Femi Adebesin-kuti, The Infectious Loverboy & Entertainer

Femi Adebesin-kuti

Odutayo Odusanya

Sunday January 08,2023

Femi Adebesin-kuti was a scholar of the King Solomon College with a Masters Degree in Nothingness. He was armed with a compedium of go-lucky-fella irrespective of the world’s expectations or outcomes.
Apart from his dedication to photojournalism, Femi Adebesin-kuti fondly called ‘Esin'(horse) prioritised eating, drinking and merrying as a way of life .

A page of tribute in Guardian Newspaper

Esin’s gentlemanliness was never in doubt , very warm and witty to a fault. He was naturally fair in complexion with diminutive sturdy stature. His great dress sense endeared him to many as a fun loving fella. His vintage styles of Danshiki and kembe and his Egba dialect were always flaunted with pride, a cultural adherence to Yoruba root and Lisabi lineage in Abeokuta.
He’s got no airs around him, down to earth and never a dull moment. A major element that made ladies swarm round him like the bees as he got the whole chest of the sugar.

The maxim, ‘All work no play, makes Jack a dull boy’ vindicated him as been a hardworker and a hard player.

Esin in action

Esin participated in three World Cups including South Africa, Russia and also five Nations Cup appearances doing what he knew how to do best.

Since I knew him in 2006, I had never seen him angry until Tuesday January 03,2023, three days away to his last day on Earth.

I decided to visit him when Bola Omilabu, a sport Photojournalist raised an alarm on January 02,2022 on the group’s platform(Guild of Photojournalists Nigeria) that Esin was seriously ill.
At first, I had spoken to him on December 23,2022 when he was first admitted at the Emergency ward of the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta. He glowingly spoke from the heart and said he was responding to treatment and Akeem Salau of Vanguard Newspaper, a younger colleague also took time to tease him of Iya Mulika’s Food at Oshodi. This is a local food vendor where anyone close to Esin would be taken to for a sumptuous meal of Amala and orisisiri.

Back to my journey to see Esin, I decided to leave Lagos early to see my mother first who lives in Abeokuta, Ogun State .
He would always refered to my 84 year old mom as his girlfriend. So when I arrived at her abode, I hinted her of my mission and of course gave account of Esin’s state of health.
The old woman would ask all the 5Ws which I could not answer but she prayed for him and kept calling afterwards to know how he was faring.

I left for the hospital at about 3:25pm since the official hours for visitors was between 4-6pm. The eldest son and first born, Peter Oluwadamilola Adebesin-Kuti was already waiting to receive me as we had been keeping in touch all day via phone.
Lest I forget, Esin’s religion was Islam with the name, Musibaudeen but the son bears Peter. A liberal Muslim he must have been in the home.

Dialysis Centre

The hospital protocol kept all relations and friends outside the ward as he was being attended to by the medical team when we got there.

It was Olusegun Obasanjo Dialysis Centre, away from the Emergency Ward he was previously kept after the condition was diagnosed to be kidney related in December 2022. This particular centre was said to be a dead end as lives are lost daily but i assured myself that Esin would come out alive.

Esin on oxygen

After the banters with the family members, I requested to know the real issues and how we could be of help to our colleague and friend. Though, the group has raised about 160,000 Naira on that Monday when we got information that he would need 200,000 Naira for surgery. But I needed to hear from the family and the medical team. Prior to this time, there were lots of conjectures and speculation on the ailment as being prostate enlargement, haemorrhage of the rectum, kidney problem, chronic liver disease, heart disease and not ruling out diabolic tendencies from an opposite sex.

