Dearest uncle Solo,
Bittersweet feelings take over my being as I type this uncle. Bitter, because you are no more; and mum and I won’t be opportuned to see you in Ekpoma, as planned to visit you, when next we are home together. Sweet, because I knew you, and thankfully was able to reconnect with you on Facebook over the past year, and tell you how much I appreciated you and your impact, to the strong and confident woman I have grown into. You were indeed fond, and proud of me.
My love for pictures is no doubt with your influence. I knew you captured my childhood memories since I was very little, and mummy, in tears, confirmed this morning that it was since I was age three! Yes, since the tender age of 3 and it was a weekly affair, sometimes, twice a week! You took my Passport Photographs when I was relocating to the U.S…….I had to skip all the photographers between Apata and Akinyemi Way to get to you. It was uncle Solo or no one else! You were IT uncle!
I remember when you came to ours every Sunday to take my pictures, you took me on a ride on your bike to the beginning of Akinyemi Way, and back home. Yes, my first ever bike rides were with you, and on your bike uncle Solo, and my parents sure trusted their little princess with you.
You were not just my photographer, you were MY uncle, you were family!
As far as I was concerned, NO PHOTOGRAPHER KNEW HIS ONIONS LIKE UNCLE SOLO! That, is a fact! Not only did you take my pictures, you always had my “picture negatives” handy should I need extra copies.
When I was getting married, I insisted I wanted my uncle Solo to take the pictures and I remembered mummy telling me on the phone that you had relocated, and she didn’t know how to get in touch. I begged her to find a way, and she did, and you traveled all the way from Ekpoma to take our wedding pictures – that was how dedicated and loving you were. Infact, Adams (R.I.P) wondered what was so special about this uncle Solo when there were photographers in Ibadan, and I did not have to explain further to him the moment he saw you!
When you noticed I was off Facebook, you reached out to mum and I to find out if all was okay. On my 40th birthday, you sent your blessings across to me uncle. That was my uncle Solo – a genuine spirit. I will forever miss you! 🙁
I will try not to shed more tears uncle Solo. I will send a prayer up when the tears are about to drop God help me. I have no regrets whatsoever, and I am thankful again that we reconnected after so many years and we were able to actually recount years past!
I ask God for strength for your family both biological and adopted, for Parishioners of Christ the King Catholic Church, Odo-Ona, Ibadan; I especially ask Him for His exceeding Grace for aunty as she goes through this period and life in general without you. May God uphold us all. Amen.
We have indeed lost a gem, but I fear not because I believe we have gained yet another Saint in Heaven.
Uncle Solo as I fondly called you, I am indeed thankful for every single one of the moments we got to share. I am thankful for all the sunshine you brought to my life and of course, to all that knew you. I will cherish them and the all the memories I have of you till the day I die uncle. I believe one day I will see you again, and when I do, can we please have just one more bike ride and another pose in front of the camera? Love forever uncle!
Adieu uncle Solo Aisabokhale! Adieu Onward Photos!
I remain your little “Sisi”.