It is turning out to be a wise saying that can probably not be over-used. That is the wisdom that the dead does not weep at his/her own funeral, popularised by the Tiv soloist on the air waves of Radio Nigeria, Kaduna in those days when Nigeria still had a soul.
It would have been very interesting to observe the late Bjorn Beckman at his own funeral on December 6th, 2019. It would have been interesting to hear him comment on the church service and the turn out there and at the reception which are all said to have been very impressive, with over 150 people in attendance.
Intervention understands there were many moving tributes from family members, friends and colleagues as well as beautiful songs that captured Bjorn’s life experiences. And that one of Bjorn’s sisters organised what has been rated a lovely evening family get together on the same day, providing an opportunity for some of those who attended the burial to meet the Beckman and Andrae extended families and listen to more wonderful tributes and songs. The comprehensiveness in activities and attendance did take an African turn, Africa being a major theatre of the lateBeckman’s intellectual and political activism.
Africa was there. Not only did Lennart Wohlgemut, a former director of the Nordic Africa Institute, (NAI) read a fine tribute from CODESRIA’s Executive Secretary at the reception, Emeritus Prof Fantu Cheru, Dr. Kate Meagher, widow of late Prof Raufu Mustapha, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey whose doctoral thesis was supervised by Beckman at the University of Stockholm and Dr. Yusuf Bangura stood in for Bjorn’s African friends who couldn’t attend.
In the end, it is going to be something of ‘Bjorn Beckman is dead, long live Beckman’ because all those debates he engaged in will continue to be read by children yet unborn. So, there is a legacy even as there is no knowing what children yet unborn will make of the debates, given the furiousness of the meta-theoretical contestation going on today. That is the business of that generation since we would all be dead by then anyway.