Says,Baba OLORUNWO Was Like A Father To Me
Days after, I still find it hard to write about Primate Emmanuel Omolaja Olorunwo in the past tense. This is because we were not only very close, he treated me like his son. He would call me from time to time to find out how I was faring and he would offer words of advice on life’s challenges.
Since I met him about 6 years ago, he never let me out of his sight. He will constantly call me to brief me about his activities. At times he will even invite me to events. That was how close we were. We had a father and son relationship. He used to call me Kehinde.
Why I am still in a state of shock is because I still saw Baba on his 85th birthday, a few weeks back, and we had a long chat. Annually, his biological children usually gather in his house, on the morning of his birthday to celebrate with him. The same thing happened this year, as I joined the Olorunwo family to celebrate with Baba. Before the birthday Praise and Worship session started at about 10.30 am that Friday, I engaged Baba in a prolonged discussion in his living room. I actually wanted to do an interview but Papa politely declined. He told me to just write about what he wants to be remembered for and the many lives he has touched.”Kehinde, you have interviewed me every year in the last 5 years, so you know my story already.”
I was curious to know why he was not celebrating his 85th landmark birthday in a big way. So I asked him. He smiled and told me that his wish was to have a low-key birthday.
“I am weak and I don’t feel too strong like before,” he explained.
He then requested a gift from me.”Please, put together all the photos of my Birthday in an album and present them to me, after the Birthday Thanksgiving service coming up on Sunday. That is what I want.”
I did just that.
Unfortunately, I received the beautiful album from the photographer, the day after Papa passed on. So Papa could not see his birthday photos all neatly arranged in the album.
We would all miss Papa sorely…
By Seye Kehinde,
Publisher, CityPeople Magazine