Remembering Julius Olorunfemi Oisa
CHIEF Julius Olaiya Olorunda Olorunfemi was born on 17th July 1943 into the family of Pa Gabriel Fadairo Olorunfemi Oisa of Oisa Olodide in Apogodo Oja lineage and Madam Emilia Tewobola Olorunfemi of Saruku Olokuta family in Ikere Ekiti. His father died when he was at a tender age, leaving him and other siblings with the mother to cater for. This humble background laid the precedence for him to make every person around him feel at home without barriers.
He attended Baptist Primary School, Ikere Ekiti where he obtained his Primary Six Certificate in 1957. He later attended Ekiti Baptist Boys’ High School, Igede Ekiti from 1958-1962 and passed the Ordinary and Advanced Level Examination in 1965, a requirement for admission into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He consequently changed to University of Ibadan due to the Civil War outbreak and graduated with BSc Honours in Economics in 1969.
He got married to Iyaafin Alice Modupe Olorunfemi on 31st August 1975 by the solemnization of holy matrimony at St Silas Anglican Church, Omuo-Oke Ekiti. The union was blessed with six children – Oluwatoyin, Gboyega, Oyenike, Oyeyemisi, Ojo and Temitope. He lived an exemplary life, filling his home with love, peace and joy. He was an excellent role model who taught and led everyone around him by example. He saw every young person in his compound and family as his own, believing in self discipline and took time to listen and advise individuals respectively without being biased.
He was a devout Christian all his life. He was baptised in 1957 and received confirmation in 2000, according to the Anglican Communion, at St Peter’s Anglican Church, Ikere Ekiti. He was an active member of Egbe Ominira in his local church. He had accepted to be the Harvest Chairholder for Egbe Ominira in the December 2005 annual harvest but passed unto glory before the religious occasion. However, his grateful children and family ensured the mandate was not given to anyone else by appearing in church on the Harvest Day to represent him even in death for a successful Annual Harvest.
He was class teacher in Annunciation School, Ikere Ekiti 1963-65; Adeola Odutola College, Ijebu Ode, 1969-71; Egbeoba High School, Ikole- Ekiti ,1971-73. He was tutor at Abeokuta Grammar School, Abeokuta ,1973-76; Amoye High School, Ikere Ikiti 1976. He was also Vice Principal in the following schools: Ipe High School, Ipe -Akoko ,1976-78; Erijiyan/Ikogosi High School, Erijiyan Ekiti, 1978-80; Annunciation School, Ikere -Ekiti, 1980-83; St Louis Grammar School, Ikere Ekiti, 1983-84. He would later serve as Principal at Ikere High School, Ikere -Ekiti, 1985-86; Elo High School, Ayetoro- Ekiti, 1986-87; A.U.D. Comprehensive High School, Ado Ekiti, 1986-89 and African Church Comprehensive High School, Ikere- Ekiti ,1989-90, where he finally retired.
At the early stage of his teaching career, he was seen to be taking tutorials from one school to another in preparing students for their examinations, especially in mathematics and economics – this act made him renowned, as well as earned him great admiration among the youths and parents in his community. He had a stint at lecturing in the College of Education, Ikere -Ekiti in a part time capacity in the year 1979 while still at Erijiyan. He personally drafted and prepared for printing the school prospectuses for Ikere High School and Elo High School during the time of his service at these schools respectively.
He was officially installed at a chieftaincy coronation as The Oisa of Oke’Kere on the 28th Day of September 1979 by HRH Oba Samuel Adegboye, Akayejo II., the then Ogoga of Ikere. He was held in high esteem by his people and the Ikere community generally as he was fondly called “Eru Oke”. He made tremendous impact in the Education, Political, Religious, and Socio-Economic development of Ikere community by assisting quite a number of its citizens in various respects. Particularly, he was well noted for helping qualified young men and women in securing admissions into various schools.
He was a passionate teacher to the core, a writer and eloquent orator par excellence. His use of words was exceptionally brilliant and was loved by all.
A prolific author, an egalitarian and respected scholar of repute, he published numerous books that were read in almost all schools’ curriculum on economics. He made the important subject of Economics simple for beginners to comprehend. He defined economics as a “study of war” in one of his books.
This quote, credited to Stephen Grellet, is apt in the life of High Chief Julius Olaiya Olorunda Olorunfemi “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again”.
It is on this premise that he touched lives around him without bias. He was an articulate disciplinarian in the course of humanity and would call a spade-a-spade no matter whose ox was gored. He slept in The Lord on 10th October 2005 and was buried on 16th December 2005.
• Gboyega Olorunfemi remembers his father.