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ska legacy

Prior to the one year remembrance of my dad, I’ve decided to do something significant. Rather than just look gloomy and reminisce every 11th day of May, I want to honor his memory annually – on his birthday, not the day of his passing. I’m calling it SKA Legacy. I hope to eventually make it a befitting annual celebration of a very remarkable man.

In commemoration of this decision, I will share my final words to my dad with everyone. This is my farewell message as it appeared in the program of his funeral mass on Thursday, May 28th, 2009.

The banner placed over the main gate into our residence during the ceremonies

FAREWELL DAD

There are so many things I wish I could say, but I literally would use up everyone else’s spots so I’ll attempt to make this as brief as possible. Growing up, I didn’t really have him around so I didn’t know a lot about him safe for a few things- he rushed everyone out of the house into the car workday mornings, he loved to watch CNN, he playfully called me ‘Sonny Jim’, we were both hairy, and that we are both Sylvester (which I thought was cool)…later, when I asked him if I was Sylvester Jnr or Sylvester II, he laughed and said anyone I like.

When I got into my teen years, he had retired so I got to see more of him…which was a disaster waiting to happen- a teenage boy and his ‘stay home’ dad. He was practically on my neck half the time- Sola, you’re too conscious of pimples…stop acting like a woman, turn off the lights when you’re not using them, girls shouldn’t be calling you this late, go get a haircut, turn off that television and read, keep to time…don’t be like your mother, learn to save etc. Not to mention the holidays when he would always insist I read ahead for the next session or term, go to summer school or read a book. He hated us waking up late. In fact, the ‘terror’ list is endless. I was certain I didn’t want to be anything like him. I thought he was not cool, mean and too much of a disciplinarian. The only thing we agreed on then was my choir practice because he was in the grammar school choir, and WWF wrestling on Sunday evenings.

Growing into a young man (which is the present), I started getting wiser and began to admire and understand him. The pimples were a phase. Time waits for no one and every second counts. Study now and enjoy the fruits later. The reading helped my grammar.  And now that I live alone, I save on my electric, water and phone bills. I might not have wanted to be like him, but we were alike in so many ways. I started spending more time and doing things with him: going to the barber shop together, enjoying the evening breeze outside together and listening to his life adventures, teasing my mom, listening to ‘Ikan be’ by Akolawole Olawuyi, buying shares etc.

He was a very loving dad in his own special ways. I was told of when he would put me on his laps while he drives so I could put my hands of the steering wheel and drive, sponsoring my formal education and holidays, driving to Ijanikin every month in 2002 just to see me in school along with some lunch, crying bitterly both times I was leaving Nigeria for Canada, giving me the best, and calling me “Mr Buttons” when I started my button-badges business. I also realized he was cool. For example, he had a nickname in high school – he was called ‘Wild Cat’. He was also quite athletic. I remembered the day he chased me around the house trying to cane me for something I did; I thought I was quick on my feet until that day. We both eventually had a couple of laughs after he finally had me cornered though.

All his kids and I will never forget, “Read Hard, Pray Hard, Play A Little, and you’ll succeed” and in the last two days I spent with him, God made me persuade him to give me advise for business, life, relationships and family; and he did! He always drove me to better than the best. He didn’t live to see me graduate, but I know he was proud that was becoming quite the family man (being close to all my sisters), a business man and my new last name.

My dad was responsible, thrifty, intelligent, soft-spoken, generous, good-looking, polished, honest, well-mannered and humble. He wasn’t perfect, but he was pretty close. Well, I think I’ll stop here and say, if I am ever a man worth emulating or celebrating, I owe it to God who gave him to me. Rest in perfect peace dad. I love you.

– Sylvester II Olusola Kay-Adade

I don’t think we shared the typical dad-son bond, but I miss him. This has a few entertaining stories of my life with my dad, but there are more – more I hope to share in a book called Sonny Jim, by God’s grace. A few weeks ago, a friend said to me, “I know you miss him, so what keeps you going?” I replied, “We miss him, but knowing he’s happy being in a better place, and knowing we’ll see him again is very comforting.”

Contrary to what people say, time doesn’t make it easier, God does. Thanks for reading.

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  1. April 14, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    This is really good.
    I can see you both loved each other 🙂 and that’s the most important thing anyway.
    Don’t stop being who you are and keeping his memory alive.

  2. MARTHA
    April 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    AWWWWWW REALLY CUTE!
    SOLA, I HAD TEARS IN MY EYES AS I FINISHED READING.
    I SAW YOUR DAD JUST ONCE, AND ALLOW ME TO SAY YOU’RE A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK.
    I PRAY YOUR LIGHT WILL CONTINUE TO SHINE BRIGHTER, AND BELIEVE ME YOU’VE GOT GREATNESS WRITTEN ALL OVER YOU.
    I’M SURE YOUR DAD WILL BE PROUD OF THE MAN YOU ARE BECOMING.
    KEEP IT UP!GOD BLESS YOU,YOUR MUM AND SISTERS. AMEN!

  3. Tosin Adewuyi
    May 12, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Big daddy was a sweet man, so I can imagine how much you miss him; just remain strong as you’ve always been.
    I’m sure he will be so proud of you.

  4. Tolu Amondi
    May 12, 2011 at 6:07 am

    God’s strength is yours always, stay strong my friend.

  5. Rosie Mohammed
    May 12, 2011 at 6:08 am

    It is well with you and your family.
    You being one of his achievements, goes to show the great impact he’s already having in the society & world at large.
    May you continue to remain focussed in the strength of the Lord as you uphold the family name and bring in more achievements to the glory of God in Jesus’ name. Amen.
    Stay blessed my dear Aburo!

  6. Augusta Bernard
    May 12, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Be strong love, he is smiling down on you from Heaven.

  7. MMR
    May 12, 2011 at 6:13 am

    You are all in a son any father could ever pray for and I know he is extremely proud of you!
    I’m sure you miss him, but what you must remember is that he loves you and is proud of you.

  8. October 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I’m sure you make him proud. God bless his soul….

  9. Audrey
    July 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    You are the best son any father could wish for and I pray you would be a better dad.
    May His soul rest in peace. Amen.

  10. Tabitha
    April 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Awwwwww…I laughed hard at some parts of the story cos I knew about them.
    I was sad at some parts cos I can’t even imagine how you feel, and I also learnt something new about you I didn’t know.

    I’m sure he’s in a better place, and proud is an understatement of how he feels about you.
    You are an amazing person Show, and I’m pretty sure your sons would have these and much more to say about you.
    I must silently thank him for building you into the man you are today. Seems he would have been a very interesting person to meet.

    I know it still hurts (not sure it ever stops), and he can’t be replaced, but God’s mercy and love is ever sufficient for you…plus God has kept your mom, Bubu and all your family n friends that love you dearly to be there with you.
    I didn’t know about ‘Sonny Jim’, but believe me, I’ll be your 1st buyer when that dream materializes by God’s grace.

    Rest in peace Mr. Kay Adade.

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