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Th e Ik o y i Cl u b 1 9 3 8 M a g a z i n e

july - september 2011


Leaders Homage to the King Many faces of Ikoyi

Reading - for life All surplus, no deficit



Read while you recreate; Homage to the King;

8 Section Reports

What’s happening at the clubs sections?

UK, here you (don’t) go. How to get a UK visa. By Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi


Fad & Fancies. By Joy Ege-Essien

16 Feature


18Cover story


Whose sponsorship anyway? Feature on corporate sponsorship. By Ikeddy Isiguzo

New Season. Who are the new club officials?



Weaned in English, waning in mother tongue. By ‘Fisayo Soyombo

25 The Club

August ceremony in August; Liquid & Solid; Fridays are Fun-ever; Operating with style -and difference

Contents 29

Special Feature Ikoyi. By Tolu Ogunlesi



When next you park in a public place...By Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi

8 38




Sustaining the values that give us the edge

GENERAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS THE TRUSTEES • Mr R.L. Kramer • Mr Alaba Okupe • Engr Akin Laguda

OFFICE BEARERS • Chairman – Mr Richard Giwa-Osagie • Vice Chairman – Mr Babatunde Akinleye • Honorary Secretary – Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi • Honorary Treasurer – Mr Olusola Adeosun • Golf Captain – L Frank Gboneme Other Members Chairmen of Sections • Tennis- Mr Wale Opejin • Swimming – Mr Freeborn Okunowo Erherede • Squash – Arc Sanya Akindele • Table Tennis – Mr Tony Owolabi • Billiards, Snooker & Pool – Mr Frank Irabor • Badminton – Reginald Ezebube Udeagbala • Other Sports – Mrs Ify Onukwuba • Entertainment – Mr Jide Adeola • Premises Adviser – Engr Sunmade Agbe-Davies • Bar Adviser – Adeniyi Adesegun Sowemimo • Catering Adviser – Olabimpe Esho Publications Sub Committee Chairman: Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi Members: Olasunkanmi Adefope, Segun Afadama, Lanre Idowu, Ted Iwere, Taiwo Obileye, Tony Onyima, Dayo Sobowale Editorial Consultancy, Design and Production: Harpostrophe Limited, 2 Anifowoshe Close, Surulere NG101211, Tel: 01-6283223, 08186935900 email: info@harpostrophe. com. Printed in Nigeria by Printpro Projects Limited, 2 Anifowoshe Close, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria NG101211. Tel: 01-6283223



We should all seek to impart the values on the club and make it a better place than we met it.


ognomen means the name used to identify the members of a family (as distinguished from each member’s given name). I am indigenous to the Dogba/Erelu Ebiye /Oju-ega clan of Porogun quarters, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, and we are omo pabiekun (characteristics of being furtive like the tiger) hence my friends regale me with the sobriquet “Pabiekun.” I remain ever grateful to all members of our esteemed club, Ikoyi Club 1938, the flagship family club in Africa, for electing me the club’s Honorary Secretary for 2010/2011. I have a passion for making the club a better place than we met it. Multitude of over-qualified candidates are on the long queue to join the club, not just because of the location in the prime real estate called Ikoyi but also for the sustained value not replicated in any other club in Nigeria. The challenge that stares us all in the face is that we must nurture and sustain this legacy such that, at the natural turn, our children too can hold aloft the banner of Ikoyi Club 1938 and be proud to do so. This objective is inconsistent with abuse of office, subscription evasion, trampling on the moral values of the club, impersonation and sundry other despicable acts by some members who have had cause to be invited upstairs (via the no elevator route) in recent times. Let it be known, however, that I do not have sympathy for the victims of decisions taken in the greater interest of Ikoyi Club 1938. By virtue of my office, I know the depth and broadness of the pool of eminently qualified and distinguished persons who are members of this club; yet it is a herculean task getting things done in the club. I am personally against making the sub-committee membership a spoil of victory – members who have the necessary competence should be encouraged to step forward voluntarily and serve. We should all seek to impart values on the club and make it a better place than we met it. Winston Churchill captured this succinctly when he said “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.” We must have a concern for the sustenance of our club. Members should afford the club the benefit of their competencies, unsolicited – constructive advice should be freely given. Such that the managing director of a multinational construction company would not just walk into the club on a paved way that every professional sense in him tells him could be done better and just walk away after his golf game or the managing director of a giant ICT company is still being checked in manually into the club and he quietly takes his drink and exits because “it’s not my baby.” That is not good enough. If we can be proud of our membership of Ikoyi Club 1938 everywhere, the club too should enjoy the fruits of the success it has been part of. So, while inviting you to savour this exciting new issue of your magazine, Harmony. let me sign off with an old saying of the sufis: “Past the beggar and the suffering walks he who asks, ‘Why, oh God, do you not do something for these people?’ To which God replied, ‘I did do something, I made you.”

Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi (PABIEKUN) Honorary Secretary, Ikoyi Club 1938 Mob: 08060934000

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ne w s about t h e club , outsi d e an d w it h in

Read while you recreate


t was a donation of books, but the deeper message was similar to the well-known scriptural one: without knowledge, people perish. If that message is well-taken, then, perhaps, the Ikoyi Club 1938 library would also become one of the places to visit more often by members – and their guests. For now, according to Club Chairman Richard Giwa-Osagie, the stats are not at all impressive - out of a strong membership of 10,000+, only 20 visit the library at any given time. This must change: so that not only do the people not perish but also to ensure that efforts by individuals such as Chief Michael



Olorunfemi and institutions like Aston University, Birmingham, UK, are not wasted. Olorunfemi, through his Michael Andrew Olorunfemi Foundation’s Books for Nigeria Project, and in collaboration with Aston University, on Sunday, 31 July, donated some books on disciplines such as law, accounting and psychology, to Ikoyi Club 1938. While Aston donated the books, the Foundation defrayed the cost of shipping and clearing at the ports. Although the Books for Nigeria Project is aimed at university


students, Chief Olorunfemi said the gesture was extended to the club to enable its array of professional members have access to good books for research. “We want people to have access to reference materials so that they can do more work on their own. We want to break the apathy towards reading and encourage professionals to contribute their quota towards national development,’’ he said at the prescontinued on page 8

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Paying homage


embers of the General Committee led by Mr. Richard Giwa-Osagie left the premises of Ikoyi Club 1938 in a two-car convoy at 6.25pm on 16 June to keep a 7pm appointment with the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Aremu Akinlolu, Olowo Eko (owner of the riches of Lagos). We arrived at the palace and were quickly processed into the cosy Reception lounge. Pretty soon, Entertainment Chairman Jide Adeola, at home in the palace, made the royal guests ultracomfortable. Palace staff brought out an array of assorted drinks, from chilled water to vintage red wines. The lavish refreshment over, “Royal Ambassador” Adeola announced that the Kabiyesi would now receive us. We filed into another palatial room, larger and appeared to be the living room of the Kabiyesi. There already seated were a few chiefs...and five minutes later, the Oba joined us in his majesty. The Oba insisted we have to pray before anything else. The spirit moved “Brother” Owolabi, the Table-tennis Chairman, who said a l-e-n-g-t-h-y prayer....Thereafter, Mr Giwa-Osagie took the floor to address the monarch. As soon as he uttered “Kabiyesi” (The One Who Can’t Be Questioned) Oba Akiolu cut him short noting that it is only the Almighty Allah who deserves that appellation. The chairman took note...and continued his speech rendered in the English Language spiced with smattering Yoruba – which made a seated chief to remind the Oba that the chairman is one of his own – from the Benin Kingdom. The Oba

agreed but pointed out that his own kinsmen arrived Lagos over 500 years ago whereas it appeared the chairman represented those who remained in Benin. The chairman went on to introduce his entourage, after which the Oba formally welcomed us to the palace. He stated that the palace was over 500 years old and that Lagos welcomes everybody to prosperity but will not condone “nonsense” from anybody. The Oba added that the traditional and spiritual character of Lagos was such that visitors, more often than not, prosper than indigenes, citing the examples of today’s successful “Lagosians” who arrived Lagos virtually naked and with nowhere to sleep at night but under the bridges but who have gone ahead to prosper in life. All the while, we were still enjoying the royal hospitality with more wine, champagne and other non-alcoholic beverages and roast goat meat. Affirming that recreation is crucial to healthy living, the Oba stated that but for Providence both the Ikoyi Club 1938 and the Polo Club would have been converted to schools by a past Lagos government. He revealed that he had visited Ikoyi Club 1938 incognito for


over eight times but that henceforth he would be there once invited. After about an hour, it was time to leave but not without a group photograph with the Oba in the Royal Courtyard. The team departed the palace after the photographs at about 10pm. The chairman presented modest gifts to the Kabiyesi and also gave tokens (“shook body”) to the sundry palace boys before we departed. Back in the car, members requested that having had a good outing we should retire to the cosiness of the 44 Restaurant within the Club premises for a night-cap but the chairman responded to type – it’s not in the budget. - Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi



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Special General Meeting for parking pavilion


Special General Meeting will be called to take firm decisions on the proposed parking pavilion - a multi-storey structure on the Club’s premises, with storage and staff changing facilities on the ground floor and four floors of parking with a roof terrace, accommodating at least 560 cars. Club Chairman Richard Giwa-Osagie said that the meeting will consider the various funding options that have been reviewed by the Technical Committee and Sponsorship Sub-Committees. The pavilion, expectedly, will solve the gross inadequacy of the club’s existing four car parking areas.

