Suberu as I Knew Him - Baba's Tribute to Suberu
Some years before I came to Sweden, I was a teacher to a boy who told me about his uncle in Sweden when he got to know that I had a pen friend in Sweden. In fact, I was known to this boy’s family as well because I visited him quite often. Little did I know that one day I will end up in Sweden and this famous uncle will be my best friend and a senior brother.
Within weeks after my arrival in Stockholm I was taken to Ghana Union meeting where I met Suberu who immediately invited me to his house. During our conversation I mention some people in Ghana whom Ladi knows and who are our distant relatives.
On the following day after the visit to Suberu, I received a letter from my former pupil in Ghana giving me the name and the telephone number of his uncle in Sweden. This uncle was Suberu. I knew his senior brother and his family at Kotobabi and from then on the special relationship developed between Ladi, Suberu and myself.
Suberu was honest, kind and a humble man. Many times he brought his family to visit me in my small student room. The young kids loved me and played a lot with me. Whenever I had visitors I always took them to see Suberu and his family. In fact they even hosted some of them on my behalf when I was in the student room.
Over the years, this relationship deepened and I became his younger brother and the kids call me their uncle. My mother knows Suberu and Ladi very well because anytime they visited Ghana they went to see her. He was the witness and the best man when I got married. My two children were named in his house and he is their God father.
Another coincidence – my mother is called Zeinab, Ladi is called Zeinab and my daughter is Zeinab. He was the one who taught me how to drive. He invited my friends and I to his house for meals during Eid celebration every year. The last time I saw Suberu was at his son’s engagement reception where he showed his trust for me by asking me to thank his in-laws on behalf of the Suberu family. Suberu gave me and my family a wonderful love and I am grateful for that.
He had strong views about the political and economic developments in Africa and we had a lot of discussions about the situation in Africa. Suberu had burning passion for the things he believes in and can be abrasive in his response to comments during our Union meetings but he listened to me when I point out his mistakes because he trusted me.
Even though I have not been an executive member of the Ghana Union he invited me to all executive meetings and asked my opinion on issues concerning the Ghana Union. He has devoted his time and energy to the service of not only Ghanaians but to all Africans and African associations in Sweden and the attendance to his memorial evening today reflects this fact.
As we have gathered here today to remember him and celebrate his enormous contribution to the welfare of the African community Sweden, I will appeal to all of us to give him a lasting legacy by reviving and energizing the Ghana Union to which he has given much of his time and resources. To his family I pledge to uphold the good name Suberu and to the children I will continue to be your uncle.
May Allah have mercy on his soul and grant him peace and Janatul firdaus.
Thank you for listening.