Below is the emotional tribute that gospel singer, Tope Alabi read at her late dad’s burial yesterday.
I remember I didn’t grow up as one of the smartest kids on earth but I had a father in you, who despite my weak points, didn’t stop praying for me. I remember I didn’t grow as one of the most gentle children under heaven but I had a father in you who endured my excesses and youthful exuberance.
I remember how receptively slow people thought I was; how overbearingly unassuming I was. I remember how stubborn I was too. Despite my receptive attitudes, I didn’t project the character of decency when I was growing. I would jump at any available ‘bolekaja’ and off I would go.
I remember becoming a thorn in your flesh Daddy, when I chose to join a Theatre Group. Your expectation was that I would start working after college but I joined the Nigerian Theatre Practitioners as an itinerant actor, going from one film location to another with or without invitation. I remember how it was almost impossible to believe that I would be a source of blessings to my parents. My beginning betrayed the possibilities.
But… I can’t forget that despite your chastisement and frustrations, you still prayed for me anytime you wanted to pray, telling God what you wanted me to become. I can’t forget three things about you: Your prayer life was second to none.
Your love for music was next to my mum’s, except that you loved to sing and dance.
Your sense of humour was out of this earth. Even when engaged in serious devotions, the ways you related your heart to God was very hilarious. I miss you so much my darling Dad.
I can’t forget how you looked at me the last time I left for London. I didn’t know that was the last time I would see you. I am glad today that you took your final rest in the house God built for me.
I can’t hide my fulfilment about what I, the slow, stubborn, insignificant and unresourceful girl eventually did for you even when no one ever thought I could do them. I am glad, my father, that I became a child you could be proud of; your darling girl who, alongside two others, was able to erase the scars of birthing abikus in your early days.
Rest in peace my dearest Dad and I am sure you are resting in the Lord right now. Rest in peace once again my darling mother, Abigail Obayomi. I am sure, , if saints truly meet, you are now one of the most excited in heaven. I will miss you both so dearly and I believe at old age if Jesus tarries, we shall meet to part no more. I love you but Jesus loves you more.
Rest in Peace my darling Dad.
TRIBUTE TO MY DARLING FATHER-IN-LAW LATE PAJOSEPH AKINYELE OBAYOMI.
Twenty-two years ago, I met Daddy and Mummy Obayomi as a potential son-in- law who had the intention to marry the most beautiful and the most creative woman on earth. Of course as agentleman, the initial thought was how I would cope with a Theatre Arts practitioner and itinerant actor. However, such a view changed when I got to the home of my parents-in-law.
I saw these wonderful parents not only as godly; they were divine vessels who dwelt consciously in God’s presence. I saw a home that gave me peace; a home that was deserving and spiritually nourishing. Baba Obayomi was a prayer warrior and a believer with the fear of God.
His roots in the Gospel of Christ gave me a clear hope that I was in the right place. The teachings affected by him, I believe, must have influenced the spiritual strength of my wife till date. Furthermore, at no point did Baba ever see me as a son-in-law.
He treated me as a son throughout his life to the extent that he sought for my counsel on matters that are deep within his family. Baba, I am grateful you did accept me to marry your daughter. I am grateful for all the support you gave us. I am also grateful to God that I was able to do what I should do as a son to a father. What prayer can be said for the dead again? I know you did receive Jesus Christ and you carried his
banner till your last breath. Because of this, I am so sure that you are already with Christ. I see your life as a perfect example of godliness and I still covet the Grace on your life that made you what you were as an elder, father, grandfather and teacher. May the Lord protect all of us left behind and at old age, may we all meet at the feet of our saviour.