A Prophecy Never Fulfilled
© Copyright 2021 by Adejumoke Oluwole
Oluwole Isreal Oyewole May 8, 1951 - Sept. 28, 2013
In the midst of hardship and continuous disappointments, there are few parents who would go the extra mile to fend for their children. My father - Oluwole used his wit and time when that was not enough, he sacrificed his blood and life in ardent pursuit of betterment for his children. You will find in this man, the courage of a soldier, the persistence of a martyr, the faith of a saint and the love of family all combined. Unfortunately, he was a prophecy never fulfilled, the genius the world never met. . . .
During the era when the colonial masters introduced the gospel of Jesus Christ to Nigerians. And when Christianity was about suffering, persecution, marathon fasting and prayers. The people who converted from the traditional worship of their deities to Christian faith, must suffer physically and spiritually the wrath of the gods and the consequences of the ignorance of their new found religion. One farmer and Pine wine tapper, had lost most of his inherited landed properties from his idol worshiping father to villagers because he converted to Christianity.
In the midst of this reality, understanding their new faith and it demands, a second son was born to the family of Mr and Mrs Oyewole, on May 8th 1951 in Idara Compound Odo Owa, Nigeria. Prophecies preceded his birth like God had a special plan for him. His uncle from his maternal side who happens to be late Apostle and Founder of Christ Apostolic Church (C. A. C) Worldwide Joseph Ayodele Babalola christened him ‘Oluwole’ meaning a giant has come. Just like the wise men from the east spoke of Jesus at birth, as the king of Jews. Prophets spoke of him as a glorious son who would redeem his clan from poverty and mediocrity.
And his kindred said, Amen.
A man of destiny they say, is a man of troubles, a man of great destiny is a man of great troubles. Oluwole was fond of his mother because she was elegant, neat and a good cook, he loved good meals. She made effort to give him meals a little special from his older brother and younger sister. At about age seven his mother was ill. A complication after several days of fasting and prayer, probably stomach ulcer issue. In a bid to be faithful to their new religion, she was neither taking to hospital/clinic nor given herbal concoction. For days her husband prayed and fasted for healing but she didn’t get any better and eventually she died.
Oluwole questioned why his father didn’t use traditional methods since prayer wasn’t working and he felt broken because among other things he would no longer get his special meals. But his athletic older brother - Peter promised to get him his usual meals by working as laborer on their fathers farm and from little stipends he earns from his sporting events. In Nigeria then, education was the only route to comfort and greatness. His father vowed not to remarry until his children were thoroughly educated.
Even though all his children were in school, Oluwole displayed peculiar and exceptional intelligence and brilliance. He had the support of his siblings like you never see this days. His sister- Funmi did all their house chores, his brother - Peter fought anyone who bullied him so he could concentrate on his studies. His father worked extra farmlands and tap wine at late hours of the day, to get extra income so Oluwole could buy all his books. Taking care of his children without a wife wasn’t easy but he believed in education and the prophecy.
Books were his only and extremely valuable possession, anyone who treated his book carelessly in class or else where, invoke his wrath and he was quick to start a fight which his brother would have to finish. With his photographic brain he was best in his class through his primary school education until their final examination, when something mysterious happened. At his first attempt at primary school examination he failed while pupils who copied his answers passed. It took fasting and prayer to excel at his second attempt. He gained admission into the prestigious Titcombe College Egbe, Nigeria, where he was one of the three best students in every class.
His maths skill is unprecedented, he is too eloquent for a village boy, his cognitive reasoning is supernatural, he is deeply versed in the Holy bible and very brave, this were the words of one of his white teachers who came to his home town to see the family of this genius. Their neighborhood stood still, seeing a white man in the 1960’s was like a presidential visit. His teacher recommended to his father to allow Oluwole become a Pilot. His family were very surprised and happy their sacrifices would soon pay off and his siblings went around town bragging about him.
In 1972, he graduated with distinction in West Africa Examination Council (Waec), and his white teacher helped him secure application form from Florida Aviation Academy in Palm Beach, Florida United States but he needed to get a sponsor because then there were no aviation scholarship for international students. Fortunately for him, his paternal uncle had been in the England for years and had sent letters home that he was very rich. Oluwole gladly sent the completed form to his uncle in England to complete his form as a sponsor and send it to the United States.
Over the years, he had grown to be handsome man with graceful smile, kind looks, resilience spirit but he was stubborn and a perfectionist. The hope of flying those big bird kept him awake dreaming day and night, for his family, having their brother flying an airplane would be like living in fantasy island. For a year, he waited patiently for reply from his uncle or the aviation academy but none came. His America teacher had left Nigeria and there was no way to contact him. His dream of being Africans James H. Doolittle and the first pilot in his state crashed never to rise again, and his disappointment was not his alone, it was a family and clan defeat.
Supercharged for greatness, he shook off the disappointment and went in search of an institution good enough for him. Luckily, Kwara State Government had just established a Polytechnic, among courses offered was a 6 months preliminary medical course affiliated to the College of Medicine University of Ibadan. He applied and was one of the 110 pioneering students of the institution in 1973. At the successful completion of the course he would gain direct admission into University College of Medicine in Ibadan.
