Dr. Louis Brown Ogbeifun

Accredited Mediator | Certified Professional Manager and Trainer in Workplace Conflicts


Reflections on Life and Legacy: Finding Meaning in Unexpected Moments”

I suddenly got woken up at about 11.45 last night by the blaring sounds of loudspeakers and drums from two churches on all-night prayers within 50 and 100 meters of my bedroom. Others in my position would sulk and grumble.

But I thank God for the resilience and the ability to adapt to seeing opportunities in all situations. The forced sleepless night has become an opportunity to meditate over our existence on earth and the lessons learned from the funeral service of Rosemary Oritsemohogbene Wilkey (ROW), AKA Mama Labour on February 29, 2024.

During the burial ceremony, Comrade Peter Esele and I asked ourselves countless times, “What is in this world after all?” I don’t think any of us gave a specific answer.

After the service, we decided to take a picture at the roll-down banner displaying Mama Labour’s embossed picture, after which I turned to read the words on the banner. Two phrases in the scroll caught my attention – “Weep not for me! Now I am free.”

Mama Labour is indeed now free from labor unrest, tear gas, sickness, disease, subsidy removal, deregulation, Naira devaluation, unfaithful friends who dine with people in the morning and feel no qualms stabbing them in the enemy camp at night, etc.

I, however, left the church service with a better sense of how best to relate to and with the living because the Pastor reminded us that all the good testimonies about Rosemary, her courage in activism, loyalty to the AIT, and her friends were excellent and inspiring. However, excellent as the testimonies were, she could hear none of them talk less of her, appreciating the feeling of grief and what people said about her.

So, dear friends, is it possible for you reading this post to commit to reach out to your friends more often and tell them how much you value them? Only the living could hear and appreciate kind words. When we tell people how good they are and find time to admonish them in love when they offend us, they will likely carry the testimonials in their pouches on their journeys of no return.

Is there anybody you have been grudging and have said never again? It is time to forgive and heal because Rosemary never knew time was up when she passed on. It could be us the next moment. We should never carry a feeling of grudge with us from one minute to the next.

Mama Labour! We won’t weep for you anymore because you are now free indeed. Instead, we should be weeping for ourselves who are surrounded by the excruciating pains of daily wickedness displayed everywhere we turn.

Besides, we cannot determine what the next day holds for the living and we do not know what people would say about us in our time of passing. Only God and providence have such spiritual insights into our tomorrow. But in passing, what will people say about you?

Rosemary! The kind words said about you at your funeral are an epitaph of how well you spent your life doing what you knew how to do best. Good night.

Grace and peace!!!