READ continued from page 6 entation. Adding: “Reading is the cheapest way of acquiring information and the best way of expanding one’s horizon.” Concurring while appreciating the kind gestures of Olorunfemi and Aston, Giwa-Osagie described knowledge as the first weapon against poverty, which is the greatest assault to mankind. Allowing that the club’s library needed improvements in the areas of stocking and supervision, he agreed with Olorunfemi that members needed to create time to read. Even as an alumnus of Aston University affirmed that the Michael Adewale Olorunfemi Foundation had successfully donated books to the Universities of Ilorin, Lagos and Ado-Ekiti, witnessing the presentation live at Ikoyi Club gave a representative of Aston University, Miss Liza Rodgers, great delight. She expressed hope that the books would be of immense benefit to members of the club. So, members, make her happier, and follow Olorunfemi’s counsel: find time to read, and make it part of your routine. Indeed, Olorunfemi has assured that books would not only be regularly donated to the club, his Foundation would also assist in refurbishing the club’s library and providing consultancy services where necessary. His pledge: “This partnership will involve continually selecting relevant books for Ikoyi Club library from the array of collections that we receive from our donors. This is our Corporate Social Responsibility project being coordinated by a team of alumni of Aston Business School and generously supported by Olorunfemi Foundation.’’



If your ad is not in this Then you should not miss the bumper October-December issue. It will also be a collector’s item. Reserve your space today. Hotlines: 08186935900 & 016283223 Or email: harmony@harpostrophe. com and our rep will be with you, pronto. There are opportunities for special advertising features, customised promotions, inserts, etc. You will thank us for this.

sect i on re p orts


what the sections are doing


Sports, Bob Marley and birthdays


HE Chairman’s Week tournament, a friendly and the Social Sunday/ American Tournament were the sporting events held between January and June 2011, in this section, according to Chairman Reginald Udeagbala. Held between 14 February (Valentine’s Day) and 17 February, the Chairman’s Week featured keen contests for trophies in Men’s Singles and Groups A and B Doubles. The Social Sunday/American Tournament was held in March, as a forum for members and guests to interact and social-

ise. The Games Captain created an avenue for decorum which added glamour to the great day. The Ikoyi Club 1938 team were the overall winners of the friendly tournament between them and the Lagos Country Club’s team. Held on 22 May, it featured Groups A & B and Veterans Doubles. It was not all badminton. The section had a hugely-attended-and-successful 30-year-remembrance gig for the legendary reggae crooner, Bob Marley. The regular Friday nights’ entertainment also went without fail and members loved the treat to usher them into the weekend. Members’ birthdays were also celebrated during the social Sunday with cakes and all other goodies. The June Birthday celebration was sponsored by one of the “birthday boys” with lots of pepper soup for all. The occasions are usually opportunities of interactions by families.




t was fun unlimited during the period in review; with the monthly Pub-Nite, Easter Family Picnic, Children’s Day and Happy Hours. February Pub-Nite was courtesy of friends of the bar; March, April and May were sponsored by the Main House as there was no corporate sponsor while the June Pub-Nite was in-house disco by the Club DJ. The Easter Family Picnic, held yearly was sponsored by the Main House and, as usual, it had families being feted to good music and drinks. Also a yearly event, the Children’s Day, held on 27 May, was a lavish party organised by the section. Regrettably, without a sponsor this year, the Main House picked up the tab. Wonder Works provided packs of hot dog, ice cream, burger, gifts and entertainment such as train ride, bouncy castle and cartoon characters. There was also a film show enjoyed by children and adults alike at the Club Lawn. Happy Hours, sponsored by the Chairman’s Week organising committee, came up on a special Friday between 8pm and 9:30pm and featured wine-tasting by the members who attended. The Club DJ rocked the house with “old school” and contemporary music.


Plenty plays, prizes, photo-ops...


xcept in April and May, when there were no competitions, the section buzzed with competitions in the first and second quarters. There were the Snooker Ladder Competition (31 January-4 February), Chairman’s Competition (9-18 February), Martin Nwoga Competition (14-19 March) and the INITS Limited-sponsored Snooker Open 2011 (8-17 June). The Snooker Ladder Competition had the following winners: Akeem Mustafa (1st), Frank Irabor (2nd) and Ayodeji Akinola (3rd). Tunde Fashakin came first in the Chairman’s Competition for Pool; Walter Ofonagoro (2nd) and Ademola Bolarinde (3rd). The winners in Billiards were: Chukwuma Oyeka (1st), Victor Okobi (2nd) and Dele Benson (3rd). Snooker had Akeem Mustafa (1st), Wale Ogunsanwo (2nd) and Victor Okobi (3rd). In Snooker Doubles, there were: Frank Irabor/Niyi Olufemi (1st). Tunde Fashakin/Adediran Benson (2nd) and Shola Akerele/Chukwuma Oyeka (3rd). The Martin Nwoga Snooker Competition was won by Banji Ogundere (1st), AKB Disu (2nd) and Bimbo Okubena (3rd). The Inits Open had AKB Disu (1st), Akeem Mustafa (2nd) and Bimbo Okubena (3rd). All the competitions were attended by prizes, photo opportunities and plenty of goodies.



club Chairman Richard Giwa-Osagie, presenting a plaque to Mr. & Mrs. Femi and Ronke Taiwo, the sponsors of the 2011 INITS SNOOKER OPEN A cross section of Members at the prize giving ceremony

Chairman, Billiards, Snooker & Pool Section Mr. Frank Irabor addressing Members

Justice Oshodi, presenting 3rd place prize to Mr. Ademola Bolarinde on behalf of Mr. Bimbo Okubena

sect i on re p orts

w hat the sect i ons are d o i ng


All correctees


vents that kept the section busy between January and June were the Dan Akujobi Memorial Foundation Golf Tournament held on 15 January; Captain’s Day held from 17-19 Feburary; the February, March and April Monthly Mugs; Ikoyi Club Vs IBB Club Abuja Tourney and the Baywood Golf Tournament held on Saturday 4 June. The April Monthly Mug Singles Match-play Qualifier was also held on 11 June. In the Akujobi Memorial tourney, the winners were as follows: Calvino (Nett), T Ayomike (Gross), L Tanimowo (Longest Drive - Hole 14), C Majoroh (Nearest to the pin –Hole 12), L Ngoka (Ladies), A Uwadia (Longest Drive – Hole 10) In the Captain’s Day tournament, L Tanimowo won the Net while P Eben-Spook took the diadem for Gross. B Epega came tops in the Past Captains’ category while P Shodeko was the winner in the Veterans’ Category. N Ige won the Guest Category; K Ogunleye (Longest Drive, Hole 18, Day 1) and S Oboh (Longest Drive, Hole 18, Day 2). In the Club Chairman’s Tournament, L Tanimomo was the winner in Division 1, while G Eke was the winner in Division 2. The February Monthly Mug, held on 5 March, had G Adeniji as winner in Division 1 and B Epega in Division 2. Chandawany won the March Monthly Mug Division 1 while M Bartezzatti won in Division 2. In Division 1 for April Monthly Mug, Aborishade was the winner, while in Division 2, Ayo Vaughan was the winner. In the Baywood Tournament, held on Saturday, 4 June, S Majoroh was winner (nett), while P Danjuma was the winner (gross). In the guest category, Onuoha was the winner. L Tanmimowo was the winner of The Longest Drive (Hole 18) while Nduese won the Nearest to the Pin (Hole 4). Finally, in the meet between Ikoyi Club Golf and IBB Golf Club, held from 21-22 May, the former won with a total of 44 ½ as against the latter’s 30 ½.

lawn tennis

Clinic & Tourney


hildren’s Clinic, American Tournament and Children’s Tie Break were the star acts of Tennis section. here, a gallery of pictures from the events.



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he section made it to 40th annual International Swimming Competition in Arnsberg, Germany, with the Chairman, Mr Freeborn Erhenede, leading a contingent of 23 children, 16 accompanying parents and four officials. The Ikoyi Club 1938 team came ninth out of 40 clubs in Europe with 11 gold, 18 silver and 13 bronze medals. The section sponsored five girls and five boys because of its lean purse, while other children were parent-sponsored. Miss Morikeoluwa Ayodeji, 9, did us proud by single-handedly winning seven gold medals. Still, all the children made the section proud for being worthy ambassadors. And, the parents, too, for their role and co-operation throughout the competition both at home and in Germany. Thanks, too, to AIICO Insurance Plc which redeemed its pledge of a return tickets to the last year’s Gold medallist - Master Akinyinka George Taylor.

w hat the sect i ons are d o i ng

The yearly Good Friday Frejon was held on 25 April, with a special hi-tech Karaoke DJ in the house. The event was witnessed by Club Chairman Mr Richard Giwa-Osagie, other Office Bearers and a large number of the club members. The Monthly Birthday Celebration in the section has come to stay. The section has boosted the gallery with a new LCD television set for the comfort of our members. The Playstation Gallery of the children and other facilities are also being upgraded. Swimming clinics are being proposed to take off in September, 2011 for the children and adults alike. The section will hosted to an international in November by the Tesano Club of Accra Ghana. Interested members are expected to register for the trip. The children squad group training for this competition has begun; interested children swimmers are also enjoined to be part of the team. Let’s just say that the section is reloaded with entertaining and recreational activities.


Squashtival t was a festival of sorts when 42 children were taught


the basics of squash at a yearly Squash Clinic for children held from 25 July- 12 August. Sponsored by “Friends of the Section” they were also taken through fitness and exercise routines and a CPR session. After clinic came a presentation ceremony and party on Friday, 12 August 2011.

Balancing with Coach Yinka

Children Doubles

Coach Deji training

group picture of children at squashtival

Children and coach Taiwo

Coach Yinka training

Coach Deji in Action harmony


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w hat the sect i ons are d o i ng


All went ping pong


he Annual New Year Dance, Bumper 2 Bumper (Final Showdown), The Aare Rotimi Ishola Grassroots’ Tournament, Friendly Tournament between Ikoyi Club 1938 team and Union Bank Lagos Table Tennis Club and birthday parties were the activities that kept the section abuzz between January and July – to the delight of its members.

