man whose life consumed us.
Even in death, the mystery remains. Now listening, reading and watching the tributes in different media, my thought rests on those very 'final' words: This is it’. He said at the proposed comeback concert due to start in July.
Whatever he meant to us, we won’t deny that he was a great man; a legacy whose ways would walk with us into the future.
“Jumoke Verissimo’s poetic voice is imbued with a consciousness of African history and an awareness of the socio-economic realities of modern Nigeria with its legacy of colonial plunder, its pathetic attempts at self-governance and the brutality of its military dictatorships. she balances the despair she sees all around her with a degree of stubborn hope and an enchanting lyricism which echoes the style of oral African poetry.” - Funso Aiyejina (Critic, Poet and Professor of Comparative Literature)