LETTER TO UCHE NDUKA
I'm writing to congratulate you on your bold attempt to capture the memory of our late friend Izzia. Indeed, we must think of him as forever present and 'forever young' as Dylan sang and as we three sang along with him countless times around Lagos bus stops, at Akika's place ,my place and the joints of Ojuelegba.
Ours was a faith lodged with art, music, dream and innocence. Values that shunned materialism, the vulgar and the commonplace. And within all our struggles to make art and to hold on to its redemptive powers, to uphold an almost impossible ethic of innocence while Lagos burned and changed [usually for the worst] and while we lost our friends to various
kinds of evil forces and while the violence of our transitional metropolis [Lagos] overwhelmed us in varying degrees we still in spite of it all held on to our fragile sense of innocence, to the belief that change is indeed possible through art, that we could make more humane communities, new kinds of families. We three, just like Lennon, dared to believe that change was possible through love.
Izzia went through innumerable bruises to prove this belief. Our nation
was not ready for him and what he stood for. But in ignoring him, our society is only the worse for it because it isn't ready yet for what's noble, pure and truly imaginative. It isn't ready to recognise that from ineffable tremors of fragility we can receive restorative bursts of creativity. This, I believe, is a way of looking at Izzia's passing and what it most immediately signifies. I hope, Uche, that you're protecting your life-force…