Friday, 9 September 2016

The day my world ended! (8th February 1976) By Deji Omotoyinbo


Sports broadcaster Deji Omotoyinbo went down memory lane on his Facebook page as he shares the memories of the day his father passed away, a very emotional piece and I thought I should share it with you all.


8th February 1976 was no ordinary day in my life. I was a Form 2 boy in the Famous Government College Ibadan. It was a Sunday and i remember all students were on the main field taking part in one form of sporting event or the other. As keen a sportsman as i was, my mind was troubled. The previous day, i had gone to town on an exeat to visit my dad who was hospitalised at UCH, He wasn't looking good at all. He gave me ALL the money in his purse but i remember my mum ''confiscated all the money''. It was a message. He didn't need worldly things anymore..I remember that day, a junior boy in form one -Diekola Adekola lost his mum and the burial was that Saturday. I also remember telling a classmate of mine-Segun Sansi- when i got back to school that i was afraid my dad was going to die. I just sensed it.


So that Sunday, when i got the message on the main field that my House Master, Mr Emordi wanted to see me, i feared the worst. When i got into his sitting room, i was shaking. Seated there were two old family friends. Mr Adeyemo,husband to Mama Yemisi, whose shop was next to my mum's at the famous Gbagi market in Ibadan, and my mum's close friend, Mrs Dopemu, who lived in Lagos. I knew it had happened but i was still hoping and praying that somehow, i was wrong. Mr Emordi calmly informed that i was needed at home so i should pack a few things and follow my visitors. I remember vividly that on Mr Emordi's black and white TV set famous preacher Oral Roberts was on the piano singing the song..''Just as i am'' and the chorus line ..O lamb of God i come, i come.....rang in my head.It was a poignant moment. I remember everything so vividly like it was yesterday. In a trance i went into my room, packed a few things in a bag and followed my family friends home in Mr Adeyemo's sparkling Peugeot 504 car. The ride from Apata Ganga to our house in Adamasingba was eerily silent.

We got home and all kinds of family friends, cousins and relations were there. Everyone turned their gaze away from me. Some started crying when they saw me, some just ran away. I calmly climbed the stairs to our top floor apartment and stepped into the sitting room. Packed full of people, i searched out my mother, seated in a chair with her arms stretched out to me, she said to me in Yoruba..''Deji, baba e ti ku''. The world stood still! My world ended!!....I collapsed into my mother's waiting arms and cried...uncontrollably...

For months afterwards, i would lock myself up in the toilet in Powell House GCI and just cry...I just couldn't understand death and the finality of it!I I was just a young 13 year old boy who just wanted his dad back!! You see. i was the last of six children and was naturally kinda spoilt by my dad... I ate all his leftover meals and got hefty sips from his Coke drinks to the envy of my 3 sisters and 2 brothers and numerous cousins who lived with us. We were one huge happy family and my dad was so loving and accommodating.At some point we were like 12 kids in the house including my cousins!!He had a stern word and a kind word for everyone, Mum was the disciplinarian. My dad was just one of the guys...You told me one thing i would never forget and which i still hold on to.....''There are no short cuts to success in life. Work hard and pray for God's blessing''. Words of wisdom i have made my life's guiding principle...

40 years like yesterday.....Thank you JOEL OMOTAYO OMOTOYINBO. ..Time has healed the wound of your passing, even though tears welled up in my eyes as i was writing this...The emotions all flooding back. You told my mum on your sick bed that you were worried about me as i was still so young but hey, with the help of my 5 siblings, my cousins, the Marcuses,the Oduniyis especially your niece, Aunty Ebun,and of course faith in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, i believed i have turned out alright. My son looks so much like you. And i am trying so hard to take care of my family the way you took wonderful care of us....If i could do it all over again, i would still want you as my dad....with the wish that you stayed with me just a little longer....

May your loving, caring soul continue to Rest in Peace,,,till we meet in the bye and bye

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