Tribute to Daddy Akindele (1937–2017)

Dateline: 10.45 a.m. Thursday 14th September, 2017.

I had wondered where to start this tribute from, when my cousin Sanya (during our 1 hour catch-up call at 6a.m.!) asked me to send in a tribute in honor of his dad, our father, Daddy Akindele as I fondly call him.

If I struggled with where to start, the good Lord directed as to when.

I had picked up my phone at about 10.00 am to call my Dad, Alhaji Akinpelu Adeseun, to inform him that the Akindeles’ wanted him also to write a tribute in honor of his friend, Deacon Akinwumi Akindele.

By sheer synchronicity, the first number I chanced upon as I tried to get my Dad’s number was Daddy Akindele’s number (08173520219)! That was all the trigger I needed to suspend every other thing and put pen to paper.

That’s the kind of effect Daddy Akindele had on me. At several critical moments relating to him, once I thought about him, it was usually all I needed to change course and prioritise the issue relating to him.

In retrospect, it was a reciprocal response to the priority he gave to personally ensuring that I had a hitch-free onboarding process when I gained admission to the University of Lagos in 1982. He took me on completely as his son and was forever supportive and affectionate towards me from then till his very last days.

“N le Remi, how are you? Funmi nko ati awon omo? So n gburo Daddy?”. His standard greeting to me whether we were connecting in person or on the phone. Every word uttered with utmost goodwill and warmth.

Daddy Akindele and my Dad were close friends and classmates at Ogbomoso Grammar School, the premier school in our hometown. My Dad regaled me of stories about Daddy Akindele’s physical strength as a youngster. Legend had it that calm and respectful as he was, even his Seniors in school dared not mess with him for “Ige” (“Chest”- his nickname due to his muscular physique) was certain to knock out anyone who tried to take advantage of him or others.

I miss him so dearly that I shudder in my thoughts to imagine how much his God-chosen soulmate and wife, Mummy Akindele must miss him. They were an inspirational couple with large hearts. They would play endless scrabble games on Sunday after Church, and we would all join them later in the evening to watch Cock Crow at Dawn and Newsline with Frank Olise!

At a time, Daddy and Mummy Akindele had some 13 “children” living with them in our Charly Boy Gbagada days in the ’80s,(Lolu, Bode, Jasper, Wale, Niyi, Remi, Sanya, Bose, Alisha, Bimpe, Toyin, Tola, Toye!) to our days in the early ’90s at Idejo, Victoria Island. We had been preceded in enjoying the Akindele hospitality by Uncles and Aunties Oye, Yetunde, Bose, Oyinkan, etc. from earlier days with the Akindeles at the University of Lagos Staff Quarters.

Daddy Akindele, my wife/your daughter Funmi and our children (especially Rotimi and Dotun who grew up with you and Mummy Akindele minding them in the early ’90s when Funmi was working at V/I) will forever be grateful to God for your exemplary life.

We love you very much and we are consoled that God loves you even more, hence his calling you home to heaven, by his grace, after having granted you a full and well-lived life, worthy of emulation.

Thank you for the love you showed us, and for the sibling bond you fostered between myself, my siblings-especially Niyi- and your biological children: Pastor Akinlolu, Akinsanya, Adebimpe and Akintoye.

God helping us, we all shall continue to strive to live life upholding the values you held dear: Love, Kindness, Honesty & Courage.

Adieu Daddy, O di oju ala, odi ojo igbende ni agbara Olorun. Amin.

Sun re, Baba Daada (Niyi’s words), Baba wa.

Taofeeq Aderemi Adeseun

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