1st Aare Rotimi Isola Grassroot Table Tennis Competition. The first Semi-Finals battle between Engineer Bola Ayorinde(Left) and Soji Aladesuru(Right). Engineer Bola Ayorinde won 3-0 to cruise into the finals


More active members and new sport


ajor sports in the section – aerobics, martial arts and chess – blossomed with active and increased participation by members, even as there were no corporate sponsors, reports Chairman Mrs Ify Onukwuba. The section was active during the Club Chairman’s Week held in February with competitions held in aerobics, chess and ayo. Mrs



Onukwuba came tops in the ayo competition While the section intends to revive Tombola before year end as soon as there are sponsors, a new sport, Salsa Dance, has been introduced. It holds every Tuesday at 7pm. A coach should be appointed soon. Baton-change at the helm of the section was marked with a party on Friday 25 February. It was well-attended by members; the new Club Chairman Richard Giwa-Osagie and his predecessor, Rear Admiral Toye Sode (rtd).

feat u re

“No corporate sponsor,” that’s the general refrain by the sections for their sporting events in the first half of 2011. Harmony therefore invited Mr Ikeddy Isiguzo, one of the few respected Nigerian sports journalists, now chairman of the Editorial Board of Vanguard newspapers and currently a student of Media Enterprise at the Pan-African University School of Media and Communication, “who’s concerned about the future of humanity” to give an informed opinion on sponsorship considerations.


VERYONE, almost everyone, knows everything about sponsorship. In these days of flaunted knowledge, mostly newly gained, and mainly hardly used, sponsorship surfaces in elevated discourse of experiential marketing and the like. Often, nothing is done about deepening usage of a path that is barely trodden, yet rated exhausted. A major challenge with sponsorship is that sponsors want everything, and really nothing. It takes timing and thinking to make something out of sponsorship. The adage that money is not everything applies aptly to sponsorship. Millions of Naira thrown into an event does not guarantee success for the brand unless the sponsor can answer the key questions about the brand’s involvement and its expectations. “Sports have established their dominance of sponsorships. In its earliest days, sponsorship was almost exclusively the domain of sports properties. In 1984, 90 per cent of all sponsorship dollars went to sports,” IEG, a top sports

sponsorship said in a 2008 document. Things have changed slightly with some of the money going into other areas – music, theatre – and new media that command the attention of youth, and are in an imitable race with the changes in the ways we communicate. Advantages that sports have over other properties that seek sponsorship are their various attributes that appeal to the broad communication platforms that attract different audiences. Nothing compares with or replaces the grittiness, subtleties, waves of emotions, and the humanness sports present sometimes in one image. Companies can buy into these as they search for emotional logic, the most important driver for business success, as most products become commodities. As the battle for the consumer’s attention rages, companies have moved from sponsorships to partnerships, more involving aspect of sponsorships, where they are part of planning and execution of events to ensure the sponsorship relationship attains the following objectives Increase brand loyalty

Loyal consumers of a product or service want to see the diversities of the organisation’s involvement in everyday



feat u re w hose s p onsorsh i p any w ay ?

life. They gain satisfaction from sharing in the brand’s relevance. Organisations can stretch this consumer trait through sponsorships. Create awareness, visibility

Wide exposure in both electronic and print media provides sponsors with vast publicity opportunities for their brands, which are cheaper than purchase of advertisement spaces. Change, reinforce image

Sponsorship can create, change, or reinforce a brand image, in addition to benefiting from the advantages of subtle marketing over advertisement. Drive retail traffic

Sponsorship is a great asset for traffic-building promotions. Companies can offer discounts during sponsorships. Be Community, Be Social, Be Responsibility

Community and social responsibility have been hit words for companies for years, but amazingly, many consumers have their understanding of those words. They reward companies they consider socially responsible. Sponsorship is a veritable podium for waving the social responsibility flag. Customers will not fail to notice it. Push sales

Companies can tie sponsorship to drive sales, depending on products. Some companies insist on provision of their services or products as part of the sponsorship deal. After the event, they still retain some clients gained in this way. This, however, works better with longer term sponsorships. Show off your brand attributes

Sponsorship allows companies to showcase product benefits. Creativity is important in this regard. What is new about the product? People can use product on the spot and their remarks can be useful for product improvement. It is cheaper than most marketing researches. Give clients a treat

Create nice setting at your sports sponsored events to entertain clients, many of whom have forgotten how to relax. Their presence will add to the profile of the event and opportunities of giving your sponsorship higher rating.

could be followed up directly. Motivate employees

Attendance and involvement of the organisation’s staff in its sports sponsorships can motivate staff through increased knowledge, creation of more relationship and chances to relax at sports events. Merchandising opportunities

Point-of-purchase promotions around sports produce new enthusiasm from the colours around sports. These could reflect in better displays at shops to extend the association even after the sports events have ended. Such tie-ins extend product longevity. Incentives for retailers, dealers, distributors

There is stiff competition for shelf space. Sponsorships generate opportunities for retailers and distributors, especially where top athletes endorse products and the association includes visits to retail points. Product differentiation

Companies gain a competitive selling edge through opportunities in category exclusivity, a base for generating currency with consumers.

manifold successes. If well-planned and executed, it can deliver a combination of the benefits listed above. The current challenge remains the ability of marketing communication managers to explore the vast benefits sponsorship provides for every product or service. An unsolicited advice - do not replace advertising, public relations, or sales promotion with sponsorship. Benefits of sponsorship differ for products and services. Most companies have discovered that sponsorship works best as part of an integrated marketing communications milieu that embraces all marketing methods, even if they are not all used at the same time.




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season 18



t was time for change of guards at the Ikoyi Club 1938 after the two-year tenure of The General Committee members lapsed. That Committee led by Admiral Toye Sode (rtd) had run the affairs of the club since 2009.

Their places others have to take – and this happens only through elections. The date of voting was 24 February 2011 – after weeks of electioneering, largely technologically-driven, particularly SMS via short codes – which also drew out massive voters. As is the tradition, voting was held between from noon till 7pm, and, of course, only fully paid members were eligible. A heavy turnout at the club’s election, therefore, is good news as for the club’s financial fortunes. After elections...come results. And that came on the day of the Annual General Meeting. Elected as chairman was Mr Richard Giwa-Osagie, a one-time Honorary Treasurer of the Club. He won with 523 votes. He defeated Adewale Doherty who had 224 votes; Oladipo A Aina, 219 votes and Maj-Gen M A Balogun (rtd), 190 votes. For the position of Vice-Chairman, there were three nominees: Babatunde Akinleye (who won with 555 votes), Babatunde Ogunnaike (401 votes) and Olusegun Afadama (182 votes). The post of Honorary Secretary was won by Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi, with 459 votes. He

defeated Ayodeji Ogunyinka who had 441 votes and Tayo Lashore, 237 votes. Mr Olusola Adeosun was the sole nominee for Honorary Treasurer, so he was elected unopposed. So was Mr Olajide Adeola, for the entertainment chairman. Winners and losers exhibited sportsmanship. After all, the club stands on the rock of harmony. The new chairman’s mission? To enhance global standards in the club and make it a truly international and family club through, among others, upgrading club’s sporting, recreational, library and other facilities , prudently and transparently. The provision of the car park pavilion and latest technology-driven access control and archival systems remains paramount projects in focus There will also be more children and youth programmes. And, very importantly, to maintain a disciplined club which will constantly attract quality members and achieve genuine harmony in general. (For the bio of the new Chairman and the other officers, see The Who’s Who.) harmony



Harmony: Globally, within


t is with utmost sense of humility and responsibility that I stand before you tonight to acknowledge the outcome of this election that has made me emerge the new Chairman of Ikoyi Club 1938. I am overwhelmed by the unprecedented support of members that knows no boundary. This is another milestone in the history of our great club. While I feel honoured being your choice to steer the affairs of this club for the next tenure, I am not unmindful of the responsibilities that go with it. We have a great club, the No 1 name in Nigeria, well-respected on the continent. We must not conduct the affairs of the club in any way that will bring disrepute to its name. We must continually strive to improve our standards in all ramifications. We will ceaselessly seek to enhance our facilities to global standards especially in areas that are presently lagging behind. Tonight is not for speech making; it marks the end of months of very hard work for the contestants and the beginning of a new era of leadership which should translate our concrete campaign points into reality. To do this, our job is just starting. By the Grace of God, we will get it right with your support and co-operation, we will get there. I congratulate all contestants in this election. It is just that somebody has to emerge the winner. As the saying goes, “no victor, no vanquished.” It takes a lot of guts to present yourself; it takes a lot of efforts to go through it. I urge you to join the train and let us all do it together in the interest of the club. Your interest to serve the club will not go unrecognised. I particularly thank my fellow contestants for the cordial and mature atmosphere that prevailed throughout the campaign period. It was a case of politics without bitterness. That was a good example of harmony which our club stands for. Ladies and gentlemen, let us co-exist in this spirit. If anything goes wrong, let us resolve it through the prescribed process and according to standard norms. There is no value in fuelling issues. Ikoyi Club 1938, Global Harmony is our Motto, harmony within must be our watchword. Finally, on behalf of the entire members of this present administration, I pledge our commitment and sincere service to this club. So help us God. Long Live Ikoyi Club, 1938 Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria I thank you very much for your attention. Text of the acceptance speech by new chairman of Ikoyi Club 1938, Richard Giwa-Osagie.



The Who’s




r Richard GIWA-OSAGIE MBA, FCA, FCTI is Managing Partner, Giwa-Osagie, DFK & Co. (Chartered Accountants); a past District Governor of Rotary International; pioneer Vice Chairman - Deloitte Alumni Association; past President University of Ibadan “MBA” Alumni Association (Lagos); Best Student in Final Professional Accountancy Exams (1976); Hon. Treasurer, Ikoyi Club 1938 (2006 – 2008) and Senior Prefect, Ibadan Grammar School (1970). Married to Mojisola (FCIB), they have children and a grandchild.

