The death of Baba Sani Dangote, on Sunday November 16, 2021 in faraway United State has thrown me into immutable sense of agony and grief. I wept profusely until the river of tears flowing from my eyes dried up. I lost my father when I was very young but this day was the day, I really know the pain and how it feels to lose a father.
My heart ached, and still aching with sadness and grief as I struggled to compose this short tribute. Weeping, sobbing and praying for the repose of your soul were my major chores since your death. I take solace in the fact that no one can question the very will of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala.
Baba Sani, as I fondly called you, losing you shattered my heart not just into pieces, but tiny fragments. Words cannot explain what it means to lose you. I had such fond memories of you as a father figure before anything, brother like no other, and I will always remember you as one of the nicest persons who lived the face of the earth.
I will always remember you as a devoted father who always put his family first before anything. Baba Sani you made me involved with my nieces and nephews’ affairs, which I will cherish for the rest of my life. You were just a model for committed family man everyone should emulate.
I remember the very day Umma told me to get ready that Aziza and Khalifa were going to Lagos for school. I thought it was a joke until we escorted them to school, dropped them off and came back to Kano. That was when the reality of their absence hit me hard. I remember how hard myself and Aali cried. Umma was laughing and he said “wai kuka ta ke saboda an kai su Aziza makaranta? To shikenan za su dinga zuwa su gansu har sai sun saba”, a promise he kept for a very long time.
Our journey and adventure from Togo when Aziza and Khalifa were in school, to trips to London for graduations and holidays in Miami, Houston, among others and pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, are memories I will treasure for the rest of my life.
You were a people’s person, called a social entrepreneur by your friends, a bridge builder and a pace-setter. You were always charming and calm. You were the rallying point of people both at work and in the family, devoted a lot to help the less-privileged. You walked with us throughout our lives and your memory is my keepsake, with which I’ll never part. Your presence we miss! Your memory we shall treasure until we meet to part no more.
Allahumma inna Baba Sani fee thimmatiKa, wa habil jiwaariKa, faqihi min fitnatil qabri wa’azabin naari, wa Anta ahlul wafaa’I walhaqqi Faghfir lahu warhamhu InnaKa Anta Al-Ghafur Ar-Raheem.
Huwaila Muhammad Ibrahim