Labake and Other Faithful Departed


By Eddy Odivwri

As you read this, Mrs Margaret Labake Yembra, nee Lateef, is on her final journey out of this planet to her eternal resting place at Ikoyi cemetery, near where her own mother was laid a few years back. At that, a chapter in her life would have closed and another opened.

The one to be opened is what we do not know what would be its content.

But we can say a thing or two about the chapter that is closing today.

We gathered yesterday at her residence in Festac Town to bid her farewell through the sacrament of Service of Songs. Labake was a Catholic Knight. And she lived a robust life filled with glitz and fun.

Her final exit is coming at a time THISDAY Newspaper is celebrating 25 full years of robust journalism, tagged as “25 Years of Reason”. It is instructive that Labake was there at the beginning. In the very long list of “over 1000 Visionaries” published by THISDAY management, Labake’s name is there on number 1130.

Also there are names of many other visionaries who had gone before Labake. I cannot remember them all. But how can I forget Emeka Enechi, the fantastic Sports writer who was a victim of careless medics, as mere tetanus knocked him off .

How can I forget my then immediate boss, Godwin Agbroko who was sent off this wicked world by assassin’s bullets atop Iyana-Isolo bridge. How can I forget gentleman Funso Muraino, or our dear Samuel Famankinwa?

How can I forget Oga Wale Oladepo and the many other faithful departed? They have merely gone ahead of us all. May their souls continue to rest in peace.

But to say we would miss Labake will be an understatement. Sure we will!

We will miss her boisterous nature, her little mischief here and there, her fun and flair, her friendliness and her good nature. She was an aggressive marketer and a manager with human face. She was generous and a fashion aficionado. All that stops today. Her family: her dear husband, Precious, and children, Ejiro and Eseoghene will continue therefrom.

Yes, she toiled hard to live, having struggled for 65 months on sick bed, wheel chair etc, but she was full of hope and sunshine. Death is wicked! But it is a wickedness that we shall all one day partake of. All we ask is let us bow out at ripe age.

But as Labake takes her final sleep today, she is freed from all the troubles of this world. She is freed from all the naggings of physiotherapists, doctors, pharmacists and even prayer merchants. She is freed from all the plagues that harass us on daily basis. Yes, she is free! Labaks, my Labaks, sleep on. Sleep well. Good night!