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.
A QUINTESSENCE OF DILIGENCE
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!”
“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.