On my first trip to Lagos- I never knew any Odeku. The first Odeku, I knew attends Orita Mefa Baptist Church in Ibadan and they resided in Orogun then. On my second trip to Lagos, my first knowledge of Odeku- was a high street at Victoria Island; from there I met an Odeku at the workplace and later I meet Ayo Odeku- firstly as a vibrant and energetic man. I met a vintage man who is very versed in the Scripture, an astute Baptist, a teacher per excellence of Sunday school, Baptist historian, cultural afficionado, Techy octogenarian amongst others. Thereafter all the dots connected.
He was one of those who got me into the administrative arm of the church and he volunteered to support me. If any task lingered too much, he would say, “Tayo, I know the challenge of your generation, if you don’t have the time. Tell me, I will assist you.” Nonetheless, when there is a need for escalation, he would do and I know it was all in love because he wants me to succeed.
Well, I like questioning people, in the rain, two years ago, I had the honour of driving him home. Then, I asked him more questions about himself and he told me nothing but the truth.
He is the only one who knows my “Oriki” in church and whenever he sees me, he calls me that name and prays for me. Am fortunate to discover too that Baba is Ayinde! Ayin dele le o sise yii o! If you don’t know, he has gone through various manuscripts that I have written and he is encouraging me to publish some of my works.
Asides this, Baba Ayo Odeku is also our student, being a millenia at heart, he’s doing all things to catch us and in fact, his use social media is better than many of us. He is an avid reader and that’s another reason for his youthfulness. He is a fashionista per excellence- either English or Yoruba wears, he is always on point.
Have you ever seen him write his name with his spouse before- He would simply write Idowu+Ayo Odeku and if he had to write a title for himself, he would simply write Mr. Ayo Odeku. This beats the traditional way in which people write their names at our “Ilu Oke” as if we are not from there.
In today’s parlance and on your birthday, I am glad to say, it will take time for us to catch up with the standards you have set for us but we are already soaking it in. Baba Odeku, you are the 1938 model operating at full capacity of a 2018 model.
Happy birthday, Baba Agba.