I was two seats away from the former governor of Oyo State, Alao Akala on a flight from London.
He was warm, friendly and carried no airs.
He didn’t show any sign that he just lost a “guber” election.
Around 4am as I got up to use the rest room, he looked up, smiled politely and said in perfect Ibadan Yoruba, “E ku oko o”.
The greeting took me by surprise; I am not sure I had heard this type of typically Ibadan greeting since I left the ancient city in 1977; certainly not at 40, 000 feet in the air, in the bowel of a Virgin aircraft.
Now how do I translate, “E ku oko o”? The closest to it is simply one passenger extending courtesy to another; its too tough for me to translate!
Of course I responded in kind in my best Ibadan accent by saying, “E seun Excellency”, ensuring that the “s” in my “seun” sounded like the “s” in “salt”, the way an Oluyole person would pronounce it.
I think he loved this as his broad face collapsed into an appreciative grin! (I was tempted to pronounce Excellency as “Ekshellenshy” but worried I might go too far!)
…Akinwunmi is the CEO and Founder of Orima Garmet Group and the former Chairman of Advertisers Practitioner Council of Nigeria, APCON