My father was a great man!

By Femi Aderibigbe

Calm, urbane, kind, hardworking, fun loving, jaiye jaiye, very responsible and loved kids.

A bank manager and clergyman, he had his weaknesses and failings, but integrity, character, and kindness, he had in abundance!

Always ready to help, always creating jobs and uplifting people, always had a ready smile for everyone he came across.

Totally detribalized, (he supported Azikiwe and NCNC, even though he was an Ijebu man, just like Awolowo).

He lived and worked in different parts of Nigeria and was loved everywhere he went.

I particularly remember his calmness, his restraint, and his incredible ability to reign in his emotions.

I remember he beat me only once, and I had really been naughty.

4 strokes of the cane, each stroke at an average of 7 minutes interval, me lying in front of him, while he watched the NTA Network News.

It was real mental torture because you won’t see the next one coming until you hear “twai”, (reason I still don’t watch the Network News).

We were not very close growing up, because he was the strong, silent type, but we got closer as I got older and started my own family.

Then I appreciated him a lot more for the sacrifices, the often-unappreciated efforts, the strong discipline, and the good example he set for us to follow.

I remember he struggled with me choosing to be a radio Deejay, when other people’s children were become doctors, lawyers, and engineers, but he accepted me nonetheless.

I deeply regret he is not around to see what his, “radio Deejay” son has done with his life.

How far that boy who always had his headphones on listening to music on the radio, even when studying, has come.

Although he is no longer with us physically, I know he is smiling down at me and my siblings, proud of the many things we have been able to achieve.

I miss you dad, I really do.

Continue to rest in peace, Pastor Olubiyi Aderibigbe.

Your legacy lives on.

God bless.

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