Tribute To Late Ladi Cole (Swanston, 1969)

Ladi Cole, (1955 – 2016).

I’ve been whooping mad in more than 24 hours now. I don’t know why it should be YOU but my Bible taught me not to question God but I write this with great sadness over the unimaginable loss of Oladimeji Adekunle Bodunrin Adio Cole. My heart physically hurts. Ladi’s demise has made me realize the brevity of life.

I have quite a bit in common with Ladi. We are 3 days apart in age, put in the same Form 1A in our freshman year at Government College Ibadan (GCI) and we were just 25 in number. We also both resided at beloved Swanston House dorm. After GCI, we hung out at Surulere in Lagos. Ladi will always introduce friends to his larger family. I knew his late sister, Yetunde (Mrs. Ogungbemile), a columnist at the defunct Daily Times, the twins siblings and the adored grandma, Alhaja Animashaun, a daughter of the legendary Sanni Animashaun.

Ladi was responsible for my interest in family history and pedigree. He was ever proud of telling me his grandfather, Chief Atobatele Cole was born on Lagos Island, owned an Orange juice factory at Ifo, a suburb of Abeokuta in Ogun state. He would also remind me of his ancestral claim to my beloved Egba.

Ladi invested his intellectual depth in the Grail movement message. I remember he and Prince Tony Momoh tried to introduce me to those books of theirs’s. I was too lazy and laid-back to try it and showed little interest. I was just ok with Jesus.

Ladi was not an ‘SU’ but he is more than qualified for heaven. Anytime we bumped into each other in later years, he only gave positive reports about siblings, friends and family. He never indulged in negative stories. He wants everybody around him to be successful in their chosen vocation What a beautiful soul with a remarkable choice. I always admired how he never judged or forced his opinions on anyone, but offered valuable and truthful advice that I will surely miss. Ladi represented the essence of GCI values…….excellence in all life pursuits.

In the social arena, Ladi happened to be a former student of his future mother-in-law in elementary school. I’ve known him and Franca for over 40 years and the joke on him is that he had been in a steady relationship since pre-teen. He never waivered in his love for Franca. While some of us were still debating which of our girlfriends to marry, Ladi’s choice was long concluded. He was focused and the result is his brilliant and well nurtured kids. I’m personally proud of him.

My friend was loving and real. He was a wonderful dad to his children and laid a strong foundation for them. His beautiful spirit will live on through them and they will always know how much he loved them.

The last time I saw Ladi and Franca was in 2012 at a party in Lekki, they were still adorable and sweet. He was supposed to be at my mum’s funeral last year in Ibadan but his ‘Omo Eko-don’t-cross-the-bridge thing’ got the better part of him.

Ladi will always be with us in our hearts because we love him.

Author: Kayode Majekodunmi (Swanston, 1969).


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