When on June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson died, his fans knew they had lost a visionary entertainer and a creative genius. The world itself lost an amazing character. Those who were fortunate to know and work for and or with him, knew they had lost a dear friend and mentor, but they have something to hold on to. Pembi Stephen-David elaborates.
To sing often, entertain people, dance and win the hearts and affection of fans and colleagues, earn the appreciation of honest critics, impact your world in your own swell way, bring out the best in others, leave the world a lot better, whether by the way you lived your life or by the way you did not, to know that even a life alone has breathed easier because you have lived, is to say the least, you have succeeded.
Arguably, there is no secular music lover or musician whose life has not been touched in a way by Michael (Wacko Jacko) Jackson; he lived and epitomised music, dance and fashion. With his unparalleled style, he made his fans gyrate, and helped them to forget their sorrows, albeit fleetingly. On the way to school, in the car or at home, everyone sang his songs.
Three years after his sudden death, the world still remembered that he did his best to ‘heal the world and make it a better place’.
There is still a place in the hearts of Michael Jackson’s fans kept just for him three years after his demise. The place? It might have, certainly been brighter than tomorrow, if he had lived on. He had sang: ‘‘If You Want To Know Why, There’s A Love That Cannot Lie, Love Is Strong, It Only Cares For Joyful Giving, If We Try, We Shall See.
“In This Bliss, We Cannot Feel Fear Or Dread, We Stop Existing And Start Living .’’
There are only a handful of people who come into your world, and touch your life in a dramatic fashion. Some of such people are just flickers of light during a life-time, while others are consistent glows for years. His contribution to music, dance, and fashion, along with a much-publicised personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. He was a consistent glow.
Speaking to e-TRAIN, Mr. Haman Tumba, a businessman from Michika, Adamawa State, said: ‘‘I never knew that day was going to be his last. In life, I loved the music of MJ dearly, in his death, I do the same. Gone is the face I loved so dear; silent is the voice everyone loved to hear and though physically absent, he is just as dear’.
Tumba added that his love Michael is so much so that, ‘‘I named my beloved son Michael Jackson and pray that like MJ, he will affect his generation. I must say here that MJ’s music gives my life a meaning and defines the way I view things in life’’.
Almost shedding tears, Tumba mourned; ‘‘as his songs often went, “All the Things You (were)’, ‘Are Another Part of Me’ because you had always given me ‘A Brand New Day’. You were always a ‘Breaking News’ and you made people of all races to ‘Come Together’. You are ‘Gone Too Soon’ but it is ‘Human Nature’. ‘Would you Hold My Hands’ because ‘I need Just a Little Bit of You’. MJ, ‘Love is Here’ and ‘You’re Gone”.
He continued: ‘‘Though you were the ‘Man in the Mirror’, his ‘Mind was(Is) the Magic’. I want to give you ‘One More Chance’ to perform like you always did but I know you now need your ‘Privacy’ and since you have gone, ‘Twenty-Five Miles away’, ‘I am Speechless’. But whatever Happens, ‘You Are Not Alone’ for my relationship with you is ‘Unbreakable”.
‘‘Wacko Jacko shared a significant moment with the world in the entertainment industry, as one of his fans recalled; I remember his quiet smiles and acknowledge the love and life he gave to people.
His heart was so kind and when the world needed someone to be with, he was someone we could always count on. The love in my heart will walk with you forever”, these were the words of Zainab Ibrahim, one of his numerous fans in Abuja.
Sounding philosophical, Sunday Fatoki, a corporate driver in Lagos said; ‘‘saying goodbye is never an easy thing but you never said you will be gone forever. But if you say so, I will set you free MJ”.
There is no lover of music today whose life in some way, has not been touched by Michael Jackson, the undisputed king of Pop.
He engraved a painted image of what dance, music and fashion should be. Three years after he left this world, his fans all over remember him. Michael, was a true companion and great fellow.
Aspects of MJ’s personal life, including his changing appearance, personal relationships, behaviour, even at death, generated so much controversy.