My maternal grandfather passed away peacefully on March 11, 2021. It is always a sad thing to lose a loved one and we grieved the death of our Baba, but he had lived a full life, raised extraordinary children, contributed deeply to his community, and was ready to move on when he left us.
I do not raise the issue of Baba’s passing to further my family’s mourning but rather because of a curious fact surrounding his death: no one knew his exact age. People said he was 105 years old and that feels right based on the age of his children and the stories he told about pre-independence Nigeria and of his youth – and how those stories matched recorded history from the 1920s and 1930s. But the uncertainty about the exact date of Baba’s birth is telling; it is emblematic of the data shortcomings in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
This lack of data is troublesome in several ways. It severely limits our ability to fully analyse current conditions and livelihood challenges; compare ourselves…
Source: Guardian Newspaper