Dignitaries from all walks of life, stakeholders, friends and well-wishers of the Olapeju family of Idoani, Ose local government area of ondo state gathered at Owani-Idoani for the launch of their late father’s autobiography, ‘The Golden Mirror’.
The 154-page book chronicles the life of their father, late Reverend Canon Boaz Oluwasuyi Olapeju who died in 2014.
Reviewing the book, the Pro-Chancellor of Achievers University, Owo, Dr Bode Ayorinde who commended the children for not allowing the manuscript to gather dust said the book is a revelation of the author’s exemplary life who started from a humble beginning, full of uncertainties, challenges and beasititudes.
According to him, “the author highlights the twists and turns in life and how patience, diligence, doggedness, discipline and faith in God were the necessary and sufficient attributes he needed to overcome fears as he marched on in life”.
He added that the author also recorded the critical roles mission schools played in education and character moulding in the early 80s especially in the rural areas. He therefore advocated the return of mission schools to their original owners.
“Any reader of this book will see why all missionary schools which were next by Fiat should be returned to the owners”, he said.
The former lawmaker who added that the book portrays the author as a man of “many active parts, encompassing leadership, service, principle, teaching, evangelism and management”.
The book according to him also showcases the author as a transparent man with deep faith in God, the attributes he recommended for youths of today who he said are in a hurry to make it in life.
Dr Ayorinde therefore recommended the book to the public saying, “All in all, the book is very simple to read, full of discernible facts”.
Presenting the book to the public, a processor of Political Science from the University of Lagos, Tunde Babawale said the book is full of lessons for prospective readers, highlighting diligence and handwork as parts of the lessons derivable from the book.
He said: “The book by late Reverend Canon Boaz Oluwasuyi Olapeju has taught us a lot of lessons which I will like to recommend to the youths. First is the lesson in perseverance. In his early life, he encountered lot of challenges in going to school. He lost his father when he was just about a year old, yet he struggled to have education and became a teacher.”
Part of the lessons according Prof. Babawale is transparency which he said manifested in all the positions the author held: teacher, headmaster or a missionary in the church, adding that the late Olapeju left impeccable record of service making transparency the compass of his activities.
According to prof. Babawale: “One of the things I noted in the book is incomparable record keeping ability. He kept every detail about his life, including details of those individuals who contributed to his education all through his life; he had the amount that each person contributed and the name of each person in the book, and virtually all of them are dead as at the time he wrote the book. That tells you that every single information about yourself is important”.
Giving further insight into the book, the erudite political scientist said the late Olapeju was an entrepreneur, a skill he tapped from his mother.
“As he was teaching, he also had a farm. So it was the proceed from the farm and the little that he earned as a teacher that he was able to build a house and trained all his children. These are qualities that should be recommended to our youths. Besides, every place that he worked, he left the place better than he met it,” he said.
Chairman on the occasion, Senator Bode Olajumoke described the late Olapeju as a complete gentleman and a symbol of Peace.
He said: “The last time I met baba was at the wedding of his grandson. I met him 14 days before he died and he was radiating with so much joy. He was a brethren and my mum told me about him several years go. He was just a wonderful jolly good fellow. May his soul continue to rest in peace.”
In his goodwill message, the Alaani of IDOANI, Oba Olufemi Olutoye congratulated the Olapeju family for celebrating their father by not allowing his autobiography to gather dust.
The monarch also praised the author for putting the story of his life together despite the demands of his work.
Commenting on the dwindling Writing and writing culture in the country, Oba Olutoye urged government at all levels to rekindle the fast eroding reading culture in the country.
“We hope that this part of reading and writing will come back. It is very important for you especially of you are 60. Try to put something down for your children to read, not necessary about you alone but about the situation of the world around you when you where born. This is the beauty of the book we are launching today”, the monarch advocated.
Earlier, the Asiwaju of Idoani and one of the author’s children, Otunba Dele Olapeju told the gathering that the children had planned to unveil the book in 2014 when their father was still alive.
According to him, “So when the thing was ready in January, 2014, we actually conspired to make it an event for his 90th birthday. But we didn’t know the plan of God for him because there was vacancy in heaven and that vacancy was very urgent.
So after 14 days of dancing in Lagos at the wedding of his grandson, baba was called to heaven. I’m now having a picture in my mind that baba must be smiling in his grave.”
He thanked those in attendance for honouring their father.
The book is now in the public space, up for graps. The Idoani cultural troupe spiced up the event.
The late Reverend Canon Boaz Olapeju was recently given a posthumous award on the occasion of the 5th coronation anniversary of the Alaani of Idoani, Oba Olufemi Olutoye, a prestigious personality award to honour for sons and daughters of Idoani (dead or living) who have contributed to the development of the community.