Vice Chairman


abatunde AKINLEYE is an electronics engineer. He’s Managing Director of Logic Sciences Limited, an electronic security firm. Married to Fowoke, a veterinarian, they have two children. Honorary Secretary


tunba Abiodun OLUFOWOBI, a multicompetence legal consultant, was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1992. Managing Partner of Lagos-based law firm, THE LAWTEAM, he belongs to several specialist professional bodies including the NBA, IBA, AEA, and AIPN. He is married to Ibiyemi, a broadcaster, and they are blessed with children.

Honorary Treasurer


lusola ADEOSUN is a multi-degree graduate of finance and a fellow of ICAN. He has since graduation worked

cover the w ho ’ s w ho

in the financial services industry. He’s a consultant and a resource person. He is married to Adesola, a businesswoman, and they have children.     Golf Captain


. Frank GBONEME retired from the Nigerian Customs Service in October 2008. He is the Chairman/CEO of Faiceck Petroleum Ltd. and Faiceck Freight Forwarders Ltd. Married to Cynthia who’s the Managing Director of Faiceck Petroleum Ltd, they have five children. OTHER MEMBERS Chairman, Tennis Section


ale OPEJIN is a professional estate surveyor and valuer. He is the Managing Director of Leadmac Property and Development Company Ltd and Wale Opejin & Co. He is an associate member, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers. He is married and has children.

include swimming, listening to music and travelling.

ful children. His hobbies include swimming, badminton and watching movies.

Chairman, Squash Section

Chairman, Entertainment Section


kinsanya AKINDELE is an architect, project manager and property development consultant. CEO, Architrave Nig Ltd, Director, City Structures Property Development Co and Chairman, Quell Energy Resources. Alumnus of UNILAG (BES,B. ARCH), LBS (OMP) and a member of Institute of Directors, Akindele is married to Oluyemisi and they are blessed with two. Chairman, Table Tennis Section


ony OWOLABI, FCIB, is an associate member of BRIPAN (Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Nigeria) with a master’s degree in banking and finance. He is the Managing Partner of Amato Consulting specialising in management consulting, financial and business advisory services. Happily married, he has three children. Chairman, Billiards, Snookers & Pool Section


rank IRABOR is a businessman. He is the Chairman/CEO of IRASON INDUSTRIAL CO, Ltd. He is married to Nkese Oluwatoyin, a banker. They are blessed with children.

Chairman, Swimming Section


reeborn Okunowo ERHENEDE is a chartered accountant. A Principal Manager at Aiico Insurance plc, he is the firm’s Head of Administration and Facility. Erhenede is married to Olapeju, a consultant anaesthetist at National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi and they have two children. His hobbies

Chairman, Badminton Section


eginald Ezebube UDEAGBALA is the president/ CEO of Evergreen Group. A full “red cap” title holder in his community, he studied theology for lay men. He is happily married to Christiana, an interior consultant. They are blessed with wonder-


ide ADEOLA is an amiable fun-loving gentleman and possesses strong passion for music and dancing. An M.Sc hold er in economics and an alumnus of Lagos Business School, Adeola was recently appointed the Chief Representative Officer of First Bank of Nigeria plc in the Middle East. Chairman, Other Sports Section


rs. Ifeyinwa Pamela ONUKWUBA is a graduate of the University of Ife. She is Managing Director, Nigeria Advertising Service Ltd, one of the foremost and oldest outdoor advertising companies in Nigeria. She is happily married and blessed with lovely children. Bar Adviser


deniyi Adesegun SOWEMIMO is a graphic-artist-turned-printer and has been managing a printing outfit since 1987. He is the managing director of Soba Investments Ltd and a retired Grade 1 Referee. A Rotarian, he’s married to Abimbola, a banker, and they have children. Premises Adviser


ngr Sunmade AGBE-DAVIES is a CORENregistered civil engineer, and a Member of Nigeria Society of Engineers. He is MD/CEO of Sees Construction Co Limited, and Principal Partner of Davies Konsult - a project management outfit. He is happily married to Detoun- former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Lagos State, and they are blessed with three children. harmony


the c l u b

t s u g Au emont y r s u e g u C … in A BY DEBO ADERIBIGBE & BARUCH APATA


t’s unbelievable how a gathering in a club commands such grandeur as to stand aglow in a city like Lagos. If there was ever any proof that Lagos was once governed by British colonialists, the pillar resides in Ikoyi, in the hallowed ‘Rotunda’ of Ikoyi Club 1938. The club comes across as that underdog spirit child of Lagos that engulfs the unique side of the city; it makes less noise but binds together and creates that tough skin of class. The history it holds and the glory it sheds paint a staggering Picasso among roadside wannabe gatherings across the

country. Little wonder there’s a spirited scramble for membership slots on offer every month. 10 August 2011 was one of such rare opportunities when aspiring members tried out their lucks at an induction ceremony, one in a series of simple but slippery tests that determine who’s in and who’s out. After being nominated by a club member who assumes the role of a sponsor, the 50 inductees for August proceeded to the all-important stage where they faced the Club General Committee, led by the Club Chairman, Mr Richard Giwa-Osagie. For what is ahead at this ceremony, it is unlikely any of the inductee, even if

Clockwise from top left: Hon secretary otunba abiodun Olufowobi interviews an inductee; chairman richard giwa-osagie makes his speech, flanked by hon Treasurer Olusola adeosun and Hon sec olufowobi; golf captain frank gboneme poses with his daughter Ijeoma, An inductee; an inductee collects his goodie bag; another donates to charity

he is an architect would have observed that Ikoyi Club 1938’s The Rotunda – unlike rotundas – has sides, in fact 12 of them. On that balmy Tuesday evening inside the fully air-conditioned The Rotunda, tables were delicately laid out with cocktails and finger foods a.k.a “small chops”, and soft background music wafting through the speakers. Then to the Rites of Passage. On the nose of 7 O’clock, the applicants started filing in one after the other with their respective sponsors who handed them over to the Club’s Honorary Secretary Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi who welcomed them, quizzed them and passed them on to the chairman along with their green forms. The chairman also asks the candidate few questions in respect of the status as indicated on their green forms before passing the candidate to the vice-chairman and the same ritual is repeated till the candidate passes through the line of the members of the General Committee. It’s instructive to note that the sectional heads, who line up after the club’s honorary secretary, chairman, vice chairman and treasurer (collectively known as The Office Bearers), are arranged in the order in which their respective sections joined Ikoyi Club 1938 from the golf captain to the swimming chairman. The candidate finally gets to the club’s General Manager, Dipo Onafowokan, who then hands the inductees to the registration desk where they were asked to “drop something” in to the charity box – in line with the club’s age-long tradition. The proceeds are harmony


the c l u b a u g u st ceremony. . . i n a u g u st

distributed to established and registered charities based on the assessment of the General Committee. Thereafter, the inductees were given the club’s branded bags containing various souvenirs. They progressed to the tables for cocktails and “small chops” where candidates who had already been interviewed were left to mingle. Now, the induction night is one of the few occasions where club members get to eat and drink free-of-charge on the club. So they encircled the cocktail tables, exchanging courtesies as strangers but with the common goal of securing membership of a great club with a cherished heritage. Wives of some inductees had their hands clasped in their husbands’ as they were introduced to other candidates. Note: it could even be a wife that is the inductee - where the woman is the one whose company has paid for membership, then the husband is the “spouse member.” Among the inductees, all dressed to the nines, were six junior members who sought to be upgraded to honor-



ary members. Mr. Moses Akenzuwa, a member since 1971, sponsored his son, Alex, and daughter, Sandra. The Golf Captain Frank Gboneme also sponsored his daughter –Ijeoma – for an upgrade. It is a tradition of the club that any previous junior member among the inductees are called out from the crowd and openly acknowledged with the sponsor. Rounding off the night with a speech, chairman of the Club congratulated the inductees for making the shortlist, considering the keen competition for membership, and emphasised the need for candidates to abide by rules as contained in “THE GREEN BOOK” supplied to them. He then made a roll call to check if anyone had left the hall before the end of the ceremony. To the delight of everyone, all names called were accounted for. As is the norm on special occasions like this, special recognition is given to any past office holder present at the induction as a sponsor. In this case, Mr. Tunde Imoyo, a past golf captain, was recognised by the chairman.

Top row L-R: An inductee gets registered by club GM dipo onafowokan; Entertainment captain Jide Adeola, other sports captain ifeyinwa onukwuba pose with an inductee; golf captain gboneme interviews an inductee while tennis captain wale opejin looks on; middle row l-r cross section of inductees; Hon sec and chairman greet an inductee; inductees help themselves to refreshments; bottom row l-r: interviews; more interviews; another cross section of inductees

Earlier, Giwa-Oagie had reminded inductees that the club, since its founding in 1938, has remained civil and closely guarded on admission of members. He also encouraged junior members who began attending the club as children and whose parents were members to continue in the line, to retain togetherness of the society. By 8:55pm when the curtains fell on the event, many thoughts must have run through the minds of inductees. They must have hoped, like the chairman mentioned, that a large number of the inductees would get the votes of the General Committee members (white balls as against the black ball for an unsuitable candidate) at their voting session later same night. At the induction ceremony witnessed by Harmony there were 43 inductees, among them several expartriates, diplomats CEOs of companies, and six junior members. If you are not in now, may be you will... next month or some other time.

