Remembering May Ezekiel, 21 years after
She was popularly known as MEE (May Ellen Ezekiel), publisher of Classique Magazine, editor of Quality Magazine, host of Mee & You Television Talk Show and a philanthropist. Married to a veteran Nigerian actor and former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State, Richard Mofe Damijo, she died during a fibroid operation in Lagos in March 23, 1996.
It has been 21 years since she died. How time flies? No wonder Onome, her daughter is a now a woman. “MEE, your transition at a young age of 39 was too much a shock to absorb. Core members of the Sunshine Foundation, which you set up have not fully recovered from it. It still remains a nightmare with hallowing frightful echo, unfit for a playback.
As the senior Associate Producer, MEE and You Show, she had instructed me on what to do before the next episode. I had planned to see her on my return from the studio. Unfortunately, we completed the work very late and pushed my appointment with her to Saturday. I never did. Why? For 21 years now, I have no answer.
“MEE, there was no applause from the audience on that Saturday’s episode. That was 21 years ago. Nevertheless, your sun still shines, even brighter. Your dreams will not die. We remember you today, because you were a victor, a survivor: MEE was a daughter of the sun.
“ MEE was a remarkable human being. Rare. She drove me to discover myself. She was too wonderful, simple and innocent to live among humans. Her smiles were synonymous with generosity, love and peace. Her world was freedom, robust and open. But like the early morning sunrise, it never lasts the day. Her dream was to put smiles on the faces of the less privileged.
She employed the jobless, fed the hungry, supported the weak and helped the sick. She clothed the naked, sheltered the homeless, consoled the widow and encouraged the widower. In her, the aged found a caring daughter and the motherless, a loving and irreplaceable mother.
She was most dependable, a role model, a sister, a friend, a mother and a confidant. She lived and died for others. She knew it was too short a day to hold back God’s beauty in her.“Publisher, I am forever grateful to you. Iya, though I miss you, I know you are in a better place. MARY, sleep on till we meet again.