Have you known Chief Bode Mustapha, the new Osi of Egbaland for the past 25 to 30 years? If you have, you must have noticed that he has been able to keep his trim look. He has never been known to spot a potbelly despite his active social life. He recently told City People his secrets, just as he spoke about his love for the game of Golf.
Chief Bode Mustapha is the new Osi of Egbaland. He is a successful Businessman & an accomplished politician who loves playing Golf. He plays Golf frequently, almost on a daily basis. He has been playing golf over the last 33 years. He started Golf in 1988 and since then he had become addicted to it. He is 71.
A few weeks back, City People crew made up of Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, SUNDAY ADIGUN & JIMMY ABDULRASHEED joined him on the Abeokuta Golf Course to watch him play. He teed off that Sunday morning at 8.00 am dressed in a customised (BM)Tee Shirt and White trousers, looking prim and proper, like a Gentleman that he is. We sat inside his Golf Cart to interview him, and he revealed a lot about his life and love for Golf. Below are excerpts of the interview.
You are so much into Golf. For how long have you been playing Golf?
I started playing Golf in 1988. This is my 33rd year of playing Golf.
What has kept you going? What has been the attraction?
As a matter of fact, I regret that I didn’t start playing golf early in life, because if I did I probably would have been a Professional Golfer. There is nothing as beautiful as enjoying what you are doing.
As a young man, I had always been a sportsman. I captained Ibadan Grammar School, Table Tennis team to win the National Table Tennis event in 1967. I played in the Nigerian national team, Table-Tennis. I played 7 professional in Germany. I got back. For 5 years, I won every Table Table Tennis Tournament in Ikoyi Club (1938). And then I got tired and I switched to Squash Racquet. To play good squash, you have to be fit. And I used to jog about 60 kilometers every week. And I played that for a while. At some point, I wanted to become the President of Ibadan Recreation Club and I went to the Golf Section and they told me, they couldn’t vote for me because I was not a Golfer and that I can’t lift the ball from the ground. That got me challenged actually, so I decided to go back there the next day. And of course, there is this thing about Golf. It’s a bug. Once it gets you, it gets you. And the bug got me. That was 1988. And ever since then, I haven’t regretted playing Golf. I am passionate about anything I do. I have a passion for perfection. I have played so much Golf in my life. There was a time I played golf every day, anywhere I was in the world. I mean every day, come rain or shine, I will play. To God be the glory, at close to 50, I was playing on 5 handicaps. I thank God for that which was like 7 pros. I have won the longest drive in the pro-am in Abuja in 1996. I was 46 years old then. I have won several Tournaments. Today, I thank God. To God be the Glory. I am a life member of Ibadan Golf Club. I am a Life member of Ikoyi Golf Club (1938). I am a member here at Abeokuta Golf Club. I am a member of 2 Clubs in England. I am a member in IBB Golf Club in Abuja and in Sagamu. I love playing Golf. It gives me fun.
You have kept a trim look that has been constant over the years. How have you achieved that?
I try to eat healthily. And I don’t eat much, fortunately. Not because I don’t want to eat but because I just can’t each much. And then, of course, I exercise. Even now I still make sure I trek and run every day. There is nothing as good as being fit and healthy. And then the Grace of God.
How come you don’t look your age?
(Laughs) I think it’s just the Grace of God and the fact that I have been a sports person since I was young. At that time, they used to say I was too playful. But I didn’t know I was building something good. I am not a Golfer who will finish a round of Golf and gulp in 4 to 5 bottles of beer. No. Or half a bottle of Scotch. No. It’s like putting back double what I have lost. Yes. I play Golf and it helps me. Yes. I drink my beer, once in a while. But I don’t think more than a bottle of beer. I stopped drinking spirits for about the last 5 years because it gives me heartburn. I enjoy my one or 2 glasses of Champagne. And that is it. Everything is in moderation. And always ask for the Grace of God.