By Bankole Omisore
There are thousands of Omisores all around the globe but there are a few that have made me proud over the years. Uncle Goke Nicholas Omisore aka uncle “G” tops that list.
Uncle “G” as he was fondly called by my siblings and I fit the billing of one of the coolest uncles’ one can ever wish for. He often referred to himself as our dad and I personally did not mind. He had swag, panache and oratory skills. And his boys Bolaji, Bukola, Bimbola and Bisola are more like my brothers. I actually met my wife during a night out in New York with his 2nd son Bukola back in 2007.
Uncle Goke was not one of those that will just drop names; he would often back it up with action. Uncle G was purposeful in his association and made sure he passed that message to us as well. Many in and out of the family might not understand him, but after few disagreements, I came to understand his style. He saw no reason to associate with everyone but only wanted to rub shoulders with both the young and old who are focused on what they intend to achieve in life. As he would often say, “the people you associate with will determine how far you go in life”.
He was a proud Yoruba man in all sense who spearheaded a movement for the RENAISSANCE OF GREATER YORUBA NATION. He was the convener of the group called VOICE OF REASON (VOR), the group that championed good governance and policy advocacy. He invited me to join and I spoke to Dr Akin Faphonda a strong member of the group on how I and other young folks could be a part of the group. Another member whose name is worth mentioning is Otunba ‘Deji Osibogun. He was the Chairman Media and Publicity of the VOR Leadership Series and First Colloquium programme. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to be considered of a great association such as VOR.
Uncle G owned the most prestigious barbing salon of the 90’s on Toyin Street, in Ikeja- the Headmasters barbing salon. After water parks, Lacapine Tropicana, you will definitely want to be seen at his barbing salon located in the higher ground complex. Uncle G moved with movers and shakers of the society and he was not scared to share his network. On many occasions, I have met people who by my last name wanted to know which Omisore I was. Uncle G was my dad’s younger brother and we share a close resemblance that makes many people think he was my dad. Even after correcting people several times, most will still refer to him as my dad.
Uncle G was a fashion icon, a writer, a wine connoisseur and a ladies man like a true Omisore. He was the founder of Sofisticat apparel and he did not only believe in dressing nice but also in saving and investing wisely. He believed so much in hard work and instilled that in us. Many times, uncle G will send messages to remind me of the importance of not spending all my income as a political appointee and to prepare for rainy day. He had a way of signing off his messages with “Daddy” just to make me know that the message must not be ignored.
My relationship with uncle G was not always rosy but our disagreements were based on principle and I am glad he always made it known. I remember when I joined Dele Momodu’s presidential campaign in 2010; uncle G was not having it. He went as far as calling Bob Dee and sending him a message to stop wasting my time and his. Of course I fought back and kept my focus on the presidential campaigns. I made sure I stopped picking up his calls and went ahead to come to Nigeria for few months in 2010. Although, Dele Momodu did not win the presidential elections, but the impact has since propelled me to the political front that uncle Goke later became proud of.
Until last month, I frequently exchange ideas with Uncle Goke on what he thought needed to be done by the Senate President. He was one of the very few that does not mince words to call myself or the Senate President out if he felt something was not right.
Today, I celebrate the life that he lived and the influence that he had on me. Uncle G’s life has challenged me and I believe everyone who has had contact with him on the essence of leaving behind lasting legacies that generations yet unborn would be proud of. His life has made me realise that you do not have to give money in all situations but you can open doors that would direct people to the right path. I am quite convinced that posterity will remain kind to him for his impactful life.
Till we meet again at the feet of the most high, sleep well uncle G.