TB JOSHUA, SOUND SULTAN AND THE EPHEMERALITY OF LIFE by Bright Okuta

TB JOSHUA, SOUND SULTAN
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In my article dated June 12, 2021, I penned a condolence message in honour of Nigerian Preacher, Televangelist and Philanthropist, prophet TB Joshua, his good deeds and how he lived an exemplary life–a Christ-like life on earth before he died.

Last week, a weeklong burial was held in his honour. I watched his funeral service live on TV, and I saw how one man can be so loved by millions of people all over the world. It is almost impossible not to drop a tear if you watched the documentation of the late prophet’s life and times, from his small humble beginning as a local community preacher to becoming a mega preacher, philanthropist, humanitarian and televangelist. Such a feat cannot be accomplished by someone who doesn’t understand the real purpose of human existence.

After an online church service yesterday, I switched to watching the live Thanks Giving service of the late prophet on YouTube. A link with a thumbnail photo of iconic singer, Olanrewaju Abdul-Ganiu Fasasi popularly known as Sound Sultan dropped. I snatched up my phone immediately (as though I was expecting a bank alert) and opened the message. Shockingly, it was the breaking news of his death.
When the news broke out on May 12, 2021, that the veteran rapper/singer was diagnosed with throat cancer and receiving treatment in the United States, I was scared. I do not know why, but my heart twitched like a flickering candle. It wasn’t really clear if it was throat cancer, even though it was later debunked by his older brother Baba Dee. His family announced that he died of Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma, a rare form of lymphoma that affect the lymphatic system.

Tall, handsome with a fine diastema, Sound Sultan is one of the pioneers of modern-day Afrobeat/hip hop music and was one of the first set of Nigerians who made comedy a household thing through the Opa Williams’ Night Of A Thousand Laughs. He was vast in music, comedy, basketball and songwriting. One of the very few humble and very intelligent musicians I know. In many of his songs, he spoke against corruption, poverty and bad governance in his home country Nigeria. He sang about societal issues and moral decadence.

The death of these two has changed my perspective about life these past days. Just like the late Prophet, Sound Sultan achieved a lot during his time on earth. He, along with few other artistes added manure to the soil of Nigerian music for youngsters to emerge. He was made United Nations Peace Ambassador due to his peaceful nature and exemplary lifestyle. But he was too young to die. He left at a time when his family – his wife and three beautiful kids needed him. This explains how life can be so ephemeral.

The ephemerality of life is a context in which life presents itself before us as a short story blurred with uncertainties. It teaches us that life is too short to allow yourself the luxury of living it so badly. It teaches us that your time on earth is limited, so you don’t waste it living someone else’s life, based on other people’s thinking or to please other people’s egos. It teaches us that life is about making an impact and not making income. And that we die to leave all the accumulated wealth here on earth.

The eohemerality of life teaches us that the span of life is too short to be trifled away in unprofitable matters, bothering about inconsequential issues and making a case out of absolute nothing.
It’s a teacher that teaches us that life is too short to worry, to be sad. Too short to ponder on things you will never have. Too short for tears. Too short for quarrels. Too short for war. And that life is a gift, one very precious gift to adore every minute of it and live it to the full, doing good and appreciating good, just like TB Joshua and Sound Sultan. Sadly, they died at an unripe age.

The ephemerality of life teaches us that life is too short to waste time hating anyone or preserving hatred and animosity for years. It teaches us that we shouldn’t worry about the many earthly things, but live our life and be good in any little way we can, to live a lasting legacy when we are gone. These two men left a good legacy behind. They will be remembered forever, not as humans or as Nigerians, but as people who lived and impacted other people positively in their different field.

All through the week I had a jumble of thoughts about life and death, and I asked myself so many mind-boggling questions – ‘what if this’ and ‘what if that’. I didn’t find answers to these questions. Or should I say I haven’t yet found answers to them? But somehow, someday, I will.

‘I have seen life and I have seen a loved one die. Death is not the end because I have seen that it is a transformation to the other world. My brother lived, and then slipped into death and the end was peace–peace upon him’

May God grant their souls eternal rest.

Bright Okuta
brightokuta@gmail.com

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