Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Dad tipped teachers who flogged me in school—Sen. Gbenga Kaka’s son, Hamzat + Best kept secrets of Senator Gbenga Kaka

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Ayotunde Hamzat and his lovely wife, Mrs. Fausiyyat Opeyemi Kaka

In this concluding part of our rare exclusive with Hamzat Opeyemi Ayotunde Kaka  first son and scion of the dynasty of Senator Sefiu Adegbenga Kaka, a two time commissioner, two time Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Ogun East Senatorial zone) and former Deputy Governor of Ogun state, he shared the untold story of how his parents raised him with Asabeafrika.
Kaka studied Agric Economics at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye in Ogun state and later got his masters’ degree in accounting from the University Of Hull, United Kingdom. Famously known as AK among his circle of friends, Ayotunde is a Chattered Accountant with many years of  experience with blue chip firms home and abroad. Apart from having a stake in several of his father’s investments, he is equally into his private business as a consultant to several local and international firms.
He is the Co-CEO of OCS Inventory and Professional Services, an accounting consultancy firm. Very quite and unassuming, the Kaka boy loves football as a hubby and he is an Arsenal fan for life. He is equally a director of Solace farms Ltd.
The interview took place on Friday, March 10th, 2017.  Enjoy the excerpts.

How was growing up under a strict man like Senator Adegbenga Kaka?
The GDA meets Ayotunde Kaka

(Chuckled and looked a bit confused) I taught you said this interview was going to be about youth leadership. I didn’t know I was going to be talking about my father in this interview…
Ayotunde Kaka spoke about dad to Asabeafrika
(Cuts in) I think it is very important you share his fatherhood experience with us so that he can inspire other fathers. We just all agreed that majority of the problems of our youths are parental in nature. So, the Kaka experience can help us navigate?
A loving Dad and his beloved son....

I want to start by saying a very big THANK YOU to my parent for the kind of upbringing I got while I was growing up. It surprises me the way and manner they channeled their energy to train us. You will understand what I mean when you have a very strict father and your mother is a teacher, then you will know the kind of training we went through. A very tough one indeed.
(Cuts in) That means the cane was always around in the house?
The GDA meets Ayotunde Kaka
Well, I was a bit naughty as a growing kid but I thank God for the kind of training from both my dad and my mum. I thank God for what it has done to me today. So growing up was a tough one. Those days, once you do something wrong you were beaten for your mischief. You can even get beaten for crying. But these days, the case is different. In a situation where a kid goes to the school and the teacher raises the cane to beat the kid and the child goes home and report and the next day, the parent storms the school and probably get the teacher arrested or even beat up the teacher.
Senator Adegbenga Kaka & his Pretty Wife
These are part of the things that is destroying the fabrics of good morale among our youths today. While I was in school, if I get beaten by any teacher, my father pays the teacher for beating me.
Ayotunde Kaka to Asabeafrika....'It is pity that today's parent go to school and beat up teachers for helping them discipline their wards'
(Cuts in) You mean your dad will encourage a teacher to beat you?
Absolutely. Yes, that is the kind of upbringing I got and that is the kind of parents I have. I thank God for them and I thank God for what their strictness has done to me and the brand of personality their training has made of me.
Ayotunde Kaka to Asabeafrika...'Dad and Mum gave us thorough training while growing up'
A lot of people sees your dad as an erudite politician and consumate business man. But as his scion, how would you describe Senator Adegbenga Kaka?
Ayotunde Kaka....'I don't like talking about my dad in public even though he is a public person'

