“I Grew Up in Iseyin Among A Politically, Socially Active Family” -Prof. Tokunbo Yerokun
Prof Adetokunbo Yerokun
*Late Honorable Simeon Alabi Yerokun and his wife, Gertrude Gbadero Yerokun*
*Prof. Tokunbo Yerokun and his immediate family and grandchildren *
The Spelman College, Atlanta retired university lecturer, Professor Adetokunbo Alamu Yerokun is the fourth child of the popular, no-nonsense political juggernaut of the second republic, Honorable Simeon Alabi Yerokun, who had earlier sharpened his administrative acumen from his closeness with the British Resident officers, called District Officers (D.Os) of the old.
Professor Yerokun opened up to The Chronicler Newspaper’s publisher, Alhazan Abiodun, during a chat to commemorate his 70th birthday anniversary, which held in America two weeks ago and told us about his experience growing up.
Enjoy the interview:
The Chronicler Newspaper: Give us a brief introduction of yourself.
Prof. : I am the 4th child out of the 6 children of Honorable Simeon Alabi and Gertrude Gbadero Yerokun. I grew up at a time when our parents resided in different places that included Iseyin, Oyo, Ibadan, and Lagos. In one way or another, all these places had some influence on me, and everyone knows that Iseyin, the town, has my heart.
The Chronicler Newspaper: How did growing up look like, especially
being born into a family of parents that are educated in a rural community?
Prof: I grew up in a politically, educationally, socially, active and religious family. Therefore, growing up was a mix of delight, at experiencing a society that was becoming more socially advanced.
Our parents did not force anything on us, but they expected us to aspire for the best in everything.
This did not put much pressure on me as they themselves exemplified their best in all these areas. At the same time, we all had a high sense of responsibility to be good citizens, as well as successful in all our endeavors.
The Chronicler Newspaper: What are the points of life that
signposted changes in your life?
Prof.: I feel that attending Olivet Baptist High School in Oyo was the most impactful event in my life because it was at the peak of my formative years when I was most impressionable and growing into an adult. Getting married to my wife, nee Olufunke Sanusi was also very impactful, I had become an adult capable of making life changing decisions on my own. Interestingly, growing my family seemed like the natural thing to do, and it was not until my grand children started to call me Grandpa, did made me realize I was at a different stage in my life.
The Chronicler Newspaper: What impact did your
parental background have on you?
Prof.: I revered my father and was very close to my mother. My father’s impact was that I always aspire to succeed in everything I do, as well as living a highly dignified life in the same way I always saw him. My mother was the rock of my emotional stability, my unconditional support system and cheer leader. My mother’s impact must have been deeper than I could have imagined because, decades later, I have found myself taking on the responsibilities of things she admonished me to do when she was alive. I so much admire her spirit of compassion that, in my quiet moments, I find myself calling out to her as “my sweet mother.”.
The Chronicler Newspaper: How have you faired as a parent yourself?
Prof.: I hope I have fared well as a parent; my kids tell me how happy they are to have me as their parent. Hence, in my selfish moments, I relish their comments about me as their parent. I am very pro-active in trying to support them in whatever they do. Like my own parents, I try not to force anything on them. I know they will be fine by God’s Grace.
The Chronicler Newspaper: How does 70 years feel?
Prof.: For me, 70 years on planet earth feels surreal, and sobering because it makes me realize, above anything, my own God Almighty has been Gracious unto me and I must thank God Almighty for everything. I know I am blessed to have been impacted by people who have made life worth living.
The Chronicler Newspaper: What is your advice to youths on how to prepare for old age.
Prof.: I am not sure there is a formula to guarantee what old age would look like in a rapidly changing world. However, some things can remain unchanged – the believe in an Almighty God – Merciful and Gracious. They are, doing the best one can in everything one endeavors to do, being of a joyful spirit, being content with whatever one has but aspiring for the best always, being kind and benevolent, love God and love everyone as Jesus Christ loves the world.