MEMORIES OF KERUBU: The Splendour Of Nostalgia (3)

By Ikenga Chronicles February 20, 2018

MEMORIES OF KERUBU: The Splendour Of Nostalgia (3)

— Remi Oyeyemi

They all represent a dynasty. In the KERUBU of my years, that was what they all were, a dynasty. A dynasty of excellence. A dynasty of brilliance. A dynasty of character. A dynasty of positive behavior. A dynasty of discipline. They were all scions of a beautiful heritage, honour, fealty and legacy. Theirs was an exemplary dynasty. Theirs was and still is, an apotheosis of the Yorùbá aphorism, “Rántí omo eni tí ìwo nse,” literally meaning “Remember the child of whom you are.” A dynasty that was and is still enormously impressive. Yes, a dynasty worthy of emulation in so many ways.

One after the other, they came, they saw, they distinguished and they conquered. There were four of them, in those beautiful years of mine at KERUBU. Two were ahead of me, one was my classmate and one came after me.

Throughout my stay, not once, was any of them publicly chided for any negative behavior, no matter how trivial. Each and every one of them, was an epitome of good manners. Always well behaved, from their conducts, it was self-evident the type of a fantastic home they came from.

Yes, I am reminiscing about the Owoeyes. Olusola Owoeye, Olayinka Owoeye, Olasupo Owoeye and Olapeju Owoeye. Collectively and individually, they were perfect studies in ennobling character. They were and still are good ambassadors of their fantastic and distinguished family. Untainted, they have carried the banner of our KERUBU, your KERUBU, my KERUBU in their individual trajectories. In character and accomplishments, they have made our Cherubim and Seraphim High School, Ilesa, very, very proud.

It was my dear egbon, Olusola Owoeye who paved this path of preeminence. Amazingly gentle, amiable, and affable. Kind to a fault. So incredibly self effacing to the point of inadvertently eliciting the attention he had hitherto aimed at avoiding. His nicety, disarming to the point of perplexity. He could not hurt a fly, even if he tried, because it was not, and is not in his nature. As I pointed out elsewhere, if the wind could and should verbalize any discomfort at being breathed, egbon Olusola would let go of it!

An exemplary Christian. Very genuine and sincere in his faith. He lives the ethos. He practices the credo. In a genteel manner, he exudes the values and traits of his Christian faith. Cultured, courteous, civil, cultivated, considerate, and compassionate. If it pleases ELÉDÙMARÈ, the God Almighty, at the feet of whom my forefathers worshipped, I wish to be like him when I grow up.

After him came Egbon Olayinka Owoeye. Effulgent in his intimidating brilliance. Unobtrusive in his assertive personality. A stickler for order, discipline, process and procedure. Organized. Coordinated. Methodical. As our Assistant Senior Prefect during his set, he was subtle in his authority. Efficient. Effective. Efficacious. His flabby, flapping Knickerbocker, pendulously oscillating as if inebriated with Irish cream, reminded me of the Irish kilts and its Scottish variation. It was a sight to behold.

I have no doubt in my mind, that these qualities propelled him to the apogee of his career as a civil servant to becoming the Head of Service in Osun State. He runs his family with the same skill set. I know because I am a witness, having slept in his house several times, long before he became the Head of Service. An enthusiastic believer in continuous self development. He was never tired of encouraging anyone who cares to listen of the need for self development, seeking of more knowledge and consistent exploration of means of and for self advancement.

Then came my dear brother, friend and classmate, Olasupo Owoeye. The man with the Heart of Gold. Easy going. Unassuming. Jovial. Lively. One of the most unselfish human beings I have ever known. Kind. Indulgent. Benevolent. Humane. Helpful. Considerate. Compassionate. Loving. And Caring. He is always putting himself last in all situations. Yet, God Almighty has found a miraculous way of putting him first.

He is the steely apron that binds everyone in the family together including those other siblings who were not so lucky to be part of the Owoeye Dynasty at our KERUBU. Sùpò, as he is fondly called by all, has an incredible listening ability. He would patiently hear out your concerns and suggest ways to address them, contributing his own quota along the way. This delightful disposition of his, turned him into everyone’s confidant. Without any doubt, he is living out the true meaning of his name, “Sùpò,” which translates to “Bind together.”

In our struggling days, when we lived a stone throw away from each other, with Gbenga Fádáhùnsi, a mutual bosom friend and classmate at KERUBU, at Mókólá, Ibadan, our moments were never dour. No room for sourness. We had fun. We tried our best to enjoy ourselves to the fullest of the availing opportunities. We appropriated the best of every moment, despite our economic challenges. And God has been faithful to us.

After Sùpò, came my dear darling sister, Olapeju Owoeye, now Mrs. Babáfémi. A lady by all means. Every female can essentially be a woman, but not every woman can be a lady. Péjú, as we all call her, was and is still a lady by any means. A beautiful replica of Mama, always radiating elegance, class, taste and a regality that is silent but loudly pronounced in its incandescence. She was measured and calculated in the way and manner she carried herself. How I missed dating and marrying her is still a matter of big surprise!

Péjú, a seminally brilliant mind who, right from our days in KERUBU, exuded and still exudes breviloquent boldness, was and still is one of those rare ladies endowed with the combination of the three Bs – Beauty, Brilliance and Bravery. Audaciously intelligent, ferociously smart and sharp, awesomely astute and percolatingly brisk. She was and still is an egghead that is humble, quiet, self effacing but disarmingly self assertive. Her sitting on top of her profession in her adopted home State of Ekiti, where her wonderful husband, Mr. Babáfémi hails from, should not be a surprise to anyone.

It is important to reiterate that, most probably, without the Cherubim and Seraphim High School, Ilesa, I would not have met Sùpò, his wonderful siblings and distinguished family. My friendship with him, which is still subsisting full blast, is part of my memories of KERUBU, our KERUBU. With utmost humility, I am therefore, enormously gratified to have this rare opportunity to celebrate the dynasty of which he, Sùpò, is a central force.

My enduring friendship with Sùpò, who prefers to call me “Ropo,” as some of my other classmates did, and still do, gave me an unquantifiable access and insight into this distinguished family. Our nights of reminiscing at Ògúdü family home of the Owoeyes were worth their while. Despite all this, I never got to meet the man who sired this dynasty, the man with whom I share the same Biblical name, Pa Samuel Oladipupo Owoeye. But it was gratifying to meet Mama, who also happened to bear the same Biblical name Mary, with my own wonderful mother, a few times at Ado-Ekiti, at Péjú’s place.

It was heart breaking when a while ago, Sùpò sent me a message from Nigeria that Mama Mary Oláòkomo Owoeye passed away. It was personally painful that I was not aware of this on time and was not around to participate in the last rites for a fantastic wife, mother, grandmother and the wonderful matriarch of the distinguished Owoeye family. May her beautiful soul continue to rest in perfect peace. Amen.