The colourful burial and outing ceremony held at the headquarters of The Apostolic Church,Iwoye-Ijesa Headquarters and a lavish reception of guests at Iwoye Secondary School playing ground will remain memorable in the history of the town and environs.

The order of burial started from the deceased home, with opening hymn,prayers scripture reading from Psalm 39,exhortation and benediction,after which the burial train moved to the graveyard, the final rest place of Baba Falobi.

Penpushing reports that, the corpse was committed to mother earth with this sentence; ’for as much as it hath pleased Almighty God of His great mercy to take unto Himself the soul of our beloved father, Presiding Elder Gabriel Ogunshua Kehinde Falobi here departed. We therefore commit his body to the element earth to earth,ashes to ashes,dust to dust,in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,who shall fashion a new body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of His glory’

‘As I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labour and their works do follow them’, the sentence added

Penpushing further reports that, at the Church Service led by Pastor M.I Fadahunsi(Iwoye-Ijesa District Pastor) and Pastor M.A Abidoye(Area Superintendent, Ijebu-Jesa), has  the order as include:  hymn, prayer, scripture reading from 1 Cor.15:50-58, reading of life history of the deceased, prayers for the deceased family and the country, choruses and offering, benediction and recessional hymn

The former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel in his letter of condolence wrote,’It was with heavy heart that we received the news of the transition to glory of patriarch of the Falobi family, Presiding Elder Gabriel Ogubshua Kehinde Falobi’.

‘His success story is exemplified in the fact, he spent his life raising and training children, who mirror his abiding principles of honesty, integrity, resourcefulness, resilience and charisma, traits which he exhibited over years. Papa lived a ripe old age, even as we pray that the good Lord grant him eternal rest in his bosom’’

Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank, Segun Agbaje wrote, ’we would like to expend our sincere commiserations to the entire family on the demise of Presiding Elder Gabriel Ogunshua Kehinde Falobi. May his gentle soul rest in peace’.

‘Elder Falobi’s demise is no doubt a painful loss which has certainly created a huge vacuum. We are however consoled by the fact that he lived a purposeful life and left behind many enduring legacies. Once again, on behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, please accept our most sincere commiserations’, Agbaje added

The Chief Executive Officer of Lektol Insurance Brokers Limited while commiserating with the family on behalf of management of the company wrote, ’We wish to convey our heartfelt sympathy on the event of the transition to eternal glory of Presiding Elder Kehinde Falobi’

‘To God be the glory that his was a fulfilled life with good legacy. A testimony of his legacy is the children he was endowed with. Our prayer is that, the Almighty shall count him amongst the Saints Triumphant in Heaven. May God grant Papa eternal rest and uphold the entire family’

Penpushing further reports that, Engr Dideolu Falobi in tribute of his father said,’one of the attributes of my father that I thought I inherited in good measure was my writing skill. Unfortunately, it failed me when I needed it most.

Having gone through all the tributes, I wondered at what else I could write about my father, Gabriel Omokehinde Ogunsua Falobi. Even as I write this, I was still perfecting my thoughts on how best to describe this Omo Mary Dada ajibolu gbala soro, who was sired by the great Loogun Ojelabi Falobi, a man who was known to have been courageous, well versed in traditional herbs, a warrior and a diviner who was the Ifa Priest to almost all the Obas in Yorubaland in his days.

‘ It is interesting that the same Loogun Ojelabi Falobi, though feared for his “Powers”, was yet liked and respected for his kindness and deployment of his knowledge and immense traditional powers for the good of all that came across him, especially sons and daughters of Iwoye-Ijesa as well as his immediate and extended family.

My father, popular known as G.O. Kehinde, Baba Dide, Baba Yemi, Teacher and Presiding Elder was a man of many parts. He was born at Iwoye-Ijesa on December 18, 1930 with his Taiwo as a set of twins and last children of their mother. The two of them grew up at Iwoye-Ijesa where they were born and were known to be stubborn, hardworking but a jolly good fellow. They were later shipped to Ilorin and its environs where they learnt the rudiments of the Osomalo trade under their late sister, Madam Victoria Adesoro.

The unfortunate death of Mama Victoria Adesoro in circa 1945 led to the return of the twins to Iwoye-Ijesa for her burial. Their attempt to return to Ilorin to continue with the trade was stalled by their mother who made it clear for them that Ilorin was a no-go area for her children having lost a child there. This was where their elder brother, the renown, highly industrious educationist and Agriculturist, Late Pa Ogunsure Falobi offered to support their education if they did not consider themselves too old to start school at the age of 17 years. The twins agreed and their education started at The Apostolic School, Oke-Oye where they did “Standard 6” which was the first level of education then.

They continued with their education at the Apostolic Teacher Training College at Oke-Oye, Ilesa from where they got their Grade II Certificate. Pa Kehinde Falobi thereafter started a teaching career that spanned over 30 years during which he was known and respected for his dedication to work, analytical mind, gift of counseling and devotion to the good health and educational success of his pupils.

Papa married his wife, Deaconess Florence Aduke Falobi in 1966 at a holy wedlock celebrated with pomp and pageantry at the Apostolic Church, Oke-Eso, Ilesa. The two of them were blessed with three beautiful kids namely Olabisi, Dideolu and Omoyemi. Through thick and thin, they worked together to nurture their children to enviable heights.  They had their challenges like any couple, but it is to the glory of God that they stood together as one and indivisible till death did them part on December 21, 2018 when Papa breathed his last peacefully at his home in the land of his birth at Iwoye-Ijesa.

