Narrated BY ERIC THOMAS… Retold Here Ipsissima Voce!

There was this young man who wanted to be successful, so he went to a sage to seek for counsel. He told him he wanted to be on the same level he is.  So the sage said, if you want to be on the same level I am, I’ll meet tomorrow at the beach by 4am. The young man thought to himself, ‘hey, but I said I wanted to be successful and not learn how to swim.’

However, the next day, the young man got to the beach at the appointed time, already prepared with his swimsuits on et al. The old man grabs his hand and asked, ‘how bad do you want to be successful?’ He replied that, ‘real bad.’

So the sage told to him walk into water. He did as he was told until the water got to his waist. At this point, he was thinking to himself, ’this old man must be crazy. I told you I want to be successful and not learn to be a lifeguard.’

Nonetheless, the sage instructed him to go in a little further. He went deeper into the water, until it got to his shoulder. The sage insisted that he go further. He obliged until it got to his mouth. He became scared and attempted to run back, thinking ‘this man must be really out of his mind.’

The sage said, ‘I thought you said you wanted to be successful.’ He replied, ‘I do.’ Then he told him to walk a little further, and then suddenly, taking the young man by surprise, he shoved his head into the water and held him there.

The young man struggled to get out but the sage was strong and held him down. Just before he was about to pass out, he raised him up. The young man immediately gasped and took short sharp breaths.

Then the sage said, ‘I have a question for you…’ He said, ‘when you were under water, what did want to do, what did you want most?’ The young man replied, ‘I wanted to breathe.’ To which the sage replied, ‘that is the secret of success. When you want success as badly as you want to breathe, then you will be successful. There is no other secret.’

LESSON: Many of us claim we want to be successful but we do not want it bad, we just kind of want it. We do not want it as desperately as we want to party, we do not want it as desperately as we want to watch soccer games or as desperately as we want to chat with our friends on BBM or Whatsapp. And until we want with a burning desire, and we sacrifice everything (our time, money, family, leisure, friends, habits etc.) in order to get, we may never get it. We have to want success so badly that we refuse to sleep. We have to desire greatness so badly that we forget to eat.

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle
~Abraham Lincoln.






Almost on a daily basis, my mom, a high school guidance counsellor, comes home with various stories about the various grotesque and delinquent behaviours indulged in by her students. Sometimes, she would talk of students trying to initiate others in a cult, some arrested by the police for theft and burglary or those who threaten or make successful efforts to ‘discipline’ teachers. At other times, she would make mention of cases of an older lady seducing her junior into indecent sexual behaviour while alone in a classroom, of students caught watching pornographic films, of those engaging in homosexual relationships and many who camp in the forest area in the school premise, doing all sorts of things like cooking for themselves, drinking alcohol and God knows what else. Whenever I hear such reports, I just shake my head and feel sorry for the kids, and this generation at large, for the evils that continue to hold us bondage.

However on this particular day, she narrated a story that got me giggling and which deserves to be presented on stage as a short comical play. Hence, my decision to not liberate from the tentacles of my pen (or is it, in this case, my keyboard?)

Here it goes:

There is this girl of about 17 or 18 (let’s give her an ad-hoc name, Sade). Her mother was dead worried because of her ill-health. Being a certified nurse, she conducted some medical tests for Sade, testing her for malaria, typhoid, diarrhoea etc. However, they all turned negative. She administered some drugs for the girl to take, yet the illness persisted.

Then she decided to collect some of her urine, and test her for pregnancy. Lo and behold, little Sade don carry belle. On discovering that her mom knew of her gravid condition, Sade temporarily fled her home.

Meanwhile, her mom had done some sleuthing to find out who are boyfriend (and partner in crime) was. She paid him a visit. And had both him and his brother arrested (for rape? Can’t say without knowledge of the girl’s true age).

Sade later showed up, only for her mother to commit her into the hands of the Law Enforcement Officers too. She asked her to be placed in detention to teach her a lesson (only God knows on what charge).

That is not all o.

Finally, while Sade was writing her statement at the station, she accused her mom of giving her drugs with the aim of aborting her pregnancy. And what did the Police do? They apprehended the mother too. J All of them (plaintiff, ‘accused’ and victim) are now in prison for crimes unknown.



I do not know what came over me today – 14th of August, 2013. I just felt the urge to get to know more about the history of my family name, lineage and township. And I think it was worth it.

In this write-up, I will be taking a glimpse at the meaning and history of ‘Adebajo’, my surname; ‘Adekunle’, my first name; ‘Ago-Iwoye’, my hometown; and ‘Ebumawe’, the monarchical title of the Ago-Iwoye people.

My sources of information include my dad, Mr Nelson Adetola Adebajo, the son of Arowogbaaya (Ibipe township); my mom, Mrs Fatimah Kikelomo Adebajo (Imere township) and a book by Barrister J.O. Ajibola, ‘A Brief History Of Ago-Iwoye’, being a lecture delivered to a youth club at Ago-Iwoye court hall on Friday 30th December, 1966.


