El Capitaaan

By Publisher
5 Min Read

By Michael Igbinedion,esq

As a man of letters I find it very easy to put words together at any given moment but the passing away of our dearly beloved Captain Hosa Wells Okunbo ( fondly called El Capitaan by my family) has been one of those moments that left me completely stunned, speechless and confounded. For those who were close, it was no secret that he was battling with a most debilitating and deadly cancer and that it was only a matter of time before even the strongest mortal would succumb to it.

Nevertheless, the news of his passing was still a heavy shock because anybody who knew El Capitaan had become accustomed to his larger than life character,a man that defied the odds often, a dogged fighter and conqueror. In our eyes, he was no mere mortal but a superhero. Aside from the physical aspect of him, nothing was ordinary about this legend. This is what led all whom knew him to believe feverishly that he was bigger than this evil ailment, and that he would come out victorious like most challenges in his life. But God knows best why why why he took such a sterling, honorable and loved personality from us. God knows best, and who are we to question the departure of this most rare and benevolent son He borrowed us.

Until I got to his house and saw the condolence register, it was difficult to believe the devastating news. But being there eliminated my selective amnesia; it became clear to me that the news was and is, indeed, true. El Capitaan is gone, El Capitaan is no more. All that energy, all that vitality, all that zest for life, (what the French call joie de vivre), all that charisma, that infectious smile, that loud laughter, all that love and kindness in all its forms, all that passion and belief in uplifting those around and outside him, his drive for a better destiny for our Benin kingdom, Edo State and mankind, now extinguished forever. That is the way of the mortal man. We each have our beginning, and we each have our ending. It is what you do in between that matters and El Capitaan’s deeds will matter for a long, long time to come.

El Capitaan was an embodiment of the quintessential Benin man, a proud Nigerian and a global citizen. As the Edo State governor rightly said “ like all of us, he had his notable flaws” but none of these shortcomings were malign in nature. Some were typical genius flaws. El Capitaan could shout for Africa but as he shouted he forgot just as easily. He was a most forgiving character. He hated nobody. Love was his mantra. Splendidly rich but with humility galore. His passion for God and understanding was second to non. His kindness knew no bounds. He could not stand seeing anybody suffer, be it pain or discomfort and would always do everything within his might to provide remedy and succor. All the praises and positive personal experiences that has been narrated or splashed across social media, across every nook and cranny from the high to the lowly are NO exaggerations but self evident truths. When a man is mourned by so many many people it shows he mattered. What a magnificent man, what a rare icon, what a true legend of our time.

El Capitaan of the air, sea and land and now of heaven, good night big brother but never goodbye because your benevolent deeds will live in our hearts, spirits, folklore and in the annals of history. Thank you for the great memories across the world.

My deepest condolences to his family and to us ALL. The book of remembrance in our hearts has now been opened. Remember him well !!!

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