SHOCK, DISBELIEF TRAIL KOLA OLAWUYI’S DEATH
The news of the sudden death of ace broadcaster and Managing Director, Kolbim Communications, Kola Olawuyi, has sent shock waves through the ranks of talk-show artistes under the aegis of Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN), as well as fans and close associates of the presenter.
Olawuyi died on Saturday evening at an undisclosed hospital in Lagos.
The man popularly called Akolawole, until his death was the producer/presenter of Nkan Mbe on television and Irinkerindo on radio.
The circumstances surrounding his death could not be ascertained with different versions gathered by Daily Sun.
A source that preferred anonymity claimed that Olawuyi had a feud with a Lagos pastor and ever since, he was said to have been battling with a strange ailment. Another report had it that the ailment that killed him started after he did a story on a ghost farm tucked away in Benin Republic.
Yet another version from his home in Ogabi court, Okunola bus stop, Idimu road, Egbeda, Lagos State, disclosed that the death might not be unconnected with the felling of a mysterious tree in the compound where his rented duplex apartment stood.
The mysterious tree was felled and totally uprooted three months ago on Olawuyi's instructions despite serious warnings from former occupants that nobody should do anything to the tree. Although before cutting the tree, Olawuyi was alleged to have said that the branches of the tree were affecting the roof of his apartment.
Daily Sun, however, learnt that the broadcaster was not in good health until he finally gave up the ghost. His body has since been deposited in an undisclosed mortuary in Lagos.
Colleagues of the deceased have been reacting to his sudden demise. The President, Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, (FIBAN), Alhaji Fatai Dan Kazeem in a telephone chat with Daily Sun described Olawuyi's death as a rude shock, when they were still adjusting to the sudden departure of another ace broadcaster, Topa Opaleye.
“He was a trail blazer, all we ask God is that He grants him Aljanah. I cannot give an offhand information on his death now, we are still holding meetings, after everything, we would be able to give the press a first hand information,” Dan Kazeem said, adding: “Right now, we have made it compulsory for our members to observe holidays. We are still young and I don't believe that it is best, if we start losing our members now. We have come a long way together.”
FIBAN, Lagos State Chairman, Taiwo Alabi described Olawuyi as a perfectionist to the core. But on his death, he said: “ For now, I cannot confirm what killed him. People have been saying different things and I would not want to join them, all I know is that he had been ill for the past three months.
“Well, I can't say the particular hospital he died because he was very remote to most of us. He was not a member of FIBAN.When Gbenga Adeboye died, we gave an instant information about what killed him. Tentatively his age could be put between 46 and 47 years.”
Alhaji Gbenga Adebayo, an Ex-officio member of FIBAN, popularly called Imalian Boy described Olawuyi's death as tragic, adding that “we are still brainstorming on what to do now.”
Yomi mate (a.ka Ifankaleluyah), a radio presenter expressed shock and concern over the sudden demise of a person he described as a legend and trailblazer.
“I cannot explain the nature of his ailment, we were just coming from his house, and it is sad, too sad. I am simply depressed; I just believe that it is not right for him to die yet. He had been through a lot lately. It is just too tragic.”
Rotimi Aina –Kushoro, CEO, High-waves video mart, and a movie producer could not also ascertain the cause of death but he explained that Olawuyi had been ill for three months.
And the deceased's close friend, Fatai Bantale could not hold back tears as he paid tributes to the late Olawuyi: “I am so shocked. Of course, I know that he had been ill but I don't believe that this is the end of a relationship. Many people will say lots of things but I didn't hear about the mysterious tree. We were quite close and I believe all the stories being peddled are mere speculations.”
The news of Olawuyi's death shook thousands of residents of Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, with many expressing disbelief.
"I don't believe what I have just heard. I just pray that it does not become a reality,” a housewife, Mrs. Kuburat Sanni said.
Another fan, Chief Aminu Ikudaisi said he initially dismissed the sad news as a rumour. "But few minutes after, I received a telephone call from my son in Lagos who confirmed his death. It is a sad one. I never thought death would come calling for him in the next 30 years. It is a great loss not only to his nuclear family, but to the Yoruba nation. He was a pride and star to the entire Yoruba."
Gateway Radio, where the late Olawuyi presented a programme, Irinkerindo Akolawole Olawuyi, in the past10 years ran tributes on him for greater part of Saturday and Sunday.
The duo of Ayo Alagbe and Bunmi Ayelagbe, both Yoruba poets and radio presenters lamented the death of their colleague who they described as “courageous and a man with lion heart."
According to them, the late broadcaster had used his programme to better the lots of the Nigerian masses. "It is not the number of years that one spent in life that matters, but what one was able to achieve."
The deceased was born to Pastor Williams Inaolaji Olawuyi over 40 years ago in Ibadan, Oyo State. In 1992, he conceived and created the popular radio programme, “Iriri Aye,” a human angle magazine, on the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ibadan.
He had an HND in Mass Communication from The Polytechnic, Ibadan and was about rounding off his Masters programme at the University of Ibadan. He is survived by aged parents, wife, Mrs. Abimbola Olawuyi, and children.