It was a mixture of courage and heartbreak on Monday as Muyiwa, wife of late Prof Pius Adesanmi, broke the news of his death to their daughter, Tise.
Adesanmi was one of the 157 victims of the Ethiopian Airlines plane that crashed shortly after take-off on Sunday.
A professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Adesanmi was on his way to a meeting of the African Union’s Economic, Social, and Cultural Council in Nairobi.
He lived with his family in Canada and holds a Canadian passport.
The Canada-based university don, who held both Nigerian and Canadian passports, posted a photo from Addis Ababa Airport, Ethiopia, hours before the plane took off.
Adesanmi posted a message on Facebook which read, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me – Psalm 139:9-10.”
The plane, which was bound for Nairobi, Kenya, went down in the early hours of Sunday.
Akintunde Akinleye, Nigerian academia and journalist in Canada captured the moment Mrs Adesanmi informed her daughter of the writer’s death.
“When Tise wished you an angelic goodbye, Prof… A courageous woman, your friend, your wife held back all her pains…to break this news to Tise! I am so humbled by this courage!!!!” Akinleye writes in a Facebook post.
One Nigerian has been listed among the dead as well as 18 Canadians, 32 Kenyans, nine Ethiopians, eight Chinese, eight Italians, eight Americans, seven French, seven Britons, six Egyptians, five Germans, four Indians, four Slovaks, three Australians and others.
Since Prof. Adesanmi was carrying a Canadian passport, the Nigerian that is officially listed among the victims happens to be Ambassador Abiodun Bashua of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was carrying a UN passport.
The late Bashua was former UN and AU Deputy Joint Special Representative in Darfur, Sudan.
The late Adesanmi, who was a Director at the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University, Canada, was a professor of English.
Adesanmi is survived by his wife, daughter and mother.
Unlike him, his wife, whom he described as his “polar opposite” does not like to travel.