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REMINISCENCES : Give Me That Old Time Nigeria, Western Region Was Good To Me, My Peers, By Oloye Alabi


I was born, after a 2-day near-fatal labour by Mother, Mama Mopelola, alias,’M.O’,in the now-defunct western region of Nigeria, Ibadan, her capital city, to be precise, on Friday,27th October,1950.

I was named, by Father, the late Pa AbdulRahim Oladosu Alabi,alias,’RIGHT TIME’, according to Yoruba custom, on the seventh day, Friday,3rd November,1950.

On the 40th day, Mother, who is still eating oka and abula, and  her baby, that’s me, made the traditional 40th Day outing together, gaily attired.

As I learned, decades ago, my naming ceremony, a 3-day do,(Friday,3rd November to Sunday,5th November,1950)at which Father’s older friend, the late Sakara music icon,Yusufu Olatunji,alias,’BABA L’EGBA’, and his Sakara Group entertained guests, was made an extraordinary fiesta,as it were.The late successful businessman and Pillar of the Shooting Stars FC,Chief Lekan Salami and his bosom friend,the late Alhaji Alimi Adesokan, Parliamentary Secretary to the late Premier Samuel Ladoke Akintola,GCON,of the Western Region of Nigeria, were the Masters of Ceremonies(MC).

Reason. Father, our family, friends and well-wishers,quite appropriately,gave thanksgiving to God that Mother and I,the Aremo(firstborn male)survived the prolonged labour and the attendant danger.

I attended the 7th-Day Adventist Primary School,Ita Saku,Oke Foko,Ibadan(1958 to 1963).One of my favourite school songs was,”GIVE ME THAT OLD TIME RELIGION,IT WAS GOOD FOR PAUL AND SILAS”,an inspiration for the above title, despite my being a muslim.

The Western Region of Nigeria, run by a crop of visionary leaders, in a well-ordered and merit-driven era,gave me,my peers and our seniors,equall opportunities to blossom and fulfil our individual destinies.As we say,”E wo enu ile,e wo enu oko”.(See what good opportunities make of dedicated people.)

In line with Father’s unique tradition, I celebrate my landmark birthdays with gusto.

My 70th birthday, on Tuesday,27th October,this year, was to have been celebrated as a festival with 8 confirmed bands,to be led by Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi, MFR and King Sunny Ade, MFR, performing at the new INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE of the UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN.

But,the long-planned celebration of my 70th birthday was suspended by my family, out of sympathy with the families and comrades of the youths killed/injured during the bloody #EndSARSNOW protests all over the country last month.

Come Monday,7th December,next month,the 40th Day after my 70th birthday, however, we shall roll out the drums,God willing,to praise God for His mercies that turned me a Septuagenarian last month.

The celebrations will reflect the golden era of the Western Region of Nigeria, with poetry/ drama,book dress&food exhibitions and dance.

An almanac of my dear parents, Chief Lekan Salami, my youth, adulthood and memories of my landmark birthday celebrations with statesmen, Obey and KSA.







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