The Abdul Kolawole Imoyo I Never Knew

December 19, 2023
Abdul Kolawole Imoyo

By Lukmon Akintola

For most principled businessmen, including my humble self, striking gold is the ultimate objective, and every other thing is secondary.

As with a striker in the game of football, his main objective is to score goals, and even when he provides the assist that leads to a goal, he is hardly satisfied with himself.

Sometimes in the process of achieving these objectives, both the businessman and the striker stir the hornet. In some cases, they get stung by a bee, while at other times, it’s just the buzz of scurrying bees that

catches their ear.

Such was my encounter with the late Abdul Kolawole Imoyo, who, aside from being a celebrated corporate media manager and journalist, was also the Publicity Secretary of the Association of Corporate and Marketing Communications Professionals in Banks in Nigeria (ACAMB).

Also, until he breathed his last in the early hours of Sunday, December 17, 2023, at First Cardiology, Ikoyi, Lagos, after a brief illness, Imoyo held sway as the Head of Corporate Communication at Access Holdings Group. It was in this capacity that I had my encounter with him.

A shrewd manager, Imoyo laid down his cards on the table and rarely changed them in doing his job, such was my perception of his personality. On occasions, I have had to ask if anything was ever cast in stone, of course, as against the popular saying, “Nothing is cast in stone”.

These varying thoughts eventually led to a face-off between myself and Imoyo, as we both sought to protect our interests. For him, it was his job, while for me, it was my business.

Intervention came at the peak of our encounter with both colleagues and senior colleagues in the media industry and eventually, we were able to forge ahead, each man with his own opinion of the other.

Several months after the interventions, I reached out to Imoyo via text message and told him that we were too old to continue haggling over issues of personal interest, urging him that we should move on from the issues that had set us on the path of collision. Although he never replied to that message, subsequent actions on his path proved that he agreed with me.

So, it was with nothing short of a rude shock that I learned that he had passed on to the greater beyond. While I acknowledge Valar morghulis, a High Valyrian saying meaning “all men must die, I never imagined that the angel of death would visit Imoyo so soon, especially not when he was at the peak of his career when he was supposed to be enjoying the dividends of past years of sacrifices.

Reports of his death were first spotted by me on a WhatsApp group, Omo Naija, and subsequently confirmed by the President of ACAMB, Rasheed Bolarinwa in a self-signed statement that hit me like a rocket-propelled grenade would impact its target.

So obvious was my reaction to the sad news that my wife, Bukunola sought to know what had suddenly changed my chatty mood. I brooded about the news of Imoyo’s death for hours questioning what could have happened to him.

Upon calling a few colleagues and senior colleagues, I was shocked to hear of the varying contributions of Imoyo to not just a few colleagues, but a whole lot of people.

Some people described him as one of the best media managers the industry had known, others as a man of God, and yet to another sect, he was a gentleman. All of these comments opened my eyes to the fact that I never met the man Abdul Kolawole Imoyo, the real one so adored and respected by many.

Imoyo was many things, including a beloved husband, father, brother, and uncle. He was also a dedicated professional who showed commitment to excellence in his field.

To me, above all, I have just realized that he was a gentleman.

Quoting the words of Abiodun Komolafe, I can only pray that, “May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, rest the soul of the faithful departed and comfort those he left behind.”

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