Every time we have our alumni get together, I always leave with this impression, “we are watching, we are reading, we are following”. And it fills me with pride and joy to know that my little contributions here are not passing by unnoticed and not only that, to be careful of the content I put out in the social media space and public.
Be it as it may, the 98′ set alumni 4th quarter meeting was a thing of joy to partake in. Having to meet old friends and faces you last saw 22 years ago and seeing everyone doing good and well. Now let me tell you about this 98′ set, the depth of engagement they engage each other and the extent they go to, to ensure everyone is accounted for leaves me amazed and proud to be part of the set.
We have had our fair share of tribulations and storms, but the words of Muri Balogun, aka “Chief Priest” always ring out clear…“e ma da party ru oo!” And in the midst of it all, the anchor for us is the fact that we had spent 6 years, for some 12 years together in a close-knit environment where we did all by ourselves…in the spirit of Tai Solarin…”Self-Reliance”.
Relationships had been formed, life alliances built, business empires sustained all by the singular fact that we have a common ground and we ensure we touch sides even after school. Do we have people who are “silent observers”? Yes, we do… I am guilty as well! lol. Who are silent observers you may ask? Those who just read all the chat conversations but prefer to stay silent and keep in touch with one or two people or more. But the bottom line, at least someone has information about where someone is across the world. And Gbenga Wahab is the chief of that…the Class President!
The truth is, we always have people in our midst who are connectors…their primary goal is connecting with people and fostering healthy relationships, working behind the scenes to ensure all works well for the cause and for the group. Such people are needed in our lives as they provide us the melting point where we are all equals and comrades. They are not ashamed to be associated with anyone…neither do they count the great personal cost to them to keep things going smoothly. They sacrifice willingly and give cheerfully.
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.
More often than not, we neglect these associations and feel we can forge ahead on our own…and create our own path. Yorubas have a saying, “Ki a rin ki a po, yi yeni nii yeni” (To walk in a procession gives dignity). The good book admonishes as well;
Ecclesiastes 4:10-12 The Message (MSG)
It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!
Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.
By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.
I have personally experienced leveraging these relationships, and as it is, it’s a mere 1% compared to others who leverage massively on it. The truth is, we gain more when we forge and bond together in one accord when we see ourselves as brothers and sisters with a common interest and goal to be achieved. And we are deliberately “detribalized” about it and consciously build and nourish each other up.
A Chinese proverb states, “There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same”. So if we meet along the path, we can encourage and support one another on the journey to that top and not make it a cutthroat competition. The truth is, not everyone who embarks on reaching a mountain summit ever gets there, some give up and pitch a tent at a level, some may turn back, some may perish on the road, and some will get there. Ultimately, if its a group attempt, the whole group succeeds and fails…but the baseline is this, they all attempted it as a group, supporting, encouraging and what have you. But if its an individual alone…it’s “sad much” Muri Balogun.
The truth is, we are all interconnected one way or the other. And we cannot afford to be independent nor dependent, but interdependent, for therein lies the power to achieve more and of greatness.
And that is what I believe the 98′ set Exmay is all about and all other Exmays group. Bringing people together, fostering relationships, keeping the flag flying, making Tai Solarin proud.
To all Exmays worldwide, in particular, to 98′ set and the Executives led by Gbenga Wahab (Prof! The only guy who can recall the whole sets student numbers after all these years!)…a hearty Merry Christmas to you all and glad tidings of joy be with you all and always!
In conclusion, let us resolve to:
- Keep in touch with our roots
- Foster harmony in our midst
- Rub minds together
- Sharpen each other’s iron to become better individuals.
- Lift the torch aloft.
Have a wonderful Merry Christmas!!!!