How does one begin to
Tell this tale?
Of a gentle Iroko tree
That has drunk its last cup of tea,
Mr ‘ Aka- bu- ike’;
The hands that were strong
That carried multitudes along the way,
Giving many a life
The wisdom and strength to make hay
Because he showed the sun
To those who were not even sons.
Was it not your slit-eyed smiles?
That banished the vilest of nights,
Who will forget how your bubbly frame,
You moved around with boyish stride
Prepared us for life’s ways,
Filling us with needed confidence and pride.
So , if in one moment of human weakness
We bowed our heads and mourned
You would have appeared with
A chuckle in your voice
And a spark in your eyes
And asked your signature question
“Kee nke n’eme nu?”*
You were a lover of nicknames,
Which you bestowed on most, most affectionately:
‘Nwuye nwamu, Aunty Nteyele, Akeenee, Nedu…….’
a trait that made you
Now, so unforgettable.
So on this morning of glorious transition,
We pause to bequeath to you
A coinage of our own:
Mr ‘ AKA GI DI NDU’,
For we promise that the works of your hands
Will always find expression through ours.
This we promise!
Kee nke n’eme nu?– Igbo for ‘ What is happening?’