By F. Odun Balogun
Although I bid goodbye to Isidore on his departing this sphere of existence, I am not mourning him but celebrating him. Few us will remain in memory after departing this earth, but Isidore is one of those who will forever remain actively alive in our daily conversations wherever scholars engage in discussion about innovative and permanent contributions to knowledge in the fields of Oral Tradition and literary studies. People of African origin in particular will forever be indebted to Isidore for his creating a permanent seat for them at the high table wherever Epic is the topic of discussion.
Isidore was not only a preeminent scholar, researcher and teacher, he has also left us a legacy of thought-provoking and enjoyable creative fiction. The title of his most recent novel reveals his passion for, and insistence that African people and their culture be correctly perceived by the world: Call Me By My Rightful Name is the request that Isidore politely places before those who have had the habit of always misnaming us as a cover for ulterior motives.
Thus in the title of this imaginatively spurn narrative, Isidore quietly but brilliantly intimates the purpose to which he had chosen to dedicate his life on this terrain. Though an uncompromising fighter for integrity and a man of giant intellect, Isidore remained at all times a gentle, kind, and humble friend to all who know him. We will all miss him, but he has left us a great legacy; therefore, I will not mourn but celebrate him as we bid him goodbye from this space.
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