Mr. Tunji Okusanya, Managing Director, MIC Funeral Services, who was allegedly killed in an Associated Airlines plane crash, had in the interview before his death, given guidelines on how he should be buried by his children.
When asked in a recent interview if he had planned his funeral yet, having planned the funerals of others, he said, “Fortunately, I am in this line and my kids see what I do. You plan for yourself as you get older and we have people who plan their funerals before they die. They even choose the clothes they want to be buried in. My children know what I like to wear but it is always good to plan before hand because in most instances, your kids will not give you what you want. My children should bury me the way I live.”
Yesterday, over a dozen lives were lost in the ill-fate Associated Airlines that crashed on take-off, while conveying the remains of a former Minister of Aviation and ex-governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Agagu, scheduled to be buried in Ondo State today. Deji Falae, Tunji Okusanya (Snr.) and son, Tunji Okunsanya (Jnr.), were part of the deceased on the board of the aircraft.
As family, friends and associates sought to lay to rest the remains of one time Minister of Aviation and former governor of Ondo State, Dr Chief Olusegun Agagu, Nigeria was thrown into a devastating groaning and mourning as the aircraft bearing the remains and some other people crash landed with about 15 people losing their lives.
The ill-fated Associated Airline plane was flying to Akure, where the remains of the former Governor of the state, Olusegun Agagu was supposed to be interred by the weekend.
On hearing the news of the crash, crowd of sympathizers thronged MIC House, the office of MIC Funeral Services at No.10, Odunlami Street, beside CSS Bookshop, Lagos Island.
His funeral house was under locks and key, while the Nigerian flag in front of the office flew at half mast.
One of the sympathizers, a woman who preferred anonymity, alleged that the Managing Director, Tunji Okusanya and his first son whom he has handed over the company to were involved in the crash.
There were, however no immediate members of the family or close associates within the office, to confirm this information.
Attempt to get the reaction of other sympathizers who thronged the funeral undertaker’s office, proved abortive, as most of them said they were too shocked to comment.
Sympathisers, in their hundreds gathered in front of the office, temporarily blocking access to the company and other businesses around the area.
However, following the huge crowd which besieged the premises of the company, the gates were closed.
Tunji Okunsanya was trained as an engineer in the United Kingdom. He runs the Magbamowo Industrial Company, M.I.C, as the Managing Director. The company was handed over to him by his father in 1982.
In a recent interview, Okusanya said he formed his company from his father’s company — Magbamowo Industrial Company. “All I had to do was pick the first letter of each word to arrive at MIC. This was in 1982,” he said.
The Man Tunji Okusanya
Tunji Okusanya was a man of many parts. The Ijebu-born son of a carpenter-turned funeral director was the Executive Director of MIC funeral homes, a company which has been in existence for over 30 years. He was a do-it-yourself kind of person, who could, according to those who had met him, be described as a titan among equals in the business of funeral undertaking and who believed that there were lessons one could not learn and understand by bagging a degree, nor by reading books.
Okusanya was the man who, as a celebrity funeral director, brought colour and glamour to occasions that people naturally associate with mystery and gloom. MIC, coined from his father’s furniture company, Magbamowo Industrial Company, was started in 1982 and would later be transformed into a company highly sought after for its exquisite services. However, despite owning a business that spans three decades, his interests in starting the business was not entirely his own, as he revealed at various times, the business was started by his father.
“You know, this business was not started by me. It was started by my father; he was actually a cabinet maker who was involved in making different kinds of furniture including coffins. I grew up developing interest in what my father was making.
“I have discovered it is faster and easier to develop your business along the areas of your interest. Most people you see around succeeding are succeeding because they have developed their interests along the areas of their passion,” explained Okusanya in an interview.”
Not undermining the fact that it was more or less an inheritance for him, Okusanya still went through the normal process of grass to grace on the job to take MIC to its present height.
“I started the business on a small scale and grew with time and I can only look back to those years of toiling and hard work and thank God for bringing us this far,” he enthused.
According to Okusanya, passion for what one does could not be overemphasised because that was what would eventually drive one on where everything else might have failed.
“Funeral business is not the type of business that you go into with the mind of getting rich quick, you have to have the zeal and love for the business from within, so whether the money is forth-coming immediately or not, you will keep moving on and excelling in it. You also need to do all you can so that the product would be accepted, once there is acceptability, the sky is your limit.”
He was a man who believed that funeral undertaking business was beyond casket making, noting, that it is “an all-encompassing business”.
May His Soul Rest In Peace