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This was sent to me today. *************************** Samuel Ekpe Akpabot, 1932-2000 This Day (Lagos) September 3, 2000 Penultimate Sunday, death snatched away yet another of Nigeria's finest minds, Professor Sam Akpabot. The musicologist, soccer commentator, columnist and scholar died in his sleep in his home in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. He was 68. The late Akpabot made African music his forte both as a scholar and as a performer. But he touched lives beyond the culture circuit. Professor Akpabot was a bundle of energy. He defied imposed spaces. In him the town and the gown found easy cohabitation. He was versatile. Born on October 3, 1932 in Etinam in present day Akwa Ibom State, he started his public career as a performer. In the fifties, he led a six- man highlife band called the Sam Akpabot Sextet. He rose from a performer to an instructor, scholar and authority on African music. He was educated at the Baptist Academy and Kings College, both in Lagos, the Royal College of Music, London, the University of Chicago and then at the Michigan State University, where he bagged his Ph.D. in 1975. Upon his return to Nigeria, he lectured in music in various universities, including Universities of Ibadan, Ife and Nigeria, Nsukka. Football was his other passion. He was a sport's commentator and analyst. He wrote on his two loves with a contagious passion. He kept columns in many Nigerian newspapers, including The Guardian, Daily Sketch, Nigerian Tribune and Sunday Times. His publications include Collected Poems, Four Orchestra Pieces for Western and African Instruments, Ibibio Music in Nigerian Culture, Foundation of African Music, Football in Nigeria, Form, Function and Style in African Music. He performed in many orchestras and was a fellow of many reputable academies. Professor Akpabot embraced controversies. But his brilliance was never in doubt. Neither was his zeal. As we commiserate with his family, his state and the country on this loss, we recommend his tenacity and simplicity to all. On his 60th birthday he wrote "My belief is that greatness desire no forum. You don't need long winded newspaper essays or television or radio profiles to tell how great or important an individual is." It was meant to be a song of lamentation. But it was also a song of consolation from a man who was sure of his own importance in a non-vain way. He was an important man because he made important academic contributions to the sociological basis of African musical forms. He intervened in public debates. He also contributed his quota to soccer, the nation's most popular sport. He achieved a lot within such short life span, underscoring the fact that people don't need to live forever to make impact on their society. Nigeria teems with such talents. But they need to be cultivated and nourished and harnessed. Presently, the country offers little or nothing to her intellectuals and thinkers. While Professor Akpabot and others stood it out here, others move to where they could be better appreciated. Now that death is striking out at the artistic and intellectual community it is a good time to think about cultivation and continuity. .