‘Hi. My name is Dapo. Ibidapo William Adesida’
That was my Father.
He was perhaps the baddest guy in south western Nigeria at the time.
He wore a trench coat, kept a beard and smoked a pipe.
Ibidapo William Adesida had swag…even in the 50s.
He came to Ibadan from Owo, his home town, in search of greener pastures, I guess.
His cousin was attending a secondary school where a certain Modupe Olabode was a teacher.
Legend has it that Ibidapo William Adesida became a constant feature at the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meetings at the said school, not because he was interested in his cousin’s education but because he had suddenly taken a liking to Modupe Olabode.
Legend also has it that Ibidapo William Adesida would raise all sorts of objections during those PTA meetings, just to get Modupe attention. Any onlooker would have thought there was some family feud they were trying to settle but according to the bible – one of the four things that cannot be fathomed is the way of a man and a woman in love.
History has it that William Ibidapo was actually toasting a woman that would become his wife.
From PTA meetings, they started ‘going out’
Later, they relocated to the UK and started making plans to get married.
Then Modupe set the rules.
Modupe was a born again Christian.
She wasn’t down with compromising her faith for love.
So, one winter morning, Ibidapo William Adesida gave his life to Jesus Christ and renounced all hidden and open works of darkness.
As part of his reformation, Ibidapo William Adesida (also known as my father) gave up drinking alcohol, smoking (pipes, pot et al) and all forms of secular manifestations, including music albums, literature et al; his home would be a holy sanctuary.
Ibidapo married Modupe the next summer and had 5 children.
Fast forward>> 20 years later. 1987.
My father was now a senior accountant in a printing press.
He frequently travelled overseas for meetings and procurements.
Usually, he would buy us something nice on his return from these trips.
On this particular trip, my father returned with a JVC deck with two large speakers and a CD player.
This was 1987.
We were used to cassette tapes.
I had never seen a CD before but I heard the output was awesome.
We quickly un-wrapped the sound system and set it up.
We had stacks of gospel cassette tapes: Niyi Adedokun, Hosanna Integrity, Phil Drischol, Amy Grant, Cliff Richards, Sound of Music and everything safe.
My father could live with anything edifying.
But I had a brother who had a knack for grey imports.
He was a specialist in all types of ‘worldly’ music and I think during one of those incursions, he brought an old Ebenezer Obey tape to the house.
And my story begins.
It happened during one hot afternoon in 1987.
It must have been around 3pm.
I was the only one at home. I was in primary 3.
I had returned from school earlier in the afternoon, sorted my homework, and had lunch.
My mother who received me had to back to the college to give her lectures.
I was home alone.
I never knew an idle mind was the devil’s workshop.
I was idle.
I had eaten lunch.
We had light (NEPA)
We had a CD playing deck.
It looked like the perfect afternoon to relax.
I went to the tape rack and rummaged through all the familiar tapes until I saw this strange looking tape. I pushed it into the cassette player and pressed play.
I need to explain something.
We lived in Kaduna, in a Polytechnic senior staff quarters.
It was a very quiet and conservative neigbourhood.
People just didn’t throw loud parties except it was a legendary celebration like a wedding or 25th wedding anniversary.
But when I pressed play and figured out that I had put in an Ebenezer Obey tape, the spirit of vanity took over.
I increased the volume and for a few seconds enjoyed the acoustic definition of the strings coming from one of his songs. And, don’t forget, this was an Old Obey Tape so it had very explicit lyrics.
Inspired by my new found liberty, I invited some of our neigbours’ children for a party.
They invited a few more kids too.
Till we had a strong juvenile community
By the time the tape had reached the third track, I had to start rearranging the living room furniture to create some more room for our august visitors.
We were really digging it.
I stood on the centre table and promised to award the best dancer a gift.
The dance floor went crazy.
Sweat broke out despite our ceiling fan and AC spinning and blasting at optimum speeds and temperatures respectively.
The dance floor got hotter.
The kids hailed the best dancers.
‘Go Chike, Go Chike, Go’ they shouted like MC Hammer in his videos.
Since I had promised to reward the best dancer, I dashed into the kitchen and fetched a few of my mother’s unwrapped mugs and started handing them over to whoever I considered had the best acts.
I had given the first two mugs out when I realised the recognized the dead silence.
The kids had suddenly stopped collecting the mugs and started leaving the house.
I was backing the front door so I didn’t realise what had happened.
The reformed Ibidapo Adesida, my father, had walked into the house.
He saw everything.
For the first time that afternoon, I realised that the music was really loud.
The sitting room was already empty – all the kids had gone, although I noticed that the mugs were strewn all along the carpet up till the entrance.
My father was standing in the doorway, staring at the mayhem I had singlehandedly caused.
He said nothing.
I made to reduce the volume but I couldn’t move.
My father wasn’t wearing a trench coat or smoking a pipe but by God, his eyes preserved his 50 year old bad guy essence and drilled holes into my juvenile conscience.
I tried again to move towards the deck, this time achieving some level of success and finally managed to reduce the volume.
My father was still standing there.
He was disappointed.
I was afraid.
I feared my father much more than my mother.
My mother was a waterfall; spontaneous with the rod of correction.
But my father was a teardrop; deliberate and sure to come under the right circumstances.
Maybe it was his accounting background that made his that calculated but if he was going to beat you, he would tell you to go wait for him in his room and then show up later saying ‘I will give you six strokes of cane. Make sure you don’t cry or touch it. If you do, I will start counting all over again.’ My father also had the habit of talking to you about the reason why he was disciplining you before he started the act, making his words hurt really deep.
The skin on my back toughened. I knew he had bought a new leather belt during his last trip but I was just disappointed that I would be the first it would be used on.
My father was still standing there in the doorway. He said nothing and walked into his room.
I asked myself questions:
How did my father know I was having a party at home? Could he hear the music from his office 13 KM away?
Did any of our neigbours call to tell his about it?
What was he doing at home at this time of day?
Only did I check the clock and discovered that we must have been partying for over2 hours. It was almost 5:30pm.
My father said nothing. That was what scared me the most.
I quickly fixed the house before my mother returned, leaving no trace of an award ceremony or after party.
When my mother returned, I could only imagine that my end had come rather too soon.
I was thinking that they would perhaps put me up for adoption. I almost started packing my things.
Many years later, I asked my father about the incident.
I could still see the same look of disappointment on his face.
He said he was more disappointed in himself that he was in me. He felt that he hadn’t wiped every evidence of his past enough for it to have manifested many years later, right under his nose.
I felt for my father. I really did.
But as I ascend the platform of fatherhood, I ask myself some critical questions.
What are those things I did back then that I don’t want to ever see in my children?
I can only pray – create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me
I add – ‘may my children not pay for my negative actions in the past; by omission or commission in Jesus Name.’
Dedicated to William Ibidapo & Modupe Adesida on your 45th Wedding Anniversary (4th September, 1965)