Passionate with his study as usual, he was the best student in all courses at their monthly test and exams. He was confident, he would be their villages first Medical Doctor, then the strangest thing happened again. A day to the exam, while taking a stroll with his course mate, they met a priest who told my dad he had failed the exam he was about to write. As he narrated this story severally to his children, he said “My friend and I laughed and my friends told the priest, if Oluwole did not pass that means the whole class has failed.”
The priest restated ancestral forces had failed him but if only he would perform a simple sacrifice; Put cowries in a white calabash and put it on the center of a T junction at night, he would pass. He told the man, “I am a christian, I don’t offer sacrifice to other gods.” The traditional priest pleaded but he didn’t listen. They wrote the exam, and the result came out and he failed.
It was like a bomb exploded in his chest, every one including his lecturers believed there was a mistake. His tutors followed up to Ibadan where marking and compilation of the result took place. The Council of College of Medicine requested a remark of his paper at the end it was confirmed he failed. His dream of been better than Ben Carson, failed, but his faith in God was intact.
Failure the world says is the stepping stone to success, he believed the saying too but shame prevented him from returning to his village. His father now an ordained elder in Christ Apostolic Church in their town encouraged him not to relent in his pursuit of greatest. His mind forged a new path into uncharted territory, so he went to Kaduna, in the Northern Part of Nigeria to meet his brother.
Peter who had represented his state in national sporting events, was now working in Kaduna. Then an excellent score in West Africa Examination Council was like the first degree certificate of nowadays. Within few weeks Oluwole got a job as a laboratory instructor in Nigeria Defence Academy for few months.
After the few months, in 1975, he joined Barclays Bank in Nigeria as an accountant and excelled. Slim, light complexion handsome man with a fierce independent spirit. Consistently dreaming big and taking giant stride with a natural sense of humor and a lot of money, girls flocked. He was in every classic party.
Life was good and his family started reaping the reward of their unusual support. Every one that knew him benefited from his act of benevolence. It was time for his father to rest from hard work, with the support of his children, he married a new wife. My dad started construction of a two story building in the village for his father. The construction attracted applaud and hatred, because there were no such plan or house in the whole village yet.
He met Nimota Kareem in Kaduna, she was sent from Kwara Coopertaive where she worked to Federal Training Centre in Kaduna for on-the-job training course. Nimota is the ebony black beauty queen every man wanted to keep. She was one of the “big girls of their time” partying with governors and the ‘who-is-who’ of every environment she lived. They met in a party as soon as she told him she was from the same village, their romantic relationship kicked up in earnest.
Immediately the news of their romance got into the hears of their parents back home, it raised hot dust of trouble between the two families. The union between Nimota, the favourite daughter of the Imam and a son of a dedicated elder of a C. A. C. church of the same village was like starting a war. But love can make you do crazy things, against all odds and threats they got married in Feb. 1976. Nimota changed to Christian faith and now she is known as Adenike with baptism name Elizabeth. My dad’s family expected a child in earnest, but it delayed and that fanned flames of insults for Adenike.
Oluwole’s diligence and versatility made him enjoy rapid promotions at work but this evoke envy and strife. The hatred escalated when he transferred to auditing department, and was moved around the banks Northern branches to audit their transactions.
He was attached physically at a time, and on another occasion he was poisoned to die but instead he slept from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening . Maybe he would have slept longer hadn’t the hotelier been informed that his room had been locked for days. They broke the lock to the door and found him sound asleep. They woke him up and he said “I just slept few hours ago, why are you disturbing me.” It was a miracle he never could forget, he told everyone severally.
In 1977 he took a short vacation to the United Kingdom, disappointed to see his uncle who he had sent his application form to finance his aviation education in poverty. He encouraged him to come back to Nigeria, as he was now financially capable to help him. My mother - Adenike was already being roasted by her husband’s family wrath because she wasn’t pregnant yet. She went everywhere and anywhere for help to get pregnant, she visited several herbalists, drank cups of several concoctions with no result.
Finally she settled with fasting and prayer, and God answered. In 1978, their first daughter came. Adenike became a full time house wife since they had more than enough money to spend and share with family members. They lived a life of affluence and influence.
Few months after their baby girl was born, a prophecy came to them, not to take the girl to the village until she was seven years old. But you know as power corrupts, so also success intoxicates and great success at early age intoxicates greatly. When the girl was two, they went to the village for Christmas and New Year celebration.
Their kindred welcomed them like royalty, Oluwole and his family settled in one of the two flats of the completed ground floor of the house he was building for his father. After New year, they returned to Kaduna, and he was welcomed back to office with a query. Few months after they took delivery of a male child, the problem at work overwhelmed him and he eventually lost his job.
To his dismay, friends deserted him at the snap of a finger, those who had benefited from his earnings began to mock him. He did not save much or had tangible investment because their were too many close people to take care of. The fact that his wife was not working accelerate their movement down the ladder of life from grace to grass. The giant was knocked down but would he get up and stage a come back?
