Friday, February 15, 2019 3:23 pm
By Ronke Olawale
I just read of the passage of a dear Teacher, Prof. Albert Olu Ashaolu and I am so sad. The Church, the World lost a genuine Christian. Very many times, I remember Pro. Ashaolu who was my mentor, my Final Year Project Supervisor, our Departmental HOD when I served as the President of our Departmental Association, ELSA. He was also a father-figure. He was such a kind-hearted soul.
I first met Prof. not in the classroom, but while standing with my friend, Ebiemi Florence Akinfe at our school bus stop and waiting for a ride home. That was when Ondo State University was located right in the middle of the jungle! We weren’t sure what he wanted but as we moved away from his car, he drove closer and asked us if we needed a ride home! Really? Who does that in the century and where we were in school? It was so strange that I am not sure we spoke throughout the torturous drive. Subsequently, we stayed in touch and felt freer and safer by the day as we continued to relate with him. Unsurprisingly, I asked him to be my Academic Advisor.
I am not sure, but I remember how he witnessed Christ to me; he didn’t condemn me. I remember I had no make-up on that day, and he took advantage of that. First, he asked if I normally wear make-up. I said yes, but that I chose to not wear that day. Then he said I looked better without make-up. Now, I understand better. Prof. Ashaolu soon became our regular “driver” home – so long he was in school, he never drove his car back to town empty.
While I was not as close to him as Emudianughe Akinjo Abimbola he also looked out for me – even after graduation, he was in Lagos and came to our house to see me. I will say that was the last time I saw him. I later met his colleague at OAU (who is also now dead), Prof. Abiola Irele at Harvard University and we spoke so much about his scholarship.
Yes, he invited us to the Deeper Life Bible study programs in Ado-Ekiti, but never compelled us to join the Church. The Church lost a genuine Christian. Thank you, Prof. Albert Olu Ashaolu for all the people that you represented, and those of us you impacted. Rest on in the bossom of the Lord. I hope to see you on that glorious morning.