. . . d i u q i L

the c l u b

& By Tosin Ayeni


lthough we are not here to make profit but we are not in deficit,” that’s the good news from the Head of Finance and Accounts, Yemisi Samuel. “We do not owe anybody or any bank. ...We are liquid and have enough money to carry out our regular activities.” That’s indeed good news as “up to 2009, the club was running at a deficit.” Where does this money come from? “The bulk of our revenue is from subscription of members.” Add to that income from sale of foods and drinks, rent paid by vendors and so on. Last year, the club had upped entrance/membership fee from N400,000 to N600,000 minimum. Similarly, the Annual General Meeting of February ratified a 20 per cent increase in subscription fee. Both increments, which became effective 1 July, 2010, might

as well have enormously contributed to the club’s financial strength. In six months, surplus hovers in the region of N80,000,000; so that’s no less than N150,000,000 in a year. Present at the interview with Samuel, Club GM Dipo Onafowokan interjects: “If one were to look at the accounts of the club, prior to these increases, you will see that other recreation clubs of lesser quality than Ikoyi Club were actually charging more to join. But that did not warrant the increase.” What did? At some point, the stagnancy of the capital fund had become burdensome. And when it grew, it was at a far lesser pace compared to demand for expenditure on it. It was predicted that growth would eventually overtake the fund, so amendments had to be made. The subscription fee was increased accordingly, being the source of the club’s operations funds. Not to forget that there was no increment in subscription for so many years.

Head of Finance and Accounts, Yemisi Samuel

While cost of operations – diesel for generators, particularly – kept spiralling. So, where does the bulk of all the revenue go? “It’s a tough call between staff salary and procurements,” Samuel offers, adding, “But we have a budget. On a weekly basis, we have what we call ‘variance analysis.’ We compare our budget with the actual, to know whether we have exceeded the budget and then take corrective measures, which basically involve cutting down on expenses like lowering consumption rates and requisitions,” she adds. What does the future hold for the Club, judging by current finance levels? “In five years from now — looking at all the projects on ground, such as the multi-storey car park —our finances should be surplus. Currently, we have attained the feat of N80million surplus in six months. In the next five years, we should have surplus of N100million to N200 million in a six-month period.” You can raise your glasses now....

We do not owe anybody or any bank. ...We are liquid and have enough money to carry out our regular activities



the c l u b

Fridays are

fun-ever By Fisayo Soyombo


was made for Ikoyi hank God It’s Friday” when tournament Club 1938: Friday is g in prize-giving/ finals hold, culminatin It is also the day for awards ceremonies. od-itsshes and other thank-G ba y da th bir s, ion rat celeb b Night’ ‘BumpertoBumper,’ ‘Pu Friday shows such as r. usually in the main ba s. The b runs its programme th Every section of e clu government, position of a federal e th es tak e us Ho Main , function re or less autonomous mo s, on cti se e th ile wh as well. eir own programmes th n ru ey th so tes sta like ts probably r instance, social even On a Wednesday, fo ng/wineually when wine-tasti us is at th m; 6p at rt sta to be more e tendency of people th ith W . rts sta g lin samp eady jame club’s car park is alr th ys, da Fri on ed ax rel any activity that 6pm, there is hardly By m. 4p by ed ck pa ard opening . Even the club’s stand ay rw de un t ge to t ye is to 9am-4am ange from 9am-2am ch s ur ho g sin clo d an Manager Dipo rdays too. To General tu Sa d an – ys da Fri on ,” allowing , “everyday is the same gh ou th n ka wo afo On s sims more social activitie that “Friday witnesse not ay rd tu vantage of Sa ply because of the ad un“S at: th o He notes to being a working day.” day, ily fam e ays busy. It’s th day afternoon is alw e th r Fo er. running all ov so you have children ere Th y. da ng y is a worki management, everyda y. da Fri a it’s e ment becaus is no special arrange t en fer dif t that there are It’s the same job, jus we ferent days. So really, dif arrangements for to t go e u’v because yo try not to differentiate of y da ery days but ev deliver not only on Fri business full time.... is th n the week. We ru done. It’s like the There is so much to be New York. Ikoyi Club city that never sleeps: ep. If the club should 1938 doesn’t really sle ll not be ready when go to sleep, things wi llowing day.” General Manager members come the fo Dipo Onafowokan something he Well, at least there is “Getting feedlikes to do on Fridays: Club is so big that backs... because the thing.” you cannot see every



the c l u b

Operating with style – and

difference By Baruch Apata


r Tokunbo Ekundayo is soft -spoken with a British accent that he strongly commands. When he speaks his native Yoruba language, the Yoruba tone doesn’t slip by and when he drops to the Nigerian English tone you understand him much more but the spark in his voice improves and deepens when he is in the old British cockney accent mode. Just give it to him Often clad in his official corporate suit, this product of a hotel school in the United Kingdom joined the club on 13 September, 2010. As the Operations Manager (“OP” to all) his schedule is quite full. But, he manages quite well, overseeing duties directly from his post via the telephone, walkie-talkie and other channels when he is not on the field, so to speak. The club runs 14 different bars including the Main House bar so as the Operations Manager, what can he say about members’ patronage? He says he notices that members stay loyal to their sections’ bars. From his vantage position, he allows that the Golf, Tennis, Snooker and Main House bar attract the most customers. Whichever bar it is, the town knows that when you need the chilliest beer at a truly “modest price” the place to be is Ikoyi Club 1938.

And, with Ekundayo, the oloyinbo, you can begin to add that it is a place - in the future, when the main bar is renovated - to get some exoteric cocktails with names that most can relate to - Lagos Island Iced Tea (from Long Island Iced Tea), the 1938 long drinks, etc. Perhaps, he should have played the “mixologist” in the Forest Whitaker/Carlos Scotch thoroughly hilarious movie, “Our Family Wedding.” With Tokunbo Ekundayo’s commitment to continually look for ways to beat his last best performance, it is safe to say that he is a great asset to the Ikoyi Club 1938 family.



n associate member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, he has worked with various conglomerates and financial institutions in different capacities. He left Churchgate Group as Group AGM. He is now the Managing Director of New Chapel Assets Mgt. Ltd, which specialises in marketing and exporting of industrial minerals. He is married to Bukola and they have children. Segun AFADAMA


e is the Chief Executive Officer of Adgroup Limited, one of the leading advertising agencies in Nigeria, founded in 1993. An ex-President of Rotary Club of Lagos Central, he’s married and has children. Lanre IDOWU


n author, editor, and publisher, he runs Diamond Publications Limited, a Lagos-based publishing company, which also organises the annual Diamond Awards for Media Excellence. He has two published works, ‘The Popular is Seldom Correct’ (a collection of essays) and ‘Bridges of Memory’ (a collection of poems). A fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, he has also edited numerous books.  Ted IWERE


ournalist and lawyer, he is publisher of Best of Business, an online newspaper for business owners. Alumnus of University of Lagos and Columbia University, Iwere published BUSINESS magazine, Nigeria’s first solely business magazine. Pioneer features editor of The Guardian and founding CEO of Independent Newspapers, Iwere is an avid golfer.


operations Manager tokunbo ekundayo


e is a media communication consultant and actor, having retired as an Assistant Director of Programmes from NTA, where he worked as announcer, producer, newscaster, and ceremonials commentator of national and international events. He’s married to Elizabeth, a Conference Interpreter/Translator, and they have children, including a set of twins.   Tony ONYIMA


media technocrat, he started out at The Guardian in 1986. With backgrounds in journalism, marketing and management, Onyima is the Managing Director/Editor-in-chief of The Sun. He is a member of Nigeria Union of Journalists and Nigerian Guild of Editors. He is married to Lauretta, and they have children. Dayo SOBOWALE


e is a consummate writer of note. He started his career with the Daily Times of old and had a long stint with the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc in the corporate affairs department. He is now back on the beat as a social commentator of repute with The Nation newspaper where he has a regular column. He is married and has children. harmony


s p ec i a l feat u re



or those privileged to have grown up in Ikoyi in the 1960s and 1970s, after the departure of the colonial overlords who were its original inhabitants, it was an idyllic place: perched on the edge of a creek and a lagoon, its homes tucked away amidst sprawling gardens and upper-middle-class sensibilities. Award-winning novelist, Sefi Atta, was one of those people. “I was usually outdoors with my siblings, digging

By Tolu Ogunlesi photos: Richard enesi

shells of buildings of the former federal secretariat, now a commercial redevelopment, providing a backdrop to the golf course of ikoyi club 1938



s p ec i a l F eat u re I k oy i

main picture: the bridge from victoria island into ikoyi; below: the falomo roundabout; below right: awolowo road


up iguana eggs, catching tadpoles and climbing up trees. Our house was five minutes away from Five Cowrie Creek, and my siblings and I would go there to watch fishermen or play on the dunes,” she told literary magazine, Per Contra, a few years ago. However, standing side-by-side with the nostalgia-suffused evidence of Ikoyi’s innocence, is another, much less salubrious, fact: that Ikoyi is a powerful symbol of Nigeria’s bloody history. While the young Sefi climbed trees and tended gardens in 1960s Ikoyi, the suburb’s other side played itself out: a number of the victims of the January 15, 1966 coup, Nigeria’s first, were arrested in their Ikoyi homes. Lt. Col. Abogo Largema was killed inside Ikoyi Hotel. A decade later, February 1976, Head of State Murtala Mohammed was assassinated in his official vehicle, near the Federal Secretariat in Ikoyi. And until the relocation of the Federal capital to Abuja in 1991, two of the major targets of any intending coup-plotter – and there were any number of them – were to be found in Ikoyi: Dodan Barracks, the seat of Government, and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).


