My spirit is broken.

Yesterday, I lost one of my heroes and favorite people in the world – Kobe Bean Bryant.

Last night, I was busy in my mum’s room putting the finishing touches to my first interview of 2020 when I heard my phone ping in my room. I went over to check and it was a message on Instagram from my secondary school classmate, Odunayo Balogun. Her message read, “Shade, is it true what happened to Kobe?” I was confused. What could have happened to Kobe? Maybe it had to do with something he said in the media, I thought. For a split second, I was going to ignore the message but I decided to hop on Twitter to find out what could have happened (the possibility of death being the furthest thing from my mind).

I typed Kobe in the search bar and the first thing that I saw (I will never forget this moment) was “Kobe Bryant killed in a helicopter crash.” I dropped my phone, screamed, and began to cry. My mum asked what happened and I told her. A couple of minutes later, my father called to inform me and I just sobbed like a baby and have not stopped. People who know me well know that Kobe Bryant was one of my heroes. Whenever I feel discouraged or blue I always ask myself, “what would Kobe do?” Besides my parents, he taught me so much about life, the importance of intensity, being fallible, having a killer instinct, persistence, curiosity, focus, and excellence. Kobe taught millions of people and fans, like myself, about the Mamba Mentality and the importance of living your life to the best of your ability.

I barely slept last night. Today has just been a daze. Not sure what tomorrow or the rest of the year (or years) will feel like.

I am struggling to place Kobe Bryant in past tense. It simply does not make any sense to me that the amazing Black Mamba is gone. Worse is the fact that his 13 year old daughter and 7 other amazing individuals also died in the crash. I hate death! I have always hated the fact that when amazing people die, famous or not, the world does not stop and life goes on. That really sucks! It sucks even more that those that have been left behind must find a way to keep on forging ahead and hold on to memories.

I am so sad and heartbroken. There are no words.

May the souls of all the departed rest in peace (Kobe Bryant, Gianna Byrant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan) and I pray that God will wrap his precious arms around all the loved ones that they left behind and drown them in his love and comfort.

Thank you for an amazing, inspiring life Kobe Bean Bryant! Thank you for inspiring me to be and live the best version of myself everyday. I’ll do my best to make you proud. Love and respect legend.

Black Mamba forever!