We met in Bromley, London one late afternoon and there was no protocol, no waiting, no airs. You came out to me and we chatted.
I introduced myself as Adeola Agoro and you were surprised I was Yoruba. You were in your elements – full of energy, wits and laughter.
You granted me an interview and there was nothing I asked that you didn’t answer. You even gave more.
I watched you move from deep Yoruba accent to pure British. You were fun to be with.
You told me how you met one of your wives – the lawyer. She used to come to the palace to sell stuff to the oloris. She had one weather- beaten car that was driving her rather than the other way round.
One day, you told her she shouldn’t bring that car to the palace again. While she was still wondering what was up, you surprised her with another car – a better one. And then you added money on top of that. She was ecstatic.
You asked her if she had travelled abroad before. She said no. You said she should be going abroad to buy the stuff she was selling. You got her a visa to the UK and a ticket too. She couldn’t believe her luck. You did not stop there. You took her to the best shops in London.
After that trip, you took her to the US and spoilt her silly with shopping. She was wild with excitement. All the while, you never as much as ask her for a date.
Then one day, she begged you to please be her lover. You refused. But deep down, that was what you wanted.
She had been married before without a child. So, as you laid with her, you silently asked the ancestors to grant her wish for a child. A month after that, she told you she was pregnant. You were happy. The child of that union got to the university at 14 to study Law, just like her mother. Your joy knew no bounds.
We discussed traditions, culture, politics, your days as a boxer, earlier times, London life and so many things. You gave me your contact details and said I could always come to you for any connections. I never did.
But I watched your life as you went on enjoying it. I marveled at the young wives you liked to acquire and I wondered how you were coping.
I enjoyed your dance steps as recorded, I loved the fact that even in your old age, you kept on looking forward to new things.
You have gone to be with the ancestors. May you dance on to glory.