I give thanks for all the goodwill that came my way, in various forms and at various times, on my birthday.
For a person who has never ‘ceremonised’ a birthday, it was a difficult call to respond to suggestions that a 70th birthday should be viewed differently.
To me, everyday has always been a birthday, so it was going to be difficult to do anything differently. However, I have also always lived life like every day could be the last, so, in a way, to have been around for 70 years could also mean not only a privilege but a very special privilege. So, I yielded to suggestions by others dictating what I should do while I simply acquiesced!
It started with quality time spent with my grandchildren in their various homes, while their parents eventually took my wife and I on a week-long treat at the Caribbean Island of Barbados, in the West Indies. Guided tours to historic Sugarcane Plantations to see relics of the Sunbury Plantation House, current RUM factories and all there is to excite one in 9 of the 11 Parishes (Districts) of the Island. A boat cruise on the Atlantic and a Friday night out at the FishFry Festival.
BARBADOS (Rum, Church, & Sugar or, if you like, Hotels, Restaurants, & Hills), was truly an awesome place to be.
My wife and I cannot thank Opeyemi, Jan, Ayodele, Funmilayo and their children, Hadassah, Davida, Taylor, and Remi, enough for the treat. Such fat bills, including all travel costs, they must have picked up, humbled me.
Photoshoots and video clips tell the story better. Some here as footnote to this post.
Back home in Nigeria, and early enough to host friends, associates, neighbours and other well-wishers to an evening of feasting yesterday, the actual day I turned 70. I have my darling senior sister, Alhaja Agbeke Bilesanmi, my nieces (Bola Bilessnmi, Moji Bammeke, Tolu Ademuyiwa) and nephews (Tunde Bilesanmi, Ayo Ajimotokan, Bolaji Ajimotokan, Biodun Ajimotokan), to thank for all these as they it was, who picked paid all the bills.
Deserving of my special thanks are all my friends (I apologise, I did not invite anyone by myself, my sister, nieces and nephews did). I appreciate all the goodwill messages of friends on social media, some of whose messages I will eventually post on this page. They are still coming in as I post.
I have information that The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, umbrella Association of players in my industry in which I played and retired had an advert in yesterday’s Sunday PUNCH. I am yet to see it alright but I feel deeply touched and most grateful to all these investors and players on whose initiatives, sweat and sacrifices, we built an industry which we have a right to be proud of. Thank you all and especially My President, Mr Olusola Teniola and his National Executive Council.
Earlier today, I was at Moslem School, Isoku, Ijebu-Ode on a scheduled visit to support teaching and learning in the place where my schooling took off in January 1956, courtesy Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Free Primary School initiative of 1955.
Yes, I am 70 indeed. I had thought it was all a ruse. But 2019 – 1949 = 70, and I cannot deny the arithmetic!
Many thanks to God. And to Man.
Titi Omo-Ettu, FAEng, FNSE.
July 15, 2019.