•Reveals His Life At The LAGOS Isolation Centre
Four weeks ago, former Ogun Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Bukola Olopade, who successfully in charge of the Sports Ministry in Ogun State during the OGD Administration tested positive to Covid 19 the news was broken by a Blogger, but according the Bukola Olopade, his test results were not even put before the blogger broke the story, few hours after the NCDC came into his Lagos home to carry out the test.
This was what prompted him to release the series of videos to keep friends and families posted on his Status. And his next move, he was checked in at Yaba, where he spent 19 days before he was discharged after he tested Negative to the virus 3 times on different days.
Last week, our Ogun State Correspondent Bunmi Mustapha had an interview with the Lagos marathon initiator and he spoke on how he suspected he was infected, his experiences at the center and his next move to ensure medical professionals and domestic staffs are well taken care of that before.
Congratulation for fighting the Covid-19 battle and also to welcome you back. A lot of people want to hear from you. How did you know you were Posititive to covid 19?
For a few weeks before I came down with the sickness, I had suspected that this was one virus that I was going to always struggle with considering the body system that I have. And what do I mean by that? Usually when someone has a Common cold, and I sit next to that person, I catch it easily, I have not been sick for twenty years, though I have had operations from injuries, but not been sick for twenty years, but in those twenty years, I catch the cold and flu just like that.
So when I saw the DNA of the virus, when I started studying the movement from when the report on it keep increasing in January, I was worried, worried because I spent a lot of time on the plane, I am always in England to see my grown up children, I am always abroad for sporting events, where I do my business, so I was sort of worried and I became very careful from that time,
I was careful with the company I kept, I was careful to incraeae the velocity of work. I was washing my hands and just staying as clean as I can. So when I came back from a trip that took me to Dubai, London and Marrakesh in a space of 9 days, I was quick to sort of isolate myself a for few days before I attended one or two parties, and all of those while I was good, but on the twelfth day of my return,
I was asleep when the cough just started, abruptly. Luckily I was in isolation that I created, because I had made sure that my wife, daughter usually sleeps in my room, I had moved to my daughters room, wanting to see the whole 14 days, so when the cough started, it started with a whole blinding headache, I have never witnessed a cough like that I my life, and I never witness Migrane like that in my life also.
So, I got suspicious, but luckily for me I had every drug I needed at that time. I had my Cough syrup, I had a drug I got from my mother inlaw that makes me sleep, I had Augumentin. I just started taking a whole lot of stuffs and drinking warm water, and covering myself in hot water and menthol.
On the 4th day, the Cough disappeared the way it came. So, I spoke with my doctor who said to me that, Mr. Olopade, considering your travel history and considering the fact that Covid-19 is out there, he advised I do a test. So I called the Ncdc and the Lagos team, and after a few hours, they came, they tested me, and on the third day, the result came out and it was Positive.
What really prompted you to do the video about the Test you did?
I did the video for 2 reasons, Number one was because, the day I did the test, a blogger had already written that I was Positive, just one hour after the test was taken, and I didn’t want any blogger to control the narrative.
So, I said there is even need for me to come out, because I have been in contact with over two thousand people within the space from when I came back from abroad, and there would be need for them to know about the test I took and subsequently if the test comes out positive there will also been need for them to know I tested positive, and it so happened that after three days when the test came out,
I was positive, and that same night, I got myself ready and submitted myself to Yaba, which I have not regreeted, I was a best decision I took, one I was able to sequence my family away from me so that I do not infect them, secondly I was able to submit myself to the best hands, who were treating people with the virus,
So yes, that was the first aspect of the virus. Surprise to say that, the transition between waiting for the results, I was ok, I was good, but when the result came, I felt really sick from my tommy that, this is me who have always said I do not want an alien in my body, that if I have to die, let me die just like that, I do not want any sickness, I do not want no terminal dieasea, no sickness of any nature, just let me go, so I felt sick from my tommy because I don’t really want any virus of that nature insode my tommy, so that was the first experience and I went to Yaba.
When you got to Yaba, what was the experience like from Day One till you were discharged?
On getting to yaba, it was a mixed feeling. I got to yaba, with the hope that I was going to be in my own room, and my own ward, but when I got there, they were delaying and looking for a room for me, I just said, you know what, take me to wherever is available, and they took me under the tent, again and a decision that I am grateful for, because I got under the tent and I met fascinating people, people who have become my friends and my brothers today.
