Joshua Adebayo Adetayo (1928-2015), A Tribute
WHICHEVER words you employ to describe him – honest, brilliant, truthful, soft, quiet, religious, tall, disciplined elegant, handsome – will still undersell Mr. Joshua Adebayo Adetayo, a man, who in his own way and in his own little corner of the world, served humanity truthfully and courageously.
In fact, he was much more than these descriptions put together. Pa Adetayo stood by the truth throughout his lifetime and this conferred a lot of integrity and respect on him.
He never craved for limelight but his integrity drew so many people to him. Even at 87, I never thought of death whenever we discussed. Until the last moments, we discussed and his contributions were articulate.
I was waiting for him to stabilise from his illness for us to resume our little jokes and laughter and Bible studies. When he walked in front of me I always attempted to copy his gaits.
At 87, he was never bent. Rather he walked straight. Most surprisingly, he never used medicated reading glasses throughout his lifetime and he was a voracious reader. He was blessed. Adetayo was born great.
A prince of Ode-Omi, in Ogun waterside of Ogun State, his parents belonged to two different royal families. As the eldest Prince next in line to his father, he could have become a titled chief, but Mr. Adebayo Adetayo renounced it all to avoid contradictions with his religious beliefs.
The only thing that reminds one of the royal blood in his veins was his name, Adebayo, and the names he gave to his children — Adewunmi, Adebisi, Adedayo, Adeleke, Adedoyin, the only exception being Ayodele, his first daughter.
He probably thought that if his children could not be kings or queens, at least he had no right to deny them a reminder, and emblem of their royal ancestry. Pa Adetayo attended a local missionary school at Ode-Omi for his elementary school education.
As a child, he was also interested in fish farming. It was from this school that he grained admission to famous Molusi College, Ijebu-Igbo, in Ogun State.
Established in 1949, Molusi College then was a community school. It’s founding Principal, Dr. S. O. Awokoya, who instilled complete education in his students, was part of those who executed the old Western Regional free education programme under the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, then premier of the region.
Indeed, Dr. Awokoya was Minister of Education in that government. Molusians, as Old Students of the school call themselves, are proud in the use of their brains and hands, a legacy espoused by the late founder of Mayflower School Ikenne, Dr Tai Solarin, who also was once Principal of Molusi College.
In his final year at school, young Adetayo was appointed Academic Prefect. Unless you were academically inclined in those days, you couldn’t be Academic Prefect.
He justified the confidence of the school authorities, which made the appointment, when he came out as the best graduating student of the Molusi College Class of 1957.
He won a scholarship to study abroad. He started his civil service career in the Ministry of Communication. As an accountant, he was moved from ministry to ministry including the External Affairs Ministry and the Ministry of Defense where he retired as Chief Accountant.
He attended many professional courses locally in Nigeria and abroad. Brother Joshua Adebayo was baptised as a Jehovah’s Witness on October 27, 1952 and remained an active evangelizer until his death.
He never used his intelligence to seek great things for himself, but used his gift to help several people embrace Bible truth and a number of them got baptised.
He associated with several congregations where he enjoyed privileges of service such as being Watchtower conductor and assistant congregation servant. He also served as a regular pioneer, as fulltime evangelizers of Jehovah’s Witnesses are called, for several years.
Adetayo fully heeded the scriptural injunction found in Ephesians 6:4 and as such he assisted all his children to make the truth their own and as such they are all baptised servants of Jehovah; with one serving as an elder.
Adetayo got married to Ebun Esohie Jonah (Enobore) on June 11, 1966 in Lagos and the union is blessed with six children. He was seen as a good father and a loving husband, and family man by neighbours and friends.
Conceivably, the most notable facet of his life is that of his absolute devotion to the service of the true God, Jehovah. Until his death in the early hours of August 1, 2015, he served Jehovah faithfully. As a believer in Bible doctrine of resurrection, brother Adetayo would laugh at those weeping at his funeral. Adieu, my mentor and Bible Teacher.