The Elegboro of Ijebu-Jesa, HRM Oba (Engr.) Moses Oluwafemi Agunsoye and other notable Yoruba elders have poured encomiums on Chief Stephen Ayodele Fatiregun as he celebrated his 82nd birthday with the launching of his over one thousand pages book at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday 3rd of August, 2021.
Speaking at the launching of the book titled ‘THE WISDOM OF OUR YORUBA ELDERS’ in Lagos, Oba Agunsoye described the octogenarian author who is also the Obalua of Egboro land as a living legend and an enigma who has done well to leave an enduring legacy for the Yoruba race.
The monarch noted, “Today we are gathered to celebrate an enigma and a living legend whose life has blessed many in the past, and now has decided to bequeath an enduring legacy for the Yoruba race in general.”
The Elegboro further pointed that it is not a surprise that such a heroic feat is coming from Pa Ayo Fatiregun for he hails from a city of many legends of international repute. “I must let you all know today that Chief Fatiregun here is only living up to the nature of Ijebu-Jesa spirit. Our noble town has produced legendary musical icons like late I.K Dairo, Pa Chris Ajilo and Orlando Julius Ekemode to mention a few. Today, Baba Fatiregun has boldly written his name in gold.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Global President for Ijebu-Jesa Unions’ Conference, (IJUC), Engr. Oluwagbemiga Abudiore hailed Chief Ayo Fatiregun at 82. He added, “We are pleased to be here to celebrate this great achiever who is a patriotic Ijebu-Jesa man, not just for his birthday, but for this great book that took him 55 years of his life to put together. He is truely a genius to be able to achieve this feat even at 82. Ijebu-Jesa is blessed to have him.” Abidiore added.
During his review of the iconic book, Arch Bishop emeritus of the Methodist Church, Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu took time to induct the octogenarian author, Chief Stephen Ayodele Fatiregun into the ‘Yoruba Writers Hall of Fame’. He described the book as a gift to the Yoruba race, one that will be passed from generation to generations.
Also reviewing the book, Nigerian former ambassador to the Phillipines, Dr Yemi Farounbi noted that the highest any author had written in the past was 2,500 Yoruba proverbs, but to have a collection of 10,000 proverbs is no mean feat. He added that he was already looking forward to the second and third editions of the book because the author noted that he has well over 30,000 carefully researched Yoruba proverbs in his kitty.
A nephew of the author who is also the major financier of the project, Mr Seyi Onajide of the RT Briscoe said Chief Fatiregun is his uncle, mentor and role model, all rolled into one person. He noted that the author moulded him into an accountant despite his initial intention to study engineering, he admitted he has no regrets taking to his advices since childhood. He further prayed God to grant him longevity to give more to humanity.
Donating the sum of N2 million to the project, consummate businessman and humanitarian, Dr. Tope Agbeyo, the humble and dynamic Chairman of Cornfield Group and Botosoft Techologies paid glowing tributes to the author. He noted that he was elated that Baba did not write to display personal achievements at 82, but he has given this 55 years of selfless gift to a race.
The book, ‘THE WISDOM OF OUR YORUBA ELDERS’, is a collection of 10,000 carefully selected proverbs, fables and legends with English translations plus a compilation of 130 notable Nigerians of Yoruba origin which include the Elegboro of Ijebu-Jesa and some other Yoruba obas.
The Author, Chief Ayo Fatiregun is an old student of the Answarudeen High School, Isolo, Lagos, he also attended the prestigious Harvard University in the United States of America. A former Managing Director of the multinational company, Hagemeyer (Nigeria) Plc, he is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants of London.
A moderate socialite, Chief Ayodele Fatiregun was the pioneer General Secretary for Ijebu-Jesa Unions’Conference (IJUC) UK branch at formation. He is also a foundation member of Ijebu-Jesa Social Club (IJSC), a foremost social club which has existed for over 65 years.