Tribute to the late Baba Shabu

Gabriel, 15, working with Baba Shabu.

Gabriel M. Joegar

The late Baba Shabu, artist master, was the best teacher or master of art I have had since I can remember.

When I was just a kid, attending the Foundation for Recreation and Children Education (FORCE), Baba and Mama were the two old people who always loved working with children, encouraging them to do well in their artworks, and teaching them about Liberian culture.

It came a time that Mama and Baba decided to help me by giving me the opportunity to become a young apprentice to Baba. Since then, I have been working with Baba peacefully, he has always been so loving and caring to me every time we are working together, and one day he has never scolded me.

But now, I feel like I have no master like Baba again.

The late Baba Shabu was a person who always loved calling me Mister Gabriel, laughing with me, and telling me some stories about our culture while we are working together.  Baba was like a grandfather to me as well as Mama is like a grandmother to me. In the sense that they will always call me, show me some remedies, and encourage me to take care of myself everytime; more especially when I am sick. Just as grandparents do. 

I have been so much impressed with the way Mama and Baba treat me, since I started coming to work with them.  Even the last day that I interacted with Baba, he instructed me calmly to do the things he wanted me to do. 

I also admired the way Mama and Baba worked together in discussing issues with each other before doing things.

My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Shabu family.  I was deeply saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Baba, he was so special to me, and he will truly be missed by me.

I know you are hurting right now, but please remember to take care of yourself, eat well, get as much sleep as you can, and know that I am always available whenever you need me.

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the passing of one of our greatest artist and affable teacher or master of art, a beloved of the Shabu family and us all.

 Take heart and keep courage, I know it is hard to be comforted in difficult times like this; but I pray that you may be comforted and consoled.

Please remember me in your prayers that I would not forget the knowledge Baba impacted in me.  Mama, I am still your grandchild and will always be available to be with you. 

May you find comfort in all the memories you shared with Baba, and may his soul rest in peace. 

May his soul rest in peace!