By 'Joba Ojelabi
No, I am not committing suicide! As a matter of fact, I doubt that I would ever find the guts or folly (whichever is applicable) required to perform the appalling act of ending my human life. These words, as concise as I would try to make them, are a marker of my exit from a world I came into five years ago under unusual circumstances.
I have always wanted to be many things at different stages of my life: Doctor, Engineer, Pilot, and even once also sometime in my juvenile years; typist. Of course, like the typical African parents, my father was quick to delete the thought from my mind, and my mother did not waste any time in praying against the devils at work. But in all my adventurous desires, I do not recall “Journalist” ever coming up at any stage. Hence my admittance; that like some other things in my life, why I decided to write that article on Admission Racketeering five years ago in applying for an OAU Peeps Membership slot I might never understand.
However, it would sure remain one of the best decisions I have made in my life.
Although I completed the application process even before official resumption as a freshman on the OAU campus, the email that carried my acceptance into the then year-old agency did not come until several weeks into resumption. And so when I got the email, I had almost forgotten that I applied to be a part of the agency and considering the gory tales I had begun to hear about my faculty, I had my doubts about joining the agency; doubts that only an encounter with the erudite David Adetula would clear.
Adetula David was in his penultimate year in the Obafemi Awolowo University and had already spent a good portion of that time establishing what would go on to become one of the top news agencies on campus. David had a kind and gentle heart (he still does), and I indeed would not have a campus journalism story without David. Apart from Editor, he was teacher and mentor. And perhaps the most important lesson I learnt from David was building institutions. David showed me that from helping build institutions that outlive us, we build ourselves.
In all my time with OAU Peeps, I have authored over a hundred news stories, editorial, and advertorial content and edited even more. Although I do have my favourites, I bear sentimental attachments to every single one of them. Through the agency, I have had the opportunity to work with and meet amazing people, some of whom have gone on to become friends and even family.
To say farewell to writing might just be suicidal for me and in as much as the essence of these words is not to take the life out of me, they are my unofficial eulogy to days I would never forget… days that would now exist only under the shroud of memory. And the only words I seem to find to keep the last four years safe in time are; "Thank you".
By 'Joba Ojelabi