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Tribute to my Father, My mentor and friend.

24 Mar

 

Mr Ganzy

Arthur Kayode Gansallo – Land Surveyor – Jan 8th 1933 – Feb. 24th 2018 (85 years old).

The departure of life eclipses everything’. When a death is good, the room is filled with peace, and all the pain, that went before it is forgotten. Where there was mystery and anxiety, there is knowledge, where there is fear and doubt, there is love. And when asked how to move on afterwards, I whispered, ‘I just want to DO IT (life) again with you, Papa-mi’.
‘Narratives of my Father’ – Yinka.

With Loving memories, this is how I want to remember my beloved father, Arthur Kayode Gansallo. To others, He was known as Daddy, AK Gansallo or Brother Surveyor, but to me, I have always called him “Papa-mi” ‘which made our relationship very personal and special. Sometimes even indicating affection that’s cautiously guarded with youthful zeal implying “mine only”.

While growing up, I have always been reminded of my resemblance to his late mother, Madam Emily Gansallo (nee Coker) fondly known as ‘Mama Upstairs‘ (I guess the fondness emerged from that maternal-reflection I carried with me while around him).

She usually sat at one of the bow-windows on the top floor of her glamorously decorated baroque Brazilian architectural influenced parlor; with exuberant and individualistic styled doorways, brightly painted facades and chunky concrete columns, flight of polished wooden steps with brightly colored panels and delicate floral plaster motifs of the Brazilian artisans!

Gansallo Family House

Gansallo Family House – Lagos Island.

Yeah, my late grandmother was always strategically located in such a way that she had a bird’s-eye view of both Tokunboh and Oshodi streets, at this perch she was able to view the comings and goings and ready to call out anyone who’s out of order….I grew up learning those boundaries too from my father.

Where do I start? All through my life, He’s always been my shield, especially where I usually seek shelter when I am in trouble due to my smart mouth or need to escape some sibling scolding or from my mom’s non-stop-nagging about why I needed to step up my game and claim the 1st position in class!

I usually run to hide in his home-office, where the entrance marks no-allowance to violence and the red sea for the offended-ones chasing after me! He always protected me from altered hot slaps, or sibling-beatups, listened with an open mind to my talk about life, my dreams and my future plans, and gave re-directions without being overbearing.

From my 1st primary school best literature award, his glowing face with his Polaroid camera, proud as ever! Even encouraging me to buy more books at CMS bookshop to read as we drove home from school that day and thereafter enrolling me at Teacher Pat (of St. Mary’s Private-afterschool) lesson for mathematics clinic! I remember him forbearingly tutoring me for common entrance exam and patiently waiting to pick me up at St. Gregory’s college after the long yearly 5k-Corpus Christi procession!

From the set of French curves he gave me when I informed him I was taking Technical Drawing in school and aiming to be an Architect trailing after him; to Alliance Français French school when I changed my mind and wanted to study foreign language instead, He encouraged me all through, emotionally and financially.

My 10th birthday party, where He officially became the DJ and MC, even though He practically played his own favorite music (FELA) all through, we still had a blast;

Oh, my 1st day away from home at FGGC Sagamu, the panic attack once we crossed the toll gate and the long dreary drive in his car as He continuously encouraged me about the unknown, Apparently, He had labelled all my belongings, boldly scripted in his fine cartographic hand writing ‘A.O. Gansallo’ (Anthonia Olayinka Gansallo) even on my school sandals, my red checked house wear and school bag legible enough for other students to be amused or read from afar.

He never missed any visiting days or our usual stop over at Uncle Ladipo’s (his brother) at All Saints school Ikorodu to review my report card and make plans for summer school! Phew!

I remember my 1st visit to a fancy restaurant, at Eko Hotel when I was just 9 with him, my 1st table etiquette training and tableware placement. Our religious visits to CFAO Moloney supermarket to buy chocolates, biscuits and of course Benson & Hedges and thereafter our painful visits to the dentist together.

Our weekend drive to Museum Kitchen, to listen to high life music with a sip of fresh sour palmwine! or to Bar Beach to watch the sun set or to see Grand Uncle Akin Coker at his beach house on Elf Estate, off Lekki road in the early 80’s (which was formerly Maroko swamp). Or our visit to the stadium to watch Abiola Babes and Iwuanyanwu Nationale soccer match at Onikan!

I got to learn a lot about land acquisition, families with landed properties and sometimes history behind land allocation, all mostly within Ibeju Lekki & Eti Osa Local govt. as I was usually in his company during some site visits and very inquisitive about his passion for his job, drawing up maps and calculating numbers nonstop!

My 1st & 2nd graduation from college and His advice to keep on aiming higher, not to stop there, to be all I can be, as a daughter, a wife, a mother and a woman who stands out in her generation.

One funny thing is that, He actually knew and remembered all my girlfriends by name, and would approach them when they come to visit and usually engaged them in ‘girly’ conversation, even decoding our secrets codes over the telephone! They usually call him, Mr. Ganzy of which He usually smiles at and could sit with them for hours talking about his favorite movies – especially Gremlins!

dad 3

My wedding day. (Dad & I) – Aug. 14th 1997.

I can never forget the big smile of accomplishment and joy on his face on my wedding day, 20 years ago, as He proudly walked me down the aisle, clutching the marriage certificate afterwards close to his heart and looking at me with that fondness I grew up knowing.

I thank God that I can proudly say today that I have been so blessed to have him as my Father and friend, ‘would do it again and never could have traded him for anyone! I am who I am today because of the devotion and love of my parents, more especially my father’s undying love and His belief in me.