They made me relaxed and adapted to the situation there, and I just started getting on with my life. If you saw the video that went viral, where I was giving out immune boosting juice that my dietitian was sending to me, and she was sending that everyday, and I was giving out to people, you would have noticed that we were cool, we were happy and there was friendship, that really helped a lot of us psychologically because it was tough psychologically, and yes I took it the way it came.
But, by the 14th, 15th day, I started feeling sad. I started feeling mentally disturbed, because people who met me were leaving. That’s to say that their body was reacting well to the treatment.
Those who were there with me had left, from that my Gang almost everyone had left, except from Olumide who left two days before me, and I thought was I going on here. So one of two people started dying next to my ward, and the first death I was the one that rushed out of my bed to call the nurses. So that was a shock to me. That now wow, people are dying from this virus. This is too close to comfort for me. So psychologically it was though.
But by the sixteenth day they came back to me and said, I had a Negative result hoping that by the eithteenth day, because the result comes in every two day, hoping that I will get another Negative result and leave, because I had no symptoms again from Day two, I was not feeling sick, I was strong, I was doing excersices.
But I started having an Astma attack, because I have been asthmatic since when I was a baby. The astma attack I had in those last days, I thought it was activated by panic attacks that I was getting, so I got really demoralized.
I spent the whole of Saturday the eighteenth day sleeping, literarily wasting my thought process in sleep so that I will be better. So, on Sunday I woke up very early, I did my excersices, had my bath and went back to sleep. Then I was woken up by a loud sound of music, and I got up with anger, looked through my window and it was actually the artiste that the Governor brought for Easter Sunday, and the music was so amazing that I was out dancing for 2 hours straight.
I called my children on Video, called my wife, called my elder brother, called Seyi Johnson, Femi, Tunde Elegbede, Deji Labiran, I just called a few friends, just for them to also know that I was good. It was gospel song for thewhole 2 hours and I danced all through, and by the time it stopped I had sweated so much and had to go and take my shower, afterwards, I felt better, I was at a good place, a better placement.
As I was sleeping, around seven to eight o clock, a call came in from Dr. Adejumo and said, Mr. Olopade you are Negative again. So, we are coming to test you again the next day, so when they came on Monday they took the test.
This time around I was not even bothered. I had resigned myself to the fact that, all I want is for this virus to leave me completely zero, because I don’t want to be sent home and infect people, or leave here not healthy and people pretending I am healthy, no matter how long it was going to take.
So, I was at a better placement, and the result was supposed to come out on Tuesday, so I got the result about 11pm, I was asleep when dr bowale, the md of idh sent me a text and said, Mr olopade congratulations you have tested negative again we are discharging you tomorrow, the Dr adejumo also called me, and I just could not sleep again, mixed feelings, there I was, I had made a whole lot of friends, with doctors, nurses, domestic cleaners and fellow patients,
So while I was excited I was going home, back to my family, back to the society, and going home to start a campaingn to let people know that it is real, so that more people must understand, that they must keep their social distance, wear their masks and things like that, more importantly I was looking forward to establishing the foundation that I made up my mind in there that I was going to establish, called MED HEROES.
Medical heroes for long, meaning the doctors, the nurses and the domestic workers, needs to be given more, more supports must be given to them, we must look for money to take care of them, we must look for more money to equip the hospitals , so that their jobs are easier, we must look for money to supports their children who are schooling,
We must look for money to support medical students and nursing students who are not able to pay their fees, and in my head I thought, this is my next project, I am going to start foundation and talk to all my friends, the rich, the comfortable and those who wants to contribute, I will just reach out to people in other to support the med staffs. So I was excited I was coming out, but I was also sad that I was these new friends I just made.
On Wednesday I was discharged, it was a glorious day, it was nice to cuddle my wife, my daughter, my mother, whom had all tested negative twice, they had all been tested, including all my staffs and everyone around me tested negative, since I am negative more than once and as I have been told to keep social distance from people even with my family for five days, but I just could not resist them,
I cuddled them before I went back to my coarse isolation, I will be in my room and come out late night when everyone was indoors, I will do my jogging, ride my bicycle, say my good night, today is the sixth day, now I am very free with my family, I have been to the hospital to do my day five check and I am good, and life is amazing again.
