Life is indeed like a mist, fleeting, that’s why grief is the last act of love we give to those we love, and where there is deep grief, there is great love, just like tears are also prayers too, and they travel to God when we can’t speak to.
Then the communication department at the foremost telecom company MTN Nigeria is in grief mood as the team there took over their social media page to sail their grief at the sudden passage of their beloved colleague, Okundola Bamgboye, Baba Dee otherwise known as Dola$.
Baba Dee, son of Claudius Agboola Bamgboye, a minister in the Second Republic, he was described in many phases as in never a dull moment; larger than life; incurable optimist; humanist; survivor par excellence and a jolly good fellow passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, 10th of October 2020.
His family had planned the service of songs, funeral service and interment for the 21st and 22nd of October, 2020. He left behind his lovely wife, Ochee and their lovely children, Bidemi, Ayodola and Ayoade.
Before his death, this illustrious indigene of Ekiti State was Event and Sponsorship Manager at MTN Nigeria for many years and his contacts included many in the corridors of power, amongst who are Funsho Aina, Tunji Adeyinka, Eniola Ashiomolowo, Adewolu Adene and Ivor Ekpe, who have all poured tributes in his honour.
"What a man, what a life. Mr Okundola Agboola Bamgboye, aka Bob Fay Junior, aka Baba D, aka Dollar, and countless other nicknames and terms of endearment he amassed over the years. Dola was born in Leicester City, which he dutifully reminded his wife and children every chance he could get. “13 - 01. 62”, he would state emphatically, as if they could ever forget his birthday, even if they wanted to. His parents, Late Chief Claudius Agboola, and Late Mrs. Phebian Bamgboye, were both indigenes of Usi Ekiti, but they somehow found themselves in the Windy City of Leicester, bringing Okundola into the world, the man we’d all later come to know and love.
After 4 years in England, he was brought back home to start Nursery school at Sisi Obasa day Nursery School, and later, Ladi Lak Primary in Yaba. He had a boisterous childhood with his siblings, Gbemi, Bolamole and Fey. His secondary school years were spent between African Church Grammar School and CMS Grammar School. He went off to Federal School of Arts and Science, and one year later, School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University. There, he met Ochee, who he would later call wife. He often described a whirlwind romance, a meeting of perfect opposites who simply just clicked. He moved to London to start a new chapter, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the Middlesex University, and a Masters in Social Sciences from Goldsmith’s University.
He had started a life in London, punctuated with academic achievements and exciting adventures with trusted friends, but there was something he needed to do. So in 1992, he went back to Nigeria, to marry Ochee. Not long after Bidemi came along, and for two whole years Dola and Ochee were a family of three. Ayoade and Ayodola, their twin girls, came along in the thick of summer 1994. Then they were five. He worked hard in London, until he was faced with the opportunity to relocate to Lagos, a decision he did not take lightly. From 2003, until the very end, he worked as the marketing and sponsorship manager at MTN Nigeria. A role he took on with all he had, one can barely think of yellow without thinking go Baba D, as he was so fondly called at the MTN office.
Dola was many things to many people. He was a man of faith, he routinely gave his life to Christ, much to the confusion of those who assert that once will do. He danced like David almost every Sunday. He ministered – not as a minister, but as a man of humility and the purest love, to those who needed it the most. While the 10th of October 2020, may have been his last day on earth, his capacity to love, to accept, to welcome, and to cherish those around him lives on. Ochee, Bidemi, Ayoade and Ayodola, the gang of five who are now sadly a gang of four, will spread his generosity and humility with all the time they have left. His siblings, Gbemi, Bolamole and Fey, mourn him but smile at the legacy he left. His best friends, Jibola, Jem, Paul, JJ, Seton, and many others, will uphold that brotherhood. His cousins, the Bamgboyes, Oyes, Olubobokuns, Olusola-Kupoluyis, and many more remember him fondly. He will especially be missed by his Ochefu family, Mama, Prof, Oche, Hassan, Mary, Ediga and Odeh, and a whole host of spouses, nieces and nephews, who experienced his magic and loved him deeply. His MTN family are forever, and will remember him as the life and soul of the 8th floor. His church families, at City of David and beyond, will miss his dancing, but will rejoice in the comfort that he’s dancing in spirit.
Dola was magical. A force of nature. A magnet. He didn’t care who you were, or where you came from, what you wanted from him, or what you could do for him. He treated everyone with equal amounts of grace. He commanded belly laughs and full smiles. If there is one thing to know, it’s that Dola was a currency that you couldn’t spend, Dola was an experience, and we’re all lucky to have had him."
Tunji Adeyinka, CEO, Connect Marketing: Brother, friend, colleague. Real as real can be and open minded. We will miss you bro but you are safe now. Respect! As you would say.
Eniola Asimolowo, (MTN colleague): Life is indeed like a mist, fleeting! Today we are here, but tomorrow? Tomorrow is not guaranteed. No one knows what tomorrow is going to bring. The irony is that it cannot even be insured. It hurts, it really hurts. Dollar was so full of life and happiness, always brimming with positive energy. He was good people, loved by all. He loved all equally, without any discrimination. His humility was remarkable. This is a strong reminder for us to make each day count. We all should ask ourselves "Have we really lived?". Have we poured out ourselves in service to God and our fellow men? Please, it is not too late to start. We should all endeavour to spend the rest of our days doing as much good as we can, to as many people as we can, in as many ways as we can, for as long as we can!
Funso Aina (MTN colleague): Dola baba ($)... Never a dull moment; larger than life; incurable optimist; humanist; survivor par excellence and a jolly good fellow. Not sure we will be able to fill the huge vacuum you left behind. Ever. Rest in peace bro. I know you will crack 'em up in heaven.
Adewolu Adene, (MTN colleague): Amazing how there are so many videos of Dola lighting up a room with his love of life and people.....an awesome gentlemen who also knew his way around the streets....a people person....never took himself or life too seriously....was always blown away by his warmth towards the ladies at the front desk and the security folk...Dola knew their names and boy did they love him back....what a guy....may God grant him eternal rest.
Ivor Ekpe is a friend to Dola and a communications expert: GOODNIGHT.. Guardian of Our Cool. A TOUGH 24HRS this has been and an entire Generation is still struggling to process our loss. You need to understand something. This guy right here harboured the Youth and History of an entire Generation. You need to understand, that while many rushed to become adults, to brag about growing up, to leave confined to memory all that which illustrated and possibly explained our Growing Up Years.... This guy right here stored and represented it all. When our kids wonder and ask if we were ever Cool, we simply point over there... "Who? Uncle $?" they would ask.. Yes, Uncle $. Dola was there. He was Us! To the end, he showed what we were, who we were and how we were. He was the Guardian of Our Cool. No Surprises the outpouring of Love, Cries and Prayers BECAUSE each one if us who Grew Up with Him, Knew Him or simply came across him in this journey called life, has SOMETHING SPECIAL and MEMORABLE about our times with him. Dola was there for everyone. He would Dance for your Newborn, He would Bury your Dead, He would light up your gathering and he would always ask after your own... He was there for everyone. You didn't need to ask. So much so that, The Rich will remember him as would the Poor, as would the Streets and the Cities and the Places... The Old, The Young, The Upper Class, the Mid Class, the Lower Class. Were we ever Cool?... Hell yeah! It may not seem so, as we turn old and grey and pretend to be grownup, but just take a look back at OKUNDOLA AGBOOLA BAMGBOYE ... he is our History. The History of Our Cool. GOD BLESS & KEEP YOU BRETHREN... until the next Urban Disturbance. I am betting Our Darling BLACKSTAR is prepping your welcome party!