There was a simple man from Siġġiewi whose overflowing personality and brashness made him one of the most lovable characters in modern Malta.
Leli Aquilina, also known as il-Quċċu, passed away last week after battling cancer. Since his passing, many have remembered the best of him.
“He was the sweetest man,” one of his former female carers told Lovin Malta.
Il-Quċċu became known nationally after he had spoken openly – and quite in depth – about how much he enjoys sex during a light-hearted vox-pop.
The clip (which you can find here) went viral, and it was followed up by a more in-depth interview with Rodney Gauci from Skjetti, which also, unsurprisingly, went viral.
“Speak to me about sex, or keep on moving” – il-Quċċu
“Honestly, you’d think he’d be a pervert from the videos, but he wasn’t, he was such a gentleman.”
“He was always telling us how much pain he was in at the end,” the carer continued, “but he never made us feel unsafe. He was always joking around, and we would often tease each other, and when I’d ask him what we’d be doing today he would often jokingly reply: “għamel li trid‘.
Il-Quċċu was often seen on his bright green and yellow motorcycle driving around his hometown; however, he ended up buying another motorcycle during the last years of his life.
“We would mostly talk about motorcycles,” the carer continued, “but I felt so safe and cared for with him… which is something I can say more than for some of my other clients. There’s so much more to him than that video – I didn’t even know it was the same person.”
Following his death, many people took to social media to pay tribute to the brash but caring Maltese legend.
“With sorrow we mark the passing of Leli Aquilina, il-Quċċu, from Siġġiewi,” said one person. Condolences to his family and loved ones for this loss. Lord, give him eternal rest.”
Il-Quċċu’s influence even reached the higher levels of Maltese politics, with outspoken government consultant Robert Musumeci, who is also from Siġġiewi, opening up about what the man meant to him, saying he was one of the people who inspired him.
Though il-Quċċu is gone, he is far from forgotten, with his cheeky smile, hilarious remarks and witty comebacks implanted into Malta’s collective memory.
We salute you, sir – rest in peace.