Last time we spoke, just after his 85th birthday in January, He muttered under heavy breaths…

Yinkus baby! I am still here, even though all my friends are gone, I am counting down to your next graduation commencement” and I had joked with him saying

Ah, Mr. Ganzy, you are still very young, I will be back home soon, to complete that Autism clinic project we’ve always talked about”….we both laughed over that as He hung up the telephone.

 

dad 5

Feb. 2018 Commencement.

And those were his last words to me. 

He was a fantastic man. He was a great father, loving husband, caring brother, nurturing grandfather and dear friend to many people. To me he was more than just my father; he was my friend and my hero.

I always admired my father and had a great deal of respect for him. I pray the everlasting love and peace of God dwell with him in his new abode.

Eternal Rest, Grant Him O Lord!

Your loving daughter!
Yinkus Baby (as He fondly calls me).

 

 

 

 

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17 responses to “Tribute to my Father, My mentor and friend.

  1. Andrea M.

    March 29, 2018 at 8:09 am

    This is a beautiful write up about your father, so emotional and real! I am eagerly looking forward to your book publishing soon, very soon Yinka, you are truly gifted in making a reader travel through time without embarking on a physical journey.
    Eternal Rest, Mr. Gansallo!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. Jude Ediae

    March 28, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Very beautiful Eulogy. Am awesomel tribute to your Dad. May his gentle soul Rest In Peace in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  3. HASSAN

    March 28, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Yinka,
    I am here for you. Mr Ganzy was a great man, I met him once when I was trying to secure plots of Land at Lekki in 2016, very humble and simple man, He wouldn’t even accept my extra token of appreciation, just a firm handshake and manly hug!
    Thanks Yinka for bringing His legacies to life, you are truly your father’s daughter.
    I am looking forward to his celebration of afterlife with you in Lagos. Be strong girl! Enough of the tears..you are not alone!
    DUBAI.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  4. Toks

    March 26, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Aunty Yinka! This was absolutely amazing! From your words I was able to imagine how awesome your father was. The love your father showed you is the same love you extend towards your children, husband and friends and I love having the honor of being able to witness it in person 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

     
  5. BB.

    March 25, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Omg! Yinka, am so sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing! You guys were really close. I will definitely be in Lagos to support you. You were always there for me, and still my greatest inspiration!
    Hugs xoxo.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  6. CFC Ann Arbor.

    March 25, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Hey Anthonia, our condolences. We are here for you sis! We pray God’s guidance and protection over you and yours as you plan the funeral and may your Dad’s gentle soul rest in peace.
    We love you, hugs..
    Child Factor Community.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  7. Maria

    March 25, 2018 at 9:38 am

    It is well Yinka! I knew you were very close to Daddy and He’s always wanted the best for you, and yes, You did it! You made him proud! Dr. Yinka! Because this journey of self preparation for who you are today, started from when Daddy laid the foundation for ypu..
    We are all very proud of you and Daddy is looking down with pride, again!
    Eternal Rest, Grant Daddy O Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  8. Yemi Oyebode

    March 25, 2018 at 7:35 am

    Beautiful eulogy for your father Yinka. One can only hope to live such an impactful life and endearing legacy. May baba Rest In Peace and Rise in GLORY! (Hugs) Xx

    Liked by 1 person

     
  9. Carlos Akin DeSantos.

    March 25, 2018 at 5:54 am

    Wow! Such a deep and touching epilogue…I can assure you that Mr Ganzy is smiling at your write up and all so proud of you… especially how you have related the timeline of those precious memories..

    I remember your 10th birthday, Yinka! And yes, Daddy played FELA mostly but also made sure you won the dancing competition over Pauline who obviously was a better dancer and MJ incarnate. lol.

    I also remember when you left for Uniport and He couldn’t understand what happened to all the colleges and Universities in Lagos! He would ask, why are you flying away in Bellview, it’s dangerous!! Lol.

    And when you celebrated your 20th wedding anniversary last year, in his short congratulatory video for you, He kept asking. When will you be coming back home? Lol.

    He was a good man, very simple and articulate. His strict Catholic upbringing rubbed off on all of us. Especially anyone who’s ever sat down to have a conversation with him, his thoughts about life are always deep, real and genuine.
    He will surely be missed.
    Adieu, Papa Yinka.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  10. Benjamin

    March 25, 2018 at 5:31 am

    Mr Ganzy was a great man, I remembered him very well, always sitting in his parlor, reading newspapers or working from his home office. Never heard him raise his voice at anyone. He will surely be missed.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  11. Kemi

    March 24, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Awww. I can feel the father-daughter love through the lines of this write-up.
    Pele. hugs
    Papa is in a better place….resting.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  12. Angela Akobi new Onus

    March 24, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Yinka, may his soul rest in peace. I have fond memories of him growing up, kind and loving man your dad was .

    Liked by 1 person

     
  13. Olamide

    March 24, 2018 at 10:47 am

    May your memory of good times with him continue to bring you great comfort 🙏🏾💞.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  14. El

    March 24, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Wow! A life well lived, may these precious memories live on until you meet again… Rest In Peace Papami..

    Liked by 1 person

     
  15. Ola

    March 24, 2018 at 7:26 am

    May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Very interesting journey you’ve narrated here. It’s unequivocally brilliant! Well gone again.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  16. Lola

    March 24, 2018 at 3:23 am

    Tears drop

    Liked by 1 person

     
  17. oktionz

    March 24, 2018 at 3:01 am

    His legacy lives on in your words and influences…

    Liked by 1 person

     

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