- Says They Have Been Friends For 80 Yrs
Not many people know that former head of state, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Chief Akin Disu, the Chairman of Eagle Paints Ltd are best of friends. Only very few people know that they have a lot in common.
Their mums have been close friends before they were born. Both are 80 with a few months difference. Both went to the same school, CMS Grammar School, Lagos. And the similarities go on and on. Chief Disu in this interview with City People duo of Seye Kehinde and TESSY MOORE reveal the depth of their friendship.
We have noticed that you and Chief Ernest Shonekan are very, very, close. How did you meet?
They brought him to come and see me. I was 6 months old. He was 1 year old. Our mothers are friends and classmates. They call him my twin brother. But that is not it alone. We were in the same elementary school with a lot of people like Folabi Olumide, the 1st Vice-Chancellor of LASU. Prof. Akinyanju Oluwole, we were all together at CMS Girls School in Broad Street.
We were together also in CMS Grammar School. I was with him also at Holborn College of Law. He went to Middle Temple. I went to Inner Temple. But we are Templers.
What has kept your relationship going?
God. I am a father to his children and he is a father to my children.
Do you have similarities in your lifestyle or differences?
Because of our worldview and background there is always this convergence.
Have you ever quarrelled or disagreed?
I just told you now that in our view point there is always a convergence. We have no point to disagree. We have too many similarities. So why should we have divergence? We converge, we don’t disagree because of our similarities in background.
So, you don’t quarrel?
Quarrel? What is going to cause quarrel? No. What are we going to quarrel about? He is my Taiwo. Whenever people say he is older than me by 6 months I always tell them he is my Taiwo. We are twins. I am his egbon. In Yorubaland egbon is older. They always say Omokehinde o gba egbon.
I am his Kehinde. We were born in 1936 together. I sent him forward, Ko lo Taiwo fun mi. He is my Taiwo. I am his Kehinde. I am his egbon. I am his senior brother. Tell him, I said so. Tell him I am his senior brother. Yes, I am his senior brother.
But he looks more reserved and you more social. Is that not a difference?
I don’t know about sociability. I don’t know what you see. You are the one saying that. I don’t know about quietness. I don’t go to parties that much. I don’t know what you have seen. You have seen me, I don’t see myself. You are entitled to your opinion.
When he turned 80, what gift did you give him?
I can’t remember. It’s between the 2 of us, not for your consumption.
What is your advice to him?
I wish him well. He is my twin brother. People call him my friend but I tell them he is not only my friend, he is Akin Disu.
I met him when I was 6 months old and he was 1 year. The first person I know was him. They brought him to me. If I am here he is here. If I am there he is there. We are together. We lived together when I was young. We were sleeping on the same mat. They brought him to me to come and join me. He wrote somewhere in his article and tribute about me how his mother will tell my mother to discipline him if he misbehaves. Our mothers were close. They were friends. They were classmates. That’s our mothers and his father will tell me that he won’t interfere in our affair. So Chief Sonekan is my twin brother. We lived together all my childhood. Look at what he wrote about me. Its been written down. We have been friends since childhood what I mean by child is that when I was 6 months old, he was 1 year old. So, the 1st person I know was him.