Saturday, 30 May 2015

I lost my dad 24 hours after my birthday – Quincy Ayodele | Says “Dad passed on while reading Daily Times” + How he will be buried on June 19 & 20

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Dr. Quincy Ayodele to Asabeafrika....'I called and spoke with my dad a day before his demise but i never knew that was our last talk'

I ran into Dr. (Mrs.) Quincy Olasunbo Ayodele the Founder & CEO of frontline Nigerian Herbal Slimming agency, Quincy Herbal Slimmer Ltd at  Times Square Event Center, Ikeja on Friday April 24 during the 50th birthday celebration of my elderly friend and mentor, Dr. Seye Kehinde Publisher of CITY PEOPLE Magazine.
My relationship with this beautiful and charming African genius of herbal medicine dated back to my early days at FAME Publication in 2002 when I was a reporter. Then, she and one Dr. Isaac Ayodele were the two famous names in herbal slimming medicine sector of the country. We had names like Dr. Kolaq (Where is he now?), Dr. Paul Olisa Ojeh of blessed memory and many others, too numerous to mention.
 But Dr. Quincy who equally bears “Ayodele” as surname and Dr. Isaac Ayodele were rare in those days for their slimming specialties. But today, Quincy as a brand still reigns and the woman behind it seems to understand the dynamics of the staying power of the game than her contemporaries. At the City People Publisher’s 50th birthday, we exchanged banters with a sense of nostalgic feelings and when we asked for an opportunity for interview, the grand mother of three who lost her father on January 28, 2015  agreed to grant Africa’s number 1 celebrity encounter blog Asabeafrika her first interview on dad’s demise
 Last Monday, May 25th afternoon Dr. Quincy Ayodele opened  her Opebi-Ikeja Lagos-South West Nigerian office to Asabeafrika as she opened up for the very first time on the interesting lifestyle of her unknown but famous dad.  She equally revealed to us some of the good legacies and regrets of Chief Amos Oluwole Sodimu the Egba-Abeokuta high chief who passed away at the ripe age of 88 on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. It is a story of a great Nigerian who lived ahead of his time and died the way he planned it; a great thinker, doer and visionary father of one of Africa’s successful herbal experts. Enjoy the encounter with Quincy….  

The GDA during the encounter with Dr. Quincy Ayodele inside her well furnished Opebi-Ikeja office

You lost your dad, Chief Amos Oluwole Sodimu and you have gotten a deluge of goodwill messages on the social media commiserating with your family since his passage, how does that make you feel?
When I read those messages sent to me on twitter, face book and the rest, I felt sincerely fulfilled. I feel loved and I am thankful to well wishers because it shows the kind of love people have for me; they don’t just love me but equally love my dad even though many of them didn’t meet him in his life time. I am grateful to God for having such a great father.
How old was he?
My father passed on at 88.
Oh, mine! The World Health Organization pegged age rate at 55 and below in Africa, what do you think was directly responsible for the longevity of your dad? Can we link it to herbs?
I wish my dad could have lived till 94 or even 95 because his mum died at the age of 95 and his father died at the age of 96; so, for him to have died at the age of 88 is like a minus. Yes, you could say he is advanced in age but I don’t really see it that way. And talking about the living condition in Nigeria, I will say my father’s long stay is by the grace of God, the grace of God and what I will call “Balance Diet”. In my house we eat a lot of locus beans; you can’t cook anything for my dad without adding locus beans. My father will say to me ‘Quincy, please, send me your honey”.  He does not consume sugar because sugar is not even part of our diet. Daddy’s longevity is basically the grace of God and nature.

