Memories of Brother S.K. Onyia
When Aaron called me up on the morning of 4th of February, 2017, that was a Saturday, and he said: “I am calling you for something important”, after a brief pause, he continued, “the brother that gave your mum’s funeral talk just died”. I went silent for a while and then he continued, “Brother Onyia died”.
At that point, while I could not say a word, I felt a chill that brought back so much memories of this beloved brother that I just feel I need to express in writing. A few hour pass by before I could overcome the intense shock in felt. I did manage to drop a few words of condolence to Ebube on chat.
Way Back in Time When I Was a Kid
If there is a picture I could remember so clearly, through the passing years from my childhood, growing up in Warri till now, that would be Brother S.K Onyia. As a kid I know him as a very close friend to my Dad. I could say that much because I could recall seeing the two of them all the time at home and at other occasions. They spent time talking and discussing matters. Up until this day, I do not really know what they use to discuss neither was I so keen to know but one thing clear to me was the fact that he was someone my Dad always was fond of. I could also see both of them in photos every now and then in my Dad’s album. I do think i need to scan all these photos just to preserve them as some of them are even way older than me!
In PTI, Warri
If I made good results in school I could safely say that Brother Onyia contributed to my success. Let me tell you why. Remember that during my school days in RSUST, Osondu was in Warri at the Ighavodha’s. That means that most of the holidays I would also be there to spend a few days or weeks every now and then.
But that is not the point. The main point is that I spent a good number of time each week in the PTI library either preparing for exam, a test or reading up a tough topic. And the needed books were always there. Brother Onyia was the person who gave me the written note I always use to gain access to the library since I was not a student of PTI. This note he gave me was so important that with it I have access to the PTI library anytime. And that helped me a lot in my days in school.
Just as you know as with many families, things are not always as smooth as should be even for very mature, respected and experienced men like my dad. What it means is that at some point in time, my dad and my mum had certain differences that required someone who not only was a friend of the family, but understands and loves the family and is mature enough to handle such issues. At such times, Brother Onyia was always there to give needed support and advice and even play a mediating role sometimes.. He was ever ready to make needed sacrifices to ensure that my dad was happy with my mum. Such self-sacrifice continued even when we moved to Akokwa, he still maintained the rapport with the family. I could safely say that he was used to our home both in Warri and in Akokwa.
Support for Big Bros. Osondu
Remember to story of Osondu. You can read it up in a different article on this site. At some point in time, things were really not very easy for him while he was in Warri. That was when he lost his job and then have to leave the apartment he was staying to a smaller one. I think, that should be between 1998 and 2001. During those tough times, guess who was always there and provided needed assistance. You guess right! It was Brother Onyia. He was nothing short of a father. Even when Osondu was getting married, he was the person that was there to provide support. Who was the speaker that gave the wedding discourse? You guess right! I do believe he took Osondu as his own son or even a little more.
My Mum’s Death – 2015
When my mum died(I have not recovered from this though) on the 11th of July 2015 and we needed to make the necessary arrangements. I was natural that a very close family friend could fill the need of handling the funeral discourse. And that close friend was no other person than brother S.K Onyia. He volunteered his time and efforts to see my dad through those trying times.
Even as I’m writing this article, I have not really come to terms with the reality of this shocking event. I still see his smiling face so vividly and kind words each time I think of him. I really learnt much from him and now that he is gone to rest, I do hope that we would see him again in he new world.