A friend of late singer Zara, Yemisi Ilo, who also has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) stated that Zara's death was in the hands of her family. Ilo, a creative consultant with many years experience in books/magazine publishing, film production, said she spoke with Zara on Tuesday. And Zara told Ilo that family gave her 'Agbo' to drink and that it was killing her. According to Ilo, it was her exact words.
Yemisi Ilo strictly forbade Zara to drink Agbo. "With an already compromised immune system – Agbo is bullshit. It is poison. MS is not malaria," Ilo said. Ilo continued: "I gave Zara clear details of exactly what she needed to do to try to get well. It isn’t easy AT ALL – I should know but unfortunately for her, she was surrounded by very ignorant people at the end who felt that they knew best."
Yemisi Ilo heard about Zara for the first time when she read her on Linda Ikeji‘s blog a year ago. She got in touch with her and started a Skype friendship. "I was in London and she was in the States (US). We spoke regularly. When I went back to Lagos, we would WhatsApp and I would call her. When she came to Nigeria in October last year, I went to see her and she was surprised that she could move better than me! I organized the Battabox interview (which we did at my parents house).
She said she didn’t want to live with her mum in the States – yet she had no one to look after her there apart from her mum. She needed someone. She even wanted to come and stay with me, but I am married with small children and my own MS issues were already enough for one house," Ilo said.
Zara's friend expressed her irritation:
"I am so pissed off, so angry, so fucking sad, teary and frustrated. If I had been in Nigeria, I would have gone to pick her up on Tuesday when I spoke to her. She was so desperate to leave Ogba. She said she had a return ticket to America and would try to leave ASAP. I gave her my neurologist’s number so she could get some steroids to help her get over the horrible relapse she was having. Also to get her to explain the condition to Zara’s family so they would realize that this was not an ‘Agbo’ matter."
"I have had MS for nearly 10 years. My walking has deteriorated and I am currently alternating between a walker and a wheelchair. Zara was worried that she wouldn’t get married and have kids – I told her that I had 4 kids and was happily married and continued to work and that there was hope.
"Granted, I am extremely fortunate to have the strength of character and a loving and supportive and enlightened family to deal with this HORRIBLE condition that has led to this opportunity for me to undergo Hemapioetic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) – Google it.
It has taken donations from over 100 people to do this. It costs over $150k (N24,727,501). I told Zara that since she was a US citizen, she could get on a trial at the University of Chicago under Dr. Burt for free. I just want people to know that MS didn’t kill Zara – ignorance did. As well as our fatalistic attitude in Nigeria where everyone prays and no one takes action."