Sam Adewumi lost his brother, Jon Adewumi, to COVID-19

Sam Adewumi did everything with his old brother, Jon. They went to the same grammar schools, middle school and high school. The two even even went to neighboring colleges, both in upstate New York. “Jon was a gentle giant,” Sam said. “He loved people. He loved bringing people together.”

Video Transcript


SAM ADEWUMI: My name is Sam Adewumi. I lost my older brother, Jonathan Adewumi on April 17, 2010. He was the male leader of the family. And I think Jonathan's mission and his purpose here was really to be a facilitator, and that's what he did, and that's what he did well. He connected communities together. He connected people together. He exposed people to things that they had never been exposed to.

We're Nigerian. And as a family, we're very big on building that bridge between our people on the continent and our people in America. And Jonathan was one of the main ones, through some of his various projects, that actualized that. You know, he did take people back home with him, you know, to Nigeria from here. He had a film festival that was bringing movies from Nigeria and showing it to people over here.

Our restaurant, Amarachi, that he was highly involved in, again, is a bridge. You know, our first company, Nigerian Fabrics and Fashions was a bridge where we could import clothing and culture to people from there. And all those different projects, you know, it was about really bridging and connecting people and connecting communities. And I think that's why his loss was so profound.

When we first found out he was sick, we stayed with him pretty much 24/7, trying to take care of him, trying to, you know, speak to whatever needs he might have had. I remember the first day he told me that he didn't really feel well, he wanted to go get tested. So I took him down to, you know, get tested, and you know, they sent us back home saying he wasn't bad enough. And that was the first time I became aware of how unprepared the medical field was for this particular event, because they couldn't even test him.

He was strong. He was putting up a really good fight. But it seemed like his condition just seemed to be getting worse and worse. And then so eventually, you know, we did get him into a hospital, and they did admit him. And he spent almost a month in the hospital.

It feels like if he had been given more time, you know, maybe it would-- we could have had a different result, because he definitely seemed to be on the mend from everything they told us. That adds to the tragic nature of it, because again, we were at the point where we were truly expecting him to come home because of the information they gave us.

Jon was like a gentle giant. He loved the people. He loved bringing people together. He loved bringing our community together. He loved this fraternity. You know, he loved his brothers. He was a man that loved a lot of things, you know what I mean, you know. And he loved in his own quiet way at times and his, you know, outgoing way at times, and-- just that I love him.