Many decades ago, in the era of slave-trade (19th century), an era infamous for its perilousness and during which a caring mother would hesitate before sending her child on an errand … a man called Ṣomade (the wicked ones have taken the crown) – grandfather to my dad, was abducted by the Ẹgbas to be sold to the whites as a slave. But the people of Ibipẹ* would not sit back and allow this to happen because Somade was not an ordinary man, he was from a royal background. They sent 3 slaves to Abẹokuta that they may be bartered for Ṣomade.
His return home was considered very special that his progenitors were named after the event. Ade bo ni ati ajo, the crown [king] has returned from the journey.


In the past, I was often confused when I think about (or tell others) the surface translation of this name, which I bear. ‘Ade full for house’? 

Now if you ask me what it means, I can definitely tell you something more logical. And that is: this sort of name is found in royal households, but not just any. Ones in which princes (male heirs) abound, at least two [2]. Funny enough, in my family, there are four [4].

Other names that can replace it include Adedeji, Adepọju, Adedimeji, Adeṣubomi, Adeyinka, Aderogba, Adeṣupọ etc.


Before 1931, there was no place going by the name Agọ-Iwoye. The present Agọ-Iwoye, prior to this time, was simply known as Agọ (meaning camp). It was as a result of the efforts and petition of the Agọ-Iwoye Progress Union (inaugurated in 1926) that the town came to be known, both informally and officially, as Agọ-Iwoye, which means the ‘camp of healing’.

Why this name? The answer is 1831. The Gbedeke war of 1831 (or Iṣamuro war as called by the Ẹgbas), a war borne out of greed, tribalism and white egocentrism. The trend back in the days was that the whites enticed various lands to fight wars and raid one another, in order that there may be slaves available for them to buy. This war forced the people of Iwoye (not Ago-Iwoye) to flee for their dear lives, as the Egbas ruthlessly attacked and destroyed their land.

They pitched their tents in a new area known as Imọṣọsi (whose leader was Meyẹlu), finding only a few settlers there. Seven townships comprising of Ibipẹ, Iṣamuro, Idọdẹ, Odoṣinusi, Igan, Imosu, and Imere emigrated from Orile-Iwoye and settled at Ago. They rotated the central leadership between their various Baloguns (war-leaders). The first Balogun to be made leader was Balogun Meleki of Igan township.
This explains why Ago-Iwoye was once referred to as Agọ-Meleki.

However, when a British commissioner visited between 1893 and 1895, asking for the Baalẹ of the town, the then chief-Balogun, Ogunfowodu, became to be called Baalẹ and so was his successors. This went on until Oba Alaiyeluwa Akadi Adenugba was installed in 1932, as the first Ebumawe of Agọ-Iwoye.


The people of Idoko who were among the early settlers of Ondo worshipped spirits, and they hated twins whom they always put to death. At one time, Oduduwa had twin children, one a male and the other a female. Oduduwa sent both these twins and their mother away from his headquarters to the remote part of his kingdom so that they might not be killed (cf. Johnson’s History of the Yorubas, page 25), and they finally settled at Idoko.

The people of the District, knowing that they were from the Royal family, and recognising in them the essence of twin, called them ‘EBU-MARE’ and ‘EṢE-MARE’ respectively, Ebu and Eṣe both mean POTENT and MYSTERIOUS. ‘MARE’ means – HERE IS or HERE ARE. That is, these are potent and mysterious beings. These names later on became to be known as EBUMAWE and OṢEMAWE.

The female child settled at Ondo and became a ruler, while the male, Akingbade, travelled from Idoko, through Okun-Ori-Imedu, Epe, to Ijebu-Ode, and then to Wojaiye and Ibipe. The only settlers they found were the descendants of Sapoku, the Isamuro people who made him king. Hence, Akingbade became the first Ebumawe, and many others ruled after him until the Iwoye towns were destroyed by the Egba people in the Gbedeke war of 1831.

Extracted from ‘A brief history of Ago-Iwoye’ by J.O Ajibola (Page 19/20)




Channels TV: what is the website of NSCDC?

Shem: the website of NSC…NSCDC…yes will be made known…I cannot categorically tell you one now…because the one that…

Channels TV: (cuts in) you have multiple websites?

Shem: wait, wait…the one we are going to make use of, I am not the one that is going to create it.

Channels TV: see, the question is what is your website?

Shem: (cuts in) waaait , the one we are going to make use of…is go…is going to remain known by (raising right index finger) my oga at the top. I can’t announce one now and my oga says it’s another one.

Channels TV: you mean NSCDC has multiple websites?

