As an undergraduate I was already fully into public speaking though I did a lot of it at lower levels. I remember some of my colleagues and I who were into public speaking would stand on the stage and say, ‘some things are taught and some things are caught.’ My father never sat with me to tell me all these things that I am writing about. They are things I caught but they are not in any way the imaginations of an ambitious writer.
I know about some young couples who would boldly say today that they have a happy home because of the advice they received from Uncle Tunji (that’s what some people called him). There were those whose homes would have broken but he became a counselor to them and they have been happy ever since. I can picture some families right now who do not earn so much but they now live in houses they built because of the advice and mentoring they received from my father. It was one thing to take to real estate management as a profession and it was another to take to it as a calling. I guess my father took it beyond a profession and began to mentor some people in that area.
For several years I watched my father mentor some young people around him and that made me realize the importance of being a father and a husband while standing as a role model and a mentor at the same time. I think I lost him at the time when I would have seen more of him as a mentor to me because I was rounding off a degree programme in mass communication when he died. For all the years that we shared, I saw in him a role model but so many came to him for advice, especially young couples. I can assume that he thought I was too young for the advice that he gave to those young couples who came to him. He probably wanted me to grow old enough to be able to understand the advice because I was so sure he wanted me to have the same valuable and intangible gift he gave freely to others. If he knew he would never live to give me that advice, I guess he would have it written somewhere and hand it over to me so that I could consult it as my understanding would allow me to from time to time.
I have come to learn that you must always be willing to share with other people the secrets that you know or have used to get yourself to where you currently are in life. Some have refused to get into the mentoring thing because of insecurity. They don’t want people to become as successful as they are and they want to be the ones that every other person will come to for help.
From the way he mentored others, I saw in him a man who was willing to spread his success by replicating it in others. It became clear that you must be genuinely interested in others up unto that point where you can help them succeed as much as you have or more than you have. It was about sharing his time with others even when he should be resting. At other times he had to put his resources into what other people are doing just to make sure that things don’t end with just getting the advice. He proved that living for others was the real way to live.