BY MOFOLUWASO ABIODUN-OGUNDIPE NEE AROBO
You were one person I never imagined would die in decades to come. The news of your death has made me a shadow of myself. I don’t think I can come over it in years to come, though it is believed that as time passes, the pains will gradually fade away.
You were my destiny helper and you made sure you did all that God sent you to do in my life before marriage took me away from Akure to Lagos. I am the rising star that I am today, just because you made me so.
I met with Bro Shola in February 2013 as an intern at Orange 94.5fm in Akure. My Aunt had called him prior to my resumption for internship to inform him of my coming and pleaded with him to do the possible best he can in training me to be a very good journalist. She practically handed me over to him and told him not to see me as an intern but as his sibling. In her words, she said “Shola, please I want you to bring out the very best in her, I’m entrusting her to you and I believe you’re the only one that can do this, which is why I’ve brought her here”. In his response, he said “Aunty e maa worry, aburo wa noo ni”, and that was it.
I started going out with him on every assignment and he was putting me through the rudiments of the job. 2 weeks after , at around 7am one morning, He just called and this was the conversation that ensued between us:
BRO SHOLA: Arobo Where are you?
ME: Good morning sir, I’m at home.
BRO SHOLA: Get dressed now and go to House of Assembly Arcade. Batch ‘A’ corp members are passing out today and we’re covering it. You go there now and I’ll join you later. Don’t be late o, or else you’re dead.
ME: Okay sir.
I quickly got dressed, took my writing materials and voice recorder and in a few minutes I was at the venue. As the programme progressed, I kept looking around, expecting to see bro Shola, but there was no sight of him. Still believing that he was on his way I decided to “USE MY HEAD” like he’ll always say. I quickly acquainted myself with other journalists on ground, did the necessary interviews and at the end of the programme, I called him and he sent the office driver to come pick me up.
On getting to the office, I saw oga, he was busy writing another report. It was then it dawned on me that he tricked me to Arcade and left me all by myself. Meaning that if I had not done the necessary thing, I was as good as dead… I wrote a comprehensive report of the event and submitted it to him. He checked it, did necessary corrections and said “This is not bad for a start. You will do the voicing and this news will fly for 6pm bulletin”. I almost wanted to enter the ground because the time was already past 5pm and this was something I had not done before. I quickly summoned courage, went into the studio and I delivered. That was the very beginning of my journey to success.
Bro Shola, today I can work under pressure because that’s exactly how you trained me. I can deliver within little time frame because that’s how you moulded me. The numerous attributes with which you trained me has not only helped in my Journalism career, but also in my marriage and entire life.
Bro Shola was one person who didn’t know what it means to be “Tired” because He never gets tired of working. His passion and enthusiasm for the pen profession was what he encouraged all his trainee to imbibe . I can go on and on from now till tomorrow to talk about my Mentor and Role model, but words have failed me.
You’ll be greatly missed Egbon mi. I pray that God will grant your aged parents, siblings, wife and children, the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
Sleep on, till we meet to part no more. Adieu my beloved. 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