I have been agitated about my
distance from all my old people. I am their number 1 fan as many young friends
had tagged me as belonging to the older generations and not this present age. I
have effectively managed the wisdom acquired from them and it is paying off
even in this age that I live, I must confess.
Baba Ladele, as I have known him
for some years, is my grandfather! I have accepted it and I can boldly say it.
Baba took care of my maternal grandfather in the 1940s and I can say that this
is the same form of adoption that I have in Professor Ademola Ladele,
invariably, if Baba took care of Revd J.A Okesiji and Professor Ladele took
care of me, then I am equally a grandchild.
In 2004, when I was a student of
the University of Ilorin, a friend who was the President of Yoruba Students Association,
implored me to join him in the mission of bringing Baba Ladele to the
university so that other students can know him and hear him speak. With ecstasy,
we went to Oyo and in October, 2004, Baba Ladele was showered with encomium by
students and lecturers of Yoruba. It was a memorable day for Baba who got to
Oyo to narrate the pleasure of the visit to Revd J.A.Okesiji.
When Dr Ladele became a Professor,
I was quite to write a tribute in 2011, titled, “Like Father, Like Son:Analogy
of Chief TAA Ladele and Professor AA Ladele”. It gladdens my heart that this
happened while Baba was alive.
Baba encouraged my creative
ability, he was one of the early contributors to the biography of Revd J.A.
Okesiji. He gave me the liberty of translating his text into English language.
I have not been persistent about it; I should have started or completed at
least one of the texts he wrote decades ago. It would have been my greatest
pride to have done this while he was alive but I missed it also.
I once asked if Baba was a poet,
I called Baba and he said he was not a poet. I found out that he co-authored a
book on “Ekun Iyawo”.
poetry at its peak.
In my desire to have a unified
front for young people from Okeho, I co-manage a facebook page and in the month
of July, 2014. I showcased many people from Okeho on the page; I must mention
that at the point of Baba’s departure, 211 people had read his profile through
this avenue. I celebrate him online to ensure that many generations can still
find something to read about him.
I was home sick in the last two
weeks and I went on an uncompleted journey like I use to do when I was younger.
I have specific old people that I visit in Oyo town whenever I visited, namely;
Revd J.A Okesiji, Pa Dr Moses Ogunmola, Baba TAA Ladele, Daddy Ewekeye amongst
others. Unfortunately, I got to Oyo at 6pm on the 14th
saw my immediate grandparents and left at 7:30pm for Ibadan, so as to return to
work early on Friday, 15th
August, 2014. One week after, Baba
departed this world and I said it to myself, “I missed the last opportunity of
seeing him alive and hearing his voice”.
Baba Chief TAA Ladele, you have
set the ball rolling, passed it to our parents, we would keep it rolling for
the coming generation to roll farther. Sleep well!
Ologbin Compound, Ogbinte, Okeho.