“Quiet, but firm
Watching from any distance
Few words, but full of meaning
Correcting every known error
With OD1822A, he connected us to school
And with the same, his wife to work
With a keen sense of observation
And known for his mastery of words!”
(c) ‘Gbenga Sesan: For Baba J.O.
That goes to Mr. Joshua Olaniran Sesan, my father and first role model, on his 65th birthday. April 3 every year should be declared Fathers’ Day, because I have learnt innumerable things from this one man whose career as a teacher might have formally ended, but continues on every front. While growing up, it wasn’t unusual for me to meet various people who had stories to tell about their opportunity to benefit from my father’s teaching career — and I think I’m his best student to date 😉 I can never forget the many times I would write home to update him on goings on at school, only to return home from boarding school to meet my letter on his table — with every grammatical error identified and corrected, in red ink! To those who think I write well, you now know who to hold responsible. (But for the many errors in my writings, I take personal responsibility please 🙂
I can never forget the many times he would call me to his room to say a few words (always very few) but I would end up thinking all-day long! His words were straight to the point, sharp, and usually told more than the minutes appeared to allow. to him we all (Tunde, Jumoke, Tosin and I) owe our knowledge of what true competition means. Whenever I brought home my report sheet (is that what it was called?) to display what I thought was a great expression of how i was better than any other student in mathematics, with a score of 99%, my father would ask me: “where’s the 1 mark? Are you assuming that 1st position among about 40 students means that you are the best?” He would go on to tell me that my true competition wasn’t a student in my class, but the “Highest Mark Obtainable!” Did my dad see ahead (into the future) and know that competition would become global? At least, he taught me that “being the best is not about being better than the rest, but being at the point where all marks obtainable have been acquired. With him, only 100% was good enough to be called the best, not 1st position relative to a group of just 40.
Daddy, thanks for all the lessons you taught us, we’re better for it! As you turn 65 today, we wish you the best of days ahead and hope you will truly score 100% as you taught us — in age, strength and more. I love you dad! I promise you that regardless of what marks I have obtained in the last few years, I am striving for 100% in all my endeavours — career, impact, family and all…