Poet and academic Ogaga Ifowodo will always remember Ikoyi as “the place where [I was] held on the unjust command of a dictator.” He was detained by the Sani Abacha regime in 1998, in an Ikoyi prison cell that went by the name ‘Redemption Kingdom’. Last year, he returned to the prison, for the first time. “I can still picture the cell in my mind; the last room, a small one, with eight of us in it,” he told NEXT newspaper, during the visit. There are many others who belong to that category; Nigerians for whom Ikoyi will always evoke memories of uniformed state oppression. The late lawyer and human rights activist Gani Fawehinmi had at least two stints – 1978 and 1990 – in the prison. And, for many years, the dreaded ‘State Security Service’ had its headquarters on 15, Awolowo Road, premises now occupied by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Ikoyi is also, by virtue of its famous cemetery, home to many illustrious dead. Nationalist, and founder, in 1923, of Nigeria’s first political party, Herbert Macaulay, is buried there. As is G. Hilario Campos, the Afro-Cuban descendant of slaves (he relocated from Havana, his birthplace, to Lagos in the late 1800s) after whom the famous Campos Square of Lagos Island

s p ec i a l F eat u re I k oy i

anti-clockwise from above: alfred rewane road (formerly kingsway road); the monument marking the spot where general murtala mohammed was assasinated; the southern sun hotel (formerly ikoyi hotel) on alfred rewane road; paintings at a gallery on awolowo road

is named. With its profusion of sedate British street names, Ikoyi is perhaps the biggest reminder that Nigeria was once firmly in colonial hands. There is perhaps no other part of Lagos that bears the colonial imprint like Ikoyi – with street names like Lugard, Macpherson, Bourdillon, Cameron, Glover, and Reeve surviving to this day. Briton Ian McCall who left Britain for Nigeria in 1951, to work as a Produce Officer in the colonial civil service, describes the Ikoyi Club of that era: “It was the only place where golf could be played – it had an 18-hole course with sand greens known as ‘browns’. It was also a difficult place for Nigerians to become members. It had its black members but they were few in relation to the white faces... Frustrated Nigerians eventually set up their own club, the Island Club...” Ikoyi has always managed to retain a lot of its snobbishness. In his tribute to his late friend and associate, Tayo Aderinokun, Fola Adeola wrote: “One of the challenges posed by living in Ikoyi in 1986 was that there were no barbers anywhere near-by! One therefore had to go to the mainland for a simple haircut any time one was required.” Poet Helon Habila captures the forbidding spirit of today’s

Ikoyi – a vestige, one presumes, of colonial times – in these lines from his long poem, Lagos: Ikoyi lives behind fences, Locking out the crime wave that daily rises, Surging, inroading the shores of their defences. Guards leashed to dogs underline the prohibitive Notices: MILITARY ZONE; KEEP OFF. And you can’t Loiter by somebody’s NO LOITERING. You walk on. You can’t piss, can’t scratch your ass; you can’t Bask in the sun, like the lizard, on somebody’s DON’T WALK ON THE LAWN. But like many other parts of Lagos, it has been blighted and bashed-in several times over. Many of the lawns have since been trampled upon. Ikoyi today is a bustling commercial-residential district, proudly bearing all of Lagos’ chaotic chromosomes; shamelessly flaunting its contemporary identity as an urban planner’s nightmare. The potholes to be found in some of Ikoyi’s residential

Ikoyi has always managed to retain a lot of its snobbishness



s p ec i a l F eat u re I k oy i

areas are some of the most intimidating in Lagos. When it rains, not even the sturdiest of SUVs – vehicles of choice for its moneyed inhabitants – can escape the nightmarish driving experience that follows. It appears that neither Ikoyi’s colonial charm, nor its elitist posturing, will insulate it from extended spells of government neglect. During the day, street hawkers and commercial motorcyclists rule the roads, darting dangerously in between cars; late at night, hawkers of flesh take over and beckon from the shadows. Ikoyi is no stranger to the horrific traffic jams for which Lagos is known – Awolowo and Alfred Rewane Roads, gateways to Victoria Island, are, during rush-hour, a traffic demon’s delight. This may not surprise many, considering that Murtala Mohammed was killed while his car sat in a traffic jam, in Ikoyi – in 1976. (Food for thought for all those who like to speak as though Lagos’ gridlock was a recent invention). Ikoyi is also a giant construction site, swarming with workmen putting up yet another hotel, or bank, or block of highrise luxury apartments. The rapidly multiplying apartments are some of the most expensive in the world; annual rents costing several tens of thousands of dollars. A friend told me he recently counted hundreds of unoccupied ones – yet new ones continue to spring up with luxurious irreverence, incontrovertible proof of Lagos’ logic-defying character. One major plus for Ikoyi is its arts-friendly nature. Lagos’ arts and entertainment scene would no doubt be very different in the absence of Ikoyi. Several fine galleries (Quintessence, Hourglass, AAF, Mydrim, Signature) jostle with bookstores (Jazzhole and Glendora), night clubs / bars, boutiques, restaurants, artists’ watering-holes (Bogobiri), and international

hotel brands (Protea, Sofitel, Southern Sun) to help maintain Ikoyi’s distinct urbane sheen. And then there is the suya, some of Lagos’ better-known suya spots are to be found in Ikoyi: within Ikoyi Club; at the Community Club on Glover Court Road (this used to be at Ikoyi Hotel, on Kingsway Road), and the Polo Club. ‘Ikoyi Hotel suya’ was the subject of an American National Public Radio (NPR) profile in 2007. There are those who think Ikoyi Club’s offering trumps it. “I have tried suya from Nigeria, London and America and I have to say that I believe Ikoyi Club suya is still the best!!!!,” someone commented on the Ikoyi Club’s Facebook page, under a discussion thread titled: ‘Ikoyi Club suya the best in the world.’ Another fan, based abroad, settled for an equally dramatic assertion, describing it as “almost a good enough reason to move back to Nigeria.” And, every night, along Obalende Road, a line-up of suya stalls springs up, known to its connoisseurs as ‘Suya Junction.’ This Obalende Road suya is evidently the inspiration behind London’s ‘Obalende Suya Express’, one of the landmarks on the culinary map of Nigerians living in or visiting the city. Ikoyi is also home to the Lagos Motor Boat Club, and the Lagos Polo Club (which dates back to the 1930s), two of Nigeria’s most elite social institutions. Every December, thousands of Nigerians flock to the grounds of the Polo Club, for the Star Mega Jam concert, one of the biggest in the country (headlined by Busta Rhymes and Ludacris in 2009, and R. Kelly in 2010). The British High Commission Club and Glover Court Community Club are two other recreation venues to be found in Ikoyi. No doubt, there is plenty of ‘grooving’ to be done without having to cross over into Victoria Island. However Ikoyi may present itself to you, there is no doubt that there would be no Eko without it. Today, a decade into the 21st century, the haughty Lagos suburb once beloved of powerful white men totters into an uncertain future, burdened by its fading colonial glory, a now-forgotten bloody history, and the curse of a city with too many people, and too little infrastructure. A shame it appears to be headed into that future without an urban planner’s pencil anywhere in sight.

anti-clockwise from top left: an obalende suya spot; quintessence shop at the falomo shopping centre; glendora bookshop; the ymca building on awolowo road; a painting at a gallery

However Ikoyi may present itself to you, there is no doubt that there would be no Eko without it.




When next you

park in a public place...



hat were you (not) thinking? There, in bold, capital letters is the sign, CARS PARKED AT OWNER’S RISK, and you simply park your beautiful car, stroll into the restaurant or the hotel or event centre, confident that with the policemen or private security personnel in sight, there’s nothing “to risk.” Oh well, sit back, relax and read the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Anyah vs Imo Concorde Hotels (2002) 18 WLR Pt 799 377. In this case, the Supreme Court was called upon to decide whether the hotel was liable to the lodger (a retired judge) for the loss of his car parked overnight at the hotel and whether the loss of the car constituted a breach of the duty of care, if any, owed by the hotel to him. The lodger drove his car into the hotel’s car park, with the caveat “CARS PARKED AT OWNER’S RISK” conspicuously displayed; was given a disc and thereafter booked accommodation for a night. The following morning, the car had disappeared from where it was parked, , hence the institution of the action. In law, the person alleging negligence has the burden of proving that the adverse party was negligent. To succeed in such an action, the Claimant must prove and ground by preponderance (superiority in weight) of evidence on the balance of probabilities that: • The Defendant owes him a duty of care • The duty of care was breached • The Claimant suffered damages arising from the breach Broadly speaking, a duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on an individual requiring that he adheres to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others. The duty of care is breached when by your action or inaction or omission, some injury or loss is caused to another party. Ironically, the law uses the test of “your neighbour” in determining when a duty of care is owed and breached. Note that this is irrespective of whether a contract exists between you and the party in contention. In the cited case, the Supreme Court, in an unanimous decision, held that the lodger had failed to prove by preponderance of evidence that the hotel was negligent in its duty of care to him. The Supreme Courtheld that there is doubt in the present case that the loss of the car could be attributed to the negligence of the hotel even though the lodger still had the disc given when he parked the car and the fact that the hotel ordinarily maintained a retinue of security men and policemen on the premises all day and night. The court found that the lodger failed to prove any legal relationship between himself and the hotel for the security of his car. Further, it held that the presence of the private security



personnel and policemen did not imply that they were there to secure the property of guests nay the lodger particularly when the hotel itself had its own properties to protect. The Lordships, elaborated on their considered reasoning thus: “ ..where for example, a visitor who came through the hotel gate was given a plastic disc and he parked his car in the hotel park, lock it up and gave the keys to the hotel security men and drew their attention to where he parked the car, there may arise a duty of care on the part of the security men to ensure the safety of the car. In this case, the appellant merely parked his car in the hotel car park after he was allowed in and given the hotel disc. He locked his car and put the keys in his pocket; he did not show or inform the security men or any hotel staff where he parked the car and nothing was shown on the hotel disc as the conditions under which the car is parked in the hotel. So, in this case, the fact that the appellant was given the hotel disc to enter and park in the hotel premises and the hotel posted its security men and policemen in and around the hotel, only give the “impression” that the appellant’s car would be protected from theft or damage but does not bind the Respondents.” The Court also considered the English case of Tinsley v, Dudley (1951) 1 All ER 252 at 260 where Jenkins L.J said: “There is no warrant at all on the authorities so far as I know, for holding that an invitor where the invitation extends to the goods as well as the person of the invitee, thereby by implication of law assumes a liability to protect the invitee and his goods, not merely from physical dangers arising from defects in the premises, but from the risks of the goods being stolen by some third party. That implied liability, so far as I know, is one unknown to the law.” This case brings to the fore the distinction between “common sense” and the law. Common sense is what tells you the earth is flat but the law is what tells you that you need to prove the assertion and which provenance had brought the truth home that the world is not flat but spherical. This Supreme Court decision represents the settled position of the law and it signposted that while the law may not be averse to common sense not all legal principles are commonsensical. You will therefore err better on the side of caution when next you are parking your car at a public place under the famous sign “CARS PARKED AT OWNER’S RISK” and take personal practical measures to safeguard your pricey car rather than leave yourself wide open under the false sense of security provided by the owners of the premises. Otunba Olufowobi, honorary secretary of Ikoyi Club 1938, is a legal practitioner

