#Article (Archive)

Too Sad!

Jul 29, 2008, 11:54 AM

We are saddened by the reported death of a Nigerian participant at the week long regional workshop organised by the West African Rural Foundation in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Mr Wanaso Tangwai had left his country Nigeria with the hope of contributing his own ideas to sustainable development in the sub region. Like all the other participants, he had felt the need for a better West Africa where development is accorded a pride of place. But what was apparently not in his mind as he travelled to The Gambia for the workshop was death.

Normally, each day we wake up, we look forward to taking care of our daily needs - businesses, food, clothes, shelter as well as other social obligations. We hardly reckon with death, often believing that it is something far away in the distant future. But it could just be lurking in the corner, as it happened with the late Wanaso Tangwai. With him, death struck just as he was about to make his own comments on the issues that were being discussed. What a way to go!

His death confirms the well-known fact that death is inevitable, "which will come when it will come". But because we do not know when exactly it will strike, we live on hope each day that we are alive. If we had the ability to foresee when we shall die, then life would have lost its excitement. That is why philosophers over the ages have been insistent that we should not fear death. They argue that we should be more concerned about the sort of life we lead so that when death - the only thing that is certain in the world - strikes, we will have the satisfaction of having led a worthwhile life that could serve as an inspiration for others.

The late Wanaso Tangwai was one of those people who could be said to have led a worthy life. It is so because he was committed to the ideals of a better society. If he hadn't, he would not have taken part in the workshop in the first place. His community will certainly miss him because he died in the prime of his life - just 45 - when he could have still contributed a lot more to society.

We miss him and pray for the Almighty to grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss!

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