I did not know Pius Adesanmi personally… Just like I felt when Gani Fawehinmi and Dipo Famakinwa died, I felt the same way this last Sunday. Some deaths hit us in a different way. It is not just sorrow. I don’t really know how to describe it. I guess that these deaths remind us of our mortality and inadequacies. Our mistakes and the corrective actions needed to make amends.


Sometime in the morning on Saturday, October 22, 2005, I was holding a spoon to my toddler’s mouth, whilst his nanny held him down, when I saw a news flash on the BBC reporting a plane crash in Lisa Village, Ogun State. I made a note of this piece of news and continued feeding my son. He was wailing very loudly but I did not care. Now this had become my routine, because all of a sudden, my baby had grown into a toddler who seemed to dislike food, and so meal times were tedious, messy and fun. Between his nanny and I, we often held him down African-mother style. Typically, he would be before the TV watching Barney or Tweenie. But during meal times I would switch to a news channel so that he is not distracted.

I finished feeding my son and switched the TV back to the kiddies’ channel. I then went about my business of the day. It was later that I received a call from a friend who wanted to talk about the crash. We agreed to pray that no one we knew would be on the flight. We also prayed that there would be survivors. I received a lot of calls giving me names of known people on the flight. I then decided to push the kids out to another room, whilst I watched DSTV. I saw the list, but I still didn’t make any connection.

Then, the calls started coming in again. At that time, people sent others to procure tickets for them and the message-bearers usually used their own names or misspelt the traveller’s name in the process of getting the tickets. First it was a colleague. The lady who interviewed me for my job at the time. She was on the flight. I got another call from my sister in the UK. They were heading out to be with my mum — her twin brother was on the flight.

I got another call. A family friend was on the flight. The calls kept coming. I eventually found that I knew eight people on that flight. What started as a normal day, ended up being one of my worst days ever. From that day, I became afraid of flying.

When you see achievers and nice people die in certain circumstances, you just know that it doesn’t matter how you exit this earth. In this life, we are here to live and die and so it doesn’t matter how many “it is well” cliches and how many “God forbids” we hurl at each other. We will one day depart this earth. It seems unfair to mourn some and not mourn others.


March 2012, and my sister celebrated her 40th birthday in Ghana. There we had one of the best destination outings I have ever had. On June 3, 2012, my friend and I were talking over the phone, when I saw it again. A flash on the news — a plane crash. One of the ladies who had travelled with us to Ghana was on that flight. More names emerged. People who had been in my house, who I had partied with, with whom I had become friends through our kids. Yet again another devastating period.

On Sunday, March 10, 2019, I was talking through the morning to my “egbon” about our victory that was yet to be announced. I was in very high spirits and was so sure nothing could dampen my mood. I was going to spoil myself with niceties. Then I saw the news flash on CNN. A plane crash! I prayed the same prayer for survivors.

I did not know Pius Adesanmi personally, but on several occasions, I had been tagged on one of his posts on Facebook. And through this I got familiar with his posts. He was serious and light-hearted in equal measure. He had a way with words and satire, especially when he referred to his state governor and the senator representing his state. He was someone I admired.

Just like I felt when Gani Fawehinmi and Dipo Famakinwa died, I felt the same way this last Sunday. Some deaths hit us in a different way. It is not just sorrow. I don’t really know how to describe it. I guess that these deaths remind us of our mortality and inadequacies. Our mistakes and the corrective actions needed to make amends.

When you see achievers and nice people die in certain circumstances, you just know that it doesn’t matter how you exit this earth. In this life, we are here to live and die and so it doesn’t matter how many “it is well” cliches and how many “God forbids” we hurl at each other. We will one day depart this earth. It seems unfair to mourn some and not mourn others. But our post-mortem responses would always be a function of what people represent in the lives of others.

‘Lande Omo Oba is a lawyer and everyday girl.