The Quincy boss, her husband Engineer Ayodele, Daughter, Mrs. Tobi Ayodele Keeney and GDA of Asabeafrika after the encounter

He is a title Chief in Egba land?
My father’s name is Chief Amos Oluwole Babalola Sodimu, the Olori Aje of Egba-Igeyin in Abeokuta and he is famously known as Gbokoniyi. We have like three to four Sodimus in Abeokuta and when you say you are a Sodimu, they will ask you ‘which of the Sodimus? But when you say ‘Sodimu Gbokoniyi’; they will know it is him because that was the brand name of his company. My father was an industrialist; he was the first person that started producing Bean Powder that you use to make Akara (Bean Cake). Before Lisabi Foods came my father was already in that sector. In fact the founder of Lisabi Food was my father’s staff. He left Gbokoniyi to go and establish Lisabi Foods. So, dad was the founder of Gbokoniyi and he was renowned for that name. So, when you say ‘Sodimu Gbokoniyi’, you are referring to my dad. 

 “I will say my dad lived ahead of his time because he was quite industrious, he was so business minded and he taught all of us how to be independent. He made it clear to us that we must have our own businesses. My father used to say “Ise lomo ala se jeun, Owo lomo alasela”

Dr (Mrs.) Quincy Olasunbo Ayodele; Founder & CEO, Quincy Herbal Slimmers

With what you just said about your dad, it appears to me that he was someone who lived ahead of his time because of his enterprising attitude. Could you share his antecedence with us?
I will say my dad lived ahead of his time because he was quite industrious, he was so business minded and he taught all of us how to be independent. He made it clear to us that we must have our own businesses. My father used to say “Ise lomo ala se jeun, Owo lomo alasela” which literarily means that you must work to eat and you must trade to be wealthy. So, that was the orientation he gave to all his children. He taught us to work, to garner experience and start our own trade. My father was an ideas man; he had a lot of business ideas and innovations. He can look at a particular plant and will lecture you on several things the plant can do. Both health benefit and economic benefits of the plant; my father was the first Nigerian that started the idea of building estates in those days as far back as the 70s. Actually he started doing that when he returned from London in the 70s. The money he returned with, he bought some hectares of lands and he called it “Ade-Egba Estate”. That he wanted to build it as an estate and sell it out or lease it to people; so, when he was talking of estate in those days, nobody could see what he was seeing. Nobody understood him.

Dr. (Mrs.) Quincy Ayodele & a friend met the GDA @ Dr. Seye Kehinde's Lagos party

You mean he studied in Europe for some time before returning home and probably he wanted to replicate what he learnt over there in Egba land?
Absolutely, but nobody understood him then. People around back then were like ‘why would you buy hectares of lands, build structures on it and you are now telling people to come and buy and you give them the plan and prototype  of the houses that must be built in the estate?’. It was all new to them. Nobody took him serious. But what he wanted to do then, people are now doing it. My father was like a prophet, a visionary; my father will travel all about within Nigeria to locate mineral resources like gem stones, diamonds, bauxite and all these precious stones. My father can tell you where each mineral resources is deposited in Nigeria. In fact, he even wrote about those minerals, we have some of his books in the house. He can tell you where to locate a particular mineral in Nigeria; like the cement factory in Ewekoro, my father can tell you hundred places where you can get cement in Nigeria. And when he was doing that, he will write papers on the various minerals and send to relevant government authorities yet they couldn’t understand him. They were like ‘how will you tell us that you locate cement somewhere? Or why would you tell us you located gemstone somewhere?’, he found a lot of gemstones sometimes ago around Kwara state and he documented everything and he even named all the locations in Nigeria where you can find all these natural resources but whenever he told people then about his findings, they couldn’t understand and because he was far ahead in thought, his ideas looked so unreal to our people. So, I will agree with you that yes, my father came ahead of his time. He saw the future then and he experimented with it but people didn’t see the future he was seeing. Today, we are now in a new era and if they have listened to him then, I am sure a lot of achievements would have been made. Today we have many people going into real estate; my father started it in the 70s. Today, we have industries producing raw foods but my dad was one of the first men in his generation in Africa to achieve that. Today, we are talking of oil drying in ten years time, daddy already proposed alternative economic sources with his research long time ago. So, my father lived ahead of his time.

 “My father will tell you that ‘I will use money to open your head and put book there’. And he also believes in the fact that all his children must read at home and abroad. It doesn’t matter what you read at home, if you like read Ph-D, you must still have UK or American education”.

