TRIBUTE TO MY DAD – Mr. OLUSANYA, HAKEEM BELLO (November 8, 1954 – June 20, 2021)
Good morning Oluwole, trust you are good. I saw the message about your dad, and I’ll like to express my condolence. I’ve met him once, although I don’t know him but I know he did something great by bringing you to this world, irrespective of your differences you dad is still your dad, I pray the Lord will comfort you.Kayode Ojo (June 21, 2021)
Around 2:00 am on Sunday, June 20, 2021, my father passed on. He was buried the same day in our hometown – Ikorodu according to Islamic rites. It was Father’s day the same day so, it was a shocking coincidence.
Strange but true, my father and I were not really good friends. A lot of things happened when I was growing up but that is not the essence of this tribute. I am putting this lovely combination of words together to celebrate the life and times of the man that brought me to this world.
No doubt, my father like every other father was human and he was surely not perfect. He made a lot of mistakes and his life can only serve as a lesson to his children (especially the male ones) on how to live and pitfalls to avoid as a man.
One thing was certain though, his love for his children was unwavering; one of the last things he did before he died was to make sure one of children did not starve. His children took priority position in the scheme of things.
I can vividly remember that my father used to take us to the barbershop, pay for us to watch European soccer games at viewing centers and everything else just to make us happy until things began to change. My father understood the importance of education and he did his best to get us educated.
Before I conclude this short but emotional piece, I vividly remember an event sometimes in 2018 when I was arrested by the officials of the Lagos States Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) around Festac, Lagos. I was on an official assignment from work and the driver and I decided that it would be best to make an unauthorized U-turn so that we can maneuver the traffic and get back to the office on time. Unfortunately, we were apprehended by LASTMA officials but my dad’s name was enough to get us off the hook without parting with a dime. How come?
My father retired as a level 14 officer in LASTMA four year ago. He is popularly referred to as ‘Federal Government’ by the rank and file of the traffic management authority. I just told them that my father is ‘Olusanya, Federal Government’ and we were asked to go. I never told him this interesting incident but I am sure that now, he is well aware. I would have wanted you to be at my wedding and meet my children, your grandchildren but we propose and God disposes.
We did his final burial ceremony on June 27, 2021 and I used the opportunity to visit his graveside again and offer my apologies.
Yes, I needed to apologize for some things I cannot mention here. I needed to apologize for everything I did and everything I did not do. I needed to apologize for everything I had plans to do and everything will not be able to do because he is no more.
I never had his picture on my phone until he passed on. Now, I cannot stop thinking about him.
Once again, I am sorry, dad.
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues.
He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.