Ex-Eagles skipper Segun Odegbami loses son Oluwagbeminiyi


Oluwagbeminiyi, son of Nigeria’s former football ex-international Segun Odegbami, is dead.

The 1980 Africa Cup of Nations winner with the then Green Eagles, disclosed this in a tribute he wrote in his son’s memory.

Odegbami, popularly known in his hey days as: “Mathematical Segun Odegbami,” wrote: “Oluwagbeminiyi Omo Odegbami – the simple pilgrim returns home!

“It is completely impossible to think that I am writing about Oluwagbeminiyi Omo Odegbami in the past tense.

“One day to Good Friday, his message woke me up whilst I was in Accra, Ghana. He wanted my summary of the synopsis of the documentary project we were working on.

“I told him not to wait for me but to go ahead and apply his abundant creativity to the project. I was not exaggerating. Gbemi was an unknown and unappreciated G. He was a highly gifted, multi-talented young man. His writing skills, poetic literature in musical lyrics, rapping, elocution when he reads, and unique culinary skills, were all in this laid back young man whose life is simple, spartan and secluded, with no intention whatsoever to disturb the equilibrium of the chaotic world around him.

“Four hours after our exchange, I receive the first of endless phone calls that eventful day, last Thursday: Gbemi is not feeling well; Gbemi is being taken to a hospital; the hospital has referred Gbemi to another hospital.

“I direct that he be taken to a specialist hospital. His situation is critical. The hospital works on him for hours. Twelve hours after our first communication, and exactly 5 minutes past midnight, at the birth of Good Friday (a significant day in Christendom), the doctors call me for the umpteenth time that day to break my heart with the news that haunts me till now – Gbemi has passed on!

“Would it have happened had I not travelled? Would I have handled his situation better? It was a shocking, devastating, painful and incomprehensible news. Good people should not die! Why should this young man, at the start of a new exciting chapter of his life, die so suddenly? Except, of course, (and I now believe so) that it is part of a divine plot that his spirit catches up with that of the ‘dead’ on Good Friday, his sins and transgressions wiped away on the cross of Calvary through Grace at Easter. His soul must be resting peacefully now with the Creator of the Universe.

“This ‘sermon’ has become my consolation. This kind, gentle and simple heart, must no longer be tortured by the difficult challenges of his life in his world over which he had little control.

“Gbemi, until his death, was unfamiliar with world’s complex ways. His easy going life was totally harmless to anyone. His love riveted on his little son, his mother, his sisters, his music, his cooking, his song-writing, his friends and his current work in the radio station – probably in that order.

“He finally found peace, plus the space and opportunity to express his multiple skills without the pressure of any external scrutiny, enjoying his productions in sights, performances and sounds.

“Then death comes like a thief in the night to steal all of that, snatch him away and leave us with a yawning space in the puzzle of life. Personally, this hurts real bad.

“I miss Oluwagbeminiyi Omo Odegbami, an absolutely brilliant mind that is encapsulated in the frail body of a simple and gentle pilgrim. He came to the world, played his part quietly amidst unbelievable challenges, and now departs leaving a legacy of love and kindness to all those he encountered on his journey.

“He told me some weeks ago that what he had missed the most in his life were the love, guidance and friendship of a father, but that he was happy to have finally found them in a relationship with me.

“Adieu Son, as you return (on the 4th day) to our Creator this morning!”

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