In Memoriam Of Arc Olusola Olatunbosun Olugbesan

Late Arc. Olusola Olatunbosun Olugbesan GCIOBA-1966


“Life is a triangle of events of births, living and death; it is indeed a stage and marketplace of existence, good only when it is magical, musical and eventful. A pleasant institution and festival only for the wise: a pudding full of plums and fairy-tales written by God’s fingers for all players. A voyage that is homeward bound, measured by loss instead of gain, by wine poured forth and not by wine drunk; an account that must be balanced with deficiencies paid for everyday. A moving shadow, as tedious and twice- told tale of an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Life, the last syllabus and a privilege of human nature, an incurable diseases and palliative of which the only remedy is death and nothing but absolute death…! "Dictionary of Quotation of Life"

HOUSE OF DESIGN is located in an ambient environment and a bit far away from the maddening crowd of the main road network of Agidingbin, Ikeja. The house is an epicenter of creativity and ingenuity and an abode of a fertile soul too preoccupied with thinking, creating, designing, recording, mentoring, fabricating, manufacturing and marketing his natural endowment.

And there once upon a time reigned a Lord Mayor far ahead of his time, a gifted man with bundle of energy who sleeps, wakes and works on nothing but idea to give Nigeria new dimension. He was an architect, a bricklayer, a carpenter, a musician, a songwriter, a guitarist, a poet, an author, a trainer, a fashion designer, a teacher, a chip off the whole block (like hyena… Lakayana), a fabricator, a social critic with etopian views, a political theorist with a Socratic disposition and Marxist tendency, a core family man to a fault and above all, a multi-talented and multiple award laureate of uncommon behavior, a critic and self-opinionated personality of an inestimable value. In summation, the trajectory of life and un-signed accomplishment of this true student of the old Italian grandmasters of the high renaissance of yesteryears, the likes of Picasso, Michelangelo, Leonard’s da Vinci, Mozart and Beethoven, I salute and celebrate his passage with an emotion-lagged dirge. Perhaps, only the deep can call the deep!

But who is this nebulous personality? He is no other person but Sola Olugbesan (a.k.a. Solee), a distinguished technocrat, an IjebuBadan personality, my friend of over four decades but now with the Saint Triumphants. I have known Sola right from our school days as a classmate at Government College, Ibadan (GCI 1966-70/72 Set) and our chemistry of friendship blossomed to the last few hours of his sojourn when he painfully bade me goodbye saying: “Kayshort, it is well”. Oh la lah, what a nostalgic separation from a great friend with great mind and once with an infectious smile, gentle mien and uncommon character!

However, the death of a good friend like Sola is excruciatingly painful because it diminishes my person. nevertheless, it is a time for sober reflections on the overall essence of life and the immortality of the soul. Even though, it is always a mixed bag and bitter bills to swallow but then, “death be not proud though some have called thee mighty and dreadful for thou art no so. For those whom thou thinketh thou overthrown, die not, “cos their enduring legacy outlive them, poor death…” John dome’s Divine Poem

Moreover, remembering Sola with such a painful exit makes me tremble at such a recurring experience of human transition and unless you have gone through the experience yourself or watched a loved one struggles, you really have no idea just how desperate sickness of the body can make you. You pray, you rage, you bargain with God, but most of all, you clutch at any hope, no matter how remote of a second chance at life. So was the situation with my friend of 43 years in the last 20 months of trails and tribulations but all to the Glory of God, the giver and taker of life at the appointed time.

Writing an epitaph on Sola takes me to the pre-Charles Darwin Theory of Evolution and Age of Creation of Human Homosapien. “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth, light and darkness, flying creatures, domestic animals, living souls…etc. And God proceeded to create the man in His true image in God’s image, He created him, male and female, He created them…” Genesis 1, Verse 26-28. And in the Holy Quran, Al-Quiyamah verse 38-40, “So let man consider from what he is crated was he not dropped of fluid, emitted forth? Then he became a clot, the he shaped and perfected him then He made him a pair, the male and female...”

