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October 21, 2013

MUSTAPHA AMEGOIt’s been four years since he engaged in his health challenges. Mustapha Amego shared his new frontiers of life with immediate members of friends and family. I knew him then. I know him now. I dreaded the seasons I would write these, a misty morning, waiting for his expiration, so I may begin mourning. Two weeks, doctors said he had three weeks to live. Four years ago, his health signaled an uncomfortable twist to his boisterous, care free independent lifestyle: “Jebose, I was tooling blood for days’ nonstop. My wife kept asking me to go to the hospital because this sign was no ordinary. Naija boys, always very confident and push life to the naked limit. I ignored the signs my body gave me until one afternoon when it became out of control. My wife and daughter, Fatemma, forcefully insisted I went to the emergency. My wife pushed and drove me to the Emergency where I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. Na since then trouble start”. Musky would begin a hard and bumpy travels through America’s healthcare system, with emphasis on chemotherapy treatments. The chemo were punishment, wiping away the remainder of his week’s garnered strength. But Musky wanted to get well; he would put all his stakes on the table of survival Chemotherapy is a brutal and aggressive cancer treatment. In lay man’s language, poisonous chemicals are injected into your body to fight the cancer cells. Musky endured these, sacrificing his weight and body nutrition to the terrorisms of chemo. The chemicals were very powerful, doctors had to insert a tube on the left side of his ribs that allows the chemicals direct flows to the body without contact to the initial skins 18 months ago, e relocated to New York to live with Joel Ijejeme, my friend, colleague and peer. Joel was a producer and actor in the old NTA. He featured severally in the NTA docudrama classic: THE VILLAGE HEADMASTER.. His gruesome challenges with chemo and experimental cancer treatment continued in New York, under the host of joel. Musky calls occasionally. I was privileged his treatment schedules, as such, I knew when to call. “Zuky, how your kids now?” He would call if he hadn’t heard from me. Musky underwent and endured the pains, anguish and effects of chemo: He would return from a train ride to D.C from New York, weak, tired, wiped out and excreting blood. The next few days, Musky would be confined in bed, in pain, helpless and weak: Yet he answered every telephone call, briefly, so delightfully. He is a private man and very protective of his family. He would do anything and everything to protect his privacy, not inconvenient anyone with his health challenges. Every day became a cherished moment with a dying man. I would call and asked about everything. He calmly and weakly applied all his strength to assure me that “I still dey survive”. During one of his visits few months before he returned to Maryland from New York, doctors told him that the cancer had spread to other parts of his body. Musky returned home, called and said:”Zuky, how your family? Hope they are okay?. I just returned from the hospital and doctors said the cancer had spread. Let me lay down. I go call you later. I appreciate you”. Joel and I strategize everyday on what might come next and how we would handle his sudden death: because he shields his privacy, he protected his family and walled them from us, we wanted to respect his wishes until Marrie posted the trigger with regards to his condition yesterday. The doctors told him last week, he had three weeks to live. He called his family back in Nigeria and shared the information. We are in the second week I met Mustapha Amego while I was the Entertainment Editor of The Punch in 987. We instantly connected and never left since then. One of the tracks from his album then ushered me to accept the best entertainment writer award during the Nigeria Music Awards. The entertainment circles branded him FUNKY MALLAM: a name that was widely and graciously accepted. Mustapha is a Muslim from the North. He is an extrovert and free spirit Nigerian. He entered the Nigerian music scene as a young, handsome single heartthrob: a heart break kid that spread his “lankyness” and fine bosom around; willing and able to females. He had so much fun and dates, and refused to be engaged to any steady girl or be committed to a stable relationship: because of his care free spirit, rumors began to circulate that he was a HOMOSEXUAL. This unfounded and unfortunate rumor would chase him through the years. He is an entertainer, breaking the barriers of conservative Islamism in the north, hence we dubbed him FUNKY MALLAM. Musky Is In hospice care: awaiting his end time, any minute now. Increase the prayers PLEASE SHARE
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