Tribute to my father - By: . | Dailytrust

Tribute to my father

By: Prince Oyekunle Oyewumi

“My Father Didn’t Tell Me How to Live; He Lived & Let Me Watch Him Do It” – Clarence Kelland

I received with utmost shock the news of the passing of my dear father, “Alaiyeluwa Oba (Dr.) Oladunni Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III, CON, CFR – the 20th Soun of Ogbomosoland”. I knew right away that everything had changed. So surreal, my black Sunday began, as I struggled to believe the unbelievable: my hero, mentor, role model, confidant and teacher was no more ! How does anyone heal from this? 

My father played multiple roles in my life in the most subtle yet forthright ways. Barely two years ago, he handed over a file to me containing my birth certificate as the first document, followed by a letter signed by him to seek admission for me at the nursery section of the Federal Government College Staff School, Ogbomoso and other credentials through childhood till the day I took possession of the file which I have since tagged “MY LIFE”. My father made known his passion for education as he constantly motivated me towards academic excellence and encouraged me to be steadfast in all my pursuits.

Kabiyesi endeared me to Islam by imbibing the righteous virtues of the religion. He sponsored my holy pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 2003 and would usually encourage me to observe salat, Ramadan and other tenets of Islam. I recall our trips to the praying ground during Eid-el-Fitr and Eid-el-Kabir. We usually drove in a motorcade from the palace, through the streets of Ogbomoso, to the adoration of people who were always excited to accompany their monarch to observe the Eid prayers.  Our return to the palace was usually a fiesta with Amala, Gbegiri, Ewedu and lots of ram and cow meat for the multitude who thronged the palace to celebrate.

My father was a successful businessman before ascending the throne, a feat he sustained as a monarch. Watching him attend to his business concerns passionately without sentiments prompted my early sojourn into business.

From his earlier days in Jos, Plateau State, my dad was known for his social life. I remember one of my weekend trips to Ogbomoso, while I was with him in his bedroom at about 11:30pm on a Friday, he was curious to know what I would have been up to had I been back in Lagos. When I told him I would have been out with friends, he said “Yes! It is good to socialize. In my early years, I also went to the club to socialize, network and close business deals.”

My father was a genuine leader, selfless statesman, revered monarch and philanthropist of repute. Growing up under his tutelage gave me a deep understanding of life’s successes and challenges. He instilled the spirit of doggedness, courage, self-discipline, hard work, perseverance, kindness, humanity and forthrightness in me. In losing him, I lost my greatest blessing and comfort.

Baba, I am consoled by the true validation of the positivity you radiated towards me and the rest of the world. You set your goals, dreamt, aspired and achieved it all! Though you may be gone, you will forever remain with me.

Akano Okin Omo Onidugbe – Sun Ree o!

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