I heard of Danny and Sylvester’s deaths just about six hours apart – both were in the same age bracket, in the same industry, and both victim to the short, brutish life that Nigeria is gaining critical acclaim for by the day.
In 2008 I was selected to attend a BBC World Service Trust (now Media Action) training on “Reporting HIV and Aids”.
We must have been about 13 or so participants, all drawn from different radio stations in Abuja. I remember quite a few of them, Sophie Petra, Danny, Chimdi (from Aso Radio as well, where I was at the time), Nonye, Ehi, if I’ve missed names they won’t be more than two.
I remember our per diem (more than my youth corper allowance at the time, the awesome tea breaks with a different set of pastries each day, and of course I remember filling out lunch cards and eating ‘whatever I wanted’ for lunch.
The banter and camaraderie amongst all of us was real, even though sometimes I felt like I couldn’t voice an opinion cos technically I was the youngest. Used to tell myself it was Danny in my head, but it’s a good thing I never said it out, cos I’m wrong.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I stayed in touch with at last 60% of the team. So from those I’m tight with, to the ones whose names I only remember when Facebook says it’s their birthday, I’ve pretty much kept those doors open.
I saw Danny last around the end of 2012. I’d been invited to Kiss FM to be a guest on Nike Coker’s show and I went in to do the recording. I spoke on basic essentials for security online, just tips and tricks for people to stay safe in all their dealings online. I remember it was about the time that Cynthia Osikogu was lured to a hotel in Lagos and killed by some men she met/spoke to on Facebook.
I was excited to see him! Teased about him becoming a big boy at Kiss (I remember at a point wasn’t very excited with RayPower FM), and he teased me about being chubby. SMH Danny!
I heard Danny passed the same morning Sylvester’s death was confirmed, and all I could see in my head was the twinkle in his tiny eyes, the dimples in his smile. I could see the spring in his step, and the laughter which I couldn’t place at some point.
Danny, I don’t know the proximity of the candle to the generator that exploded that night, but I know your heart was pure, and you would do anything to make the next man happy. My heart goes out to your family and I pray God’s grace and comfort in this time.
Sleep well Danny Danosaur – keep making music!!