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February 29…Special day, special people




Korede Bello, Jerry Adesewo mark birthday today
Finally after a 48-month wait, some special people get to celebrate their birthdays. They are special because they were born on Leap Day, the 24 hours added to the calendar in order to keep up with the earth’s revolution around the sun.

One of Nigeria’s Leaper is popular musician, Korede Bello, best known for his hit single Godwin, a semi-gospel and pop song. The Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) student, who shot to prominence with his famous wink in Dorobucci was born in 1996.

This is Korede’s first birthday since attaining super stardom. The last time he marked his birthday in 2012, he was an unknown young school leaver, struggling to leave a mark with his stage name African Prince. His big break didn’t come until his adopted birthday, February 28, 2014, when he got signed to Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records under which he has recorded popular songs.

The time required for the earth to make one lap around the sun is approximately 365 days and six hours. As a result, the calendar adds one day to every fourth year to make up for the shortfall in the 365-day cycle.

The ‘Leapers’ are rare to come by, as one in 1,461 people will be born on the special day, according to the International Business Times. Leapers celebrate their birthday on February 28 or March 1 when it is not a leap year.

Mr. Jerry Adesewo is in his late thirties, but he has only seen his birth date nine times since his birth over three decades ago. This is because Adesewo was born on a Leap year. “If we have to go by the Leap Year, I think I should be nine years old now. But I’ll be 37 by the end of this month,” said Adesewo, who is a writer and theatre director.

Since he can only celebrate his birthday once every four years, he decided to rewrite the script of his birth. He said: “I’m not given to extravagant celebration, but I usually celebrate my birthdays with a few friends and my family members. Before now, I picked February 28, March 1, or the last Sunday of February to mark my birthday. I chose the last Sunday because I was born on a Sunday.

“As a young man, I used to feel bad that I didn’t have a birthday celebration every year, especially as my friends always invited me to their birthdays every other year. I decided to pick those three dates to measure up with my friends. It was much later that I had a better understanding and realised I was a very unique person as there are few of us born on February 29. Then, I began to appreciate it even more.”

The day is also known as Sadie Hawkins Day, a folk tradition for being the only day women can propose to a man. Some Leapers throw a ‘Sweet 16’ to celebrate their actual 64th birthday.

While it is common for some employers not to calculate the day into fixed annual or monthly incomes, other interesting facts about the Leap day is that it is the same year as a United States of America presidential election and the summer Olympics.

In Ireland and Britain, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only in Leap years. It also required that fines be levied if the man refused a marriage proposal; compensation was deemed to be a pair of leather gloves, a single rose, £1 and a kiss. In Finland, the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on Leap day, he should buy her the fabrics for a skirt.

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