20. Daddy’s little boy

During a class at Stanford University last year, our Professor spoke of a US billionaire who approached the University and asked if there was a way people could live forever. He was ready to drop millions of U.S. Dollars for such research. The Professor said, honestly there is nothing like that ongoing but “dollars cannot come and waste”. They found programs meant to lengthen human days (disease research) and they put the funds into that. 

Day by Day, man is closer to its grave. It is a fact we like to whisper in our minds but that tells how little man has always been in the context of things. 

I grew up to know my Dad as a kind hearted and a rich man. Not that we owned the world but he met our needs. A man that provided for his house -shinning shoes, labelled designers, trips to beaches and amusement parks. My Daddy was the one with that taste. My Dad can also beat oh but because it does not happen often, it can very painful for a soul. 

He did his best for his children education, he did that without any limit. Like I was in the prime secondary school in Lagos till he lost his job and I went back to public school in JSS2. There is no better way to have a legacy if that box of being a man of your house is well ticked. I learnt that a lot. 

When he lost his job at Michelin in 1996, things changed drastically. It was clear things won’t go on as it was but we passed through the tides of life. We passed through it with the plastic, kerosene and pop corn business. My mum stood like a rock. When he got with another job five years later, he proved to be the same kindhearted man I ever knew. 

He had love for enterprise and he did it through this chair and canopy rental business. My uncle, Wale Ajiboye, was always there for him. With him, we carried chairs on our back, looking dirty with the metallic dirt lined on our faces. We had this Peugeot pick up whose brake once landed us in trouble but of such days were legends made of. Unable to buy white chairs, the business died slowly.

He was not only  kind to me but to his entire family. Oh! He was kind to everyone he met in his span of life. I have written about him twice since he left us. But truly I was his little boy to the end. 

Even when I was in First Bank and the salary was not enough, I was never ashamed to meet him. Even for transport money when it came to that. On the penultimate meeting we had before we passed on, I visited him with my brother and Damen. 

Then he joked that what do we do with our money. That my younger brother, Seye, was too Ijebu. He does not part with his money. We laughed. He bought us food and paid a sum of N870. 

The last time I saw him breathing was the night before his death. He said he wanted to sleep and I should not be troubled. I went home that night hoping to check him later. The next time I saw him after our neighbours called me that he was in state of emergency, he was fast asleep. Forever asleep. 

Whatever were his imperfections as a mortal, I knew it, learnt from it but he had so much good everyone he met will attest to.

May his soul rest in peace. 


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