TRIBUTE: Dele Momodu at 60: A rare gift to humanity

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By Prince Ejeh Josh.

“The son of the poor doesn’t over sleep”, Uncle Bob Dee once enthused in reaction to a twitter user who had expressed worry over his (Uncle Bob) keeping late at night; reading, writing and working on other numerous projects.

Million of his followers on twitter and Instagram have always seen Chief Dele Momodu as a special breed. A sui generis that gave rise to a strong conviction to follow him. And for many of us; the “Delemanias”, the way to go is to key into the Dele Momodu University. A university built on discipline, character, integrity, conscience and hard-work.

That simple but terse and incisive reply has continued to make all the difference. It’s a spark to our dreams. A catalyst of hope to millions of youths struggling on the street to eke out a living. Indeed, the children of the poor must not over sleep! The shark doesn’t close its eyes lest it gets drown.

Today, Uncle Dele’s words are ever raging like an inferno whenever some of us think of giving up. He has toed the path and came out strong. Despite his high standing in life, Uncle Dele has refused to sleep. He’s guarded by a strong-willed self-discipline and conviction that he can always do more. I’ve no doubt Chief Dele landed not among the stars but in the moon. He stands conspicuously tall!

I’ve the privilege of following Dele Momodu’s columns every week. For many years, I made it a must to get a copy of Thisday newspaper. I must forgo a day food to save for the paper. I’m doing that not for the love I’ve for the newspaper. No. There is a treasure hidden at the pages of the paper. I just wanted to tap from that fortune of life. It’s like the Biblical allusion of a man who found a treasure hidden in a field. The man ran back home to sell all he had in order to procure the field. Same applies to Dele Momodu.

He’s a treasure hidden in many books and newspapers. A source that has never gone dry. It will never go dry. It ever flourishes. Evergreen. Thanks to the internet! At a click at a button today, means easy access to the social media.

Chief Dele has always been a spring one drinks from and get even more thirsty. Like Oliver Twist, after drinking from this source, one cannot resist the urge to have more.

The celebrity sexagenarian is the flourishing source that keeps flowing in many directions. He tells it in style. The dexterity. The prowess. The blend. The literary maneuvering. The seamless ease of driving words home shows that the ovary faced Ovation Boss is also in control. He’s just the Boss. He clearly understands the intricacies of the rough terrain in the world of writing. He’s the man in charge.

At the risk of repeating myself, Dele Momodu is more than a writer, storyteller and media giant. He’s like the elephant described differently by the seven blind men. Come to think of it, Uncle Bob has the size of an elephant with a humane heart. Have you ever observed his undying love for humanity? Have you noticed his penchant for giving as a philanthropist? Have you ever wondered the secret behind his motivation for the youths? He’s good and kind to a fault.

If there’s anything that one should boast of, it should be dignity of labour. Hard-work. Dedication. Diligence. All these I learnt from Dele Momodu University. There, he tutors us, not as a motivational speaker but as a teacher. His wealth of knowledge and experience remain inexplicably peerless. He has an unequal prism and unassailable records that any future generations may find it hard to break. The product of hard work, he said. He has shown by his track records that background should never be a reason to remain on the ground. He has shown the light for others to follow. And we’re proudly following his mentorship steps.

The celebrity journalist and Ovation Magazine’s boss has not only traversed the world, he has also had his name engraved in history as a foremost African journalist, youth driver and entrepreneur of all times. Due to his contributions to the progress of the world, always fighting for the enthronement of social justice and good governance, he has by his virtue of recognition become a global citizen and an international figure.

It may interest us to know that Dele is one of the most successful media trailblazers Nigeria ever produced. He redefined the face of journalism. He shot Nigeria and Africa to limelight in the world of indigenous journalism. His creative version of journalism has made him one of the few celebrity journalists the world has ever produced. Thank you for marketing Africa. Thank you for retelling our stories.

As I write, I keep imagining how happy the world is as we all celebrate Bob Dee in our respite homes, offices, despite the presence of man’s common enemy called Coronavirus. He deserves to be celebrated in a special way. Under this COVId – 19 lockdown, Uncle Bob has given thousands of youths reasons to live. Reasons to smile. Reasons to feed. A new lease of life. Proud of the humanity in him. Proud of his love for justice and fairness to all. Proud of his politics without bitterness. Proud of his association without discrimination. Proud of his zeal for the youths. Perhaps, that’s what is keeping him young. The youthful hue in him.

Uncle, like Aristotle said of Plato, I’m fortunate to have met you. Though we’ve not physically met, but be rest assured that you’ve a staunch fan; an unapologetic Dele Momodu’s somewhere in Nigeria. I’m already riding on your shoulder to greatness. You’re a blessing to Nigeria and the world. You’re God’s special gift to us. Many more years. May your ink never run dry. Happy Birthday, good health of mind and body. Congratulations, Boss! Congratulations and best wishes, Chief Bashorun Dele Momodu.

 

 

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DISCLAIMER: All views expressed are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors.

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