When the greatest boxer in history,Muhammad Ali,was asked by the cynical American white press the reason he(Muhammad)titled his autobiography”THE GREATEST”?
Thequick-witted,Ali answered:”What other title would all of you have given your autobiographies,if you are indeed the best in your trade? Dummies,anywhere in the world know that I am referring to the fastest,prettiest,and richest boxer in the world,I,Muhammad Ali,accept that GOD IS THE GREATEST.” He was stating the fact.
The same was the fact when the first man to land on the moon,American astronaut,Neil Armstrong,yelled:”By this step,is a giant leap for man.”
When Yusufu Olatunji,alias “Baba l’Egba”,the greatest Sakara musician,after the all-time great, Abibu Oluwa,opened(shi ‘le)his jaw-dropper 43-room mansion in Lafenwa,Abeokuta,Ogun State,in 1972,he waxed an LP,where he sings:”Iru ile ti o ko yen,Olatunji,onisakara kankan ‘o ti ko o.”He was stating the fact.
Ditto the late doyen of Apala music,Haruna Ishola,MON,when he echoed his pioneering tours of Europe in his LP, “ON MY WAY TO LONDON”He was stating the fact.
And when the Chief Commander of Juju music,Professor(Evangelist)Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi,MFR,first took his International Brothers Band on a playing tour of the United Kingdom in 1969,he waxed the EP,”LONDON L’A WA YI”.He was stating the fact.
We all remember the words,on its successful freefall from the high Iroko tree,of the fabled lizard in Professor Chinua Achebe’s novel. Achebe and his lizard were stating the fact.
Freshmen and women in Journalism,as in all other noble professions, are first taught that”FACTS ARE SACRED,WHILE OPINIONS ARE FREE”.
True professionals are not being haughty,when they praise God by extolling their Creator for the skills,fame and riches He has endowed them with.
Great men and women join the grateful stars in praising God,while squirming(aito),green-eyed, subordinates, cynics,petty souls and jealous minds,as we say,will twitch their noses(yin ‘mu)at the achievements of people.”Hen,en?Ni kinnin?”jealous “Lilliputians” often derisevely ask about discoveries,records etc
As the talented and fairminded members of the Oyo State Chapter of the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria(FIBAN)continue to daily prepare to celebrate this year’s UNESCO’s WORLD RADIO DAY,on Monday,13th February,this year with a Lecture/Luncheon/Dance to commemorate my 50th year of practice as a journalist,having been employed by the now-defunct Sketch Publishing Company Limited,Ibadan in October,1973,I humbly wish to,again,pay due compliments to those stars,dead or living,whom the noble profession of Journalism has taken my humble self,Senior Chief ‘Lekan Alabi,Maye Olubadan of Ibadanland and the first Culture Ambassador of the National Museum and Monument,Ile Ife,to meet,interact and twinkle with,from 1973 to date. Currently,I write syndicated columns,analyse news and current affairs on radio and television and deliver motivating talks.
I hereby recall sharing wisdom,fame,glamour and glitz with the following distinguished Nigerians and citizens of the world.
They were/are,but not limited to,former Governors ‘Bola Ige,SAN,Oladayo Popoola,Adetunji Olurin,Sasaenia Oresanya,Victor Omololu Olunloyo, the late Olubadan Emmanuel Adegboyega Adeyemo,Operinde 1,Olubadan Yunusa Bankole Oladoja Ogundipe, Arapasowu 1,Alaafin Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi,111, Nobel laureate Professor ‘Wole Soyinka,Sir(Chief)Bode Akindele,Bashorun Kola Daisi,First Lady SAN Chief ‘Folake Solanke,Alhaji Abdulaziz Arisekola Alao,General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida,the late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola,GCFR,the late Alhaja Suliat Aduke Adedeji,Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe,Lotin Bayo Akinnola,Mr Peter Quick,the British first Managing Director of Leyland Motors Ibadan,General Erskine,the Ghanian former General Officer Commanding(GOC)of the UNIFIL in Lebanon,the late Major Adewale Ademoyega,one of the five Nigerian Army officers who executed Nigeria’s first military coup d’etat on Saturday,15th January,1966, Chief(Mrs)Kofoworola Pratt,a late Commissioner of Education,Lagos State,Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi MFR,King Sunny Ade,MFR etc
Due to space constraints,I have squeezed some of the stars referred to above,into this almanac below.