Right now,Dr Babatunde lpaye is in a happy mood. He is 50. Friday 15th May 2020 was his birthday and a few days prior he sent out a one-page letter to friends and well-wishers informing them that there will be no party in compliance with the travel restrictions and the social distancing orders of government necessitated by the COVID 19 pandemic.
However, he plans to continue his regular annual University scholarship awards of Ajoke lpaye Foundation to indigent undergraduate students from his community. That will hold as usual without any gathering or funfair.
“To support me in celebrating my day, please help someone around you from the little God has given you,” he wrote in the letter.He spoke to City people magazine Publisher Seye Kehinde about how he feels at 50. Below are excerpts of the interview.
As you turn 50 how do you feel?
I feel a deep sense of gratitude to God Almighty for the privilege of service to humanity through the practice of medicine and the few acts of giving back to a community that gave so much to me.
What are the lessons life has taught you at 50? Several. I have been so privileged to be mentored by wise men high in traditional and social intelligence. My greatest lesson is that you should not be afraid to be different, someone someday will appreciate your unique value.
Do you feel fulfilled so far?
I feel very fulfilled. Surviving a very shaky and humble background through the benevolence of the Almighty and the generous average people from my town was a life lesson. Paying back in multiple folds gives me a deep sense of fulfillment.
How did you end up studying Medicine? Providence. I had thought my education will end at the free secondary level and possibly learn shoemaking as suggested by my dad.
I wrote my WAEC diligently, passed resoundingly well, my results attracted public interest and Rotary Club and PRECIL Club both from Ijebu Igbo awarded my scholarship awards after securing admission to study Medicine.
Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Oke Agbo, Ijebu Igbo, and grew up on the streets of the same town.
Where did you study Medicine? Ogun State University and postgraduate studies at the University of Lagos. And Fellowship of West Africa College of Physicians
How did COVID 19 change your birthday plans?As a public health Specialist, the strategic instructions of governments is to allow for effective control of a dangerous epidemic. And as a leader in my profession, it is incumbent on me to lead by example.
Thank you for honouring me, sir. Almighty will honour you too.
Dr. Babatunde Ipaye