We regret to announce the death of Badia-East youth leader, Mr. Kehinde Ilawole, who passed on on Saturday, March 17, 2018. The inevitability of death is a painful reality for all humans. The more agonizing aspect is when it strikes during the most active time of a person’s life. Every young person imagines the hour of death to be in a distant future. No one thought we would be thinking of Kehinde as a memory, so soon.
Kehinde, all of us at SPACES FOR CHANGE received the news of your death with shock, not only because of the strange circumstances surrounding your demise, but also, because you left during your prime. You left too soon. We wish this is not true.
We still recall our first encounter with you in January 2017. You were one of the community youth selected to support our gender and energy survey research as a field enumerator. In August 2017, you were again, one of the 15 youth in the informal settlements selected to participate in the certified training on digital story-telling. The powerful video you produced after your training exposed the dangers of gang violence and called for action. Sadly, that call was unheeded by those who had a responsibility to act and make our cities safe. Had they listened to you, you would have lived till this day.
During the household survey and digital story-telling workshop, your passion for learning was incredible. You were a wellspring of playfulness, composure, openness, laughter and respect. You were a handsome young man, so expressive and so natural.
All of us at SPACES FOR CHANGE have different memories of you. One thing our individual memories of you have in common is your enthusiasm to learn and to become. Aizighode describes you as an amazing communicator. She likes your deep voice, and the soft manner you get your points across. Fisayo’s best encounter with you was the pilot survey on energy where you never failed to meet your daily targets. He still relishes the fond memories of your straightforwardness. Your education, for him, made you different from the stereotyped slum dweller. Chimee was fond of you the most: he wishes you were still around to lead the 20 youth selected to go see the trending Black Panther movie on March 28, 2018. Chimee still wants to hang out with you again, and eat rice, your favorite meal. The first and only time Udochi saw you, was unfortunately the last time he saw you. He feels sad that death did not let you become the great artist – like Leonardo Da Vinci – you dreamt to be. Victoria still remembers your bold italicized handwriting and the trademark NYSC boots that you always wore during the household survey.
We all looked forward to continuing working with you in Badia and environs. This may not happen, but your memory lives on. Thank you for everything you did so passionately. We will miss your constant readiness to work with SPACES FOR CHANGE, and the selflessness you injected into it.
Rest in peace, dear Kehinde Ilawole.