As Akinola Odebunmi attains golden age
Sir: My path crossed with that of Professor Stephen Akinola Odebunmi in 1979 at Baptist Secondary Modern School, Ahoyaya, Ogbomoso. We were not in the same class because I was in class one K while he was in class one I. However, his neatness, brilliance and easy-going nature attracted me to him. Besides, he was a friend to some of my friends who lived in Papa area in Ogbomoso then and we became friends through that connection. These friends are Debo Adekunle (yaa), now a professor of Mathematics at Lead City University; Ibadan, Dr. Soji Ayoade of Lagos State College of Education, Ijanikin.
Aside Baptist Modern School, we were once again together at Anglican Grammar School, Ogbomoso, Ogbomoso Grammar School for our Higher School Certificate and University of Ilorin. We have remained friends ever since and the friendship has spanned 38 years. Therefore, I can say I know much about the ebullient professor.
Akin as he is fondly called clocked 50 on December 21, 2017. He came from a humble background, humble because he was a son of a reverend gentleman, Rev’d and Mrs. S.L. Odebunmi, formerly of Saja Baptist Church, Ogbomoso. Men of God in those days were really humble people, so also their children; Akin and his siblings are not exception.
From his early days, he hardly played football like we did, he had no time for sports and truancy as we did. He devoted his time to his studies. One should not be surprise that he reads for at least 20 hours daily! Therefore, one may not be surprise that his children have imbibed the reading culture. This is a lesson for all. His meteoric attainment educationally is due to hard work and nothing more.
He loves challenges. That is why he left Lautech for the Premier University, Ibadan where promotion to the next class is like squeezing water from a dry cloth. He has reached the pinnacle of his career and as a person with midas touch,
Besides the above, he is not a copycat, he is never jealous or envy other people’s achievements, but would rather wait for his own turn. He is contented and always strives for the best. Also, Akin is always loyal to friendship. Aside some few friends he made in the course of his educational journey, his major friends are his childhood friends and he is loyal to all. After studying or working for only God knows hours, he winds-up by visiting friends such as Kenny Odekunbi, Kola Akano and myself among others. He never alienates his friends or allows his position into his head like some people do. For this, we are proud of him. But, more importantly, he is loaded academically and effortlessly imparts the knowledge to his students and has mentored many and continues to mentor more. His scholastic researches have taken him to Germany, United Kingdom and so on. He has contributed academic articles in the field of Pragmatics in local and international journals.
On the occasion of his golden jubilee I wish him God’s continuous blessings and more successes.
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