OBITUARY: He Who Lightened Up the Newsroom With Laughter Is Gone. Gone Forever!

Earlier today, Femi Adebesin-Kuti, The Guardian’s Photo Editor passed away after a brief illness. But if there’s anything one could say about the Rutam House star, It will undoubtedly revolve around liveliness.

Fondly called Esin [Fun Fun], Kuti would not give a chance to a dull atmosphere. An irate soul would soften at his sight. As boring as pressmanship could seem, journos in Rutam House had no such chance when with Kuti.

As a professional photojournalist, he archived the newsroom memories, bringing together men of varied ranks to cheer to the camera. That alone brightened up the newsroom even amidst production hours.

But there he goes and would never return. Kuti’s demise is a loss not only to Rutam House but to the larger society of the pen fraternity.


At every assignment Kuti covered, according to The Guardian,  his distinctness and dedication to duty were unmatched as he would always go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure every moment that needed to be captured never missed his lenses.

The experienced journalist covered countless sporting events in Nigeria, Africa, and across the globe, notably the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the FIFA World Cup events.


As the veteran was put to rest, friends and colleagues scribbled heart-touching messages on social media.

His friend and one-time colleague, Ajibola Amzat said he did not believe lights had dimmed on the lively Kuti.

“O’ Kuti!” exclaims Ajibola while recalling an eponym the deceased was given by his associates.

“I just saw the announcement of your death on Facebook,” he continued. “The news hit me like a thunder strike. I still feel disoriented. It doesn’t seem real that you are dead. That you are gone. Gone forever!”

You that was always full of life.

Energetic, funny and mischievous.

You who had no animosity towards anyone, including your traducers.

I remember how, at The Guardian, I used to run after you  to send photographs for my stories during production.

And how I had to do two, three, some times, more trips to your desk before you finally treat the photos and send.

Because you were always busy attending to the requests of other reporters. 

You were the go-to photographer in the newsroom  because you were good at your work.

And you did your job with vivacity of the happpiest man in a mad city called Lagos.

I remember how we used to go eat amala and abula at Airport Road late in the evening after production.

And you never ran short of jokes and banters till we got a belly fill. 

I never imagined the day you would stop  to talk,  let alone die and disappear.

I believe many of our colleagues nursed the same fantasy.

Perhaps,that’s why we pronounced your name as O’ Kuti. That is, the one who resists death. 

You were a jolly good fellow in the real sense of the word. And you were a solid professional to boot.

I hope you find good rest and comfort after life.

Goodnight, O’ Kuti.

Your friend and brother,

Ajibola Amzat

December 6, 2023.

“Just like the icon of photojournalism in Nigeria, late Chief Peter Obe, the just departed Femi Adebesin-kuti was a thoroughbred professional and a great journalist who left an indelible mark on the history of Nigerian media. Rest in peace, great men,” another associate of the deceased, Sunday Olufemi Adedeji, wrote.

Also, professional bodies like the Nigeria Union of journalists (NUJ) and Photojournalists Association of Nigeria (PJAN) mourned the demise of Kuti.

A senior editor with The Guardian, Chuks Nwanne, while mourning Kuti’s death wrote on his Facebook handle: “I’m Femi Kuti, we lost a dependable, hardworking, loyal staff. Rest well Esin Funfun…”

“A mentor, Editor, and a brave photojournalist. My time in the Newsroom was made memorable by him,” Jesutomi Akomolafe, a crime reporter with The Guardian wrote. “It hurts to witness how we all wished each other a good new year while tearing up 6 days after. Despite my lack of words, I beg God for mercy. Rest on, Mr.Femi Adebesin-Kuti…”

Kuti who hailed from Abeokuta, Ogun State was buried in Ogun State, according to Islamic rites.


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