But in all of these, Bunmi trust me I was eating very well, I was eating so much, my wife will send me food everyday, and people like Babajide Ogunsanwo of channels tv who is my neighbor, and shaheed who is my brother, and owolabi, they call him Abuga, use to bring food and fruits and juice for me everyday, so I didn’t really miss the home cooking, and I am sure that also helped in my treatment coming out of that place.
Was there at any point, you looked at yourself and thought you don’t think you were going to make it.?
Not for one day. From day one I knew I was going to battle this thing and I was going to defeat it. From day one, I was never scared one day, except of cause for the day that dude fell down and died, and I got worried not for me alone, but there were one of two days that my Asthma activated, I was short in breath. I didn’t even tell the medical staff, instead I used my Ventolin inhaler and my breathing regulated, I was never scared.
Look I know I am, God’s child, I have always told people who care to listen that when you look at my life history from when I was a child to date, I have always had God’s protection, there is nothing I have touched that God has net blessed, even in the face of adversity, I remember when I was commissioner in Ogun State and people were talking a lot of things about me,
I kept on saying, watch this space, for God knows I am a good man who have done good for the people of Ogun State, especially the youth of Ogun State, watch what will happen to those running their mouth against me and watch what we are going to do, and the rest is history, God has blessed everything that I have touched, and old age runs in my family, and old age is hereditary from what science have said, so I a, going to grow old, not just ordinarily,
I will be old in a very successful environment, very healthy environment and I will be there by God’s grace to see my grand children and great grand children, enjoy life too, I was really not disturbed.
Bunmi, it was a life changing experience, there are few things now that I had taken for granted, you know, but now I am ready to actually go out, I want to enjoy life more, I have thrown myself neck deep into work for almost thirty years, no regret, because this is why I am able to look after my family effectively and am able to also enjoy life, but I want to do more,
I want to do more for humanity, do more for myself and my family, I want to continue working out obviously, but more importantly, I see life differently now, take politics for example, it means nothing to me anymore if it is not about the people, it has to be about the people, it has to building good health care system, it has to be about educating our children, it has to be about helping the poor to live a better life, it has to be about entrepreneurship for our young people, it has to be protection for our aged, my life has always been about humanity, my politics is not about abusing.
Let me tell you what shocked me will I was in there, someone like former governor of Ogun State, senator Ibikunle Amosun called me up to three four times while I was there, just to check for about my welfare, this is a man that I have spent the last ten years not liking at all, for the sort of political retro rate used against my reputation, but guess what, it was just retro rate,
Now I know that when it comes to human life, he showed me care, he showed me love, he extended himself of his former ssg, and guess what, I left hospital and he has called me twice, and when Aba Khyari died, I also called him to pay my condolences, can you just picture that, we harbor so much hatred, we harbor so much against fellow human being, and yet in all of that within a twinkle of an eye, we can just leave this world with that bitterness, and that hatred, and that vengeance.
I don’t have all of that in me anymore, I guarantee you, but politics will always be about the people and not about the shenanigans politics, business will always be about integrity and transparency and not about profiting alone, it will also be about me building capacity for young people, which I have always done, but now it is more imperative for me to do that, so that at the end of the day, I am able to look at the mirror and say, Bukola Olopade you did well you know, my friend Richard Banwo actually put it perfectly when he said, Bukola, after your second video,
I am quoting him now “I got 72 different messages, and people are just praying for you Bukola and I said to myself Bukola Olopade will grow old and go to heaven, because some of the things he heard were the things people say to someone when they are dead, and in your lifetime, people were saying those good things about you, Bukola you are a good man” and he further went on to say “ on your 50th birthday, it was the same kind of retro rate I read on Facebook and everywhere, these people can not all be telling lies, if three thousand and five thousand of them are writing all these, just come out of this healthy and continue to be a good ma” , and that was instructive, like I said, it just completely changed my mentality towards many things.
On a lighter mood, in one of the videos that went viral while you were in there, that you were sharing immune booster juice and someone was calling you excellency and incoming, do you mind sharing what that was all about.?
The moment I got into the center, I was identified and recognized, and there were few people there who just said, 2027, you must contest for Governorship. We know you are Dapo Abiodun’s man. We know you are going to support him for second term, which is absolutely correct,
I believe Governor Dapo Abiodun has done very well in this war of Coronavirus, and among other things.