Like I said earlier, Mr. Asabe, I didn’t know I will be talking about my father. I usually don’t like it when his matter comes up. I don’t like discussing his private life. Of course he is a public figure but he is someone I hold in very high esteem. Haven said that, I will say I can’t always continue to run away from talking about him.
Ayotunde Kaka on Dad 'In one word, My Dad is a blessing to humanity'
I would love to say that Mr. Adegbenga Kaka in one word is a blessing to humanity. If you know what I mean, you will tolerate my opinion about my father. This is somebody that has been a two time commissioner in Ogun State, a former Deputy Governor and a Senator. He believes so much in humanity, he believes so much in the youth. If you go across his constituency in Ogun East, you will come across so many schools, so many projects being built by him. I am not supposed to mention this but personally, I discovered and found out that even 14 to 15 months after he left office as a Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial Zone he was still completing outstanding projects and commissioning schools. This is something that really, really touches my heart and makes me happy. If the privileged class of our society can have so much passion like my father has for the youth, maybe our environment would be a better place for the youth and the next generation. So, in a word, I will describe him as a blessing to humanity.
Can you share with us some of the principles he used in shaping your character and building you to this level of independence. What are his philosophies that worked for you?
Actually, I learnt a lot of things from him. I learnt honesty. I learnt hard work. What you don’t work for, you don’t get. So, by and large, considering the situation in our environment today, I think honesty is the most valuable virtue I got from him. I mean, it is very hard these days to come across honest people even in the business and work environment, everywhere. You find out that almost everybody is dishonest. So, honesty is the most valuable virtue I got from my dad. And as you know, honesty is a very scarce commodity in today’s living.  It is very, very scarce.
Ayotunde Kaka to Asabeafrika...'While growing up, Dad never withheld the rod'
While growing up, was he a cool or gentle dad on you since mum was already a teacher?
Dad & Mum, Senator Kaka & Alhaja Kaka
Well, I will say he is a tough man. There is an adage that says ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’. He never spared the road. That is just one thing I can say about him. He never spared the rod and today, with benefit of hindsight, I will say I am grateful for it.
What about your mum, she comes across to me as someone that is very, very humble. Even in her days as the wife of the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, she kept her profile low. How would you describe her?
Ayotunde with elder sister, Mrs. Ayobola Kaka-Lawal (L) and wife, Mrs. Fausiyyat Opeyemi Kaka
Yes, she is a teacher by profession. Like you rightly noticed, she is a bit on the reserved side. She is a bit soft like all mothers are, generally. She played a very, very important role in my life. I will call her a pillar of support. She is always there; whatever you wish for, she is always willing to let you have, even at her own detriment. So, she has really been a very, very great mother. I thank God for her life.
Ayotunde Kaka and the GDA in a tete-a-tete during the encounter
Growing up, what are those things you saw that is no more in vogue now. You just talked about honesty. What other things are missing in today’s life?
You are beginning to make me feel like a very old man now. Those days that you are mentioning now is not so far off. I am still a youth (Laughter)
(Cuts in) I know but your views are much more respected?
Ayotunde Kaka to Asabeafrika....'I started seeing the flashes of democracy in 1999'

