Adieu! Molade Okoya-Thomas
DEATH, How cruel art thou! You aimed at the Towering Iroko and hacked it down? Just like that? Oh, what a pity! What a great loss!
Oloye, I am completely devastated for the simple reason that you called me twice on Friday, January 30. You even went further to ask our common friends on that same day and twice on Saturday, January 31, requesting me to call or to come and see you. I kept saying to myself that I would return your call. I never did. Little did I know that I was only procrastinating.
The very expensive lesson I learnt from this is not to leave what I can do today for tomorrow. Though your departure was abrupt, I am consoled by the strong memories of the good times we shared.
Oloye, you meant so much to me. You were humility personified to the extent that you used to refer to me as “my brother Oloye.” I recall how you used to tease me at our small “corner” at the Lagos Lawn by calling me “Yeye Oloye, who is a Chief of Ogudu Community of less than 2,000 inhabitants comparing himself with me the Asoju Oba of Lagos.” My ever-ready answer to this was “Oloye is Oloye, no matter where the title is given.” And you would just give that your infectious smile.
You were particularly passionate about me and treated me like a biological son. It is hard to say goodbye. Oloye, you surely made a difference in my life and my heart is filled with gratitude and praises to the Almighty Father for the exemplary life you lived.
You were born great, but not all that are born great become presidents of their countries or men or women of considerable means. Some use their greatness to touch lives in their society. You belonged to this group. You used your greatness to empower the needy and the less privileged; taught leadership, philanthropy; mentoring; and impacting knowledge, experience and wisdom all the way. You were really great.
Your commitment to the development of sports, especially Table and Lawn Tennis encompassed the spirit of unalloyed sponsorship and total determination to succeed. You were a patriotic, detribalised Nigerian and a socialite per excellence.
As William Shakespeare said: “If we meet again…Then we shall smile… But if not…This parting is well made”.
Oloye – your tomorrow is here. Rest in perfect peace.
Yesufu is Head, Corporate and Government Affairs (West Africa), Cadbury Nigeria Plc.
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