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By Kehinde Aderemi

There are a few special people in life that you could hardly ignore because they are too precious to humanity.

In the media world, there are also some journalists and media men that have impacted the world positively both in Nigeria and abroad.

One of them is Chief Gani Kayode Balogun, popularly called GKB.

He is also the Osi Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land.

Chief Gani Balogun has been a blessing to the media industry and I make bold as to say that the best gift that we can give to this media afficionado is to join the

whole world to celebrate him as he turns 60 today, Monday, March 20.

Hitting diamond in life is no joke. It is such a grace and blessing to celebrate 60th birthday anniversary.

During a special prayer organised on Sunday in Lagos to celebrate his 60th birthday anniversary, GKB in

his usual manner played host to a number of prominent Islamic clerics, with the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, as the Father of the Day. The Chief of Staff to the Lagos state governor, Mr Tayo Ayinde, was the Special Guests. Ambassador

Olugbenga Onasanya and other state officials were also present at the event.

He told his guests the story of how God had blessed him with people from all walks of life, narrating how his growing up was like and the lesson of his life.

But the clerics did not fail to remind the Osi Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land that the reward for our deeds is not only in life, but there are rewards in the hereafter.

They told the guests that GKB’s life had been a blessing to everybody that has had the privilege to know him, adding that at 60, he should make sure that he remained a blessing to humanity.

In his testimonial address, Iba Gani Adams,described the Osi Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba as an invaluable asset to humanity, including the media and the traditional institution.

Adams stated further that GKB had been a wonderful family man, brother and friend of the house whose passion for knowledge knew no bounds.

The Yoruba generallissimo stated also that GKB’s lifestyle is that of a determined soul that is ready to liberate his race anytime anyday.

He said, “We may not share the same political ideology, but trust him, he is a reliable Yoruba son that has the image and the brand to support any thing that can add value to the Yoruba race. He is such a wonderful human being that has what it takes to champion the cause of our race.”

Well, GKB’s life story is a complete sermon for the young ones, and I have no doubt that those of us that are still young can learn alot from his wealth of knowledge, humility, courage,fear of God and life of contentment.

From the outset, GKB is well known as the brand name. He is an analyst, a journalist and media influencer, whose career spanned close to four decades.

GKB cut his teeth in journalism as a young chap that was hungry for knowledge. He did this, virtually in all the print media at the time.

Chief Gani Balogun is a man of many parts. He is a man of grace and honour. You hardly appreciate him untill you have an encounter with him either physically or through his popular TV programme, “Journalists’ Hang Out” on Television Continentals(TVC).

Many of his audiences usually glue to the TV whenever he is on Air, discussing issues in perspective.

GKB loves reading and his passion for knowledge is exemplary.He also loves discussing issues as it is.

Chief Balogun would go extra miles to explain the rationale behind his thoughts, giving history, references that captured the mind and soul.

That is his trade. He once told us at a special gathering that a journalist must know a little about everything. He must be a bibliophile reading everything without bias .

He is a deep-thinker, experienced and vast.That is why he is one of the most sought-after personality.

in today’s world.

GKB is one of the most unassuming man I have met in life and his love for music, especially,Fuji music is unquestionable.

For me, the Osi Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land and GKB are two different characters that are measured up in one personality.

There is also a huge gap between GKB and Osi Aareonakakanfo.

In all, GKB is a media brand and great influencer, while the Osi Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land is another brand that revolves

around the traditional institution.

He is able to warm himself to the hearts of his admirers using the two brands when and where necessary.

As GKB, Chief Balogun is always at home with the media world, revealing his depth knowledge base cutting across all disciplines.

Very analytical, he discusses issues with courage candour. GKB will draw your mind and grab your attention as if he is the God that creates both.

GKB is never a shallow thinker. He is a lover of arts, music and movie.

The kind of music that attracts him most is that of his cousin and late Fuji creator, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister of blessed memory.

He loves Barrister’s music and if you want to engage him, initiate a discussion on Barrister and he would give you all his best.

He knows more about the late Fuji creator and he can tell you all you need to know about the late music legend.

GKB has no preferences when it comes to the issue of politics and state of the nation.

It was fate that brought us together a very long time ago and I have diligently studied him like a book.

I understand his craft, his beliefs and philosophy and as a thoroughly bred media guru that he is, he has his foibles too, and that is, he has a threshold to accommodate anybody and any circumstances that fate throws at him.

And Ironically, I think that is his strength too. He has a large heart; he is very accommodating and he never discriminates. He embraces other people’s thoughts and idea in as much as it didn’t affect his personality.

GKB is a repository of knowledge and history. Osi Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land Kaafata is a symbol of Yoruba culture and tradition. What you appreciate most about him is his simple ways of life. He is always at home with issues that have to do with politics, entertainment, economy and current affairs.

Osi Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, by virtue of his position in the Aareonakakanfo Chiefs-in-Council is next to the Otun, and he is very close to Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams.

Wherever you see the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, you will surely see his Osi.That tells you how close they are in the traditional institution. What he appreciates most is knowledge and nothing more.That is a reflection of his mind, process of his thoughts.

So, as we celebrate the Osi Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Chief Gani Kayode Balogun today, it is my prayer that God will continue to bless you with good health and sound mind so that you can continue to be a blessing to the world and to those of us who have seen you as a model and father figure.

Congratulations to GKB and the Osi Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land “Kaafata”.

.Kehinde Aderemi writes from Lagos

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