Not many people did as much, or fared as well as Baba Fálétí in making the Yoruba language; the culture, and its premier, unique idiosyncrasies star quality within the pantheon of other cultures.
Nothing we have done, or could be doing now that Baba wasn’t one of the truest pacesetters. He was the first one I came to know with the supernatural ability to levitate beautifully and well, on the treacherous language surfboard.
And he magnificently rode it unflinchingly like the fictional Silver Surfer! Uncle Bola Ige only rode shotgun behind him. He spoke and wrote the English language like a Genius! He was everything that makes absolute sense! An Actor, Author, Broadcaster, a perpetual Scholar, Scriptwriter, Storyteller, Poet, Historian, Raconteur and a one time Controller of a State TV and Radio Broadcasting Station.
Very many years ago, while my class was on a field trip to his office on that notable kiddie TV program: ‘JOLLY TRAIN,’ on the then NTV IBADAN, he told us something that remains with me ever since,
he said: “…think your thoughts through in its purest form in the local language, and allow that manifest itself in any other language of your choice in the relative ease of the man feasting on cornmeal and moinmoin!”
A man accustomed to death hoaxes just like Mark Twain and Nnamdi Azikiwe. Perhaps that deathly, wishful thinking was the needed elixir that kept him alive for us for so long. For there was one in the 80’s, 90’s and another precisely in 2014. Therefore, my skepticism this time around was more than necessary. But truly this time around, Baba indeed swallowed The Reaper; hook, line and sinker! The man with the most elegant Gòbì hat has finally relinquished it! Adebayo Faleti, baba Detunji sadly is no more!
May His Soul Rest In Peace!
Credit- Odolaye Aremu