By Raheem Akingbolu
Our friend and former colleague, the Obaleo of Erinmope, Oba Sunday Aikuirawo Aniyi PhD, will play host to people across the world today (August 27, 2022) in commemoration of his first year on the throne. The peak of today’s event will be the installation of Erelu Bisi Fayemi as Yeyeoba of Erinmope Ekiti.
I met Oba Aniyi few years ago at the Opebi office of Marketing Edge. In his usual manner, our mentor, the Publisher of the leading Marketing Communications journal, Ajayi Olulope John FNIMN, had hinted me of the quality of his magazine’s new Editor. He described Aniyi, with many superlative words and emphasized the fact that he’s a first-class brain.
Of course, I was eager to meet the “First Class Brain” who had just come on board. I was particularly curious because the profiling was done by our own Oga John, himself a thorough bred Editor, and intellectual. If John Ajayi says a journalist writes well, I doubt if the person needs any further assessment.
I have read one or two stories before I finally met the Mr. Aniyi, the Editor, and within 30 minutes of our discussion, I confirmed John’s endorsement. He’s deep and thinks fast, but despite that, he always wants to learn more.
I knew immediately that newsroom had gained another intellectual. We kicked off on a friendly note, exchanging ideas and comparing notes as well as sharing experiences. I was enjoying the friendship, but Aniyi had a bigger plan. One day, we left an event late and as we were driving home, I saw the need to tell our friend his hidden treasure.
I advised him to tailor his career towards the likes of Eniola Bello, Simon Kolawole, Reuben Abati, Olusegun Adeniyi and Kayode Komolafe. He knew where I was going and all the blabla about his bright future in the media industry. Humbly, he dropped the hint “Mr. Raheem, I’m going back to school and by the time I’m done, I don’t think I would want to come to the newsroom but classroom.”
Therefore, when I heard of his academic pursuit to Ibadan and the subsequent completion of his PhD programme, I wasn’t surprised. As planned, he returned to classroom as a university teacher. He was later to be attracted to Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who dragged him in to be part of his team during the build up to the 2018 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti.
Raheem Akingbolu the writer (left) with Obaleo of Erinmope, Oba Sunday Aikuirawo Aniyi PhD
Fayemi won the election and Dr. Aniyi was appointed a Senior Special Assistant and later Principal Private Secretary to the governor. It was from here his community beckoned him to come and ascend the throne of his forefathers in Erinmope-Ekiti. It is exactly a year now that our friend has become the Oba. The feedbacks have been massively positive. Indeed, it’s a new day for Erinmope because Oba Aniyi came in full and in many capacities.