By Lara Owoeye – Wise
A boss is always a boss.
A good boss is always a good boss.
He was one of my first employers as a journalist.
He was my boss.
He still is my boss.
We called him ‘OJ’
When we wanted to tease or be naughty, we called him “OJ SIMPSONS” behind him … My hands are clean. Bamidele Johnson started that 😁
He is proudly an Ekiti man.
When I first began sailing the unfamiliar waters of journalism at that very young age, God blessed me with a boss like ‘OJ’ who taught me how to paddle my small canoe. He groomed me so well and ensured that I soon replaced my rickety canoe with a speed boat and then later, a ship…
Highly cerebral, an attribute one is quick to notice about, he sleeps and breathes ideas: story ideas, story angles, headline casting, page planning, pictural illustration, etc.
As a young reporter working in his company in those days, he never took advantage of me, not even covertly.
He never even stylishly made a pass at me and it wasn’t because there were no opportunities to do so. Many times we wrote and edited our stories overnight. He respected me. Reason why I still relate with him till date.
He pushed and drove me to excellence and has mentored and monitored my growth and development over the years- always referring to me as his colleague and showing me off at every opportunity.
I was very fortunate to have cut my professional teeth under the tutelage of The ‘crazy team’ made up of Himself, Bayo Onanuga (Baba Tobi) Kunle Ajibade (crazy), Dapo Olorunyomii (Dapsy) who gave the late Abacha sleepless nights.
These guys taught me journalism. Hard journalism. Guerilla journalism. Investigative journalism. Professional and responsible journalism.
Whatever I have attained in life and whatever I hope to achieve, I will never forget my roots in Osolo way, then to 26 Ijaiye Road, Ogba and later to ACME road, Ikeja, Lagos, where, sir, you groomed and moulded a little destiny back then..
Some months back we both suffered terrible bouts of Covid and I recall how I panicked. I was no longer worried for myself-my boss was in a bad shape. I thank God He showed up and rescued us all.
When he recovered, I asked what his plans were for his 60th and he said he wasn’t going to do anything. “Not even a small get together?” I had asked, to which he gave an emphatic no.
Oga has denied us the opportunity of jollificating today but be rest assured sir that we are celebrating in our little corners and thanking Hod for the gift of you.
I join your family and friends to celebrate you sir.
Happy birthday sir.
You will not be late in your prime, sir.
God bless you, sir.
With love to sir 🙇♀️