Life became tough, not only for him but also for his father, his building project was abandoned. His father fasted and prayed for the prophecy to be fulfilled but nothing seemed to work no matter what father or son did. For months he could not get another decent job, financial ups and downs became their reality. With all the comfort gone, his relationship with his wife went sour but they stayed together. In the midst of lack and failure spiced occasionally with short term breakthroughs they had another girl and boy.
Prophets kept assuring him and his family, he would bounce back bigger and better. Their messages fueled his unyielding will and ambitious spirit to keep on keeping on. He was a business man, local contractor, CEO of a limited liability company. The more disappointing life became the more relentless, optimist and cheerful he became. But he was very impatience and a strict disciplinarian when dealing with his children.
Maybe the weight of disappointments and hardship of life made him give extra punishment and develop a very principled life for his family. Which really paid off as he raised well mannered children. He managed to keep his wife and the children under his roof, and he always encouraged his children with stories of their past good life, his dreams, his plan for them and motivational speeches.
He sow the seed of imagination and glimpses of the rich life and destiny he wanted for his family, when there were no good clothes to wear or food in our stomach. Then in 1993, his father died at the age of 73 in his hands at the hospital after battling diabetics for a few years. It was unbelievable that he would not see the prophecy fulfilled.
In all his wilderness experiences, he was forever hopeful and kept talking about greatest and the wealth he would achieve. When most of his friends in tough times distributed their children to relatives to feed or sold their girls to early marriage for financial gains. He didn’t, he kept his wife and four children with himself fending for them with ease, with his blood and in pains. He trekked kilometers, worked as a laborer and did other odd jobs, he engaged in marathon fasting and slept with empty stomach severally to feed his family.
Unable to pay house rent we were thrown out of apartments few times but after the disgrace he would get enough money and get a far better accommodation. So we lived in rented mansions and slums, there was not enough money to buy land to build a house. But his spirit was never broken neither did he give up on his dream of greatest or making his children great. Divinely blessed with healing hands, his family members were never seriously ill even while the diet was poor. Minor ailments were taking care of by his gift of healing.
As a believer, he went to church but when there were no money to give as offering and no good cloths to wear on service days. While Pastors and church members mocked and deride his family on the pulpit and to his face every time, he stopped going to church. But he never stop praying, fasting or discussing the bible with his family. He was a man of extensive learning and earnest spiritual understanding. He didn’t deny his religion even in the face of continuous spiritual disappointments.
For the love of seeing his children succeed, he became an over bearing parent. Our teachers knew him. He was our after school gifted teacher coaching all his children to pass examinations with flying colors. He was our spiritual guide teaching us biblical principles to excel in life. Sometimes he mowed our lawn so we will have enough time to study. He just waited us to excel academically since he couldn’t. He is a good cook and he passed his skill to his children who listened to his culinary tutorials.
His sacrifice and steadfastness was rewarded when his first son gained admission into the university and others follow. The day his son graduated with awards and my brother and I got a job, was another day to be remembered. He could then relax while we trained our other two siblings, and supported him financially. Few years above fifty, he was diagnosed with diabetics and managed it for several years, just like his father.
At sixty, he married for his first son and soon became a grand father. Because he was born hungry for success, he never gave up on his dreams, he was always doing one petty business or another while managing his deteriorating health. He still believed he will be a prophecy fulfilled.
A business that seemed like his breakthrough came but he had to invest a lot of money. He sold his almost completed house that his children were building for him, his Mercedes Benz 230 and added all his savings. But his partners kept asking for more and when he didn’t give more money, they became evasive and gave him zero returns on previous investment. We believed he had been duped by swindler or fraudsters but he believed he was too smart to fall into such and kept pursuing legal means to retrieve his invested funds to no avail.
On the 28th Sept. 2013, he walked to the hospital for his routine medical check up and came out in a coffin, dead within hours. His doctor friend said, a wrong drug were administered, I froze in time and his death affected me in ways I never imagine. At 62 years, he silently closed the door of life and left me asking, are prophecies not meant to be fulfilled? His trophies and his awards are his children.
On 1st Oct. 2013, the giant was laid to rest in a quiet simple burial with disappointing faces and questioning hearts. Oluwole Isreal Oyewole was survived by his wife, four children, two grand sons, his brother, sister, half brother and two half sisters, friends and love. It is unfortunate the world never met you. It is a tragedy you were hindered from sharing your genius, solutions, talents and gifts to bless and improve our world.
dead but alive
Oh son of man, where art thou?
dead! but you speak daily in my heart
you are alive in my spirit,
i see you in my dreams
though the dice of life did not
favor you most times, still you flew
your sweet resignation from life
made me question everything
Oh son of God, where is thy greatest?
dead! but you fought a good fight of faith
never made fortune or noise but
you made good memories death can’t erase
moments of caring and sharing ever indelible
my dad! my super hero
my dad! my greatest role model
remember a god never dies
they live on as fairies
live on forever! Great father
Adejumoke Oluwole is a freelance writer. She is currently studying creative writing online. Adejumoke holds a master’s degree in Business Administration. In her free time she enjoys listening to music and watching action movies.