Dr. (Mrs.) Quincy Ayodele to Asabeafrika....'My Dad carried out several researches on various minerals across Nigeria but the government took his vision for granted'

Is there a way the family could make some of his research documents public so that the new government of General Muhammad Buhari can benefit from that dream?
If they are interested in finding out where my father discovered all those things, they can contact the family and we will hold a meeting and we will release the document to people that can actualize it.
What was your dad’s chief philosophy that he used in raising all of you?
My father’s philosophy which he ensured we all imbibed is that ‘simplicity cost you nothing but could buy you everything’. He will tell us that we have to be simple to be able to get to anywhere you want to get to in life. He said simplicity can get you everything yet it cost you nothing. And that has been my guiding principle even up till now and I have equally passed it to my children.

Dr. (Mrs.) Quincy Ayodele to Asabeafrika....'My dad put his children first before anything else'

How many of you are in the family?
We are 8
All ladies
We have 3 men and 5 ladies.
Was he a polygamist?
Far from it, my father was a monogamist. We the children actually plead with him to marry a second wife years after our mother passed away and that was how he got his second wife.
What were his last days like?
My father is a good man, a very considerate father and even in death he was considerate to us all. In his lifetime, dad was a very caring father; his children come first before anything else. Children first, he took time to invest heavily on his children and I am very proud of him in that regard. Of course he had other children that are not his biological children. Adopted children and acquaintances and you will never know who baba’s biological child is and who is not; in our house in those days, we were up to about 15 people living under same roof, eating the same meal and wearing the same dress. My father is impartial when it comes to the issue of raising and pampering kids. He gives equal treatment to all children under his roof. He was a devoted father; he gave scholarship to many children to go abroad to go study. In fact, to Baba, education is the key, if I should quote him properly. He will tell us that education is the key to success. Anything you want to become at all, you must first be educated. That you must first get educated and if you want to learn any new thing at all, you have to go back to school again to go and read about it, education meant a lot to my dad and he wouldn’t mind the rigors of learning a new thing. When it comes to policy, my father was a disciplinarian. When it comes to ‘this is what I want you to do’ it must be done by force. My father will tell you that ‘I will use money to open your head and put book there’. And he also believes in the fact that all his children must read at home and abroad. It doesn’t matter what you read at home, if you like read Ph-D, you must still have UK or American education. You must combine your local education with an overseas education so that whatever they are bringing out in the western world is not going to be strange to you and at the same time, at home, you must create your own experience. And dad did that for all of us; everybody studied at home and abroad. Even though he was not a particularly rich person but from the little he had, he invested on all of our education and I thank God for being one of his children.

 “My father took his bath in the morning, he ate his breakfast and took his Daily Times (Newspaper) and as he was reading it, he passed on”.

The GDA with Dr. (Mrs.) Quincy Olasumbo Ayodele with her American grand kids after the encounter'

Are you the first daughter?
I am his second child.
Maybe second child but first daughter
Just his second daughter
So, how did you get the information of his death?
Actually I was in the US when he passed on; I spoke with him a day before he passed away and he gave me certain instructions that I still find very interesting because I made it a culture to speak with my dad everyday. But the second day after we spoke was my birthday and I was like ‘I need to talk with Baba o’

Dr. Quincy to Asabeafrika....'My father's death was unexpected even though he died @ 88

(Cuts in) When did he pass away?
He died on the 28th of January and my birthday was 27th of January and on that 27th I was like ‘Ah, I have not spoken with my daddy oh, I will talk to him later’ but because of the time difference in America; by the time I made up my time to speak with him, it was already dark here in Nigeria and he was already asleep. So, I said ‘good I will call him the following morning’ but by that following morning the next call I got from Nigeria was that ‘oh, my daddy is gone’. And I said ‘thank God, I spoke with him yesterday’ (January 26). So, I came to terms with all the instructions he was giving me, which means that he was going to die and he needed to divulge some information to me before he pass away. I didn’t know that it was because of his death that he was giving me some instructions because my father was the closest man to me on earth after my husband. We were very close and he was my confidant and I was his confidant. We were the only two in charge of the entire family; he calls me “Olori Aso mi” that is the name he calls me. And when I see him I will call him “Pa Sodimu” we spoke as if we were age mates. He created that atmosphere, maa sa won ni, awon naa de ma dami lohun; I will hail him and say “Pa Sodimu o” and he will be like “Mo wa nbi o”  (I am here o) and he will now say “Olori Aso mi ni e, oo ni faya loju aiye mi, oo de ni faya leyin mi”. 

