The Alaka Family Emblem
My Uncle asked that I create his family emblem at the end of 2019... He passed away before we could begin.
Here's what I created in his honour.
A Few Words
It was drawing to the date of Grandad’s 10 Year Memorial Prayer (last year, 2019) and you asked me to create the Invitation for the event. It was the most nerve wracking design I had ever created (until now). I didn’t want to disappoint you, the family nor Grandad.
Hearing how excited and impressed you were when I presented you what I had made, gave me an almost child-like sense of pride... like; “My Uncle’s proud of me.”
Looking back, I notice that you always took interest in what I was doing in life, whether it’s education, hobbies, relationships etc. Your presence was always involved in some way.
The pride you had when I competed as a bodybuilder always made me laugh. I remember you would tell me that you showed your friends my bodybuilding photos, you laughed and said they didn’t believe I was your Nephew. At the births of my children you showed up to support and to give us advice. When my mum needed help you were there consistently.
Towards the end of 2019, You shared with me your vision of having an Alaka Family Emblem, and you asked that I create it for you.
What an absolute honour!
Unfortunately we put it on hold, and although now you may never get to see it I’m glad I’ve gotten the design approved by my Mum (your older sister), and most especially by Aunty Peju (your wife).
I remember our conversation vaguely, but I recall you giving me a few key words that encapsulated what you wanted the emblem to convey.
• Family • Heritage • Strength
The aim was to share a message of love & unity within the family, upholding our heritage & culture and understanding that we have the strength & ability to persevere individually and collectively.
Uncle, as you requested...
The Alaka Family Emblem
Emblem's Purpose & Usage
During our conversation you let me know that you intended to use the Emblem on the chest of your Jackets, Shirts and also on Wallets etc. You'd be glad to know that we, the family and your brothers at A.C.E. have already began to use your emblem in practical ways.
You wanted your emblem to be used and honoured through generations as a representation of the morals, beliefs and teachings the family follow.
Here are a few mockups of what that would look like once they have been produced.
Symbolism & Meanings
I selected the elements of the emblem with a lot of thought. It was essential that each element played a particular role correlating with the values that you intended the emblem to represent.
These are all of the elements used in the emblem and what they mean.
In the very early hours of the morning of your passing, I couldn’t breath, could barely speak, and shivered uncontrollably with a sharp pain running from my neck down to the center of my chest. Oddly, while it was happening my mind was on you and how you were getting along with treatments.
Around 3:30pm that Sunday, I received the message from Lase (my brother). When I got the news that you had passed I threw my phone across the room and pretended the news had not come.
Not yet, not so soon.
To say that I was ‘sad’ would be a massive understatement. I wish we still had time. I wanted to go to Nigeria with you and my brothers next year, and gain a better understanding of where we come f rom.
Man... Writing this is not easy...
Shortly after receiving the news I was hit with a flood of memories. Ones I can never forget.
And in light of them I have 3 words of my own that I believe encapsulates who you have been to me and the impact you made in my life;
• Discipline • Leadership • Fun
These 3 qualities were ALWAYS evident in you and your character.
Uncle, thank you for your contributions to our families. For the advice, the support, the jokes, the medical assistance, all of it! Thank you.
To say that you’re missed doesn’t cut it. Your absence is felt. But I hope that with the creation of your emblem, your family and most especially your Sons, that your legacy and the impacts you’ve made would be remembered by us all.
Sincerely, Your Nephew,
Ola (Rasheed) Baruwa