Open Letter To Prof. Kola Kazeem
Prof. Kola Kazeem,
Osun State College of Education,
My dear KK,
Compliments of this season. I hope this letter of mine meets you well and in your usual joyful mood.
I am writing this letter to you on this occasion of the 42nd Anniversary of the Osun State College of Education, (OSCOE), Ilésà, our own Ilésà, the most beautiful City, on the surface of the Earth.
To us, the Ìjèsà, there is no basis to compare our Ilésà, "The Place Where God Lives," with any other. Others may not be able to understand our joy and pride in our land; our obsession, or is it addiction, to our beautiful City. It is understandable if they don't. This is because, they have not experienced what we have and they don't know what we know. So, they could be pardoned for not understanding our obsession with our Ilésà, and by extension, our Ìjèsà land.
My dear Professor, when I read your public statement on the 42nd Anniversary of OSCOE and how the Coronavirus had disrupted your plan for the planned celebration, my first instinct was to join others to congratulate you, publicly. But I had taken another moment to tarry and think about your dream for that College which we have had discussions about, especially during my last visit to your home at Ilésà, before I returned to my Òsómàáló farm in the US.
But before I go on, I must now congratulate you on this Anniversary. It is an anniversary that is worth celebrating. Your plan to celebrate all those who have contributed to the creation and sustenance of this school is a worthy one. It is the only way we could show them that we are a grateful people. It is a way to show them that their efforts are appreciated. It is also a way to encourage others that if they ever did something for our Ilésà, our Ìjèsà land, they would not be forgotten.
I remember the last convocation of the school that I attended in 2018. I remember the pride of place that you gave to Mama, Professor Bolanle Awe, who was the Commissioner of Education that spearheaded the creation of that school. I remember my chat with her and my personal expression of gratitude to her. I remember my discussion with her on the recalibration of Ìjèsà History and what late Professor J. D. Y. Peel had told me at a meeting we had at University of London, about her efforts in this regard.
I saw her face lit up for what you did, recognizing her efforts. I saw her joy and happiness at how far the institution had come. I saw a sense of pride in her that her vision has been vindicated. I also, personally felt a sense of joy that she was celebrated in her lifetime and that this was not posthumous. I also remember expressing my personal gratitude to you for what you did and its ramifications.
I am gladdened by your promise that you still plan to celebrate and honour those who have contributed to the creation and sustenance of the institution after the recession of the Coronavirus. It is the right thing to do. It is an inspirational thing to do. It is a tool of encouragement to others. It is a message to those who foolishly luxuriate only in personal comfort without thinking of giving back to their society. My appreciations to you in advance for this.
Now back to your DREAM for that school. I know how hard you're working to achieve that dream. I am aware that you are leaving no stone unturned. I know you are making the necessary contacts and mobilizing all the good will you can towards the achievement of that dream. It is not just that I know your passion for that dream, I could feel it myself. I know how driven you are towards the attainment of that dream. Your passion, your commitment and your vision are very contagious.
I am praying very fervently, that what the former Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola did not do or failed to do for whatever reasons, God Almighty would use the incumbent Governor, Alhaji Gbóyèga Oyètólá to do it. What you're trying to get accomplished is not just a chase of mirage. It is a realistic vision grounded in statistics and incontestable figures that are verifiable. It is a vision that has a concrete plan for attainment and sustainability. It is a vision that is being driven with the passion of a people.
Your vision, your dream, which I am convinced would be accomplished by the good grace of God, would gladden the hearts of all Ìjèsà sons and daughters, all the Ìjèsà mothers and fathers. Your vision speaks to the aspirations of the Ìjèsà people. As I am praying for you, I know that every Ìjèsà man and woman are also praying for you, that you succeed. The effects of what you are trying to do are better imagined. We know, given experience, the ramifications of your vision.
Given our trajectory which was retouched several days ago during the birthday celebration of one of our own, gentleman Gbóyèga Oyewumi, I have absolute confidence in you and trust in God that your vision shall be accomplished. Your leadership qualities which I have witnessed since our days in FISU, yes the Federation of Ìjèsà Students Union at Great Ife; and your tenure as the world President of the "kariable" Keggites Club; your management of the school so far, especially during crisis periods, have shown that you're more than capable of the task at hand.
I am seizing this opportunity to making a special appeal to the Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gbóyèga Oyètólá, who has shown that he is a listening leader to please work with us in Ìjèsà land on our aspirations. His surging image as being cool, calm, controlled, considerate, chilvarous, charitable and circumspect is very much noted and applauded. His level headedness glows without much ado.
Oyètólá is now believed by many, including his hitherto detractors, to share the age-long concept that the measure of a leader is the wellness and happiness of the people. In furtherance of this image, he should please help to realise our aspiration in Ìjèsà land. He should count on it that we would be grateful for his support. And we would never forget it.
My dear Prof. Kazeem, the only "Àrà ké" of the Universe, as I move to conclude this letter, I do acknowledge your spirit. A spirit of endless joy and happiness. Your amarathinely rapturous, ecstatic, effervescent, expansive and jocund spirit, that lights up gatherings and wherever you have showed up, is now a trademark. It is a trait that has placed you on a special pedestal in Ìjèsà milieu.
It is a spirit that is joyous, exciting and enthusing. This spirit that you have always exuded at every opportunity, is a spirit that is unhindered, unpretentious and unperturbed. It is a spirit that is unbounded, unchained and unencumbered. It is a spirit that is unscripted, undoured, unsoured and uninhibited. No dreariness. No moroseness. It is a genuine spirit, and for real. I like it. I’ve got no complaints about it.
The beautiful thing about this spirit of yours, is that it is rooted in your Ìjèsàness. It is a spirit that swims in the pool of passion for everything that is Ìjèsà. A spirit that oozes Ìjèsà patriotism in all ramifications. It is a spirit that gives laughter to all and help many forget their worries for the moment you hold the microphone. It is a divine gift that you have put at the table for your people to savour. We appreciate it.
Once again, I congratulate you on this occasion of the 42nd Anniversary of OSCOE, an institution, the fortune of which you have considerably improved through your administrative and leadership skills. I am not the only one who is proud of you. All Ìjèsà are very proud of you.
Please keep up the good work. Keep the dream alive. Be more relentless in the pursuit of your vision. The orígun mérìndínlógún of Ìjèsà land are in your support. The spirits of our forefathers are praying for you. The God of our forefathers, Elédùmarè, would continue to guard, guide and glitter your path. Áse.
Obòkun a gbé o. Áse.
Your friend and brother,