My names are Ajoke Adebimpe Adeyanju and i am from Irepodun in Oyo state.
Back in 1980,i was the head prefect of Irepodun primary school.
My village was highly respected amongst the other villages because It was the only village with a school.
The school was built as a dividend of democracy a year after Shehu Shagari became the first civilian president.Baami said we were lucky because Irepodun is the closest in any way to the state capital.
Baami was a very wise man and even though he wasn’t educated, he knew times were changing and made sure i was enrolled at the school,
His favorite saying was that ”it is a disaster for one to have sufficient water and not bathe properly”.
My life changed the day Mr. Ayodeji,our math’s and sports teacher asked a few of us to remain after the assembly.
We were told that the school have been invited for a match past as part of the country’s independence day celebration at the city stadium.
I was so excited I ran the eight kilometers home to tell Baami that i was going to the city.
Rehearsals followed every day after school and Baami gave me the Five Naira that we were required to pay for new socks and gloves,i practiced with the eagerness of a child learning to walk, my socks and gloves even slept beside me on my raffia mat.
We left a day earlier,Baami didnt prepare me enough for the sight that greeted us on arrival at the city. Opulence and squalor seem to thrive side by side, Ibadan was so big, bigger than all my neighboring villages together, the city had shiny black roads and new cars. Everyone looking in a hurry to get somewhere.
Till date, Words cant fully describe how i felt, those fleeting images were forever etched in my heart.
On the day of the match past, time stood still for me as the world glided by in a blur, everywhere in the stadium was green, it felt like the whole world gathered here.Pa Dotun,our headmaster pointed at a glass cubicle were he said the governor and other important people were sitted.
This was the real world .the largest gathering i had ever seen before then was at the Ifa festival held once every four years at Owode,my neighbouring village.
The match past was filled with fond memories, people shouted and waved flags at us.
Thirty years on, I vividly remember the 1st of October 1980.The day i was born anew, the day I vowed to make sure every indigene of Irepodun enjoy the wonder and wealth that seem to grace the city.
Today,i represent Irepodun, the fastest growing town in Oyo central as its first female Senator and look forward to the celebration of Nigeria’s 50th independence day anniversary with the governor and his entourage at the all new Irepodun ultra modern stadium.