How do I begin to write about the passing away of a good man, who was so dear to me and many others? How do I compose texts and sentences to express how dearly he will be missed? Would I ever fully accept the fact that a man who meant a lot to me is no more?
Indeed, I pen this piece with a heart so heavy because one of the kindest men I have ever met is no more. That phone call from his childhood friend informing me of the passing to glory of Mr. Wale Aboderin (whom I usually call D Chair Baba) came as a rude shock. Images of our last meeting, only a few days before his passing, plus the first time we met, flashed through my mind at that moment.
I remember that fateful day in 2013 when I just finished some online marketing projects and I was about to get some sleep late in the night, which is normal for many people in the digital industry. I received an unexpected phone call from Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa OFR, around midnight, asking me to represent him at an event in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Without any excuse, I arrived in Abeokuta at 8am the following morning and guess who was present at the event, the late Mr. Aboderin. He was the chairman of the event but I had to speak first because I was representing the guest speaker. As fate would have it, he enjoyed my presentation so much that he called me aside to appreciate my efforts and passion. That was how our paths crossed and the rest, as they say, is history.
It did not take long for me to realise that God had connected me with a gentle, humble, kindhearted man and I decided to take full advantage of it. The result is the column I write in this newspaper which took a little under five months from the time I met him, to the day the first piece was published on March 11, 2013.
I remember vividly that on the day the column was approved, I received a call from him and he said, young man where in the world are you? Before I could respond, he said in his usual jovial manner, “It does not matter where you are, just bring yourself to my office (Punch Place) now before I change my mind.” Understanding that it was a call of destiny, within a few minutes, I set out to meet with him.
When I got into his office, I saw the duo of Mr. Joseph Adeyeye, now the Executive Director, Digital Operations and Publications and Toyosi Ogunseye, the then editor of SUNDAY PUNCH. Let me summarise what he said, “I called this meeting because — Finish Reading on the Punch