In life and indeed in everything, forget the razzmatazz and focus on the fundamentals
– Eugene Anenih
These were the last words I heard from Eugene exactly a week before his death. On that day, we had lunch together and an interesting get-together, where he spoke on life and work. His death came as a shock and thus disrupted everything, hence this tribute.
Eugene’s life in general, his family life especially, was peaceful because he took care of the fundamentals. In our current world, we are constantly bamboozled with lots of noise, with competing interests, societal pressures, misplacement of priorities etc. All this makes it extremely difficult to attain peace. Either exteriorly or interiorly, because of this difficulty, many choose to believe that it’s not possible to achieve it. But the truth is that deep down many people both the poor and the rich desperately yearn for peace but they areearching in the wrong places. Peace cannot be paid for or ordered from any mall, it is a fruit of close union with God, who is the King of peace. Indeed it is gift of God to man. In John 14:27, Jesus told his apostles “peace I leave you with, my peace I give you not as the world gives do I give” This peace is so important that in Matthew 10:12-24, he charged his disciples saying, “when you enter any house, they should salute it and if it is worthy let their peace come upon it”. The homilist at the funeral Mass sang hymn 313 (Seek heaven Alone) from the Catholic Hymn Book. Some key lines were, “seeking heaven alone, brings true happiness” “though we gain the whole world, poor indeed are we, if we lose our Jesus for eternity” “Seek then, but salvation, seek that peace and joy which endure forever, bliss without alloy”. I wouldn’t be wrong to say that Eugene followed hymn 313 to the letter.
His death still remains a shock; In fact, some tennis players have hung their rackets, either as a sign of mourning or superstitious fear that they could be next. Whatever be the case, it’s undeniable that we are still in disbelief
Requiescat in pace Eugene.
Nwachukwu is a lawyer and a writer. email@example.com