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Goodnight To A Mentor, My Spring-board and Teacher, Prince Atilade Atoyebi

I am sure many have read my story of how “proper journalism” found me…i will tell it again to celebrate again, this man, Prince Atilade Atoyebi who was in my path as fate would have it…and he led me like many mature Christains lead people to Christ, he led me to the root of broadcasting and without that action, i wont be here or be who i am today on the job!

Sir, it is tough for me to believe you are gone, i am afraid to even dial your number, after confirming this sad news from Sulai, i cant come to terms with the fact that you wont be talking with me on the phone again to discuss things i post on facebook or what you think i should highlight on The Daily Report.

Prince Atoyebi guesting on The Daily Report

Ogaa, you and i spoke on the 7th of January after my post on how Nigeria is not looking the way of Research institutes, you schooled me bit in your comment and we moved the discussion to the phone and you explained more then we talked about my planned trainings in the South East, you said to me to do one in Lagos immediately i returned from the South East because “i am willing to talk to young ones about writing and production”…those were your words…and i was so happy that i shared that blessing with Charles Kalu.

Daily Report Anchor, Ify Onyegbule and Prince Atilade Atoyebi after the Daily Report on Star FM

I still remember you telling me that i should dedicate more time on The Daily Report to human angle stories because thats what connects with the people and i said to you, that was the plan from the beginning of this year…and you said “very good”….ogaaaa you told me you were getting better and that you will be up and about before we knew it.

I still remember your question while we were sitting at lunch in Ibadan, you came in as a guest facilitator and fate put me on your table…as we discussed, you mentioned how impressed you were with me, small inexperienced me at that time, for the way i made my group presentation and you asked me – HOW WOULD YOU LIKE A CAREER IN BROADCASTING AT THE FRCN??? I stopped eating, looked straight at you and we got talking, you told me there that if i was looking for money, Radio Nigeria wont be the best place but that i will be trained and that was the key that unlocked it all and the rest they say is History!

You had only met me, i was Igbo, you were a Yoruba man, you simply felt it that this little girl needs guidance and you provided the compass…i have always talked about you sir and i am happy you knew how much i appreciated you…and i still told you that the last time we spoke for 8mins, i wish i recorded it so i can play it back and listen to your voice and that special way you laugh like the big man you are!

How do i forget the day i had to run to the studio to take the news when Charles Anazodo called me that the news reader was unavailable, i ran from the hostel and was obviously panting while reading the news cos i only had about a minute or two to catch my breath…after the news, you called me to ask what was going on…”i hope you are not having a heart attack” you said and i told you what had happened…oga you were always there listening…thats what real bosses do, they watch you from scratch and that is what you did with me!

I dont know what you saw, moving me from the newsroom in Radio Nigeria where i spent just a week and the letter came that i should proceed to Presentation and i am glad i made you proud because you told me so, the day you featured on The Daily Report!

Just when i wanted my mentees to draw and drink from your fountain of knowledge in Journalism, this light goes off…well i am here, with the much you deposited in me, i will keep at creating impactful content as you always qualified it.

With me, your name is etched, you have a page dedicated to you in my book and the young ones will read about your unbiased nature, approachable spirit and honesty when it comes to this job!

I leave the rest for my book and i say Rest in peace Prince Atilade Atoyebi the man who provided me with the ladder in Journalism!

Dike…jee nke oma!

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