Sam Adewumi Eulogizes Jonathan Adewumi and other Covid-19 Victims In a Poem

Much has been said about this US-African community giant: Jonathan Adewumi. A US-African community leader in New York, and the co-owner of Amarachi Lounge, who passed away recently from Covid-19 related illness. A true Brooklynite, Adewumi spent his life touching other people’s lives. He made being an immigrant living in the United States something to sing about: you can either see yourself as an immigrant, in other words, an alien. On the other hand, you can see yourself as bi-coastal; someone who gets to enjoy multiple ways of life and able to connect with the world better. Such is the legacy of Adewumi.

Late Jonathan Adewumi

Adewumi was brilliant, industrious, sharp and passionate about African Black voices in the US. He was high-minded, yet never lost touch with ordinary people and simple things. Adewumi was a fine man. He’d never identified as a celebrity, yet he was surrounded by fans. No major platforms, yet he commanded thousands of real followers who had been touched by his presence, friendship, service, and leadership.

The second born in a family of 8. Clearly, he rubbed off his energy on his siblings; each one of them- Elizabeth, Joyce, Samuel, Emmanuel†, and Joseph – love people. They hold so true the Yoruba (Nigeria) proverb: “Eniyan laso mi,” meaning “human beings do better what clothes can do for the body.” They are not those people who live life passively or run their days in shallowness. They are deeply connected with the world, people, and nature.

This is why even right in the middle of serious grief, as Samuel Adewumi began eulogizing his brother in a poem, he got deeper. In his own pain he sees others. In his own story, he tells others. While trying to quietly give the deceased a voice, he ends up speaking for many- dead or alive.

Samuel Adewumi writes:

"I was a father of three
I loved my children and my wife
I remember taking them to beaches and to parks
I was an essential worker
I was not protected
I was infected on the way to work
I am no longer here
I am not a number
I lived alone for so long
I was single and life was good
I didn’t understand what was going on
One day I just didn’t feel well
Why am I coughing and sneezing
Why does it hurt to breath
Why am I so tired
Who is there to help me
I felt so cold, I felt the water in my lungs
I am no longer here
I am not a number
I had great grandchildren
I always looked forward to the summer
Then I was able to see all the good we had produced
The little ones with their funny dances
The big ones making fun of each other
I was looking forward to the one coming up
We were planning to have it in Virginia
Then I got sick
Had to be quarantined they said
And I got worse
And they took me to the hospital
Not one of my family was allowed in with me
They put me on this thing to help me breath
Not one of my children was allowed in with me
They attached something to my kidneys
Not one of my grandchildren could see or touch me
I was alone, the nurses and doctors tried, but I was alone
I wanted to hear a loved ones voice
But I was alone
I am no longer here
I am not a number
I loved to dance
I danced since I was 6 years old.
I studied dance in high, school, college, founded my own company
It was my life
I remember my last performance
In front of hundreds of people
I hugged so many
No warnings then
No social distancing
I went to the hospital when it hurt to breath
They said I wasn’t sick enough to be tested,
I went to the hospital when my temp was 102.3
Still not sick enough to be tested
I went to the hospital when I couldn’t walk on my own
We still cant test you they said to me
My son just called EMS
They are on their way
As they put me on the truck
My heart stops
They tried, they really tried
I am no longer here
I am not a number
Numbers do not tell the whole story
They don’t share the complexities of
Our loves, our desires, our dreams
Our accomplishments, our struggles
Our family units, our beloved friends
Our careers, the good we did for others
The good we received in return
Human beings are far more than numbers
They are divine beings born in the likeness of our creator
They matter, their stories matter, their lives matter
We have lost so many, the tears that have been shed would flood the oceans
They may no longer be here but
They are so much more than a NUMBER
And we must always remember them!

This is dedicated to all those who have lost their lives from this dreaded pandemic. May your spirits rest in peace and may your families find the strength to carry on.”

Jonathan Adewumi is survived by son- Jonathan Jr., the Adewumi families, and many people who will go on preserving the memories of his love, friendship, and warm touch.


The perspectives of our community matter in media! It’s about our voice,  and taking control of our narratives. Please join and support us!
Visit AfroGist Media channels  often for news updates. Access other thoughts and analyses here, reach out to post your commentaries, and feature your platform.  Watch shows, and participate in crucial conversations that concern us. Connect with the community.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

1 × 2 =