Their parents met when they were teenagers at school in London, they wed in 2004 and moved to Birmingham where they started a family. Five boys later their family was complete – and then the unthinkable happened.
First Makeda (38) developed bowel cancer and had extensive surgery – but the disease had spread. Then her husband, Omena, was diagnosed with bowel cancer too.
Both fought the disease for three years but Makeda lost her battle last week. And then on 4 September, a day before his wife’s funeral, Omena passed away too, leaving their sons orphaned.
Weeks before his death, Omena was determined to raise money for his children, aged between seven and 19.
In a heartbreaking video posted on YouTube in August, the emotional and bed-ridden dad thanked everyone for supporting him and his family through the tough times.
“Myself and my five boys, we’ve just lost my wife, they’ve lost a mother, and they’ve lost their best friend as well,” Omena said. “I know at times people say ‘be strong, be strong, be strong’, but sometimes, guys, it’s tough.”
Shortly before his passing his best friend, Femi Lloyd, said Omena wasn’t processing his wife’s death fully but was determined to stay alive for his kids.
Tragically, it was not to be. Charles Busari, a family friend, posted the sad news about Omena’s death on the GoFundMe page.
“It breaks my heart to report that sadly our dear brother Omena lost his fight to cancer in the early hours of Monday 4th September 2017.”
Tributes have been pouring in for the couple and the five boys they left behind.
“May God comfort your children, may they be pleased in the fact that they had amazing parents even for such a short time,” one person posted. “May they be comforted and honour your legacy as the years progress.”
“Omena, we bonded over diet and fitness. You fought so very hard. No more pain. May you and your dear wife Makeda rest in perfect peace,” another wrote.