Abiola Ogunrinde’s Visit

Sometimes something magical occurs, and it did on February 24, 2003.  My best friend from my college days came to visit.  Samuel Abiola Ogunrinde and I were classmates at the greatest university on earth: Great Ife!!!  …way back when we were strappling young gunners.  The day I left Nigeria to come to the land of the free, August 15, 1977; Abiola took me to Murtala Muhammed Airport in Ikeja as I flew out to Paris and then finally the next day to the colonies. I arrived in the colonies the day Elvis Presley died (the king still lives!).  I next saw him (Abiola, not Elvis!) again briefly in 1981; but it had been a full 22 years since we had been together, and we had lost communication.  A good thing I have a website: he spotted it and we got back in touch.

The way we were: above; Abiola matriculating at Ife in 1974, September.

Below, myself at a sports award dinner at Ife in December, 1974

Of course, I always had the best-looking date (Adedayo) and the best hat!!!


Now, the way we are:

Yes, we have aged and grayed a little bit and have gone soft in the middle a little bit, but there is no denying that ‘we still got it’ 25 years later.  Abiola is a very successful businessman in Nigeria and he markets his own brand of soap and is into several philanthropic activities.  He has two teenage children and doing extremely well.

This is the product of an Ife education.  I urge all mothers and fathers to send their children to Ife.  You will be very happy with the results (just look at us!).

The two old friends meet in Oregon!!!! (Abiola, on the right).  See the way we were and the way we IS right now.  Gone is the brashness, instead is a deep conservatism.

Remarkably, right there in Portland were two other Great Ife graduates (little omo kekere’s!).  The picture above shows all four of us great Ife people.  The children are in the middle, Mrs. Otoikhian and Dr. Olojo.  We completed our degrees in the 70’s; Dr. Olojo in the 90’s and Mrs. O in year 2000.  Different eras, for sure, but still the same tenacity to succeed that Ife always nurtured into its graduates.  It never ceased to amaze me that the greatest institution of learning in Africa is Great Ife, and the greatest institution of learning in the United States is Brandeis University; and remarkably, I attended both institutions!!!!  From the best in Africa to the best in the US.  How lucky can one get?


On this day we had a number of well-wishers who came to celebrate this reunion of Great Ife’s.  What an enchanted night.  Next we should get together at the Cape (the REAL Cape… not Cape Cod; .. guess again!)




Last Edited June 09, 2006