As the title for this piece, I had toyed with the title of an Indian film, “KHOON KA KHOON”, which I watched some 51 years ago, at the now-defunct Odeon Cinema, Oke Ado, Ibadan, while on ‘jungle'(you don’t know what ‘jungle’ is? going out of boarding house without permission) from school, African Church Grammar School,Apata Ganga, Ibadan, where I was a boarder.
Why did I drop “KHOON KA KHOON, as the title for this tribute,the 7th, by me to my role model, Sir Bode, the Parakoyi of Ibadanland, Baba Ijo, Methodist Church Nigeria, Agbeni, Ibadan and Chairman, MONDANDOLA GROUP, who died on Monday, 29th June, last month, in his Apapa, Lagos State home. He was aged 87. May his noble and kind soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.
KHOON is an Indian word for blood. So, KHOON KA KHOON, translates to “BLOOD FOR BLOOD”. And since my beautiful and very cordial 36-year relationship with Sir Bode was NEVER BLOODY, thank God, I opted for the above, ‘A DINNER’ for A DINNER -BUT, FISH BIG PASS FISH, as the title for this piece.
Whenever Sir Bode and my humble self were in London, United Kingdom, he granted me the indulgence of where I wanted dinner, at his luxurious home in highbrow Hampstead Area, or any of the reservations-must-be-made-in-advance restaraunts on West End,London. The last of such on-top-of-the-world treat was in 2018 Summer, at a top-notch Lebanese Restaurant. Sir Bode,as usual, had sent his limousine to pick me and my wife up from the home of our Aremo (eldest male child) and his wife, where we lodged.
Due to someone’s miscalculation about table requisition, the first exclusive restaurant he took us to, an Ile Ife-born lawyer/expert in company merger/acquisition, who had come for a business meeting with Sir, had been asked to join us, was filled to capacity. The management of the restaurant, highly embarrassed by the lack of table (for four) to a regular networth customer, apologised profusely to Sir, who in his characteristic calm manner accepted the apologies,as we headed for an alternative place.
At the Lebanese Restaurant in West End, we had a fill of cuisines and wines. Sir was a pinto connoisseur, as they come.
When the immediate-past Iyalode of Ibadanland, the late High Chief (Alhaja) Amina Abiodun, a very close associate of Sir Akindele, died in December 2018, Sir Akindele was the Baba Isinku (Chief Mourner). Since he was in Lagos, I became his points man in ALL the overnight arrangements for Alhaja Aminat’s burial/Fidau in Ibadan.
At the end of the Fidau,held on the BCOS Orita Basorun, Ibadan Grounds, Sir, and his two wives, my humble self and members of his team from Lagos, were very tired and hungry.
I then thought to myself, “this is the chance to pay back for those London dinners by Sir”. After saying a little prayer, I respectfully nudged Sir, as my seat was next to him, and boldly said:”Sir, please, honour me with a visit to my social club, Omo Ajorosun Club,for a drink and some rest.”
As they say, “Abere o ki ko ohun aso” (The needle does not get impeeded in sewing dresses),Sir sent Ahmed, his highly loyal and dependable butler, to inform the two Mamas and other members of his team that: “Oloye Olubadan (that’s his choice of identification of me) has ‘ordered’ us to follow him to his club.” The rest is history.
For the first time, outside of his home, Sir not only honoured my invitation to Omo Ajorosun Club ,he relaxed and enjoyed his over two-hour stay. But he played a fast one on me, as he had ordered Kunle, his nephew, and Ahmed to pick the bills, without letting me know. It was after I had seen Sir and his team off, and I summoned the Bar Manager, the Caterers and the Peppersouplady to give me their bills for settlement when they chorussed: “Sir, our bills have been settled by Baba. And we have been ordered not to inform you, until their departure.”
Truly, Sir Bode Akindele, fish big pass fish. Goodbye Parakoyi.