Tosin’s Room

Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room.  Nothing has happened.

I am unsurprised at how people experiencing heartache find comfort in the beauty of these words. My reason for choosing it to open this blog? The room next door is newly christened the ‘Tosin Olusoga Student Space’.  For ease, let’s call it Tosin’s room. This piece, like the room, is a celebration of the man. And if you aren’t someone who benefitted from crossing his path? I hope it provides an explanation for why this space is so perfectly named.Tosin 3

Let us start with a simple question. What’s so special about Tosin’s room? What transpires daily? Most notably, it is a room for dialogue. I know this well as I hear every raised syllable and every joyous giggle. It’s a hub for chat. Indeed, I’m currently listening to a passionate plea over why Chelsea- by winning the Europa League final- are superior to their London rivals. Born on the 26th March 1997 at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, Tosin certainly loved his football. Learning to play at the age of 7 and kitted in the fanciest of footwear, he became a passionate Arsenal fan. He would tut at the current debate and the unjustified pro-Chelsea conclusion. He would put this conversation right.

The room’s chatter always veers eventually to economic comment. Moans about errors in mathematical notation are followed by chat over ‘will it ever end?’ Brexit. The room echoes with the sharing of knowledge. Tosin’s love for economics is a perfect fit. His interest in the subject is sparked back in his Secondary School days. At De Aston School in Lincolnshire, that interest only gathers momentum. His mother, Patricia, sends him the Economist without fail every month. He visits Wall Street. But his inspiration isn’t one of simple personal glory. During his Schooling he befriends the daughter of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who will become the 14th Emir of Kano. A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, it cements Tosin’s appreciation of how economics can significantly impact on a people’s well-being. He wants to help the Nigerian economy to achieve greater success. Acknowledging the destructiveness of corruption, he passionately desires to pursue economic development in his home economy. To make a difference is everything to him. His confidence in this endeavour shines through. So much so that it impacts on the lives of others. They too want to achieve more, to make a difference.

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Tosin before the Economics Ball

The room’s study chat doesn’t last. Laughter eventually drifts down the corridor. It’s a place to cement friendship. Another means to make the world a better place. I’m reminded of that by Tosin’s friends. Charismatic and cheerful, there are unsurprisingly many of them. They inform me of his infectious enthusiasm that inspires hope, love and achievement. Just through the little interactions, from childhood reminiscing to laughter in fine-tuning student cooking skills, people are inspired. They go on smiling at Tosin’s memory. A legacy created through wonderful friendship.

It’s lunchtime. The room’s noise level always intensifies. I don’t mind. The hullaballoo is joyful and acknowledgement of our friendly environment. I’m reminded of a striking selfie of me and Tosin together at the Economic Society’s Christmas Ball. He’s the dapper looking one, I’m the silly bloke in the kilt and long socks. I’m reminded of an experimental assessment in the module ‘Economics of Society, Media & Culture’. It’s a twitter diary. Students are asked to show the wisdom of economic analysis by showing how it can be applied to anything. We’re not restricted to topics covered in core economic theory. It isn’t just about consumption and production. In his diary, ‘Lord Tosin’ remarks, “it takes a lot more than education to reach potential”. He’s right. It also takes fight, using that fight to appreciate right and wrong. Tosin, whilst business minded, also had that understanding in abundance.

Student, Friend, Brother and Son. Tosin, together with his family and his friends, will always be part of our ECO community. They are always welcome. His loss will always ache. We choose, however, to focus on the love.

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Tosin’s Mother and friends at his 1-year memorial.

Written by Duncan Watson

In 2018 Tosin received a posthumous degree. The School of Economics also introduced the Tosin Olusoga Memorial Prize in his memory, open to African students and awarded for excellent performance in their final assesment.

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15 thoughts on “Tosin’s Room

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  1. This is such a lovely post!

    Tosin you definitely made it ‘simple but significant’. I’m inspired by the impact you made in such a short period of time.

    Words cannot express how much I’ve missed you over the past three years.

    Heaven has definitely gained an angel! may your soul continue to rest in peace. 💚💛💚

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  2. This is a great post and a true testiment to Tosin.

    There is a saying “People do not always remember what you did but they will always remember how you made them feel”

    That epitomises Tosin’ impact and this blog will transcend and impact many more people.

    RIEP

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  3. I never met Tosin but i met his mum and i have also seen the enthusiasm of the school at immortalising his memory it makes me feel like i have known him for years i can almost visualise him. This is an.opportunity for him to touch the lives of even those who never met him. Kudos tho the initiators of this wonderful idea it ensure that Tosin lives on.

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  4. This is a beautiful post.

    Tosin was always destined for greatness and I am happy that students, teachers and friends, past and new, will be able to know of the impact he had on people.

    A special soul, Tosin will never be forgotten.

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  5. Met Patricia (Tosin’s mum) by accident on a flight back to Lagos a few years ago. I’ve been awed by the young man’s story and achievements in such a short time on earth. I’m happy to see that the people that mattered to him (family and friends) continue to share his story to act as a beacon of hope for the rest of us.

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  6. My dearest Son.Everything has been said about you. Like I have always said, you were here for a purpose. Gods got you. Each day I have living proof. You surely have done me extremely proud on earth and in death. I celebrate u daily as you were very “simple but significant “ in every aspect of your life.A great Blessing to Me and your sister.
    Continue to R.I.P My dearest TOS.
    (Patricia) Mum💕🙏🏽😇

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  7. This is a beautiful post and the preservation of his memory in pictures and words makes the blog even more beautiful!

    Its amazing to remember Tosin at times like this. You’ve been missed and I pray that your soul continues to rest in the peace of the lord. Indeed you’re gone, but will never be forgotten. ❤️

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  8. First time I met Tosin was in London 9 years ago .. a very well mannered and shy young man that in the span of 6 years blossomed into a formidable force of charisma confidence vitality and inspiration. Some people take a lifetime to make any impact .. Some however shine bright with a flash of everlasting intensity. Like the stars that forever twinkle at night, your example will light the way for us all forever well done Tosin.

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  9. Fantastic piece written from the Soul by a friend. I am an Aunt to Tosin and Dayo . They visited me in Lagos on several occasions and spent weekends and Half terms with me in the house when their mother was busy at work. They were both very well behaved and with extremely good manners. I was very sad to hear of his passing but also grateful to God for giving us Tosin and the quality time he spent with us. Rest well Tosin untill we meet to part no more🙏

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  10. Tosin, no doubt fulfilled his earthly task of leaving an impact in his short time, as hard as it may seem to grasp.
    I attest to this having never met Tosin, except through the words of his Mum, but yet inspired by the deeds intimated on during our conversations.

    Rest on Tosin and God’s grace be with the loved ones you left behind.

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  11. Never met Tosin but through his sister and this blog I’ve seen many similarities between me and him. I could also picture the amazing man he was and his impact during his time on earth, heaven definitely gained an angel. His legacy lives on and We’ll continue to celebrate it forever!

    Like

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