by Ayokunle Odekunle
I grew up learning some few but very important lessons.
One of them was : KEEP VERY FEW FRIENDS AND KEEP AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE OUT OF REACH. Infact, my parents would regularly admonish me never to be caught in the midst of riff-raffs. They would say “You are an Eagle and should never be caught in the midst of chicken. You should roll with people of your calibre or people that are even better.“
With that in my mind, I have become very very selective with my choice of friends. That is why today, there are very few people i can call FRIENDS.
I read this guy’s piece on Mercy Abang’s NewswireNGR and oh my! Instantly, I craved permission from him for us (YNaija) to use his piece. I checked his Twitter profile and saw that he had 5,000 followers. At the time, I had just 1,250. I chilled! I wondered aloud whether this guy (OverLord) will follow me back as I wanted to get his number to call him. Well, as a man of faith (Like Abraham), I followed him and he promptly followed back. I sent him a DM asking for his phone number, pronto, he sent it. I called him. He sounded as cool as cucumber on phone. I asked him for permission for use his pieces and he agreed.
L-R Tunde, myself and Kelvin Erhonsele (Extreme Right)
I cant say whether that was where our friendship started from or not. We started talking regularly on phone but had NEVER met. Then, one week, my firm sent me to Federal High Court, Uyo to represent a Multi National Company there for a week. On Friday, Tunde pinged me to tell him he had to do the prize-giving day of his WRITE-RIGHT event at Ember creek, Ikoyi, on Sunday. That Sunday arrived and I was at Bar Enclave with @MrEnclave , @UcheBriggs, @Marutsy and others. I had downed like 3 bottles of stout and our conversation was making sense (As always). Then I remembered I had to go to Ember Creek for Tunde. It was not convenient but I just had to go. Myself and my colleague; Kelvin Erhonsele, were at Ember Creek to honour this young man.
Later, I needed columnists for Y! FrontPage for Y!Naija which is a weekly column. I had no problems convincing Tunde to join. And his depth, brillance and consistency astounds me as Tunde has for over 5 months CONSISTENTLY churned out his pieces EVERY Monday.
I really am short of words to describe Tunde but 2 words describe him: Ambitious and Quintessential.
I admire Tunde a whole lot and have learnt a lot from him.
I started re-considering my vow not to date a babe (Because of one nasty heartbreak that happened in 2012) after I visited him one Sunday afternoon and his fiancee waS cooking one nice stew and chicken. Oh! my. Myself and Tunde were having a conversation but I found myself saying rubbish .I was not comfortable as I was so shy I couldn’t tell Tunde I want to eat. Pronto, I stood up and told Tunde i would be on my way. On my way back home, I pinged him to thank him for oppressing me as I am a bachelor (A glorified one) who would have to go home and settle for noddles while Tunde is being treated to some delicacy by his wife.
OloriSupergal, Tunde, Myself and Victor Mbidi of Channels TV
I can go on and on about Tunde.
It is however a pity I wont make his wedding. I had looked forward to drinking as many bottles of stout in the place and engaging in meaningful discussions with Demola Rewaju while downing some unfortunate bottles of Stout but there are office engagements I have to perform today…unfortunately.
His fiancee, Foluso is getting married to one of the faces of this generation, one whose future is brighter than that of a bleaching girl and one of the very few people I look up to (Yes, he is called Stocky Dingbat but he is taller than I am).
I wish Tunde conjugal bliss and I hope I can join him in the club in at least the next five years. I know he will be sentenced to life imprisonment today… I hope he doesn’t get parole and leave. You know what I mean? May Tunde and Foluso grow to love each other more even when all the physical attractiveness is waning.
Lawyer by day, writer by night, Ayokunle Odekunle is a Graduate of the University of Ibadan where he was the Most Outstanding Student for the year 2011.
He tweets from @Oddy4real