I know you cannot hear me now and never will. Your departure from this world which was both kind and cruel to you has thwarted my plan to travel to England in July to see your farewell concert. Gigs for which a record 750 million tickets had been sold out. While many thought it was a farewell concert, many believed it would have marked your comeback. How great you were and will always be. To say you touched every life that came to this world in the last thirty five years will be an understatement. From all races.
I wanted to be in London for your concert to see you perform, yes! But also to shout at those who in the last few years have had nothing good to say about you. This, despite your effort for the environment as depicted in your Earth Song, a campaign that is now the sing song in this fast climate changing world. This, despite your efforts to heal the world with you support for its children. And this, despite your musical genius which is immortalised by the fact that there will never be another Michael Jackson. Never!
Meanwhile I have requested my friend who had bought my London concert ticket to not ask for a refund of the. Rather to let him and all the other fans donate the millions of dollars they had paid for your concert to simply let it go towards those charity causes you stood and campaigned hard for. Or towards offsetting your debts.
Growing up in the mid 1980s in Kono, eastern Sierra Leone, my childhood fantasy made me write several letters to you. None of which I bet ever reached you. I didn’t even know your address. I just posted them. In all those letters I wanted to let you know that there was a boy in this part of the world dying to meet you some day. Obviously that meeting will never happen again.
Your humanitarianism was a thriller in my life and made me join the Red Cross. Your love for children impacted on my relationship with kids and nothing can beat it. Your dancing and singing genius made me never stop until I had got enough. I became a performer myself which served as a source of livelihood for me at some stage. Obviously I didn’t have the inimitable moon walker steps you had, but I managed to impress dozens who would pay to see me “dance and sing like Michael Jackson”, they said.
I know you were bitter against Joe, your dad, for those unkind ways he reportedly treated you. I understand you did not as a result want to look like him and so did what you had to do to change your looks. Looks which prompted my three-year-old boy who, on seeing you on television this morning, asked whether you were are a devil. I told him you were one of the best the world had ever had.
You had your childhood snatched from you even before you could turn ten years. Your birthdays were no longer your pleasure days. This, in my view, was to account for some of the weird ways you would behave sometimes later on. Children became your only source of consolation, which again was misunderstood and used against you. Your fans, including me, were never perturbed by those gimmicks. Again for us the fans you were denigrated. I remember when you dangled your child in that Berlin hotel if only to please your fans by letting them catch a glimpse of him, you were run down by the press.
Michael, I wish to inform you that, like you would have predicted, the world is upside down because of your ascension to heaven. From Africa to Asia, the Arab world to the West, tears flowed. But they were quickly followed by confetti so as not to drown out the wonderful things you did to this world.
As for those Africans who because of your skin pigmentation question your pride in being black, they should fight for you against those whites who accused you of racism because of your song Black or White? You were simply one of your kind.
By the way I saw Quincy Jones almost weep for you. Madonna lost her composure. Lisa Marie Perez paid a glowing tribute. Congress observed a moment of silence to mark your passing. Los Angeles was gripped by grief. The list of tributes is as endless as the awards you won. Thriller, eight of the nine songs all went to number one and sent Grammys tumbling. And the album is tipped to remain for a long time yet as the best selling album of all time. No foul play is suspected but investigations are still ongoing. I wish you could tell us what happened in the last hour before you lost consciousness.
By the way I just read about your last days on earth. The Associated Press has reported that you seemed “driven and upbeat in the weeks, even hours” before your death as you rehearsed rigorously for the upcoming series of concerts in London. You are said by your friends and colleagues to have appeared in recent months to be rejuvenated by the prospect of you performing again. All aspects of rehearsals you were said to have been involved in and had hired a personal trainer and were practicing with backup dancers and choreographers several hours a day. You were prepared to blow everybody “out of the water…[with what] was going to be the biggest extravaganza, entertainment spectacle ever.” Maryss Courchinoux, a 29-year-old dancer from Paris was quoted as saying that she had been selected as a backup dancer for the London concerts, fitted for a costume and invited to Thursday’s rehearsal in Los Angeles to meet you and watch the practice to help prepare for her role. That same day you were pronounced dead. Oh God!
Among a whole lot of things that I will always remember about you, is the saying in your song Man In the Mirror, If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change. Change you, Michael, cannot and have no need to make. Rest In heaven, Michael. You belong there.
Your fan forever.