And this is indeed the story of life, earth and man at the time of their creation as we are told by the scriptures. But the story went further that God completed this beautiful work and proceeded to rest on the 7th day, but before the rest, God decreed that a star, Sola be born! And so he was and the baby grew up to pack a lot of energy, zeal and un-quantifiable achievements in a human frame within his 61 years of earthly sojourn. Solee, as he is fondly called, like a typical creative artist and poet guided by the Greek mythological muse is a complex personality to decipher but very humble to be a good friend to all and sundry. He represented true friendship and commitment to genuine and honest friendship in all ramifications.

Sola came, lived and conquered many grounds in creativity, he was part of us and indeed part of the world at large. As an actor, he played his roles to the best of his natural endowment and left the stage when the ovation was loudest and like a gallant soldier, he faced his good times, travails and tribulations with equal zeal, faith and stoic disposition. As a human being and with imperfection of all mortals like you and I, Sola lived his life, wrote and sang his songs, played his tambourine and danced away to the rhythms of death’s tom-tom leaving the echo in the air to synchronize the tunes for us to appreciate and remember after his inevitable passage.

However, as well all gather to bid him farewell, death once again, as a debt of all mortals remind us in the memorable words of Williams Shakespeare.. “Life is nothing but a moving shadow, a poor player that frets and trusts his time upon the stage and he is heard no more; it is like a play told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing…” And in the tradition of his Muslim friends like me, “Inla-lilahi wa inalahi rajiuna” while in the word of his Christian brethrens, Mother Theresa, the Saint of the Gutters… “when a man dies, it has not happened because God did not like him. It has happened because Jesus Christ once more, appeared under the guise of pain identify with a man numb from cold, a lonely human being and indeed a lost child in search of a true home...”

In my final submission, life, as a labyrinth of experience and a journey to an unknown destination, Sola was a true student of History, who saw far and beyond the glitter and tinsel of tree lights. He stood tall on the shoulders of a giant to embrace the words of Aristotle:“a good-minded man does not bear grudges, for it is not the mark of a great soul to remember injuries, but to forget them and move on in life”

Moreover, it is also good to remember that Sola was a dam-god fella who belonged to the old school of ideas and ideals but touched many lives in his own peculiar ways and unique style. In fact, his style could best be summarized as follows; “A fool tell the world what he will do; a boasters tells what he has done while a wise man does it and says nothing”. And as a dedicated husband and father, he embraced the words of Williams Arthurward to prepare his immediate family for the challenges of the future, “a father has not completely fulfilled his responsibility as a parent until he bequeaths to his children, a love books and thirst for knowledge, a passion for religion and the fear of God, a dedication for service and a commitment to nationhood, an understating of loyalty and a faith in patriotism, a hunger for righteousness and a trust in life hereafter, a believe in handwork and satisfaction, a vision for greatness and a memory of kindness, a believe in excellence and of course, a pride in good name”. and he did all these and thus passed the acid test of life before his transition to eternal bliss.

As Sola sleeps after toil, port after stormy seas, ease after war, dearth after life, does greatly pleased me to borrow the benefiting Epitaph of Benjamin Franklin to close the last chapter on the celebration of his life:“The body of our friend lies in his grave, food for worms; but like a cover of an old book; its content torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding but the work shall not be lost for it will appear once more is a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author”. As such a creative soul of inestimable paradigm took his final exit, the life and time of princes and princess, blue blood and commoners alike should remind us that the pomp of power, the boast of heraldry; all the beauty and wealth (knowledge, talent and entrepreneurship passion) ever gave awaits alike the inevitable hour, the path of glory leads but to the grave”.

In finality, as Sola takes the deep sleep, his memento, a true work of art and shadow of divine gift and perfection: “Only a Canvas” reminds me the remarkable words of Clearance Day: “the world of Books is the most remarkable creation of man, nothing else that he builds ever last; monuments fall and nation’s perish, civilization grow and die out and after an era of darkness, new races build others but the World of Books are volumes that have seen these happen again and again; any yet live on still young telling the hearts of men centuries dead…” And so is indeed the portion of Arc. Olusola Olatunbosun Olugbesan (a.k.a. Solee) now of blessed memory.

May SoleeT, SoleeTieTie’s gentle soul rest in perfect peace and may the good Lord grant him eternal rest.

Late Arc. Olusola Olatunbosun Olugbesan (1966) passed on to glory on September 21, 2014 and was buried on October 10, 2014.

Engr. Kayode Sote, FNSE
October 10, 2014.



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