Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee – John Donne
There is something about the news of the death of a young person that affects me deeply. And so it was with very great shock that I heard just this morning, I slept very early last night, the news of the passing on of Susan Harvey popularly known as Goldie this morning on 98.1 Smooth FM’s ‘Freshly pressed’ program.
This is by no means a tribute, I do not lay claim to knowing her beyond what I saw of her while she was in the Big Brother House. I am not a fan of her music, I am more a fan of soulful music and oldies. This is just my perception of her person and an expression of my shock at the suddenness of her death
Perhaps, if Goldie had not participated in the Big Brother Africa Stargame edition last year, the news of her death might not have affected me for more than the few minutes that news of the death of strangers usually affect most of us before we promptly move on with our lives while chanting that life must go on.
However, much as I do not approve of the fact that the Big Brother Africa reality show does not appear aimed at promoting any particular talent in its participants but rather has the effect of promoting idleness and vices such as drinking and smoking, I must nevertheless confess to taking more than just passing interest in the reality show. And so, I was one of those who watched 2012’s edition of the Big Brother Africa dubbed Stargame in which Goldie participated. Prior to Goldie going into the house, I only knew her as a musician who dressed “funny” (for want of a better and more appropriate word) and none of whose songs I knew. But Goldie’s participation in the Big Brother Stargame showed not just me, but I believe also, a lot of Nigerians the side of her which her music never did.
In the house, we saw a Goldie that was homely, always cooking, cleaning the house, doing the laundry of both herself and Prezzo, the Kenyan housemate she fell for in the house. I saw an intelligent Goldie who won most of the tasks in the house that had to do with the intellect (just like Malvina in the previous edition which Karen Igho and that unbelievably boring Zimbabwean guy won). I saw a Goldie who was particularly emotionally vulnerable. I also saw a Goldie who in spite of her apparent deep feelings for Prezzo and the latter’s obvious desire for a physical relationship refused to allow herself to be messed up. I saw a Goldie who didn’t drink alcohol or smoke and who I very much doubt would have allowed herself to be pulled into doing drugs. I also a Goldie who was very strong in spite of her apparent emotional vulnerability. I remember my dislike of Prezzo because of the way Prezzo treated her and I felt he was very much unworthy of her and remember praying that the husband she marries be someone who will truly love her and not someone who will take advantage of her. I have no doubt she would have been a great wife to some lucky guy she will now never marry and a great mother to children she now will never bear.
The news of her sudden death after complaints of headache was all the more shocking to me because having seen her on Big Brother Africa Stargame, it was as if I had gotten to know her as a person and not just the singer with the noticeably false eyelashes and outlandish dressing. May her soul rest in peace and may God console those she left behind while forestalling this kind of death of our youths who have the capacity to contribute so much to the growth of our country.