DAPO OLORUNYOMI, One of a Kind…. @ 60

DAPO OLORUNYOMI, One of a Kind…. @ 60

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 3:34 pm


Dapo Olorunyomi


By Dotun Adekanmbi

It’s hard to imagine that Dapo Olorunyomi aka Dapsy is 60. But then, he doesn’t strike me as an ‘old’ man who’ll become grumpy when dry bones are mentioned, as Chinua Achebe would have said.

Dapsy is the kind of boss any young, upwardly mobile professional should have starting out in any career; a guardian angel to help that career bloom exponentially and a curb when it begins to feel like success would make the head too big to manage.

It’s kind of strange when people naturally gravitate towards a quiet fellow. But that’s the way it is with Dapsy. Not the way we’ve been taught to believe, especially these days when people believe you must be ‘aggressive’ to do whatever. Nothing says ‘notice me’ about him; you just feel a desire to bond with him after a first contact. The reason could have been his cool mien. Or his hard-to-ignore logical arguments. Or even his care-free but not careless disposition.

Dotun Adekanmbi

Can’t tell exactly when we got to be close but his was some presence you never could miss out back then in Humanities Block 3 at then University of Ife where he was two sessions ahead of me. And for those who know, HB3 was home to Dr Biodun Jeyifo; Dr. Funso Aiyejina, two of the finest literary scholars that any graduate of English & Literary Studies would be so proud to have passed through. Dapo was never too far away from wherever you found these two influential lecturers. Add to these folks Dr. Segun Osoba (History Dept in HB1) and Dr Dipo Fasina and Dr Segun Gbadegesin (Philosophy Dept HB 3). Plus some other crazy undergrads like Owei Lakemfa, Babafemi Ojudu, Tony Iyare and Sam Omatseye. Orisirisi arguments. I was never one for those big, big Marxist dialectical wetin-call but one could always tell brilliant and beautiful thoughts apart from the hot air that a lot of people love to blow whilst trying to listen to their own voices.

Can’t tell exactly when we got to be close but his was some presence you never could miss out back then in Humanities Block 3 at then University of Ife where he was two sessions ahead of me. And for those who know, HB3 was home to Dr Biodun Jeyifo; Dr. Funso Aiyejina, two of the finest literary scholars that any graduate of English & Literary Studies would be so proud to have passed through. Dapo was never too far away from wherever you found these two influential lecturers. Add to these folks Dr. Segun Osoba (History Dept in HB1) and Dr Dipo Fasina and Dr Segun Gbadegesin (Philosophy Dept HB 3). Plus some other crazy undergrads like Owei Lakemfa, Babafemi Ojudu, Tony Iyare and Sam Omatseye. Orisirisi arguments.

Dapsy has never had to advertise his brilliance. You just know. Listen to him argue any point. Even if you disagreed, you never discountenanced his point of view. As a writer, Dapsy is a class act. As a writer, too, you, could proudly wear any badge he gives you. I recall a human-interest investigation I took on at his instance. From his base then in the US, he had established a link with an American lady, poor victim of a heartless family heist. The perpetrators of the 419 scam were children of one of the ‘big men’ that fought for Nigeria’s Independence. They took advantage of her and fleeced her of all her worldly possessions in a landmark 419 case. Dapo connected me with the victim whose story had previously been published by some media outlets in Nigeria.

My heart bled as the lady wept a bucketful as she told me her story on a NITEL line that was cursed with several ‘cuts’. When I asked the reason for the tears, she said she’d never had to tell her story the way she did based on the issues and questions I raised. Between my crazy newsroom colleague, Osita Nwajah, and our effervescent boss, Idowu Obasa, the story was headlined ‘Marry and Clean Out.’ It was the best story I ever wrote in my journalism career. It was written from the heart but with my head firmly screwed on. Not one word of that story was contested. Dapo read the story in the US and sent me an email that simply said: ‘A+.’ No salutation, no idle gist, no nothing. For me, that was it. I did not need any further validation by any other authority.

Cerebral people are often regarded as arrogant. No such description can be pinned on Dapo. He displays amazing depth of knowledge in the most understated manner that even the most combative of ignoramuses would not in any way feel threatened.

Were Dapo to be as consumed by the quest for material possessions as many journalists are today, he probably would have been far wealthier than Diezani and Maina combined. He has information at his disposal that could easily lift anyone to wealth from the backwaters of any hamlet in the hinterland. Being who he is, Dapo will only be comfortable, not wealthy. Not just because he does not place premium on acquiring money for its sake but especially because he is inclined to giving it all out. Just like that. If it will make more difference in the life of another individual, he is not averse to emptying his purse. That’s just the way it is. Dapo Olorunyomi. Just one of a kind.

In another life, I’ll again pick Dapsy–a man after my heart.

Happy 60th birthday, Man.

May your joy be unlimited and may God and man continually bless you and your family. May you also have countless reasons to laugh, much in the same way that you, personally and professionally, have put the smile on so many faces.

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