TRIBUTE: Born In A Taxi Cab — The Life And Times Of ‘Area Mama’ Tosyn Bucknor

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When I die, I’m gonna be by myself and so people who criticise you, people who judge you, people who tell you how they think you should live your life, what you should eat, what you should not eat, it made me realise that truly it’s not like they don’t love you, but in the end who are you living your life for? Because when you die, you are truly going to be by yourself.”

The above were the words of Oluwatosin Bucknor, popularly known as Tosyn Bucknor, when she sat down with Chude JIdenwo on his programme, The Daily Vulnerable.

Unfortunately, the ‘Voice of Lagos’, as she was also referred to, went silent on November 20, when Nigerians woke up to the news to that their number one radio Queen had died from complications due to sickle cell.

“My darling sister and besto Tosyn passed away last night due to complications from sickle cell,” Funke Bucknor wrote in an Instagram post, confirming the news of her sister’s death.

The moment the news of her death found its way to the internet, everyone who knew her either through her radio show, acting, movies or words had something to say. The world mourned. Beyond the sad news that death took her, Tosyn used her life to bless everyone she came in touch with one way or the other.

From musicians, to media personalities, politicians, among others, tributes have continued to pour in for the late media personality.

Who was Tosyn?

Although Tosyn’s was not a frequent face on television, just her voice was enough to build a major audience.

Tosyn was born in a taxi cab. Born on the 15th day of August, 1981 to the family of Nigerian musician and journalist, Mr and Mrs Segun Bucknor, Tosyn began her education at Fountain Nursery and Primary School, from where she went to Queens’ College, a school in the suburbs of Lagos known for developing students’ creativity.

After completing her secondary school education, she gained admission into the University of Lagos where she studied Law. As expected of every Law graduate in Nigeria, upon completing her university education, she went to the Nigeria Law School, Lagos. She did her mandatory one-year service to the nation in Port Harcourt, where she taught English and Literature-In-English at Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girls’ School, Elelenwo.

Journey into Broadcast Journalism, Music, Acting and Writing

“Area!”

Once Lagosians heard that voice, they knew it was that time of the day when the Voice of Lagos, Tosyn was on air.

Her journey into radio started with Nigerian comedian Tee-A on Eko 89.7 FM, after which she interned with Cool 96.9 FM and hosted her show, tagged ‘Fun Hour’, on Saturdays. From Cool FM, she joined Top Radio 90.9 FM, where she worked for seven years before she left to join Inspiration FM in February 2018.

Tosyn was also a great singer, and she had an album to show for it. Her album ‘Pop, Rock, Soul and Jara’ offers a mix of different blends of sounds. As an artiste, she performed with the name ‘Con.tra.diction’.

She worked with artistes suh as Skales, Rooftop MCs and Eva, as well as producers like Sess, Tintin, Coldflames, DJ Klem, Knighthouse, Micworx and Cobhams. In a bid to give back to the music society, she started ONE MIC NAIJA, a platform for up-and-coming acts to showcase their talents.

Tosyn was a versatile writer who wrote for The Guardian, Amstel Malta Box Office, Gulder Ultimate Search Season 3, Nigeria’s Got Talent season 1, among others.

As a screen diva, she appeared in the popular MNET soap opera, ‘Tinsel’, as well as ‘Now We Are Married’ and ‘Dazzling Mirage’, among others. Aside these, she was also an event host.

Sickle Cell, But Not Sick

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a “major genetic disease that affects most countries in the African region. In sickle cell disease, the normal round shape of red blood cells become like crescent moons. Round red blood cells can move easily through the blood vessels but sickled shaped cells interconnect and can result in blood clots”.

Despite being affected by Sickle Cell Disease, Tosyn beat the odds and was an amazing bundle of energy. In other to give hope to people like her, she started a sickle cell project, ‘Tase Genes’ which was focused on advocating for people with the disease.

Death

On November 19, 2018, Tosyn was found dead by her husband in their Lagos home. And so the phyisical journey of the beautiful Tosyn came to an end.

Like a Queen, wherever Tosyn is, she’d pride herself in having lived life to its fullest. With her life, she brought light to the world; by her death, she has made an inspiring mark on the sands of time.

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