On Papa’s retirement from teaching, he chose to return to Iwoye-Ijesa where he was born. On getting home, he joined the people in a battle to rid the community of trends that undermined the progress of the community and that of her sons and daughters.

In rounding up this Biography/Tribute, I cannot but dwell briefly on who my father was. However, let me first acknowledge that he had his foibles like any other human. Even some of his most endearing attributes could be termed weakness or who would marry at the age of 36 and yet allow his wife to return to school five years later so that she could be equipped to take care of the kids in case anything happened to him. The fact that he not only became the father and mother of two kids aged four and two, but played the role conscientiously and successfully for the seven years his wife was away spoke volume of my late father’s love for education and children. He would wake us up at 5am, bathe, dress us up and prepare our food which would be enough to eat in the afternoon on return from school.

Papa Kehinde Falobi’s generosity was legendary. He could remove his eyes for others. Anybody who came to him benefitted from his generosity despite his meagre resources. He was almost generous to a fault.

My father was a strict disciplinarian who never spared the rod. He was so tough on small, little me that the playing of football on Sundays earned me such beating that I would not venture near a football field for another year. Anybody who knew him till death would affirm that he remained a stickler for good behaviour and a dispenser of the rod till death. Yet he was loved by all. What a paradox! Till death, he knew no fear and he was never afraid. He faced all challenges with stoic courage, equanimity and fervent prayers.

My father was a praying giant till death and a classic example of the faith of the biblical days. His belief in the efficacy of prayers was second to none that I know. Since his mother took him and his siblings into The Apostolic Church, he never wavered. He put his soul, spirit and body into the service of God at every church that he attended. Like his mother, he kept the faith till the end. His ordination as a Presiding Elder was a matter of course. One of his guiding principles was a commitment to giving to God without caring from his meagre resources. His second was given to people that he considered as being in need. To God be the glory that he left a sterling record and reputation in every church he worshipped at.

Baba mi as I used to call him was the epitome of love and care for all that came across him as if they were his own. Ditto for his land of birth. I enjoyed his love, attention and guidance all through his life. He had listening ears and was a good counselor. Despite his courage in the face of adversities and challenges, he was yet, very soft at heart as evident any time any of the members of his family, extended and nuclear, faced any challenge. I saw him shed tears only twice. When his twin brother was attacked by an assailant as well as when I was attacked by armed robbers and barely escaped with my life.

Interestingly when he was attacked by armed robbers in his bedroom at the age of 80, he fought them physically from his bedroom to the sitting room and on to the balcony where he missed his steps and fell. He survived the attack despite suffering horrific injuries as inflicted on him. It is instructive that he took the loss of his sight calmly and he never denied God or complained to my hearing even once. I recall his response when I asked him how he was coping without his sight. In his words, “Isaac was able to carry out the wish of God for Jacob because he was blind.” Thus he took the loss of his sight as the wish of God to enable the accomplishment of a divine purpose. Such courage, such faith.

His devotion and love for my mother, his wife, knew no bounds. Ditto his love and devotion to everybody around him. My mum was his life. I thank God that he got the best of care any woman could give after he lost his sight. Thank you mum.

My father’s love for his community was so strong that he ensured that no house was torched in Iwoye-Ijesa during the “wet e” days of the mid-sixties. As a leader of the Action Group in Iwoye Ijesa then, his maxim was “Nothing would be destroyed in Iwoye” Nothing was destroyed. He played his role creditably as one of the leaders of Iwoye Ijesa Progressive and Descendant Unions. He also ensured that we, his children took interest in Iwoye-Ijesa and her affairs though we were not born or brought up there. His fervent wish was for Iwoye-Ijesa to regain its place of pride in Ijesaland.

My father’s love for education was another part of his life that I will never forget. Ditto his love for youths. Most of my friends were his friends. They felt at home with him in my absence. It was a common sight for me to go out and return to find one of my friends in heated discussion with him on any topic that caught their fancy. His thoughts were always lucid and logical till death.

My beloved father, Omokehinde gbegbon, edun ori igi, obegiji, belanga to be sile alakisa, to so alakisa dalaso laid down his sword at the feet of Jesus on December 21, 2018 leaving his wife, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, brothers, cousins, in-laws, community, spiritual family, all of whom held him dearly to celebrate him and his life.

Pa. Falobi was a father and role model to me also. A practical Christian and good family man.  I remember when we were young at The Apostolic Church Ibosinni, Ilesa. He revolutionized the church and changed my orientation about religion. When all of us (youths) were searching our Bible to pick a name to use for our baptism in 1980, I remembered him saying DIDEOLUWA bi ole loru. That registered to my brain since then.

He recognized my mother’s condition (even though their in law) and always encouraged her. His home was the perfect example of an educated Christian home. May your gentle soul continue to rest in the Lord with your twins brother till we shall meet and never part again.  Your memory lives on.

Good night great father, caring father, loving father, mentor, role model & disciplinarian. Goodnight Ejika. You deserve your rest “Having fought the good fight, having finished the race, having kept the faith. Now there is in store for you the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to you on that day—and not only to you, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” – 2Timothy 4:7-8. Fare thee well in the bossom of your Saviour.  Fare thee well Baba Dide, the quintessential father.




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