@Adamu Orisha cultural play – 2017 Eyo Festival

Held on May 20, 2017

Your Excellency, Royal fathers, eminent persons, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I welcome you all to the Adamu Orisha cultural play – Eyo festival – in honour of our late King, my father and best friend, HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, OBA YEKINI ADENIYI ELEGUSHI (KUSENLA II) and in commemoration of Lagos @ 50.

Today we celebrate a life well lived in service to humanity.

It is my wish that the world will remember the weighty legacy Oba Yekini Elegushi left behind; a champion for those who had none; the soul of Eti-Osa; and the lion of Ikate kingdom – a man whose name graced thousands of acts of good deeds.

But those of us who loved him, and ache with his passing, know Yekini Elegushi by the other titles he held: Father, Best friend, Brother, Husband, Uncle, mentor, or as he was often called by his friends: “Y. K. Darocha”.

Yekini Elegushi became the patriarch of Elegushi, a restless dreamer who became its rock.

My King experienced a string of events that would have broken a lesser man. And it would have been easy for my father to let himself become bitter and hardened; to surrender to self-pity and regret; to retreat from public life and live out his years in peaceful quiet.

No one would have blamed him for that.

But not daddy, he deliberately re-engineered himself against the frustration of failure.

Through his upbringing, my father became more alive to the plight and suffering of others.

The landmark efforts that he championed still speak today, because his life’s work was not to champion those with wealth or power or special connections. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the vision he has for a better society.

For me, one of the most cardinal lessons of life I learnt from him was to use our gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.

He was a product of an age when the joy and nobility of royalty prevented differences of class and philosophy from becoming barriers to cooperation and mutual respect – a time when adversaries still saw each other as compatriots.

One thing I’m certain of, luck had little to do with my father’s success, and all those who knew him knew that.

He pursued intellect with vigour, pristine and prestige.

Oba Yekini is titled with historic body of achievements we will remember; it is his giving heart that we will miss.

My father was the father who looked after not only his own biological children, but scores of others as well.

He laughed and danced with them at birthdays and weddings; cried and mourned with them through hardship and tragedy; and passed on that same sense of service and selflessness that nature had instilled in him.

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God’s plan for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best as we can with purpose, and love, and joy that my father, King Elegushi exemplified.

We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves.

We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here on earth, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.

This is how Oba Yekini Adeniyi Elegushi lived.

This is his legacy.

We do not weep for my dad today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office; rather, we celebrate him because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy – not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people he so dearly loved.

 

My father has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those he has loved and lost; leaving those of us who celebrate his passing with the memories he gave, the good he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image – the image of a man who created History by upholding his Heritage and becoming a Hero.

Finally, I thank His Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for making Lagos State the cynosure of all eyes by improving on the foundation laid by, His Excellency, Governor emeritus, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

I am grateful to His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, for his support towards ensuring today’s success.

For their unflinching support and loyalty, I appreciate all my white cap Chiefs, Baales, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, nieces, nephews, friends and well-wishers; without forgetting my children and ever-supportive partner.

 

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