After the sudden death of his priced angel, child and daughter, Gbenga Aruleba of Africa Independent Television (AIT) has written a touching tribute in his late daughter’s honour.
TRIBUTE TO MY GUARDIAN ANGEL, MY PRECIOUS JEWEL, MY FRIEND, MY JOY, MY COMFORTER, AND THE ONLY ONE WHO CALLED ME, “MY DADDY”, OUT OF THREE CHILDREN, RERELOLUWA APOTIERI OLUWAFIFUNMI DEBORAH ARULEBA, August 27, 2003 – August 28, 2016.
Finally, after two weeks of grief, loud yells when those who know her come calling on condolence visits, shrill, silent sobs which would then grow louder and attract attention, I now have the emotional stability and composure to NOT ONLY pay a tribute to you, My darling Angel, BUT to also express immense gratitude to the too numerous friends, relations, pastors, fellow church members, colleagues of my wife and I, way back in our days as boyfriend and girlfriend in the “80’s in Radio Lagos And Lagos Television,colleagues at DAAR Communications and the media generally, Management and teachers of Rere from Peaklane College, Senior and highly placed government officials, Senators , HoR members, Governors and indeed just mere acquaintances.
First, I like to pray that NONE of you will Ever experience the trauma of seeing a LOVED child die in your hands, as i did, and as i know, many of you who have travelled this road did. I pray that only things of JOY will be celebrated in our households. Rereloluwa was ( i hate to refer to her in the past tense) indeed a COVENANT Child.
The circumstances of her birth made her so. She was my 4th child, the 3rd, a boy, had been a still birth, had died in the womb for over 24 hours, according to the family doctor, and the logical, medical procedure was evacuation thru caesarian, but MIRACULOUSLY, he was delivered after my wife went into labour. But we had made a vow to have three children but then, the delay began until God made Good HIs Covenant to us to bless us. What better names to give Her than RERELOLUWA, meaning God is Good.
Right from when she could utter the first words, Rere would call me “My Daddy” , not just daddy, and i call her my Baby, Rerestic, and as she grew, she acquired other appellations like Rubu, (given to her by her elder sister, Tobiloba) For 13 years, Rereloluwa changed our lives in the family, always a mediator and conciliator . She knew when the mum was “beefing” “my Daddy” and she would call me from her room to leak the information, and would even tell me how, when and what to say or do when i call ‘mummy’.
Rere was loved by all, her friends, her teachers both in school and in church. Whenever we travelled for holidays, Rere’s shopping will be for friends, and she would then come back to me that mummy has not bought anything for her and i should shop for her, thus causing “friction” with mummy who would be jealous thatIi spent more money on a “small girl” than her, my WIFE.
Rere could read me like a book. She knew when am happy and would gist with me on everything, she knew when my mood is bad, and would just slipped into the bed, and gently ask, “Daddy, are you ok? Do you want anything? Do you want tea? Is is mummy? Do you want to be alone? Rere would NOT leave me until she had changed the situation. Now friends, you understand why am still grieving over MY LOSS.
My Rere left a void in my life. But i know SHE IS RESTING WITH THE LORD. Let me take a break now, because the emotions are welling up again. Part Two will be a tribute and thank you to all those million helping hands that have been holding us up as a family. For now, let me relieve this emotion, a bit.