trave l

By Abiodun Olufowobi

UK, here you (don’t) go




pplying for a UK visa in Nigeria remains an intimidating experience for many who have gone through the process. Nigeria has perhaps the highest UK Visa refusal rate in the world. The generality of applicants usually believe that the requirements for the UK visas are fluid, uncertain and akin to a Catch-22 situation whereby head or tail, you lose. However, as a practitioner, I normally disabused this view for the simple reason that I know that the UK consular operations are governed strictly by the law and though consular officers have discretionary powers, they are expected to apply these powers judiciously otherwise such exercise of discretion can be challenged on appeal and if found to have been wrongly or whimsically applied, the consular officer’s decision is bound to be reversed in favour of the applicant (if s/he met the other requirements for the issuance of the visa applied for) or the application may be reverted as still outstanding for a decision to be taken upon same. The truth, however, is that most Nigerian applicants simply fail to make correct and complete applications. Whatever your intentions and the supposed merits of your application, if they are not expressed in the VAF (Visa Application Form) coherently and logically, then it’s like smiling in the dark: to yourself. The UK immigration law expects an applicant to discharge the burden of proof (balance of probabilities) for all the facts contained in his VAF before a visa can be issued. Most applicants complete the VAF perfunctorily without a thought for the necessary implications of the imputed facts and when the “chicken comes home to roost” it will be too late to amend and the average applicant, more often than not, will still refuse to see why his application was refused. For instance, the bulk of UK visa applications in Nigeria appears to be in the Visitor category. The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom as a visitor are that he: 1. Is genuinely seeking entry as a visitor for a limited period as stated by him not exceeding six months and 2. Intends to leave the United Kingdom at the end of the period of the visit as stated by him and 3. Does not intend to take employment in the United Kingdom and 4. Does not intend to produce goods or provide services within the United Kingdom including the selling of goods or services direct to members of the public and 5. Not intend to study at a maintained school and 6. Will maintain and accommodate himself and any dependants adequately out of resources available to him without recourse to public funds or taking employment or will with any dependants be maintained and accommodated adequately by relatives or friends. 7. Can meet the costs of the onward return journey. 8. 8.      Is not a child under the age of 18. Now and then, I have seen applicants who stated in their VAF that they intend to spend one year in the UK during a single visit. Another one stated in the form that he is visiting his uncle whereas in the Letter of Invitation from the “uncle” who is supposed to be the UK sponsor, he is referred to as a “brother.” Another stated that he intends to spend £100 on a two-week stay in London. Why won’t the consular officer turn these down? It is imperative, therefore, that you be truthful in your application and be prepared to justify all your claims with documentary evidence. If you are in doubt about any aspect of your application, seek a competent practitioner BEFORE (it is always cheaper to consult earlier than later) you submit your application for necessary guidance (not guarantee – if anyone gives a

trave l u k , here yo u ( d on ’ t ) go

guarantee on the issuance of UK Visa, please dust your feet before you are taken in). Another germane issue is that of incomplete documentation. I can safely state here that documentation (I shall presently address “Oluwole (counterfeit) documentation”) is the pivot on which successful UKVISAS applications are made. Since the UK visa application’s current regime in Nigeria is mainly non-appearance, it is pertinent that applicants rely heavily on documents to support and explain the purpose of their applications. The documents proffered must be able to frontally and totally support your claims and intentions. A diligent applicant should take a careful look at the requirement of the UK visa category which he intends to apply for and ensure that each and all of the components of the requirement are satisfied on the balance of probability. For instance, under the application for a visit visa, the applicant who states that he would leave the UK at the end of the intended visit –could show evidence of his personal circumstances in Nigeria, for example, letters of employment, evidence of a regular salary (if he has one) in the form of wage slips or bank statements, and evidence of his assets. Further, to satisfy the visa officer that you have enough money to support yourself and live or stay in the UK without working or needing any help from public funds – you could supply your bank statement for the last six months to show availability of funds. However, note that the consular officer will need to know your accessibility to the funds. Thus if the supplied account is not in the applicant’s name e.g. a limited liability company’s account, then you must show evidence of the ability to access the accounts for the purpose of your intended trip. Perhaps by submitting the “Form C07” of the company which shall disclose your status as a Director. Further be prepared to offer explanation about “unusual and inconsistent inflows of fund into the account” – this requirement has proved to be the albatross of many applicants – many have been caught by this simplistic issue and failure to surmount it has led to the refusal of many otherwise genuine and valid applications. Where your account indicates any single lodgment above N500, 000, be prepared to explain the transaction with relevant documents e.g. Supply the Deed of Assignment, copy of cheque, receipt etc, to prove that you just sold an asset. Also, if a UK sponsors is supporting you, you could show evidence of his immigration status in the UK. This includes six months’ itemised bank statements, pay slips and evidence that he is willing to pay for your stay or adequately accommodate you in the UK. A copy of the mortgage document of the sponsor’s UK house or rent card is desirable and will suffice to satisfy the accommodation requirement. The sponsor is, therefore, the key to making a successful attempt at obtaining a UK visitor’s visa. The sponsor has to be prepared to act as guarantor for the applicant and the consular officer will want to be able to check the sponsor’s ability to take care of the applicant. This means that the sponsor has to provide a letter from

his employer proving continued, stable employment and/ or a bank statement, proving that he has enough money to provide what he has pledged on the visa application form; and proof of accommodation in the form of paid council tax bills, property deeds or a letter from the mortgage provider. If you are paying for any part of the trip yourself, you could show evidence of your personal circumstances in Nigeria, for example, letters of employment, six months’ itemised bank statements, and evidence of your assets. If you are going to the UK as a student you need to show that you can pay for your course, support yourself and any dependants, and live in the UK without working or needing help from public funds. You also need to show that you plan to leave the UK when you complete your studies. Be that as it may, I have nevertheless also seen cases where consular officers make obvious and deliberate errors of fact which in turn led them to commit errors of law in their notice of refusals. Some applicants are refused for apparently strange reasons such as: “the applicant has never left the country before”, “Your intended expenditure on this trip is not commensurate with your economic and financial status in Nigeria”, “It is cheaper to attend school in Nigeria”, “Your sponsor has not explained why he is prepared to spend so much on your education”, “You have not traveled out of Nigeria before”, “You have not demonstrated how much you have provided for your dependants during your 10 day trip to the UK.” etc These spurious reasons and many of their specie have been disclaimed by Immigration Judges in a plethora of cases at the UK appeal tribunals as being unfair, prejudicial, unreasonable and not capable of sustaining a refusal decision. Further, where an applicant is refused upon these spurious “ad hominen” grounds, such an applicant should immediately approach a COMPETENT (note the capitalisation) immigration practitioner who could apply for remedy either by filing an appeal at the appeal tribunal in the UK or applying to the ECM at the UK High Commission in Nigeria for Administrative Review. If in doubt about any aspect of your application, you may approach a competent immigration practitioner or visit the UKVISAS internet site or better still, visit the internet site of the UKVISAS appointed visa facilitator in Nigeria at - http:// www.ukvac-ng/howtoapply. This bears repetition and emphasis: Avoid Oluwole documents – the UK consulate has a forgery team capable of detecting fake documents and it is enough deterrent for the wary to know that no matter the merit of your application, once a fake, forged or invalid document is detected in the application bundle, the consular officer does not have the obligation to process the application any further – it ends right there in a refusal - no more, no less and in some cases, earn you a 10 year ban without any discretion.

If you are in doubt about any aspect of your application, seek a competent practitioner BEFORE (it is always cheaper to consult earlier than later) you submit your application for necessary guidance

Otunba Olufowobi, Honorary Secretary of Ikoyi Club 1938, is a Legal Practitioner harmony


sty l e

Fads and fancies By Joy Ege-Essien


oud colours and bold motifs on fabrics were made for Nigerians. In 2011, we have even upped the ante on this score. Check out what the young and young-at-heart are donning to weddings and the like. Even a cursory look at people on the red carpets at events might just leave you reeling. It is almost like looking at a paint dealer’s colour wheel and marvelling at the amazing variations of the primary colours. Another way to view the fad is to imagine an artist gone wild with his brush and canvas, dubbing and blending the hues at random to create a startling artwork. Matchy matchy looks are out (except with older women at weddings and chieftaincy dos, who want the gele to blend with shoes and bag). Mix and match is the name of the game and people are wearing crazy combinations everywhere. Bright hues, from neon shades to soft, muted tones are showing up on red carpets and even family events, as well as in everyday situations. Some carry or wear accessories that add a pop of brightness to their otherwise demure outfits, while others like love to mix and match them. There are no worries about breaking convention when it comes to matching and wearing colours. There are no more gender or stereotype barriers in this area. For instance, at the last Invasion concert by twin hip hop artistes, P-Square, Nobel Igwe, a marketing and brand specialist showed up in lime green trousers, a bright yellow V-necked T-shirt and a red beaded neckpiece. His only nod to convention was the dark blazer he wore. Another young man, at the same event, took the cake with a riot of neon hues that leapt rapturously at the camera. He had a golden yellow jacket worn over a red T-shirt and neon blue pants. Guess the hue of his shoes? Lilac and he was not blushing. Ladies at this same event also played with colour in novel ways. Some were pleasing, some were startling and some just did not work. Beyond colours, the new emphasis is on looking fit. As a result, people, both young and old, are wearing form-fitted clothing, whether they are suits, evening dresses and casuals, everything has to cling. Woe betides you then, if you have any love handles or are simply fat. You fall out of the style race. Period. Those who love anything vintage have revamped one 80s/early 1990s trend, and have brought jumpsuits and cat suits back into reckoning. Pantyhose is also making its way back from the 90s into mainstream fashion. This is not surprising when you consider that micro mini-skirts and shorts are all the rage now. The mantra, “flaunt what you’ve got” is not far-fetched. The skirts are really skimpy and those with statement-making legs are rocking this trend without apologies. As always, women have the best of this season, because of the multiplicity of trends available to them. No one should feel left out as there is diversity in hem lengths – knee length, thigh high, maxi, knee length – it all depends on individual preferences. One movement that just won’t quit is the Maximum exposure thing, that is, putting cleavage and legs on display with clothing designed to do this. Fabrics now have a glint or shimmer to them and so it is not surprising to see shiny silk, taffeta, satin being worn by day and night. Other trendy fabrics are Ankara, chiffon



