By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
While human beings exist, it has been stressed that love plays a pivotal role in the development of every relationship man engages in.
A former Nigeria’s President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo made this known at the one year remembrance of the passing of Professor of Clinical Psychology, Mrs Helen Nwagwu, in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The commemorative event which was held at the University of Ibadan during the weekend featured tributes and presentation of compilation of poems, titled: “Time Came Upon Me,” written by Professor Mark Nwagwu to honour her late wife, Helen.
Those who eulogised late Prof. Helen include renowned literary writers, Professors Femi Osofisan and Remi Raji-Oyelade, among others.
Obasanjo, who was the chief host at the event, lauded the life of sincere love lived by the Nwagwus as one that should resonate across families in Nigeria.
The former President lauded the late Nwagwu for having made a success of life being a good wife, community leader, academic and family person.
While doing a review of the compilation, Professor Remi Raji-Oyelade, explained that the 94 poems on the late Helen espoused the concepts of life and living, love and loving, ageing, death, transcendence, family reminiscences and eternal love.
Describing the poems as celebratory and reflective, teaching how to love eternally, saying it, Prof. Raji-Oyelade also praised Nwagwu’s use of sensual words, his ballistic memory, unity of expression, sensory metaphor of sight, poetic recognition of the cosmic importance of numbers in his writing about his wife, Helen.
The chairperson of the event, Ms Owen Omogaifo lauded Mark Nwagwu for being a proponent of love and girl child education.
In his reading of one of the poems in Nwagwu’s “Time Came Upon Me”, renowned literary writer, Femi Osofisan, said the Nwagwu’s holding of hands and show of love in public like besotted teenagers remained a constant source of banter, bemusement, mild envy to many.
Prof. Osofisan also described as remarkable the fact that even in retirement, the Nwagwu’s remained committed to social and academic activities in the University of Ibadan.
While responding, the author of the collection, Mark Nwagwu said his love for his late wife remained unending, eternal and would continue when they meet in heaven, expressing deep appreciation to those who graced the event.