The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Otunba (Dr) Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, The Honourable Member of the House of Representatives, Hon Abass Olopoenia, the Royal Fathers present, The Soun of Ogbomoso, HRM Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, Ajagungbade 111, the Olugbon of Orile Igbon, HRM Oba Samuel Adegboyega Osunbade, the Onjo of Okeho, HRH Oba Rafiu Osuolale Mustapha, Adeiitan 2 and the Aale of Okelerin, HRH Oba Samuel Babatunde Amao. I also acknowledge the presence of the Otun of Oyo, Chief (Dr) M.O. Ogunmola, the Otun of Aramoko Ekiti, Chief E.I. Oyewole, the Asiwaju of Ogbomoso, Chief Sunday Adewusi, OFR, IGP Retired. The pastorate led by Revd Dr J.A. Aworinde, the diaconate and members of First Baptist Church, Okelerin, Ogbomoso, my Lord temporal and Spiritual, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a very great pleasure having everybody present in this auditorium today. This is the church where I was taught courage before a large audience, I have had several opportunities while growing up to sing at the annual crossover service of December 31st until the year 1998. I will also want to state unequivocally that this church is attached so much to our family at large; Grandpa has always been a welcomed guest.
May I continue my story travelling down memory lane, 22 years ago in the sitting room of Revd J.A. Okesiji in Okeho, I was seated at the right hand side of Pastor Moses Majaro Afolabi Okesiji, the father of today’s celebrant, he told his life to his children and grandchildren, it was carefully documented by Revd J.A. Okesiji for posterity but today in a very big way, I, representing other grandchildren, am now showcasing our grandfather as a textbook that will travel worldwide. It is what I saw that I am also doing although in a bigger way, watch what you see.
I crave your indulgence, to also make you know that we have gone further to unravel the saying of the Englishman that the boy is the father of the man, this was proved by grandpa to his own father but the twist now is the boy which is Olutayo Irantiola is now the father of his grandpa, the man. How? The book we are presenting and launching today is my brainchild as such I have given birth to grandpa’s life.
I will not go too long but to tell you that I should be christened ILUGBEMI, I am from Okeho, my grandpa is from Okeho, the Onjo of Okeho contributed to the book, Oloruntobi Ewekeye from Okeho helped in the collation of people’s comments, Biola Okesiji and Olaoluwa Ewekeye from Okeho proofread the book, Akadi Gabriel also from Okeho popularly called Gavima Press printed the book. As an adopted son of Ogbomoso, I was nurtured in Ogbomoso, the large churn of the book came from Ogbomoso, the Governor wrote the foreword, 3 kings in Ogbomoso contributed to the book, my foremost lecturer and academic father, Prof Sam A. Adewoye, an Ogbomoso man per excellence that bade the world farewell some 7 months ago, and I must graciously thank Ogbomoso for keeping grandpa for all of his youthful years even till old age and keeping him with nostalgic feelings of his romance with Ogbomoso since his arrival in the truck in 1952, read more from the book.
I end this brief speech by saying give young people a free hand, let them test run some task and let’s see if you will not be proud of the end result. Grandpa gave me the opportunity to test run and we are here to celebrate the thought, agreement and experiment today. I need to say at this juncture that your noble life can be put together It begins when we think together, so I have started from home, do we cast lots to know the next person to write about his life? Let there be a volunteer now before I start to pick people. Let’s begin with you.
I am using this medium to say a very big thank you to numerous people who made today a reality; Olugbenga, Olufunmilayo and Olufolakemi Irantiola, my siblings, friends like Banji Falokun, Jide Akinsola who were my foot soldiers when I had constraint of time. The planning committee Lagos region: Atanda Yemi and family, Timothy Amosun, Dapo Ipadeola, Abiodun Ige and Falokun Ebun. Without you all, I am frail. May our pens never run dry!
Thank you for listening!
My speech at the book launch on the 29th of October, 2010.
Labels: Academics, African Writing, Articles, Book launch, Celebrating a Patriarch, Celebrating a writer, Childhood, Historical, Names, Nigeria, Speech