I like the way he is engineering the economy of the state through his Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Okubadejo. I love the things they are doing, no one is perfect, I still believe he still needs to do more in sports , this morning I had a long telephone discussion with the Governor himself,
But I also had a long discussion with Dapo Okubadejo where we agreed on some initiatives we must do together to ensure that the Youths of Ogun State are empowered, and I like the fact that he has read the mind of the Governor very well and he is determined to want to empower young people, using sports as a platform, and we had that discussion, but this is a governor that has done very well that I know could really changed the way things are done in Ogun State,
I have seen the signs.
So while in there they started joking and saying excellency 2027, and who knows, 2027 is still a long time, and my focus now is how to help the Dapo Abiodun lead government, for hi, to touch the life of the young people, aged and how I can use my foundation to get government to do more for health workers, to ensure that our doctors, nurses and domestic staffs are well paid and well looked after.
For now I am not thinking about any political office, I just want to be humanitarian, to be aggressive in the way I drive this foundation, and I will tell you why, I have said on so many forays that, Governor Babajide Sanwolu of Lagos has shown to the world that he is a war time governor who can easily be a war time president,
Because what he has done with Lagos, the way he has been able to galvanized the people to understand how tough and serious this virus is amazing, the way the been able to contain it in Lagos in respective of the criticism I have read has been amazing,
I was in Yaba and I saw the role of professor Abayomi, the Lagos commissioner for health and how he use to come almost every day to see to the welfare and to see that everything was working, and everything was actually working while I was there, and the medical team led by Dr Bowale, the entire team was amazing.
For me the only criticism I have is that government a cross board must ensure that, doctors are better paid, and most especially the nurses and domestic staffs are better paid than what it is today, and this why MED HEROES has become my new baby and I am going to work hard to ensure it becomes a reality and it’s super giveback to medical people, this guys are our heroes.
Like I said to people, pretend that we are at war, during way period when bullets and bombs are flying, what do you do, you hide inside your house and then you keep safe, this what we need to do with this virus, stay at home, keep ourselves clean, keep ourselves safe and ensure that we are just ok, very soon, am very hopeful, there will be a vaccine to take.
Are if this virus and we can all go back to living our normal lives, but for now there is a new normal, and the new normal is that you must cover your nose, you must wash your hands well, and you must as much as possible stay away from a crowded place while life continues, it’s going to be only for a very short time, I have no doubt that very soon all of this will be over.
Speaking of Vaccines and treatments, do you have any idea of the drugs you were given for treatments at the center?
I have no idea, but we were given a lot of Vitamin C, I don’t know if I really want to talk about other drugs because they are sensitive and people may just misinterpret and misuse it, but a whole lot of Vitamin C are used, along side a while lot of drugs that I am not in the position to talk about, it’s the medical team that can talk about it, and I think the NCDC and the minister for health in their brief must have spoken about it, but personally I can say a whole lot of vitamin c was used for us.
With all these experiences and you went through, what are the things it’s going to change about you?
I am an ebullient person. That will not change, I am an extrovert, that will not change also, but have I matured more, beyond my age fifty one that I am going to be in June.
Yes I have, my thought process has been twisted with this experience, for better, I am just looking forward to life and my new strategy towards life, which I believe will make you see me here and there in a different lights, and I want to be more about people,
I have always been about people, but I was t to do more for the people, I want to see that health workers are better taken care off, it’s a crusade for me, and to that extent yes, my life has completely changed,
I must confess, I have never one day, have the medical workers in my thought, that they are on earth to actually save you and I, but now I have seen it, I know it, and I want to be part of that group that will join hands together to help them grow.
Lastly, a lot of people are still taking Covid 19 for granted, some even believe it does not exists and can not get to them, what can you this people to see that it is real?
Like I said one of the reasons I did that video was especially to get through to the young people and I know there are thousands of them who believe in me in Ogun State and I thank God that I was able to get through because a lot of them has gotten to me and they said Baba now we know it’s real and we are keeping safe,
I want to believe that majority now understand that it is real, for those who are still skeptical not only in this country, look at Kentucky there was a demonstration, and guess what after that demonstrations two hundred and fourth six caught the virus, it is real and people are dying from it, so please if you are reading this, believe that it’s real and take necessary precautions and keep yourself safe.