FOR BABA AND MAMA OWOYEMI – REMEMBERING A LEGACY OF LOVE AND CARE

Hello people, I bring to you this piece which is to celebrate a couple whose lives had a great impact on me, my immediate family to a reasonable degree, and even many others. Please join the ride and feel free to drop a few lines. Thanks.

when it all started

when it all started

“Only a heart that cares knows the agony of parting” – Unknown

Pastor Samuel Adetunji Owowyemi and his better half, Mama Betty Oyinlade Owoyemi fall into the category of people who I held in high regard. I can unequivocally say that Mummy and Daddy Owoyemi had good impacts on people while they bestrode this clime like a colossus. What I can say without fear of contradiction is that I am not the only one who benefitted from their wisdom and showers of love.

Mummy was this kind of person who was always concerned about the progress we made as children. As I, we, advanced in age, she regularly asked how things were going academically. Can you blame a teacher for asking that?

“Mummy Owoyemi can kill you with care”, my brother Yinka said. “I remember going to visit her eldest child, Pastor Bukunmi and Mama insisted I ate which I did till I was over-full. It was almost impossible to walk when I set out”, Yinka added. That is the typical Mummy Owoyemi, she was extraordinarily caring. She always got angry if you did not eat whenever you visit, asking “se Mama yin so pe ki o ma jeun lodo mi ni?”, translated as “Did your mother say you should not eat in my house?”.

The Owoyemi lovebirds

The Owoyemi lovebirds

I learnt to fight injustices through Mummy Owoyemi. She did not mince words whenever she felt groused or thought you were doing something wrong to her. She said it to your face, not minding what you think. She fought for her right, and addressed whatever she saw as injustices staunchly. That stood her out. Whether you were her biological child or not, she stood for you if she saw any wrong being done to you. However, if you were on her other side, she will scold you big time.

She always told me she will be at my convocation. A few days after I graduated, we met at my aunt, Pastor (Mrs.) Adegboyega’s 60th birthday. Mama Owoyemi told me hers was going to be the following year. She gave me a very tight hug congratulating me on my graduation, and said one word which I always remember – “if God wills, I will be at your convocation”. That was the last time I saw Mummy Owoyemi, for she went to be with the lord on November 13, 2007, five months before my convocation.

Her better half, Pastor Samuel Owoyemi is one I have known since my childhood. As a child, I remember he was calm and articulated his points whenever there was anything to discuss. His messages in our old SPAC, St. Paul’s Apostolic Church, were not the speaker blaring, altar stamping, grammar blowing ones. Yet they had this way of sinking into one’s system.

The Yoruba word “kami kami kami” is one I heard for the first time, from his mouth. It was in one of his wisdom-laden messages. I was nothing more than a seven year old then but by the end of that Sunday service, I knew what it meant. He carefully chose his words and had an illustration cum example for every situation he explained. Wisdom was never lacking in his words.

There were lots of situations in which his wisdom was brought to the fore. He was like a mentor to many up and coming young men back in the days. Shortly after his demise on September 15, 2011, I was talking to a father figure whom I hold in high esteem. This person said without mincing words that the fact that he has a roof over his head is down to Baba Owoyemi’s persistence, regular encouragement and advice.

Daddy Owoyemi always had a word for everyone. If you were doing good, he had a proverb to urge you on. If you were not doing something to be proud of, he had your kind of proverb.

Getting closer, Baba had this way of encouraging my immediate family. There were tough times when my Dad faced a challenge in his career. He had this way of always asking after him; he was just so concerned. He would always want to know the most recent development in my Dad’s place of work. He had this way of asking my mum about us all. “Iya Seye, e ma pele. Alagba nko?” (“Seye’s mother, how are you? How is Elder?”) He never looked down on anyone, instead he urged us all on.

My mom had a fracture on her leg in 2007. I remember Daddy Owoyemi came to visit my mom. He did not send anyone, he came himself. What made it so humbling was that it was shortly after Mummy passed on. For someone who was still mourning the passage of his wife to come on a visit to an ailing person was the height of it all. He said specifically that “Mummy would have come to see you if she were to be alive and I owe her this visit”.

Personally, I have heard only good words from him all my days. As a six or seven year old, Baba always said I had ‘Akinkanju’, it meant nothing to me then but I knew it was a good word. All through my university days, while some people scorned my choice of Animal Science, he always told me that the future of our country rests on agriculture and that I had taken the right step. He said that time and time again. He repeated it the last time I saw him before his passage.

At the end of my service year, I gave him a litre of wild honey, being what I brought for him from Taraba state. He looked at me and my mother and said “Seye has brought me honey. He is saying my life should be sweet. Seye, may your life never know bitterness”. I was moved by his appreciative spirit. He regularly asked about my job and told me to stay focused in my career. “You are destined for the top, just stay focused”, he always said. Baba, I remain focused Sir.

