“… The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes” (Shakespeare Julius Caesar 1599). Tunde Jonathan Owoicho Mark’s death fits into the latter.
Arguably, the death of Tunde Mark; son of the 12th President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator David Mark last Friday was akin to more than a thousand that fell down in a pogrom.
Tunde’s demise at this time is cruel, sad, devastating and truly discomforting, not only to the immediate family, but to all within and outside Nigeria who knew him. Mere mortals cannot question the will of God. Truly, like Shakespeare puts it, no matter how much we strive, death is a necessary end that must come when it shall.
For many reasons beyond personal acquaintances, Tunde fondly called ‘Double Chief’ represented hope of a new generation. He was a fine gentleman who had no ethnic or religious boundaries. Humanitarian contributions was his core Value.
Born on the 13th of October, 1971, Tunde attended Yaba Military School, located in Lagos where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate.
He later proceeded to Bradfield College, Berkshire, UK where he attended Secondary School.
He was a Biochemist who obtained a B.Sc degree from Kings College, London. He studied Immunology alongside Biochemistry and later Biological Sciences in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was married and had a daughter.
Tunde all alone is a conglomerate of intelligence. A trained Scientist; Biochemist and Immunologist , he discussed and taught virtually all subjects effortlessly.
He had a firm grip of local politics and arguably an expert in international affairs. He was a brain box of a sort and indeed a mobile encyclopedia. His accent, diction and mastery of English language was amazing. Conversation with Tunde was always rewarding. He was an engaging personality.
With him, new ideas and vocabularies were always handy. He was an ideas man. He had a world view in his palm.
Tunde left a legacy of selflessness. He was a man who came ahead of his time
Severally, I tried to convince him to appear on Television and Radio programmes to educate people on burning issues especially on international affairs, but Tunde would shy away on the excuse that his views could be misconstrued as that of his father’s. It was a burden he had to bear in protection of his father’s earned name.
Tunde was a unique and uncommon personality. He never for once displayed arrogance or affluence as the son of a prominent and wealthy father. He was humble to a fault.
Tunde was a man of vision. He hoped for a new Nigeria where everyone is his brothers’ keeper. Even from his sick bed, he was optimistic that things could turn around for good but death kept calling. He battled to live but God had the final say ……And Tunde succumbed to the cold hand of death .
What started like a tooth ache degenerated and metamorphosed into malignancy otherwise called cancer. Even when the ailment worsened. Tunde was still hopeful. He would be the first to send me text message asking how we were fairing. He asked me to keep tab with political developments in Nigeria; the basis of our next conversation that was never to be .
Tunde, during this unfortunate ailment was so committed to the things of God. He would be the first to send me inspirational Bible verses assuring me that he would overcome.
After Tunde’s last surgery, he wrote me; “Good morning Paul, I weathered the storm and passed the bridge of torment and I’m now in the midst of battle, all following the Lord’s Pennant, the Cross, to Victory. Amen. Have a blessed sabbath my brother”. And I replied “Fear not. God never fails. Victory is yours my Chief. It’s well with you”.
And in the evening of October 1, 2022, Tunde wrote again, “Hope the Mumehs have had an enjoyable Independence Day so far. Long may the merriment continue, Happy Independence Day and Happy New Month Boss”.
Sometimes, I felt flattered and uneasy when Tunde called me Boss. Here is a mere staff to his father being called boss by the heir apparent. Though this is strange in our clime, it is the uncommon humility in Tunde. He respected all and never for once lost his sense of humour.
The scripture is right, such good ones like Tunde comes rarely; and once in the life of a people. Though his life was cut short by the debilitating ailment, the brief time he spent on earth was very impactful. We are heartbroken, but consoled that Tunde has gone to be His creator in a better place .
Tunde left a legacy of selflessness. He was a man who came ahead of his time.
@Mumeh wrote from Abuja