My father was a very sensitive person – JP Clark’s daughter

Ema and dad, JP Clark

Akeem Lasisi

Ema, daughter of deceased legendary writer, Professor JP Clark, has described him as a very loving and sensitive person.

According to her, the sensitivity was a part what many did not know.

She made the assertion recently when old students of Government College, Ughelli, organised a night of tributes for him.

At the event attended by the writer’s widow, Prof. Ebun Clark, which featured performances that included that of scholar and dramatist, Tunji Sotimirin, Ema said part of what many people knew about Clark was the fact that he could be fierce.

“We used to see that part too. But the love he had for us covered such. He was a very sensitive person. That sensitivity lasted till the day he died,” Ema said.

Also in an interview with ‘The News’, Ema recalls how the father died and the gap his departure has created:

“He took ill 33 days before his final passing. He died at 86 years and ten months, and I must say this as most of the publications about his death claimed he was 85. My father was born on December 6 1933 as the April 4, 1935 date which many in the literary world are more familiar with, was his school age. He officially corrected this during his 80th birthday celebrations in 2013 and I would just like to reiterate it. He was briefly ill and died in a top hospital in Lagos, after living a very fulfilled life; He prepared for his death ahead of time, as he had constructed his grave years ago and let us know how and when he wanted to be buried. These clear instructions guided us and enabled us to bury him within his specified time of three days. My father was always very articulate and specific about what he wanted and how he wanted things to be done as there were never any grey areas with him.

“My father was not just my Dad as he was my best friend, confidant and protector. I feel like a part of me has been taken away, but we thank God because we know he is a Father to those who are fatherless. One of the last things he said to me three weeks before he died was: “I have held your hand all your life. This is how your mum and I brought you up”. He left it at that and it was later that I realised that he was sounding a warning to me that he would not be with me soon.”

Another writer, Sam Omotseye, described Clark as an extraordinary being at the programme.

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Clark

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