•Reveals Shocking Things His Dad Told Him
The Olorunwo family has just completed the 3-day burial rites of their late patriarch, Primate Omolaja Olorunwo, the founder of Olorunwo Cathedral Church (Cherubim & Seraphim). He was given a classy burial, befitting of a great man, and of his status. The turnout was impressive and everybody had nice things to say about him. He touched many lives. His death was a big shock to many who knew him. Uptill now, weeks after his burial, many still can’t believe that Papa Olorunwo’s is gone. This is because he had a larger than life image in his lifetime, so much so that many actually believed that Papa who died a few days after his 85th birthday was immortal and can’t die. He was quite close to his family, especially his wife and children. And he told them many things. He had a special relationship with each one of them, in a very special way.
One of his children, Layo Olorunwo, who is a Lagos Lawyer & the Provost of his dad’s church has now taken up the mantle of leadership of the church. He was abroad with his wife & family when Papa told him to come back home to witness his 85th birthday which was celebrated low-key. His decision to obey his dad and return home has turned out to be a blessing because he enjoyed a few days of unusual intimacy with his dad before he passed after his birthday celebration.
Those days were days when Papa & Layo had heart-to-heart talk between Father & Son. He gave Layo instructions on what he specifically wanted Layo to do for him. The situation could be likened to a father who wanted to go on a trip and left instructions on what he wants to be done when he is away.
City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE and head of Brands Desk, DAMILARE SALAMI spent quality time with Venerable Layo last week during which he told City People all his father told him before he passed on to greater glory. Papa knew his transition was imminent, he explained. Read on.
Sorry, once again about the passing on to Glory of your dad, Primate Olorunwo. How did you take the passing when it happened?
That is a very heavy question. Let me confess to you that I feel that Baba is not gone because it is difficult to believe that a man like him, is gone. Yes. He is human like every other person. But in my growing up with him, I saw him as a superman, a very spiritual man, he is the greatest person I have ever met, as a human being on this planet earth. So, when he exited to Glory, it was like a surprise to me. Nobody thought of death for such a man. He was very strong, very agile, even before his exit to Glory, He will tell me to leave whatever I am carrying like a 25 Litre keg. This same man at 85, he will tell me to drop it. That it is too heavy for me and he is going to carry it. He had great energy and strength. It is still surprising to me because I saw Baba as someone that is larger than life, someone that is larger than death because when I was discussing with my siblings, I asked them: Can Baba die? Se baba le ku ni? I believe its Baba’s time because he gave so many prophecies regarding his death…
What are some of these prophecies? Can you share some of these prophecies with us?
For instance, in the church service, where you had so many dignitaries, before his 85th birthday, at one of the annual Xmas Carol Service, where you had lots of guests and the entire church members were there, Baba said, he didn’t want to scare his wife with what he saw. 2 Generals came, and he saw them, and they had soo many stars. They said they came to take him. Baba said he pleaded with those Generals that they should give him small time, to allow him to do some things, that he is not yet ready to go. He said that in the open church, nobody knew what was going to happen.
But, to our surprise, immediately after that revelation, Baba started the expansion of one of the branches in Akute, he also went to Ifo in Ogun State to build a very big church, a big auditorium. And when they did the commissioning of that auditorium, the turnout was huge. There were over a thousand people, made up of congregation and guests. It was after that he now said he wants to open that Cathedral. That was what the church has planned for on his 85th birthday. But because of the tiles, Baba ordered, there was a delay. Those that know Baba, know that he has taste. He has class, as a former Architect. So, he ordered some imported tiles, so the tiles were not ready, that was why he could not open and commission that place on his 85th birthday. So, he was actually ready, to commission it. His plan was to have that as his last 85th birthday treat.
Even days before his birthday, a lot happened. Luckily we were also around. He called me personally, he said, Layo, I don’t want to celebrate this birthday. I was shocked. I said Baba why won’t you want to celebrate this birthday, you are still alive? He said Layo, ko le ye ee. (Layo, you can’t understand). Truly, I didn’t understand. (Truly, ko ye mi) meaning that I can’t understand. I asked him again. I said Baba, you are alive, why can’t you celebrate your birthday? He just kept quiet. He allowed the children to do what we wanted to do.
Preceding that, I also had a personal experience with him. At the last Xmas Carol in the church, I was not there. He was not comfortable with that. Fine, I went to study abroad. It got to a point, he just started insisting that I have to come home for his birthday. So, he knew something was about to happen. Because he saw that I was reluctant, in coming home, he actually stopped talking to my wife on phone, thinking maybe I don’t want to come home because of my family. The day I called him and I said Baba I bought my ticket, I am coming for your birthday, he said Layo give the phone to your wife. And Baba prayed for my wife for 30 minutes. I didn’t know there was more to it. So, after that call, I now told my wife that is there more to this coming home, that Baba is talking so serious. I never knew things were happening. Whilst I was still in the US, he also told me that Layo when you come, you are not coming straight to your house. He was just speaking in parables. You know you have been away for 2 years, I don’t want you to come to your house straight away so that you won’t be alone. I want you to stay with me for one month. And he did a place to world-class standard for me to stay in, in his house. The only thing he did that I found strange was he put a bible that he uses. I mean his personal Bible. He put AC, repainted it, did Renovation of the place. Did so many things. He just put the Bible in the middle of the room, on the centre table, on a centre rug.
He said he wanted me to stay with him for one month. He died exactly after that 1 month. All I can say is that I think he had prepared his exit. He said one month he died exactly after 1 month. So, that is why most of us are still in shock, especially me, I am still in shock. Exactly that 1 month that he said I should spend with him was when he went. He is a man that knew about his death. But as humans, it is natural for us to mourn. It is natural for us to grieve. And it is natural for us to miss a man that is so caring. Our father is caring not just as a father but also has a motherly love. He had that attribute of Christ in him. People that dealt with him, all testified to that about him.
I think the satisfaction I have now is that a lot of people came for his burial. So full was the church that we had a marquee outside, and even his friends that came that couldn’t enter the church stayed outside in the marquee. There was an overflow. People sat in the marquee, while some stood up. There was a huge crowd. People stood on the road to honour Baba.
One of my friends said Layo, you don’t have to cry about your father ooo. That if what everybody is saying is true about your father, then don’t cry, the man has gone to meet the Saints. That he is heaven. He said everybody kept saying one good thing or the other about your father?. He said, so why are you mourning. He said this man has gone to rest. I believe its just Baba’s time, because on his birthday, a Sunday, he called our firstborn which is our eldest child, Mrs. Odusanya, who is the wife of Prof. Odusanya. He said: Yewande, to ju church, ko de toju Layo. How can somebody on his 85th birthday, that was not hospitalised, that was not sick, be telling the 1st born to take care of the church and to take care of the last born.
When my dad said that to my sister, she immediately called every one of us, that this is what Baba said ooo. Why is Baba telling me this ooo?