Baba and Mummy, both resting in the Lord’s bosom now, exemplify love and oneness. They together had this special interest in people’s lives and progress. I cannot count off my fingers, lives that have been touched by the simplicity of Daddy Owoyemi and the concern Mummy showed while they both were here with us. They personally touched me with their oneness. I saw only one thing with them both, love as of old. I know I am not the only one who saw that.

Daddy and Mummy with two of their grandchildren

Daddy and Mummy with two of their grandchildren

You live on after death. Your words reverberate. Adieu Mama and Baba; We will not fail you. Keep resting in His bosom, o digba.

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About oscarpoems

Finds great pleasure in reading and writing my thoughts. Chartered Animal Scientist, writes poems and articles for leisure and fulfillment. Lover of God, country and humanity.
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18 Responses to FOR BABA AND MAMA OWOYEMI – REMEMBERING A LEGACY OF LOVE AND CARE

  1. It is a rare gift to have had two people the likes of those of whom you speak. Clearly, they both had a special love for you and a genuine concern for your well-being, as well as for many others. Be grateful for them, and always cherish the time spent and the everlasting influence they had and will continue to have on your life.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. sogo Oyewole says:

    Great n wonderful inspiring words for ds great icon. Pls don’t b tired in bringing to our memories such wonderful pple. Remain blessed chief.

  3. oluwaseun says:

    The good and the bad men do live with and after them. This is a wake up call to the youngfolks. It is not about the wealth we accummulate but about the lives we touch. What will men say after I must have departed? This is the question this piece has bought to the fore. I shall affect lives.

  4. Olatunbosun Temmy says:

    Bro,u hav really describd a rare gem lik dad & mum,dy touchd life.In fac dy we always b remember by all & sundry.We love dm bt Christ loves dm most.RIP.

  5. It’s such a great opportunity for us that had come across these icons, what they had taught us was a good guide against all life challenges. Keep on resting in the Lord
    Oscar, you have really done a great job pls keep it up.

  6. baba-ibadan in yankee says:

    RIP Mama and Baba.

  7. Oyinreigns to'rule says:

    Wow! Dis is really captivating, inspiring, motivating, overwhelming infact it is awesome nd d best we can do 4 pple like dis. It is really a great opportunity to knw daddy & mummy Owoyemi dey r 1 of d best grandparents av met in ma life… Dis write up was so on point and i knw a lot pple would av learnt frm it dat as long as we r still alive we should always do our best wit d fear of God cos d good nd bad dat mens do live after dem…
    Kip d flag flying bros!

  8. ‎​Dípo. owoyemi says:

    was moved to tears that someone could write this about my beloved late parents. This is the best anyone has ever written about them. Write-ups like this ‎​one you have written keeps us(the children) going. Our parent have impacted peoples live in there own little way. Kokoro ko je ka gbadun obi to gbo ( ant did not allow us to enjoy our cherished kolanut). May papa and mama continue to rest in the blossom of our lord. We ‎​​‎​​Love you but God ‎​​Love you more.

  9. Ade Akin says:

    The labour of our hero’s past, shall never be in vain………Weldone Oscar for this work. We (spouse and self) adopted Papa and Mama Owoyemi while we lived 3 minutes away from them. They encouraged us to take the step that led to our movement to Ologuneru…….E sun re oooo

  10. answered prayers says:

    This is amazing!Bravo Oscar!!! Well written article!. The Lord will honor you beyond your expectation like you have honored not just our parent but the entire family. Do I have your permission to print and frame this?. I want to put it on my living room wall for everyone to see how proud I am of you and your beautiful work. You are definitely going places. You will go far, above and beyond in Jesus name. I appreciate your love and thoughtfulness . Wishing you continued success .

  11. Adewale says:

    My heart grief to read that Baba and Mama are gone to sleep. I was also a member of SPAC (Sango) shortly before I travelled out of Nigeria for postgraduate studies. Words cannot explain the manner in which Pastor Owoyemi (Baba) stood by me when I faced the ugly side of life in the year 2000 (like head and neck: Spiritual father and son).
    Baba ensured that I did not commit suicide (as a young man) who found life miserable all of a sudden. It was difficult for me to see that life could continue then, but Baba would tell me “Lawyer, God is aware of every situation that we might find ourselves in life and God is capable to prevent whatever bereavement we might face in life; if God then allows it, we must accept and believe that God will see us through”.
    True to Baba’s (Pastor Owoyemi) counselling, 14 years down the line, I can say to God be the glory.

    Rest in perfect peace sir and ma until we meet face to face with Christ in the cloud of His glory. I pray that God will grant the families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

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