ẸYE KÌÍ FÒ L'ÁÌ MÁ NÍ 'ÌYÉ
BIRDS CAN NOT FLY WITHOUT WINGS
I want to give a big thanks to Almighty Allah because, without him, it would be impossible to have you all gathered here today to celebrate with me.
I stand before you today, feeling grateful, humbled, and overwhelmed, as I celebrate my 60th birthday.
Sixty years is a long time, and as I reflect on my life, I am filled with a sense of pride, happiness, and nostalgia.
I want to start by thanking every one of you who thought it worthy to honor my invitation. You all are part of what makes this day so special and I am deeply grateful to have you in my life.
Let me also take a moment to acknowledge my lovely father, Abdul-Rasak Ayinde Olaitan Asegere Ogunmowo, and my grandmother Ramat (Iya Abeokuta), who are no longer with us, but showered me with so much love, wisdom, and strength while they were alive.
Both of them, alongside my ever-amazing mother, Muibat Arogedola Iyaniwuraola Adunni Ogunmowo taught me the values of hard work, kindness, honesty, and courage which inspired me to pursue my dreams and become the best version of myself.
My late grandfather Hassan (Baba Iwowo) whom I never met but imagined him from all I heard about him, his nobility, affinity for elegance and kindness definitely sounds like me to the point that my first son Akinola is a carbon copy of him in stature and facial resemblance.
To my siblings, Faosat Olayinka, Abdul-Lateef Abimbola, Abdul-Rasheed Olusegun, Abdul-Fatai Olukayode, Shamsideen Ekundayo, Shakirat Abiola, Yetunde Modinat, Afolashade Ganiat, Oluwaseyifunmi Mutiat, and Olamilekan Abdulkareem, you make a significant part of my childhood memories into adulthood. I will always love and cherish you all.
Michele, the mother of my 4 beautiful children I sincerely salute you from the bottom of my heart for being my worthy partner in bringing to this world and helping to raise our beautiful children.
We are forever joined together in part, for the beautiful 4 we raised together.
To my kids, Tyler Abdul-Hakeem Akinola, Katelyn Alimat Folasade, Chelsea Muibat Damilola, and Kylie Azzezat Ifekemisola, you have been my pride, joy, and endless source of happiness; God blessed the day I set my eyes on each of you.
Big appreciation to my In-laws starting from Adekoyejo Idowu fondly known as the Chairman, Jeminetu Ogunmowo, Taiwo Ogunmowo, Salma Ogunmowo, Sumbo Ogunmowo, Oluwagbemiga Abubakar Adefuye, Olatunji Lukman Alao, and Oluwagbenga Abdullateef Ambali; thank you all for keeping our family running like a well-oiled engine.
To my Nephews, Nieces, and friends that I have adopted as my kids, I love you all dearly and am especially lucky for allowing me in your lives to bring joy and reasons to care.
Finally, my extended family, friends, and even my past and present professional colleagues, it’s been awesome having you all come through for me at different points of my life.
As I look back on my 60 years, I see a life that has been filled with ups and downs, joys and sorrows, successes and failures, and most importantly, love and friendship. I have had the privilege of experiencing some of the most beautiful and inspiring moments in this world, and I have also faced some of the toughest and saddest challenges. But through it all, I have learned the power of resilience, compassion, and hope, and I have grown as a person, as a friend, and most especially, as a loving father.
I have also been blessed with so many amazing opportunities and experiences, and I have tried to make the most of them. I have traveled to several countries, met new people, and pursued my passions and interests.
I have learned so much, and I know I have so much more to learn.
I have given, and I have received.
I have loved, and I have been loved.
I have lived, and I will continue to live.
And now, I have decided to contribute to my community. I am using this special day to launch my foundation – the Akogun Peak Foundation!
Our people would always say, “Ẹye Kìí Fò L’áì Má Ní ‘Ìyé” which loosely translates to “Birds can not fly without wings”. Like the birds, we all need support from our family, friends, peers, and infact, every member of society to soar and reach our lofty dreams and goals.
I hope that this foundation goes on to become “wings” for youths from under-resourced communities, helping them gain equal access to technology education just like their counterparts!
As I enter this new phase of my life,
I am filled with excitement and anticipation, and I am committed to making the most of every moment.
I want to continue to grow, learn, give, and love, and I want to do so with gratitude, grace, and joy.
I want to be there for my family and friends and to support them in their own journeys. I want to make a difference in the world and leave a legacy that reflects the values and beliefs that I hold dear.
So, as I celebrate my 60th birthday,
I want to thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for being here, for your love and support, and for the memories that we will create together in the years to come. Here’s to 60 more years of living, laughing, loving, and learning! Thank you, and God bless you all!