It would have been my dad's 89th birthday on Sunday 20th December 2020 BUT he 'joined his ancestors' (Obas don't die, they join their ancestors) 12 years ago in August (very tough period for us all).
Anyways, he's been constantly on my mind, in my heart and for some reason very close and then Lexxy says to me, 'I saw Grandpa'! My reaction was (in thought though), 'Aunty, how na?', I guess she must have seen the look and interpreted it rightly because the next thing I hear was `Oh! I dreamt about grandpa, I meant' and she goes on to tell me everything, Bottom-line, looks like the man was trying to let us know he's doing well (I want to believe so, he was a good man and my prayers for him always is 'for strength on his journey' (yes... Journey. That there, is another story).
I honestly had started a tribute to men (that specie that we sometimes take for granted). You know, take as a given especially with all the gender 'wars', 'empowerment' etc ish going on. Don't get me wrong o, I just feel that we should all just be human beings (no divides, just a level of equity, you know?). Anyways, that isn't the gist for today.
Today's write up is in loving memory of my dad - His Royal Majesty, The Alaye of Ode Remo, Oba Sunday Olufunso Adeolu, Sataloye II.
Remember this chorus from Ricardo and Friends? That's exactly how I've always felt about my daddy (the whole song resonates with me actually).
I love you Daddy...
You are my hero (and you always in my dream)
I love you daddy oh daddy
My dad was my superstar. He was a great man, a good friend and yes, my dad (yeah, I am very proud of that). Please don't get me wrong, he wasn't perfect. O! He was very far from perfect (aren't we all?)
He had his flaws, many at that (but, hey, who doesn't). Chief of them was his LOVE for women, he liked women sha (Dr. M would say to me, all great men loved / love women and in some cases, when they didn't get a hold of this 'passion', it ended up destroying some). He had a temper (I kinda used too as well, we are getting that in check, right! Right!?) BUT, all these make him human and beyond, all that, he was my Da!
I honestly had this scripted in my mind and well detailed BUT now, I just have different scenarios playing out in my mind, o well, I guess I will just share as I'm thinking it.
Daddy at the hospital (Kings College Hospital), smiling even at the end. The children doting over him at that last 'screening'. Daddy telling us /giving instructions, in case 'it' happens. Daddy not saying sorry when (not sure which of us - my sister or myself) we had retouched our hair in Ode, they burnt it and somehow got infected, so injections were needed etc, all he had to say was 'I guess beauty and comfort don't mix' ️. Or was it when he dropped me off at Ife, he drove me himself and said, 'Enjoy it dear, it might be the last thing I do for you personally as I become the father to / for all', which he became, sometimes to the detriment of his own family (yeah, another flaw).
Is it his relationship with his grandchildren (they were always with him, every summer (Lafose day), just before they traveled, sharing / drinking from his mug, watching him cut his hair and so many more. I know they miss him much sometimes - NerdyBembem, ForgetmeKnot and Lexxy4rn (he would have been so proud of how they have become such talented creatives even if it's not music). Did I mention that he was one of the best keyboardist I have come across (and I know quite a lot of them), he was great (not sure how I'm not musically gifted / talented in any way). Hmmmmmm, the women! My favorite, Aunty Ronke (she was a joke) and the worst (no comment) !!!!?
According to him, he doesn't believe in birthdays ️ (BUT guess who calls me first on my birthday - he always tries to 'shalaye' though, well, I will let him). He was soooo proud of Dr. M for deciding to stay on in Nigeria, he would always reference it in conversation.
There is just soooo much to say about this man, my daddy. He was well-known for his role as Chief Eleyinmi in Village Headmaster (till today, I still have people asking me if he actually had hands); He was an actor par excellence (when I tell suppliers/vendors that I have a great respect for the arts / artistes, they don't know where I'm coming from). He acted and starred in some major Film Productions as well as the theater - some of which included a British Movie - Out of Africa, Things Fall Apart and so many others BUT without doubt, he was in his best element as Eleyinmi. He was crowned the Alaye of Ode Remo in 1990 (Remember, he took me to Ife in 1989); he became a Justice of Peace in 1991 and in 1997, he received the national honour - Officer of the Order of Niger (OON).
I actually used to be a shy child sha (I still am, right?). I remember my sister and I 'working' the runway in the National Theater for some fashion show and my dad showing me how to 'catwalk', I honestly can't remember if I did the show BUT I am certain my sister did.
He was a man of honor, he stood for so many things and I am thankful for many lessons learnt. I know for a fact today that I walk better because of him, yeah. He was particular about things like that. I remember once at the airport waiting to board to school (FGC Sokoto) and he walks up to me, straightens me and moves back to gisting with the other parents. My friends still ask me how I am coping without him (imagine o! After some 30+ years in FGCS, 12 years post his death and some still remember how close we were.)
Smiling, I remember Ode-Remo, the midnight 'cases' when we would all be peeping into the palace to see / hear what's going down and there was sooo much happening. We heard so much at these 'hearings' and truth, i guess we learnt as well. I think he was just as well.
My dad was a seeker. He looked into everything that would draw him closer to The Almighty. I pray he found it because like I have said repeatedly, he was a good man, honestly, one of the best.
Once he told Dr. M 'Pick up that log, move it over here. So that whenever someone wants to tell you the story about building this palace, you will tell them that you were a major part of it too'. That was my dad.
Another flaw or was it!? Did I say he was jealous? If he meets us all seated in my mum's room, he would sha come in until we all dispersed. That man ehn! He was just my guy.
I could go on and on as the memories just keep flooding in BUT maybe some other time.
Truth is, the year has been 'tough' enough for everyone and this here is just to remind you that each day we live (regardless of what we think we are going through), is just another opportunity to be thankful for our loved ones - family, friends and anyone at all that matters to us one way or the other.
Just as I am thankful for everyone that has consistently supported the BantzwithTee dream.
Thank you for reading and do know that your feedback is much appreciated especially for those who take time to reach out after reading. These actually keep me writing and wanting to offer some level of comfort / solace to readers / followers of Bantzwithtee.
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As usual, its me,