William Adeolu Rosanwo (1931-2016) renowned engineer of his time
Engineer William Adeolu Rosanwo, who has died was born on October 20, 1931 into the respected family of Gabriel Awowekun Rosanwo and Madam Victoria Sheneiye Rosanwo of Iwesi, Ijebu Ode in Ogun State. Adeolu attended Ereko Primary School, Ijebu Ode and the Baptist Academy, Lagos.
Willy as he was fondly called sat for the West African School Certificate Examination and the Higher School Certificate Examination emerging with distinction. Then he left for England to study engineering. After three years apprenticeship, as was the practice at that time, he returned to Nigeria as a qualified engineer. Upon his return, he secured an appointment as a structural engineer with the United African Company (UAC), a company richer and older than Nigeria at that time.
He worked for a decade in UAC shuttling between Lagos and Aba, Abia State. Dissatisfied with their working conditions, Rosanwo resigned from the UAC to join the Federal Ministry of Works as an Assistant Works Superintendent in September 1961. Along with his uncle Johnson Rosanwo, Adeolu became a pillar of the Baptist Church, Yaba Lagos. From his Works Ministry, Rosanwo attended refresher courses in mechanical and civil engineering in London, UK and Tokyo, Japan.
During the Yakubu Gowon regime, Rosanwo supervised the building of Ikorodu Road, Lagos and the Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja. He then supervised various formations in the Ministry of Works and the Environment. Other formations built by Rosanwo included Ijora Waterworks, Ikoyi Government Reservation Area and the Yaba Central Division. He was commended for setting up the Yaba Mechanical Workshop by the then Minister of Works, General Mamman Kontagora. He managed the workshop until he retired in 1991 after 30 years of meritorious service. He was a caring husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. He was a chorister and organist at the Yaba Baptist Church for decades. Later, he became the choirmaster and Music Director of the Church for many years. His contribution as an organist to a weekly Radio Programme tagged “Sunday Night at the Organ,” then on Radio Nigeria endeared him to the listeners.