If you meet popular Lagos socialite, Otunba Jide Osinubi (Sokoyokoto) right now, you would not know he would soon be 80. He looks good for someone who will soon be an Octogenarian.
In the next few weeks, this King of Boys and one of the most popular Lagos socialites, rocking Lagos social scene, will be 80. And he is planning to mark it. He has to mark it. He has no choice. He is well-loved among the Lagos social establishment. He has joined hundreds of celebrities in celebrating their events. This is also because he has become a big brand in the Lagos social scene. He has been a constant star on the party scene from the early 80s up till now. Not only does he get invited to all the big parties in town, he injects life into any party he attends. By nature, he is ebullient and full of life. He is one person you need at your party to energise any owambe party. He is always happy and ready to celebrate with others. He loves to dance. He is a good dancer.
So socially active is Prince Jide Osinubi that he sings and has composed hit tracks for the likes of KSA and Ebenezer Obey, in those good old days. He is close to the 2 music icons and he has always been willing to support their music.
By training, he studied Engineering and specialises in Refrigeration & AC manufacturing and repairs.
At 80, what has changed about Prince Jide Osinubi? What has not changed, City People asked him a few days ago, at his Lagos home. Expectedly, age has mellowed him a bit. So, he can’t attend every major party as he used to. He is also managing his knees. He has had to do knee surgery. He is on the big side, so his weight is resting on his legs.
Despite all these, Prince Jide Osinubi is still his bubbly self, still always cracking jokes.
Naturally, he is a witty person. He is still as witty as ever. The loss of his wife, a few years ago, also affected him a bit. But he says he won’t remarry.
How does he feel at 80? “I thank the Almighty God who spared my life despite all the turbulence I went through. I am grateful to Almighty. I will always be singing his praise, worshipping him all the time because he is a great God. The reason I need to keep praising him is because a lot of people have gone. So many of my age mates have gone. I can remember some of my friends who joined me in celebrating my 70th birthday are no more.
People like Aare Alao Arisekola, alias Ase Ore Mase Ika. They have gone. People like Rasheed Gbadamosi.
They have gone. People like Tanfia Ni. They have gone. People like Gani Oladiran. I can go on. I can keep mentioning others. There are so many, so many. So, I look at myself and how I have survived many travails, illness. Each time I fall ill, I always say to God: Am I going to survive this sickness, no matter what I have been surviving it. Glory be to God all the time. I have been surviving it. That is one of the aspects, I always cherish, each time I think about all what happens to me and all the medical turbalance I am going through, I always say, well, I thank God. Some people can’t even afford to pay hospital bills not to talk of getting healed. But it is only Jesus that heals, Doctors only try. So I thank God for healing me.”
“If somebody or an Astrologer had told me that I will be 80-year old I will say it is not possible because I lost my mother on the 3rd day after I was born. My mother died 3rd day and I stayed with family members all around.” Where was he born? “I was born in Lagos. I was born and bred in Lagos. It makes me to know a lot about Lagos. I have Colleagues that we grew up together from Epetedo, Lafiaji, Obalende, and all. Only a few of them are still remaining. Not quite long, I lost one of them who is my friend. It was painful. Still yet, I say thank God that I will be celebrating my 80th birthday”.
How does he plan to celebrate it? “I plan to go to church for Holy Communion. I would have loved to do it big the way I want but I don’t have the money to host a big party. The financial aspect could not make me celebrate it big the way I want. But I will do it moderately with all my friends and family members in attendance. I will do it moderately by using my church hall.
In comparison with what I did when I was 70 when I used Waterparks, the people that stood by me at that time may God continue to help them. These are people like Otunba Chief (Dr.) Mike Adenuga, Otunba Alao Akala (former Oyo State governor), Otunba Gbenga Daniel (former Ogun State governor), people like Chief Dr. Mike Ibegbese, people like Oba Dr. Dapo Tejuoso, people like Alao Azeez Arisekola who came with a powerful team all the way from Ibadan. So many people came. It was star-studded. Well, that chance is not there now. I cannot even connect my family member, Otunba Dr. Mike Adenuga. We are related. He is from Ijebu-Igbo. I am from Ijebu-Igbo. I am from Ijebu-Igbo. The mother is from Ijebu-Igbo from the same compound called Agbole Olowu Oke Sopen. I am Osinubi. Mike Adenuga’s mother is like a sister to my dad. My dad stayed at Ibadan. Commissioner Yomi Onasile is my cousin. He is a retired Senior Police Offer.
He is Commissioner Yomi Onasile. So, automatically not having money has made me to scale down how I will celebrate my birthday. All the money I have, I am spending it on my sickness. To be old is money. I always advice all those who are alive, the young ones that it is not now that you need money, it is when you are getting old because anything can just crop up.
The stress is too much. How many foods are you going to be able to eat? They will give you rules and regulations to obey. They will ask you to diet. They will ask you not to take salt, meat, coca-cola, don’t eat rice, take fruits. You will become an animal. Whether you eat this or that, what will happen will happen. They will say take water. Take almost 3 bottles, take 7 bottles in a day, upon all what will happen, will happen.
So, with all I thank God. I am the one talking now. I know what I have gone through. I know God in his infinite mercy will send a helper. I know God works in miraculous ways. He will send a helper to me. If he sends a helper to me I will do a befitting 80th birthday, nothing elaborate but a party where people who come will eat and drink and enjoy myself.
The other time, when I did my 70th, well over 700 people came. But now, I don’t need more than 200 people, quality guests, because I cannot get all those people who stood by me.
I have been sending Text Messages to my Uncle and Brother Otunba Mike Adenuga, the Chairman of Glo, I can’t get him. I can’t do it behind him. I also want to reach people like Chief Pius Akinyelure, people like Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu (the Jagaban). He is a good man. People like Asiwaju & Fashola (former Lagos Governor) helped me do my knee operation. They both sponsored me 7 years, before I lost my wife. After my knee operation, I lost my wife due to Cervical Cancer. So, I will always be grateful to these people.”
That is my plan. God is full of mercy. Sometimes when you want something you won’t be able to afford it, but surprisingly it may be in a few weeks’ time or a month’s time, God will just send a helper to me. I am still hoping. I am a believer. I believe there is nothing God can’t do. I can’t celebrate my birthday behind Otunba Mike Adenuga, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Gov. Fashola and others who are my people. I know they will all rally round me.