Well, we were beckoned to come in but again stopped at the doorway but with the intervention of a nurse who I learnt was a family member of the Adebesin-kutis allowed only me at the time. “Please the person from Lagos alone should come inside… “came the voice

The moment Esin saw me at the entrance from his bed, he lifted his left arm and eyes aglow with a gesture, urging me to come to his side.
When I moved close to the bedside, I greeted him and was just telling him all would be well.
He said excitedly “Tayo did you see Otunba(Olasupo, SA to Lagos Governor on Photography) and Keye,Keye(Kehinde Gbadamosi of Vanguard Newspaper) they are here, they are around”?. At the time I couldn’t decipher the ‘Keye’ he mentioned but I urged him on.
“Go call them, bring them here” I replied they must have left as I didn’t meet them on my way to the centre.
He was a bit persistent but gave up on it.
He continued “Look at me, see my remaining body…” letting his eyes move towards the right arm that was pointing to his lower abdomen.
I simply replied that he would be fine by the next day.
Then he said”Thank you my brother ose o”

I then told him his girlfriend asked after him. In a swift swing of emotion, his countenance changed and I saw the face lifted with the jaundiced eyes vividly showing and the dried scaly lips opened with a queried voice laced with vexation “Girlfriend wo? girlfriend wo ?” (meaning Which girlfriend ,which girlfriend)
Then I told him, “My mom of course that you would always refered to as your girlfriend.”

Then in a very slow motion he calmed the nerves down and said in a slutter voice “okay,okay “

This in my opinion was a pointer to one of the riddles the consultant was trying to resolve a day to the demise of Femi Adebesin-kuti.
A source from the grapevine told me that the doctor called out a particular wife in the presence of all to ask what really happened to the patient. Telling everyone that cared that being a medical doctor did not preclude him from the understanding of the extra terrestrial activities.

So he said he was putting down his orthodox medicine toga to talk about the traditional side of the ailment. That something strange happened to the man he was looking at and would want some answers. Then the wife requested that the doctor see her outside to talk about it.
There seemed to be a mysterious attack on Femi Adebesin-kuti which would be begging for answers in the following weeks.

Just as learned doctors are arming themselves with knowledge in the metaphysical so are the locals would always tried to protect their loved ones from avoidable arrows and destruction.
Some of Esin’s family members must have done everything within their power to keep him alive. A visit to churches,traditionalists wouldn’t have been ruled out to find a lasting solution to his predicament.
Unfortunately, all the answers were not encouraging, it was a lost battle in the spirit realm. According to a source, a woman with strange powers has inflicted him with the illness and has eaten too deep into the body system to be corrected.

According to the doctors, the kidney was normal and okay from the scan but there was something destroying the liver, an acute one which they could not phantom till death came. Dialysis was held back due to low pressure and the heart could not also function properly except it was aided by oxygen. With lots of injections to boost the hypotension level of the blood system, there was little or no improvement.

That anger I witnessed might have stemmed from a vexed spirit fighting an unknown course(to me)in a weak flesh or body.
That was the last conversation I had with Esin and he stopped for a moment which to me was considered as sleep .
So I stepped back to meet his family members outside the buiding.

The son told me earlier in the day while they ran helter-skelter to ensure he was fine, Esin in his usual self, told the son and few with him “Ese, eku ise, mo maa ra eja fun yin”(Welldone, I will buy you all pepper soup). Oh, what a loving soul ! Femi Adebesin-kuti knew how to entertain associates and friends.

To prove that he fought to the end, a day to his death he asked few questions when the doctor came around :-

Esin- I have been in this position for the past three days now and cannot move my body.
Doctor- You have water in your chest
Esin- Do I need to drink more water?
Doctor- No, that’s what Dialysis would do
Esin- When I urinate, it’s always painful
Doc- When last did he urinate ?
Family member- 45mins ago
Doc- Was it much?
Family member- NO
Doc- What was the colour ?
Family member- Like Coca-Cola
Doc- That is liver issue

The doctor did say he urgently needed to get rid of the waste in his body but dialysis was ruled out for fear of the inevitable. The reason why he suggested we took him to St Nicholas in Lagos or Abuja where a Sustained Low Efficiency Dialysis would be conducted on him to drain the waste water or allow the continuity of the procedure taken by the centre in Abeokuta with lots of prayers.
However, a caveat was also given that if he was discharged after a consent was given by the hospital, he would not be accepted back peradventure an incident occured afterwards.

Femi Adebesin-kuti died on the morning of Friday January 06,2023 at the age of 57 years and has since been buried according to Islamic rites in his home town in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He was survived by 4 wives and 8 children
May his soul rest in peace.

Odutayo Odusanya writes in from Lagos state. A photojournalist and media entrepreneur. tayor4real@gmail.com

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