April 20, 2024

“…The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong…but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11.

I was awarded the SENIOR ADVOCATE OF THE OPPRESSED yesterday at the Human Rights Day organized by GANI FAWEHINMI HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION.

When I was young I always thought approval of doing well must come from without, from parents, from mentors, from friends, from comrades, from loved ones, from teachers, from superiors and so on. But I have grown enough now to know that I do not need anybody’s validation or approval to approve of myself as this TOPE TEMOKUN that I have chosen to be.

Everyone will not give recognition to your contribution. To some, they genuinely feel you have not really done enough. To others, they are skeptics, no matter what you do, they won’t see any reason why you should be celebrated but when you die they will be the first to come out and roll out your achievements. Yet to some others, it was purely out of inability to attain or match the same feat.

Whether anyone or everyone likes it or not, my little contribution has been recognized by some section of humanity and I do not want any insincere celebration of contribution when I grow old and transit, I want it now. Thanks, GANI FAWEHINMI HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION. You have challenged me.

In Luke 9:62, Jesus said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” I have held to the plough, I will not look back again.

Now that I have taken this title, I can now take all the pending titles I have long put on hold.

My father was the last holder of this title. Immediately after my father was buried in 2018 I was invited by Halu of Aye Kingdom, the king of my hometown, to come and take this title. I was not ready. I felt I wasn’t elderly enough to take the title “Chief”. I paid some traditional requirements for the title to be put on hold. Now, I will go and take this title because I am no longer a boy.

I have other Chieftaincy titles given to me by some traditional rulers who are my clients which I have laughed it off and have postponed all these years. Now it is time to harvest those titles.

Tope Temokun


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