Well, those days when I was a child, it was during the military era. So we could not see the situation of the country politically. But right now, the beauty of evolution is that one can now see clearly what it means to be in a free democratic atmosphere. However, one can say the situation is getting worse or more disheartening. The more one dispensation takes over from the other, the more you find it difficult to get honest people or find honesty. I mean what can you say to it, when the governor of a state promises to give certain political dividends only to get there and fail to deliver. I think that saddens people of my age. That is the saddest part of our political evolution. We have a democracy that can hardly deliver verbatim.
Ayotunde Kaka to Asabeafrika....'Electorates should investigate who they are to give their votes to'
But I want to appeal to the electorates as well to look clearly before choosing. Here we are, we are not talking about just you and your family alone but a collective destiny. We are talking about the future of your own children and every other thing associated with it from quality and affordable education, quality and affordable health care, good and durable roads. Not roads that will break after six months. Great welfare package that will guarantee a good living condition for the populace. These days, our people are ready to cast their votes for anybody that can offer them N1000, N500 or at worst N2000. I mean that is quite ridiculous.
It is what is killing our society today. How are you going to survive on such mundane gift for four years or eight years?. It is really disheartening to see someone offer you N2000 and you vote for the person without knowing the antecedent of that person. I mean without getting a blue print that can guarantee a good future for your children. He offers you N2000 and you give your destiny to him just like that. These are parts of the challenges we face this season. It is so bad we found ourselves at this junction. In those days, well, it was the military era but I fear we never heard this level of corruption at the time. Maybe because there was nothing like freedom of speech or freedom of information.  In 1999, I think that was the first political dispensation that I witnessed. Even at the time, things were not as bad as this. People could guarantee their votes, they could vote and record their votes not a situation where politician coerce electorates with junk money and junk gifts to buy their votes. So, these days, it is only God that can help us out of this political situation.
Would you be going into politics like your dad?
If our politics can be tailored after the politics of the western world, maybe I will love to play a role and use my wealth of knowledge to make changes and make the society a better place to live. But the political scene as it is right now, is not encouraging. You talk about politics of money, politics of godfatherism, that is not too encouraging. It is only God that can shape the destiny of a man. I don’t know what God has in stock for me as I speak to you today. But for now, I am concentrating on my business and my family.
Ayotunde Kaka to Asabeafrika....'Dad is my biggest role model'
Who is your role model? Do you have any?
If you ask any reasonable young man that question, I think your first role model will be your parent. From your childhood, you already have one. Your parent are your first role model until you begin to see other people’s lives depending on what you want to become in the future. Youths of today must first see their parent as their role model before anyone else. Then, probably if you want to play football, you must start seeing the likes of Messi and Ronaldo as model or mentor. But your first role model would be your parent. My father is my role model, I really admire him. I admire his courage, his honesty and his service to humanity and the entire society.
But to be very honest, what do you hate about your father?
His legendary Dad, Senator Adegbenga Sefiu Kaka
There is no human being without his or her own short comings. He as a person has his own short comings. But by and large, it is hard for me to find anything I really don’t like about him. My father is my role model and mentor.
What is the name of your favorite book?
I have read quite a lot of books and it is pretty hard for me to point to one as my favorite read. As we are seated here, if I see a magazine or newspaper or book, I pick it up and read. If not to gain a new education, then it will be for entertainment. So, reading books is part of me but I don’t think my inspiration came from books. My inspiration comes from God and from within me.
How do you start your normal day?
Ayotunde Kaka to Asabeafrika...'I am an early riser'
I wake up very early and say my prayers and step out for work. I leave the house very early in the morning. My schedules are not too direct. I go to my office if I have to make an appointment with a client. And some days, I visit the farm if I have to. So, I wouldn’t say my day is straight forward, I wont say it is a triangle.
Which country is your favorite holiday sport?
Ayotunde Kaka to Asabeafrika....'Nigeria is the best place for tourism if only Government can be serious'
Well, I have been to a couple of countries in Africa, in Europe and even in America. But home remains home. There are lots of holiday spots across the country, in Badagry and in Calabar. We should not always encourage ourselves to go abroad for our holidays. These are part of things government should do to boost our economy. Our tourism sector is not in good shape. We want to beg government to make our various tourist attraction centers across Nigeria more attractive for people to go there and holiday rather than flying out all the time especially in a season when dollar is very much expensive. We must encourage people to look inward. They should look inward for their holiday.
I was at your marriage in 2015, how would you describe your wife?
Hamzat & Fausiyyat on their wedding day
My wife is Opeyemi Fausiyyat Kaka, she is a wonderful lady. She has been very supportive, very patient, very calm and very loving. I thank God for making our path cross. I pray we continue to enjoy good relationship in love and in good health.
Between diligence and inteligence which one is the best for you?
You cannot isolate both. I think both goes together. If you are intelligent and you are not diligent, your intelligence comes to nothing. And if you are so diligent with no intelligence you might just see that finally you are migrating to the wrong direction. So, I think none of the two can be isolated. The two is good for success.
Kaka to Asabeafrika...'Fashion means comfort to me'
What is your fashion sense like, are you a native person or a casual or English  freak?
Well, fashion for me is not an important item, aspect or way of life. I believe in what is comfortable. You know the kind of youths we have today, particularly the ladies, you see them wearing hilly shoes when they are actually not comfortable in those shoes. You see men wearing thick dresses under the sun. Really, I think there is a thin line between what is called fashion and….
(Cuts in) Comfort?
R-L: Kaka, GDA & Dr. Baudy
I can’t really say comfort. I don’t want to say stupidity. But I think you should  wear what makes you comfortable. Fashion should be about comfort.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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