Thursday, August 3, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - FALETI -LOSS OF A FATHER


What a befitting tribute to a worthy hero! Ojogbon Agbetuyi, you have nailed it and you did so with style and elegance. Alagba Faleti deserves it all. Unlike you, I never had a close relationship with this great man other than with casual contacts, and seeing him on the television or in films (and who would forget the day the military stormed the television station in Ibadan to harass the defiant oraliterate and super-literate ace broadcaster)! This much I can say, though: I read anything I ever laid my hand on if it has the name "Faleti" written on any of its pages. The last time I was fortunate to see the legend was three or so years ago inside the great Oduduwa Hall on the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as he came with the other high chiefs of the Alaafin of Oyo to honor Professor Wande Abimbola's cultural and intellectual contributions to the Yoruba race. Thank you Sir for calling our attention to this rare hero.

With Ojogbon Agbetuyi's eulogy, I'm reminded of three verses from the 32-verse classical work of the 18th century poet, Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard." The first verse proclaims and laments our pain on this side of the great divide; the second celebrates and vibrates the totality of peace for the departed soul; and the third reveals the unending rest and unperturbed homecoming the hero now enjoys in "the bosom of his Father and his God."
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, 
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care: 
No children run to lisp their sire's return, 
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. 
No farther seek his merits to disclose, 
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, 
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of his Father and his God. 
When two and one half years ago our group lost the brilliant mind and the "commonwealth sister," Lavonda Staples, I invoked the verses of Thomas Gray to celebrate her and I alluded to Faleti's heroic poem, "Adebimpe Ojedokun," to bid our sister farewell. Today, I'm short of words to praise the hero, the true Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba culture and intellect, other than to say, "never again," borrowing the words of the man Faleti himself as he conjured the power of the insurmountable vacuum to mourn the parting of his hero, Adebimpe Ojedokun, Erelu omo, edidaare inu igbe omo Iyalagbon. Never again, then, should we take talents for granted in our circle because they will not hang around us forever! Baba Faleti has proven himself right; he has vindicated his clever view of a transient universe. He has left us with the cosmos that has sent its own to the world unknown. He shall be missed indeed. Only the hunters' funeral dirges, iremoje, would befit this hero as he lived and died the only Yoruba legend who never left his head uncovered and covered it only with the hunters' hat. And so, as the hunters would chant when sending one of their own to the Pantheon of Ancestors, I say:
May our eyes still catch a glimpse of each other -
Be it in the crossroads of illusion
Be it in fussy dreams and aberrations
Be it in the home of the enchanter.
Neighbors don't say goodnight. So long, then, Alagba Adebayo Faleti!
Michael Oladejo Afolayan
From the Land of Lincoln, mourning a sage
On Wednesday, August 2, 2017 5:41 PM, Olayinka Agbetuyi <> wrote:

We have been engrossed on the university mentees debate for so long that another mentor story that is of immeasurable significance to me is being inadvertently buried under the deluge.  

That is the passing away of my mentor and father in more senses that one: Pa Adebayo Faleti.

As a broadcaster it was Pa Faleti who opened the gates for me into the world of broadcasting.  It was Pa Faleti who inaugurated me into the rituals of full grown adult independent men.

Pa Faleti it was who became my muse into translation studies as I indicated to faculty at the graduate school in the United States. He was the role model who graduated with a honors degree in English but chose to go into creative writing mostly in his native tongue: Yoruba.

He wrote plays for the stage such as the powerful drama Basorun Gaa which together with Akinwunmi Isolas Efunsetan Aniwura kept viewers glued to their television sets for decades.  

Pa Faleti's penchant for defying the odds saw him functioning as both intellectual, member of the literati and civil servant simultaneously.  Many times he would convert a foyer in Ile Akede to a theatre rehearsal stage making do not with a theatre dept students cast but home grown theatre practitioners.  Ile-Akede was conveniently located at Orita Basorun (Basorun Crossroads) perhaps by the divine guidance of the Principality at the Crossroads.  It was little wonder he grafuated into film making on early retirement.

Pa Faleti was also a renown novelist and poet.
A translation of his work has been published by a forumite Pamela Olubunmi Smith

Pa Faleti was the guiding spirit behind the legions of radio and television jingles that raised self awareness in Oyo State.

Together with Bayo Sanda Pa Faleti was the soul of Yoruba broadcasting in all the Yoruba states.

I urge forumites to please join me in recognising the passing of a titan

May Èşù-Ęlęgbára receive this celebrant and Orunmila incarnate onto her fecund bosom.


Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
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