80-year-old farmer and former taxi driver, Pa Oyewole Oyekan, speaks to VANESSA OTULU about his rising up, household and work
Y ou celebrated your eightieth birthday in December. How precisely do you are feeling becoming a member of the league of octogenarians?
I really feel grateful to God. I’m effectively and wholesome, I’m pleased with myself and I thank God for that.
Your identify Oyewole Oyekan suggests that you’re from a royal household. Are you a royalty?
Sure, I’m from a royal household; however my father was not a king. The royalty comes from inside the household, so, I’m a royalty.
The place had been you born?
I used to be born and introduced up in Sagamu, Ogun State. I used to be born in December 1941. I’m the firstborn of my mother and father and I’ve two brothers.
The place are your brothers now?
My brothers are additionally alive and effectively. They in their very own completely different houses with their households too.
You mentioned you father was not a king. What was his occupation?
My father was a farmer. However he’s useless now. My mom is useless too.
What was your expertise like rising up as son of a farmer?
It was a very good expertise; I learnt from my father and the data grew to become helpful once I later went into farming. I do it precisely the way in which my father did it. However in some unspecified time in the future, I left my mother and father. I travelled to Lagos and I moved in with one other household they usually equally handled me proper. By them I gained worthwhile life experiences, which uncovered me to a whole lot of issues.
What are among the essential life classes you’ve learnt over the previous 80 years?
Certainly one of such essential life classes I’ve learnt is the worth of arduous work. There isn’t any different to arduous work. One should be hard-working, regardless of the place one finds himself, or place one reaches in life and no matter one’s occupation and occupation.
Did you go to highschool?
Sure. I used to be enrolled in major faculty in 1950 and I completed in 1956. Then I attended United African Methodist Church College, Sagamu in 1957. I ultimately left Sagamu for Lagos with one among my uncles. He was a priest then underneath the Methodist Church. I obtained a job in Marina at a grocery store, and ultimately obtained married and I got here again to Sagamu.
Sooner or later, I learnt the right way to drive as a result of I had pals who drove taxis. I obtained funds to accumulate a automotive and I began working as a taxi driver in Sagamu. I did this for a few years earlier than I finished in 2005 once I observed that the majority of these I began with had been not driving themselves, as a substitute they gave their vehicles to different folks to drive. So, I additionally determined at hand over my automotive to somebody to drive for me.
I’ve a bit of land very near city, so, I went into farming. I planted bananas, maize and cocoa when the time comes. These crops have their planting seasons and the occasions at which they’re to be harvested.
How giant is your farm?
It’s about one acre however I’m not actively into farming. Just a few years in the past I needed to hand over the farm to somebody to handle for me. I solely go there as soon as per week to see how issues are going. I’ve patrons who patronise me and enterprise is shifting. I’ve fashioned the behavior of saving a part of the cash I realise from sale of farm produce.
You stopped your training after major faculty. Why didn’t you additional your training? Was it for lack of sponsorship?
I really went to secondary faculty. It was after secondary faculty that my training stopped and it was as a consequence of monetary challenges. My mother and father didn’t have the cash to sponsor my training additional; so I needed to cease education and discover one thing else to do with the little training I had acquired.
You mentioned you bought married after shifting to Lagos from Sagamu. How did you meet your spouse?
My first marriage was in 1962 and my second was in 1975. My two wives had youngsters for me. I met my first spouse once I was education and met the second spouse once I was working.
How previous had been you whenever you obtained married to your first spouse?
I used to be 21 years previous once I obtained married to my first spouse. I obtained married to my second spouse once I was 34 years previous.
As regards your first marriage; why did you resolve to get married at 21 whilst you had been nonetheless a pupil?
My first spouse was 18 years previous then and he or she obtained pregnant for me, so we needed to get married. Though our households weren’t pleased with how issues turned out, they gave us their blessings as a result of there was nothing anybody may do about it as a result of there was a being pregnant concerned already. I had beauty – I imagine I nonetheless look good – and girls had been drawn to me; it has all the time been like that.
What was your spouse’s response whenever you advised her you had been taking a second spouse?
She felt unhealthy; it was regular however she accepted my resolution. She allowed me to marry once more and accepted the brand new spouse.
What’s the expertise like managing a polygamous house?
Everybody is aware of how a polygamous house could be, however by the grace of God, I’m able to put issues underneath management in my house. We reside in peace and concord and I be certain that everyone seems to be handled equally and they’re joyful. Each time one offends the opposite, I instantly name them for settlement with a purpose to keep away from pointless fights and arguments. It’s been a wonderful household.
What 12 months did you will have your first youngster?
It was within the 12 months 1962.
What number of youngsters do you will have?
I’ve numerous youngsters and grandchildren. And by God’s grace, I even have nice grandchildren. I’m joyful to be alive to see them.
The place had been you in the course of the civil warfare?
I used to be at Sagamu then; that was the time I used to be studying the right way to drive, and the primary automobile I drove was the one I purchased myself.
Did the warfare have an effect on you in any manner?
The warfare didn’t have an effect on me; I solely heard concerning the happenings on the radio and newspapers.
How did you mark Independence Day in 1960?
I bear in mind hanging out with pals again then.
What sort of meals do you eat now as an previous man?
I eat the precise sort of meals I’ve all the time eaten equivalent to ebiripo, pounded yam, semo, rice and eba.
Are there some meals you not eat as a consequence of previous age?
No. I’ve been consuming fufu from my childhood and it nonetheless stays one among my greatest meals even now. My meals from childhood has not modified; I nonetheless eat all the things I’ve all the time eaten – beans, yam, eba, amala, pounded yam, bread.
What time do you go to mattress?
I sleep by 9 o’clock within the evening and get up at 5 o’clock within the morning.
What’s your day by day routine like?
It’s nothing actually a lot.
Do you train?
I simply do home work, by guaranteeing my environment are clear, I have interaction in that as a type of train.
How do you loosen up?
I get pleasure from watching soccer and I like listening to juju music. I benefit from the accompanying conventional Yoruba percussions.
What recommendation do you will have for individuals who want to reside so long as you?
An important factor is that it is best to handle your youngsters, to be able to reap the fruit of your labour and revel in it in your previous age.
Have been you capable of ship your youngsters to highschool and the place are they now?
My youngsters are in varied occupations. I used to go to my youngsters loads, however not too long ago it has not been actually handy for me. It’s been some time I noticed them final, however we do speak on cellphone.
Do you are feeling fulfilled at 80?
Sure, I really feel fulfilled. I’ve all the time lived my life in accordance with God’s will, and I imagine in no matter God has in retailer for me. I’ve all the time been content material with what I’ve. I like my life and I don’t envy anybody. This is among the causes I’m joyful and wholesome. I’d often inform those who I can by no means have hypertension, as a result of my thoughts is free, I don’t consider something, I reside my life as a cheerful man. I’m happy with all that I’ve and what I’m at present.
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