Shem: see, we cannot have multiple websites, but the one that…that…my oga will say

Channels TV: not the one for employment. what is your website now. The one you use normally. Your official website. If you want to know about NSCDC, what website do you go to?

Shem: okay, if you want to know about NSCDC as at now?

Channels TV: exactly.

Shem: okay, ww.nscdc

Channels TV: yes

Shem: yes, so… (Coughs). That’s all.

Channels TV: ww.nscdc? …that’s it?

Shem: yes.

* * * * * * * * * *

A person willing to be acquainted with the leading distraction in Nigeria need not go far before he hears someone shout; ‘you are my oga at the top’, ‘my website is dobiyu dobiyu dot daz all’, ‘lemme first of all ask my oga at the top’ and so on. Or perhaps he might even be fortunate to catch a glimpse of one of the polos and shirts customised to celebrate this act of; shall we say mediocrity, ignominy or spirited witlessness? We can logically conclude that a Nigerian who is unaware about the tale is either among the 71.57% of Nigerians without internet access or one of the 55.3% without access to TV.

The topical hilarious, yet disastrous ‘my oga at the top’ saga is one which, in my sincere opinion, should oblige us to engage in deep introspection on our predicament as a nation.

Some are of the view that Mr Obafaiye Shem, the Lagos state commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the icon in this drama, ought to resign or better still be sacked for committing such a weighty blooper. But then, I think that this should not be the case. The only flaw people who are critical of the man can point out is that which concerns the organisation’s website address; which I frankly deem trivial and negligible. I mean, the man has just recently celebrated 100 days in office and a URL address is one of the things he should not be bothered with, especially giving the office he holds. The only problem I have is his trying to bluff his way out rather than just admitting his unawareness, and then his constant reference to his ‘oga at the top’, whoever that is.

Watching the video again, I could not but laugh at the laughable, unimpressive and preposterous manner in which Mr Shem arrogantly answered the question. He obviously seemed uncomfortable and fidgety. Perchance, he was only caught up with the dilemma principle.

Some also opine that the startling diffusion of the incident is because of the activities of companies who want to divert attention from the content of the interview. However, I beg to disagree. The stuff has gone viral because Nigerian cyber-surfers want it that way. The question we should ask ourselves is why do Nigerians want it that way. My answer: poverty and idleness. Most Nigerians have little or nothing to do. We needed something to while away time, and ‘our oga at the top’ has come to give us just that.

Finally and finally, my message to all and sundry is one, to not just be the best in whatever it is we are doing, but also to have little knowledge on other things as well. Because, seriously speaking, it could have been anybody. Mr Shem, surprisingly has three degrees to his credit, yet he is yet to master the art of speechifying. This makes one wonder how he successfully scaled through his past interviews. Two, we should endeavour to take note of little subtle details because at times they matter more than the glaring ones. Let us not be extremely conservative to the extent of not paying attention to important things such as the format URL addresses take. Three, it never pays not to know a thing, and claim or act as if you know it. If you do this, you will only succeed in making a ridicule of yourself and making your ignorance more apparent. Lastly, we all know that in Nigeria, one needs ‘ogas at the top’ to go places, but never attempt to over-extol them while giving public addresses, most especially on channels TV. 🙂




Once upon a time, there was a great religious scholar. He preached to people every Friday in a temple. People came from distant lands to listen to him, because his sermons were very interesting and he possesses rare knowledge and wisdom.

On one of such occasions, that is, on a Friday, he told his students and the people gathering for his lecture that they should ensure they come the next week because he will be delivering his greatest sermon. The people were shocked because they could not imagine a sermon more interesting than the ones he had been giving.

The crowd that assembled for his sermon the following Friday was enormous. Everybody wanted to hear this ‘great sermon’. Some had arrived at the temple since morning even though the sermon will only commence by 04:00pm in the evening. But the great scholar was unusually not there in time. When the people became worried about his absence, one of his senior students was sent to summon him.

The student found him in a lotus position with beads in his hand. He called him and told him the people were waiting but the scholar did not respond. He called him again and again but still no response. He thought he must be in a meditative mood. However, he courageously went ahead and tapped him on the shoulder. But still no response, not even a slight motion. That was when he knew the great scholar was no more of this world.

He then went back to break the news of his demise to the anxious audience. Then they realised they realised what he meant by ‘the greatest sermon’. What sermon could possibly be more touching than this?

The reality of death is inevitable. It is no respecter of age, knowledge or wealth. Be you rich or poor, old or young, knowledgeable or ignorant, pious or not; you will leave this world one day, perhaps sooner than you bargained for. Many people are afraid to die. Many hate to hear about it. But it is not really death we fear, but what comes after it. We doubt if we deserve good in the hereafter. The question therefore is: how have we been preparing for the ultimate and the last visitor? Because, VERILY ALL SOULS SHALL TASTE [OUT OF THE CUP OF] DEATH.