10% & 50% OFF Visit our Nike Store at the Palms Mall, Lekki with the coupon below and enjoy 1O% discount on all full price Nike products (apparel, footwear and equipment) you buy. More: you can get 50% off all Nike products (apparel and footwear) at our Sanusi Fafunwa Street, Victoria Island Store. Hurry while stocks last. the palms mall , lekki

v ictoria I sla n d

sty l e fa d s & fanc i es

and cotton, cotton polyester mixes, jersey mixes. Ankara has really been elevated with fashionistas even wearing it to formal functions. Accessories are still the icing on the cake. Shoes are either towering in height or long on details - platforms, bondage style gladiators and ornamented flats. Individual taste determines what is worn on the jewellry scene but bold, elegant pieces, beaded and detailed, are still in vogue. Bags are tiny and dainty by night with ornaments and details; large and roomy by day. When it comes to hair, every woman vacillates between wearing miles and miles of human hair extensions, preferably the Brazilian kind; or they settle for traditional braids. A few bold and beautiful ones have decided to go natural with dreadlocks, cropped cuts or even shaven heads. Men’s fashion remains timeless in its outlook. Style is however determined by the way the clothes and accessories are combined. For weekends, the style-conscious are stepping out in crested blazers and shirts or T-shirts, over jeans. These men are still dapper but in a softer, more relaxed way. The younger men are also playing with military style jackets a la Michael Jackson. Modified versions of this jacket tend to pop up on the red carpet worn with wildly hued trousers with boots. Another trend that has been inspired by a man of taste is the Mandarin collared jacket that just looks divine on Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor. While Sanusi’s jackets are cut to fit his spare frame, men of larger sizes can wear them comfortably but it must be said, that the slimmer a man, the better this jacket looks. Classic tuxedos and dress shirts, united by bow ties remain part of our dress culture especially with older men who know the etiquette of formal events. These same men step down with their agbadas and kaftans for family and religious daytime events when occasions demand. Those who want to feel free, opt for kaftans in white linen or brocade. One style that has been revamped and is popular with young men in their 30s and early 40s is the embroidered tunic. Again, the silhouettes are streamlined and the kaftans cling in all the right places. Being heavy is definitely passé. Business casual style is also popular with the men. It creates the illusion that the man cares about his looks but he does not make a great effort. It is great because a man appears well turned out without the outfit looking contrived. For footwear, men’s style is not easy to change. The formal ankle boot, casual Timberland boots, casual Converse ‘hightops’ and trainers; loafers and lace up Oxfords still remain. However, one remarkable new item (well not really new, as they have been around for a while; some consider them retro items) is the evening pump for men, with or without a crest. Made from velvet or suede, these pumps can be worn formally with a tuxedo, or casually with blazers and jeans. One trend that has united male and females is the Skinny jean. The leg hugging pants have come to stay or so it seems. Despite the best efforts of Nigerian designers, the culture of buying readyto-wear clothing and accessories, imported from the United Kingdom, United States Dubai, Turkey and even China continues to be the vogue. And the children? Leggings, skinny or pencil jeans and more jeans – unisex ‘Swagger’ tops, trousers, dresses and shorts for girls, hooded tops, long sleeved jersery tops for boys. Branded football jerseys, bearing names of top European football clubs have been all the rage and still remain in style with children of all ages. Ruff N Tumble, the Lagos-based children clothier pioneered children’s style, dressing them up in beautifully made casuals and special occasion wear, made in Nigeria to international standards. Other clothiers and accessory retailers who have worked to dress the young generation, include Accessories-toDie-For, whose owner started out making many years ago making ethnic clothing for children. Parents love to have their little girls heads adorned with a variety of hairstyles and accessories – barrettes, scrunchies and more. At festive times, sewn on extensions are added to give girls, even toddlers, that glamorous look. Other parents, who do not see the need to straighten girls’ hair with chemicals or put them through the ordeal of having a weave put in, prefer braids. For some children with sensitive scalps, it is still an ordeal, but ideal for others. Also at festive times, traditional long skirt and top ensembles, dresses made from Ankara or lace are worn by children. Just say that when it comes to fashion the Nigerian is chic. harmony


l i festy l e

Weaned in English, waning in mother tongue By ‘Fisayo Soyombo


We speak English now! All the time. daniel



chibuike akachukwu



hey all spoke one language. Yes, and with such uniformity that made the listener wonder if a language code existed for Ikoyi 1938 Club youths. Ayomikun Ninuoluwa, a native of Ogun State (forget that he doesn’t know what part of Ogun his roots are) and pupil of Discovery House School, Lekki, who was frolicking at the playground at the time his comment was sought, speaks English when in school, in church, at home; everywhere. “I speak Yoruba sometimes when I’m talking to my parents, although I cannot speak it very well,” he adds, spontaneously suspending his head to betray his disappointment in himself. So, does his friends laugh at him when he imperceptibly speaks what he thinks is Yoruba? “I don’t speak Yoruba at all,” he retorts, “so there’s no chance they’d make jest of me.” His playmate, Adebanwo Solebo, a Basic 4 pupil of Covenant Seed Nursery and Primary School, Ikeja, communicates in English when in school and at home. But he also converses in Yoruba with his father and mother. A native of Sagamu, Ogun State, Adebanwo says he understands Yoruba very well and can speak it fairly well, too. Year Nine student of Life Forte School, Damisi Ajamajebi speaks English “all the time” — and unmistakably so. While introducing herself, pronouncing her surname proved an intense battle with the tongue that she lost squarely. But should anyone — save her kinsmen — blame her? The native of Ondo State has never been to Ondo and doesn’t know her origins in the State. That’s exactly why when asked what language she communicates in, she casts a furtive glance at this reporter and snaps, “I speak English now! All the time.” But she says she still manages to speak Yoruba “once in a while.” But when, er, does she? Same and only time a Cameroonian or Argentine in her school may have to speak it. Her words: “When it comes to speaking Yoruba, I do it; like when I’m in school and we have Yoruba classes.” In addition, though, she explains that she also speaks Yoruba when her grandma visits. “My grandma speaks English well, just that there are times she insists I speak Yoruba,” she adds. So, did she grow up speaking English? Yes, she responds. “Since my primary school days, we’ve been taught to speak English.” And does her inability to speak flu-

ent Yoruba bother her? “No,” she replies, shaking her head in dissent, “because I know I can speak it.” She is quick to add that her choice of English was not deliberate. “It’s not like I so decided to converse mostly in English; it is just the way it should be. I speak it because that’s the normal language that everybody speaks.” From Emerald School, Gbagada, Akachukwu Obidiegwu is another in the league of compulsive English speakers. “I speak English all the time; the headmistress of my school instructed us to always speak it.” But the native of Ideato North in Imo State can barely speak Ibo? “Not very well,” he says. “I have an Igbo friend, but bad as I am in the language, he’s worse, so I can’t even speak it with him.” So, how happy are his parents with his knowledge of his native language, and what are they doing about it? “They speak Ibo to me sometimes. But they also encourage me to speak English so they do not really complain that I can’t speak Ibo very well.” Chigbuike Spade Ofuegbu, a JS1 student of Estaport School, Gbagada, says he speaks English and Igbo but quickly drops a caveat: “I hardly speak Igbo, though.” He explains himself thus: “I speak Igbo only with my parents. At times, they laugh at me when I do, so they’ve been making efforts to improve me. They speak Igbo to me and tell me what it means.” Why English despite his parents’ efforts to improve his local language? “I am comfortable speaking English,” he answers, “because almost everyone speaks it.” Onyeani Nwosu Daniel, who just graduated from Whitesands Secondary School, Lekki, speaks English most times. But this Abia State indigene also speaks a bit of Igbo. “I speak Igbo when I’m with my family. But except with my family, I speak English. My Igbo isn’t that good.” With his admission of deficiency in his native language, one wonders if it has ever embarrassed him. No. “I don’t like speaking Igbo, so that cannot happen,” he says. Then he makes a quick u-turn, saying: “It’s not really that I don’t like speaking Igbo; I just prefer English. I feel confident when I’m conversing with people, because I’m sure I know what I’m saying.” Four other respondents had similar stories, confirming the rising popularity — and, in fact, superiority — of the English Language over native languages. At the birthday celebration for new octogenarian, Adebayo Faleti, on 28 July 2011, a culture advocate, Ambassador Segun Olusola of the Village Headmaster fame, said: “While we cannot say our children should not be taught the English language, it is important that parents know that if our children cannot speak the local language, then they have lost their identity. The language is the major form of identity; an American can wear the Yoruba attire, eat our local dishes, but the only way we can distinguish him from a Yoruba man is through the language.” Shikena?

Harmony Magazine  

The world-class magazine of Ikoyi Club 1938, Africa's most prestigious family club

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