A Tale of Two Great Men
Prophet T.O Obadare
Growing up in Akure, the Ondo State capital was fun and the memories will always be held dear.
Also, growing up was without the perks of the present day. For instance, there were few colour TVs back then, fewer computers, no cable TV, no GSM to mention a few of the priviledges we take for granted in the present day.
Back then, we were members of the St. Stephens's Anglican church where mum and dad were very active members and after service every sunday evening at 4pm, one voice and face that was a weekly constant on the State TV (OSRC) was that of prophet T.O Obadare.
He was very much part of my growing-up.
Even though he was visually challenged, yet his personality and spirituality was so strong that thousands would travel from far and near just to listen and watch him speak and preach during his monthly “Koseunti” crusades.
He was an evangelist and a notable prophet of the old order who founded the World Soul Winning Evangelical Mission (WOSEM). (Note the emphasis on the old order)
This great man of God who was a father to many has been confirmed dead at the age of 83yrs.
Pa Chinua Achebe
Pa Chinua Achebe was also part of my life in many ways.
His novel -Things Fall Apart and the sequel No Longer at Ease would remain evergreen in my memory.
I read the two books early and they formed part of my initiation rite into the world of literature. They stood out in a positive way among the many M&Bs, James Hardley Chase and the likes that formed part of my 'library' back then.
I could read the two books back to back over and over again.
I was also priviledged to read 'A Man of the People' once but it was not as gripping as the rich account of Okonkwo's life, Obierika's loyalty, Obi / Clara's love life and the richness of the Igbo culture all expertly told by the master tale weaver himself.
Those were two books written even before I was born, yet the lessons are still very much relevant in our Nigeria of today.
He is regarded in some quaters as the father of African literature and I could not agree less.
This great man has also been reported dead at the age of 82 following a brief illness in Boston.
They were both great and would be greatly missed.
They fought the good fight and are now resting.
RIP Great Men.