Dr. Quincy Ayodele to Asabeafrika....'I used to ask my dad, if you die today, how do we bury you but he will tell me, don't worry'

So, when I now heard that he died, I wept bitterly. I was crying on a daily basis. I couldn’t get it out of my system because I couldn’t imagine him going that way. I used to ask him, ‘When you die, how do we bury you?’ and he will say “When that time comes, you will know how to do it” and he will say ‘my time has not come yet’ because he does not want to scare anyone of us. And during his last days on earth, my father visited all his children at home and abroad and on one of such occasion when he came visiting, he said “Olori Aso mi” and I said “Yes, Daddy”, and he replied “I am not going to die abroad”. And I said “Well, you better don’t stay long there because of the weather”. “Just make sure that you come back home” and he kept saying it “I will not die abroad. I am going to die in my house in Abeokuta” and that was exactly what happened; daddy was not sick that we would have to be carrying him about and around. My father took his bath in the morning, he ate his breakfast and took his Daily Times (Newspaper) and as he was reading it, he passed on. That was exactly how it happened and it is still like a dream to me. It is like he just travelled out of town and maybe he will return soon. It seems to me as if he travelled and he is going to come back sometimes. Maybe when we finally bury him I will accept my fate that indeed my ‘Pa Sodimu’ is gone to be with the Lord (Moved to emotion). That I am not going to see Pa Sodimu again. You don’t know my dad or else you would have known how I feel with his demise. My father was so involved in all of our lives including that of our children. He was involved in their career and education. He will go as far as choosing a career path for his grand children. Particularly, he choose the education and career path of my second daughter for her because he was a lawyer and since none of us, his immediate children read law, he insisted one of his grand children must read law and that happened to be my second daughter, Marita. She read law. He made sure that she read law in the USA and was called to the bar here in Nigeria. She read law in the US and Baba made sure she was called to bar here in Nigeria and herself and Baba calls each other “My Learned Colleague”. (Laughter) They were like jolly good fellows and you wouldn’t imagine how humble my father could stoop low just to educate and make you reason with him and even the great grand children, like this one (Her first grand son) if I ask my grand son now “Who is Master. Bridge?” he knows him because that is the name my grand son calls Baba. He named him “Master Bridge”.  My dad has special names for all his grand children and great grand children and that formed the bound between him and his children, grand children and great grand children.

Dr. (Mrs.) Quincy Olasumbo Ayodele explaining a point to the GDA

How is the family planning for his funeral?
Yeah, we are already on it. Wake Keep will be on Friday June 19 while funeral burial ceremony will be on Saturday June 20. I want to thank everyone that commiserated one way or the other either through facebook, twitter or conventional media. I thank people who are working hard to help us give him a befitting funeral. Let me use this opportunity to thank His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Adedotun Gbadebo, the Okukenu IV and Alake of Egba land who has acted like a father to us after the passage of our father. He has supported us morally and psychologically and promised to give us every support to ensure a befitting celebration for our father, the Alake gave us a warm reception in his palace when we went visiting and he confirmed that he will ensure that all the Egba chiefs support us because Dad was a prominent son of the soil. The Olu of Itori Land, the Olu of Ifo and a lot of very important dignitaries in Abeokuta and because my dad went to Baptist Boys High School, he and Baba Obasanjo studied at the same time, my dad was a school senior to Baba Obasanjo and because of his humane personality, a lot of people are set to grace his funeral on Saturday June 20th.  

Dr. (Mrs.) Quincy Ayodele to Asabeafrika...'My dad often threaten his children that he will use money to open their brain and put book inside'

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