My Rooms in Great Ife – 200L/300L
200 Level – Room 295, Obafemi Awolowo Hall
The moment I resumed 200 level; I knew it was going to be one enduring session because I left home without any hope of an accommodation and my parents were not buoyant enough to provide money for me to buy such expensive bed spaces. Also, the general financial state of the family was very grim at that time; hence normal upkeep was going to be another uphill task. It was with such relief that the same Bro Kayode I mentioned in the first part of this series offered to to squat me (As we called it then) in his room – 295 Awo Annex. It was a kind gesture because later two of his brothers came to Ife – one to study a short time computer diploma course and the other for JAMB lesson. So, you can imagine four of us in that tiny space.
My room mates in 200 level were diverse. Binuyo Kayode who was my senior in the department, family friend and my ‘landlord’; Binuyo Michael. his brother, my classmates from School of Science, Ile-Ife; Binuyo Busola, their younger brother. Bode Okegbade – who we still maintain contacts till today and who later sold me parts of the hardware used for my first computer. He was attending Deeper life then and he was a very good room mate and by the way, he was the first person I knew who used to play Fela’s music :). Segun Madamidola studied accounting, a very quiet fellow and a cool guy. In those days, one babe that is now a regular face in the Yoruba Nollywood scene used to visit him. I hope he will get to read this. Ezimokhai is from Auchi, Edo state, a perfect gentleman who I respect so much. He is a doctor and I am wondering where he is right now. I remember that afternoon when his dad came to visit him and I also remember how shocked we all were when news came that the man died.
Peter Akindeju – Ondo man and my fellowship mate. We agreed on things but I remember we also argued a lot. Baba Ilaje was another wonderful character, a Geology student who was elderly and took his books with seriousness. The other bedspace was occupied by some Muslim brothers who were executives of the MSS in those days. Good news was that it was a peaceful room with everyone respecting the faiths of the others. The room brings so much memories as that session marked my most painful in OAU as regards my financial well being. Looking back today – I can ask myself how I survived with my integrity still intact. There were times when I had tests and exams and no food to eat but now I understand that God was developing a MAN and preparing me for the challenges of the future.
I also wonder how with my very few shirts, trousers and a pair of shoes – I managed to exude confidence in the sight of people and no one really noticed I lacked things. I still paid my offering and tithe in fellowship and contributed to special projects. Most of my friends till today don’t remember that phase of my life in Ife because they always saw a vibrant me. Room 295 was a room where I was not judged by what I did not have and I thank those room mates who made it easy for me to express myself. It was there when I was with Bro Kayode who was President of my departmental association that I understood I could lead. He and his friends encouraged me to run for Secretary General of the association and I got it. I wondered what they saw in me then, only God knows. As usual, I thank all members of Room 295 Awo Annex in the 97/98 session and I pray that the almighty will continue to bless and nourish them. Amen.
Room 261, Adekunle Fajuyi Hall – 300 Level
I will say that this room was the beginning of a good life for me on OAU campus. For the first time – I had a space to myself. That room is linked to Niyi Oladeji again as I bought it from him but at the official price. His brother was doing his Post Graduate and had a room in PG hall and so I advised him to stay with the brother and let me pay for his own space in Fajuyi Hall. It worked out and so I got the space. Fine, I also had to squat a part one student out of respect for my wonderful guardian whom I will write about in a wonderful story dated back to my 100 level days. I cannot forget my room mates – Dayo Adetutu (Elvis D); a man who is much older than me. I was in 300 level and he was in 500 and his final year but he was so relaxed with me and we became good friends. It was his heroics combined with Yomi’s from my 100 level room that ensured my victory in the Faculty of Agric during the SUG election in 98/99 session despite the backstabbing I got from people I called friends/fellowship members from the same faculty. I was his best man when he got married in March 2008.
Joseph Ejuetueyin was in my faculty and same level. He is a man after God’s heart and I respect his affinity for the word of God and his plainness. We discussed all sorts of things – from spiritual to politics and even babes. He is that down to earth. We are still friends till date. Femi came from the same neighborhood in Lagos as Joseph and they stayed together. He was also a very nice guy and I still remember his love for a classmate that turned sour – I still remember the name of the lady but I won’t mention it here and if you are reading this Femi — her name starts with A and ends with an A. LOL.
Lekan Babalola aka Fragle was the first guy who impressed me with labels. He had baffs men …. some for class and some for fellowship runs as he would say. He was also into perfumes and deodorants. This young man introduced me to contemporary christian musicians like Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary etc and I got hooked on his many collections. He can be very frank but I like that in him. Niyi Osunbade, a prince of Igbon land in Oyo State is a lesson in humility. Despite his princely background; he was one of the boys throughout. I visited him in their mansion in Ogbomoso years later and he was a good host. If I see him now – I would have asked where Joy is?
My first entrepreneurial journey started from this room. In collaboration with Niyi Oladeji, I started a small provision store in the room and it was a good business as guys around our room preferred to buy from me than go to the buttery. The money I used for my SUG campaign came from this venture lol. I also got the boldness to go into politics from this same room and it was generally a very good session for me compared to the previous ones. It was also the room I could have died in if not for God’s love and mercies. One night, I had a dream where God warned me to leave the school next day because it was about to burn. The night I left was to be a date Great Ife and Nigeria would never forget – July 10, 1999. A post is coming that would pay justice to this encounter.
To all my room mates in 98/99 session. I salute you all and I wish for you God’s love and favour in all you do. You guys were/are the bomb.