By Ediale Kingsley
The music star had 12 kids: seven boys and five girls. And they all enjoyed their father’s presence. “It was awesome. My siblings and I didn’t see him as a famous figure. He was a normal, caring, jovial and loving dad to us,” Darlington Akanite, one of his sons, disclosed to press men.
He then changed the name to sound more like a French name; that was how he came up with Oliver De Coque.
He loved to buy clothes. He spent a lot of money maintaining his looks. In fact, he spent N30,000 on his beard weekly and that amounted to N120,000 monthly.
He fell ill at the end of 2007. He was diabetic and hypertensive. Most artistes don’t like to disclose their health challenge.
His son is of the opinion that if he had disclosed his health challenge, he would have gotten help quick. He was ill for three months. “He then recovered in February 2008 and began to go for shows. He died on June 20 but he had planned to travel to the US on July 2 for checkup,” Darlington added.
He told the press that it was as if his father knew he was going to die because on the day he died, he decided to stay indoors. “And he wanted me to stay by his side.”
“That morning, after he had his breakfast, he began to feel ill. He said he was going to cancel his appointment for that day. I didn’t know it was a serious matter; all I did was to console him. I went to the bathroom to take a shower and then told him that I wanted to visit a few friends. He begged me not to leave his side; I became upset. I thought he was depriving me of catching fun. I grudgingly stayed back.”
Darlington wondered what was happening. It was after he died he realised the highlife maestro was referring to a wheel chair.
I think he was becoming paralysed and unconscious. When we got to the hospital, he was rushed to the emergency ward.
“Throughout his time at the hospital, he kept begging me to save him but there was nothing I could have done,” the son said.
Before he died, he held Darlington’s hand close to his side as he took his last breathe. His son closed his eyes and kissed him on the forehead. “I was so confused about all that happened.”
If Oliver had made his health condition public, the son believes more than 200 Igbo people would have laid their lives down for him.