By Eric Elezuo
The curtains fell on the stage of prominent businessman and life wire to not a few people on September 6, 2020. On this day, Babatunde Adisa Akinleye, popular called BAA among many other terms of endearment, answered the call to eternal glory, bringing tears and unquantified sorrow to many loved ones.
Known for many exploits, among which is love for humanity, Akinleye lived his brief life making sure that there were smiles on the faces on everyone he was privileged to come across.
The life and times of the prominent businessman and philanthropist was adorned with memorable activities spanning 59 years.
Babatunde Adisa Akinleye was born on February, 15 1961 in Ibadan to the family of Late Mr. Simeon Adeladan Akinleye and Mrs Florence Aduke Akinleye. His father was a member of staff of the University of Ife, and Babatunde subsequently moved to Ife where he lived and thrived along with his five cherished siblings (Kolawole, Wuraola, Olukemi, Olufunke and Ayopeju).
He had his primary school education at the staff school of the University of Ife, from where he proceeded to Comprehensive High School Aiyetoro at the age of 9. He completed his secondary school education with top grades in WASC and was admitted into the University of Ife in 1975 at the age of 14 to study Electrical Engineering.
In his five years at the University of Ife, Tunde, as he was fondly and popularly known, built lifelong friendships, which often extended to include the siblings and parents of his friends. No one was too young or too old to have a strong relationship with him. He loved riding power bikes, but gave it up due to pressure from his parents, especially his mother. She happily gave up her car rather than allow her son to endanger himself. He was also a talented cricketer and member of the university cricket team.
Tunde graduated from the University of Ife in 1980 at the age of 19 with a BSc degree in Electronics & Electrical Engineering, specialising in Computer Engineering. He moved to Lagos afterwards, and in the cause of time, subsequently obtained an MSc degree from his Alma mater, the University of Ife, and later, an MBA from the University of Lagos.
Love and Marriage
On the 18th of June 1983, at the Moremi Hall car park of the University of Lagos, he met the love of his life, Ajibola Olufowoke Akinleye (nee Shote). On meeting her, he told her he would marry her and although she dismissed this at first, he kept true to his word. On the 15th of October 1988, he married Fowoke, and they started their 31 years, 10 months and 22 days of happy memories which will continue to support and stay with Fowoke forever. In their journey through life they picked up two cheeky co-travellers, Babatunde Adegbemi Akinleye (son), and Faramade Omobolaji Akinleye (daughter). He was a firm, kind and loving father. It was common to see him bantering with Fowoke, Babatunde, Faramade and whichever sibling or relative was around. Hardly any day passed without his labelling one of them as “cheeky”.
Extended Family and Friends
As a young big brother, Tunde took care of his younger siblings. He had a special name and relationship with each one; nothing was too valuable to give up for them. Tunde loved family. His house was a safe haven to his siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. Tunde and Fowoke took in his four young cousins when they lost their father so early in life. This earned him and his lovely wife a special place in the hearts of many especially his favourite paternal aunt, auntie Ayoka (of blessed memory) He didn’t have brothers or sisters-in-law, rather, brothers and sisters. He united the Akinleye, Longe, Shote and Ogunusi Families.
Career and Other Interests
Tunde harmonised his family commitment with a successful career. In 1987, at the age of 26, he co-founded Logic Sciences Limited with his best friend Tunde Oyewole, and they remained partners until his demise. Logic Sciences Limited recorded many firsts including introducing BEST and Liebert UPSes to the Nigerian Market, as well as Morpho and KeyWatcher systems. BAA, as he was fondly called by his staff, stayed active to the very end. He also put in a lot of time and effort into Nigerian Cricket and Ikoyi Club where he served as the Chairman from 2017 to 2019. As Chairman, he was known for his principled candour and fairness. Tunde was also active politically in the aftermath of the June 12 annulment and was one of the founding members of Concerned Professionals, a group of young professionals who sought to offer ideas and solutions to the pressing national problems of the day on a non-partisan basis. He was a committed Christian and regular worshipper at Methodist Church, Opebi.
He was judicious and efficient with his time on earth where he was able to be so much to so many people with an effortless ease that was exemplary.
BAA was also the chairman of The Bunmi Adedayo Foundation where he brought his wealth of experience and can-do spirit to bear’.
He won countless awards and laurels in business and for his contributions to many causes, and he leaves behind a legacy where he is consistently described by all as “a good man with a lot of integrity”. This legacy will continue to provide comfort and support to his family and friends.
TRIBUTES TO BAA
As expected, tributes have continued to flow from well wishers, friends, business colleagues and family members, expressing his goodness and impeccable integrity
You were a man of your words – Bunmi Patrick Marinho
BAA, chair of chairs as we fondly called you. Your integrity and discipline is infectious. You took time to mentor me and help my growth as a man. You were a friend to many regardless of age difference. You were a man of your word. May your soul rest in peace and may the Lord give all those you left behind bear your loss knowing you are in a better place.
Your Death is a True Loss to the World – Luciean Y. Bello
A gentleman to the core, firm, humble, intelligent, sincere, unassuming, disciplined and compassionately loved by all who met him. A true loss to the world and your family. May you continue to rest in our memories for the footsteps you have left in the sand of time. God loves you more. May His peace comfort your family.
In times like these, words will never be enough… Our CHAIR, BAA, IS a great man. This is without controversy – Highly Respected, Deeply Missed, Forever Loved May he find peace and rest in eternity, and may the Good Lord console his family and friends left behind Though of many nations we will not forget. That we all are brothers with a common debt, let us pay by giving as we forge ahead Service to the Living! Honor to our dead.
My thoughts are with the family he left behind especially the wife, children and siblings in difficult periods. May God give you all the fortitude to bear this irreparable lost. Be console, Tunde lived a good life worthy of emulation and a good life legacy. To live in the hearts of those you love is not to die. Tunde is not dead just moved to better place. Eternal rest grant Tunde Oh Lord
Uncle Tunde, I still can’t believe you are gone. We all still had a great time last Christmas and the last time we spoke, you seemed just fine. It makes no sense but God knows best. The world has lost one of the good ones. It is a real tragedy but I am thankful for the love and support that you have poured into my family over the years. Growing up, I remember seeing you as this strict no nonsense uncle but also your really social side hanging out with my dad and friends. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to forget your voice hailing my mum ‘a sis mi yellow’ 😊 in the way only you could. In recent times, when you visited the UK, you always made it a point of duty to call me to let me know you had just arrived in the country, even if we did not always get to see (and also told me off when I’d arrive in Nigeria and not check in because I was enjoying Lagos a bit too much). You always made it very clear you were available to provide support if needed and for that I’m grateful. They say that the measure of a good life is dying empty. It is clear you lived a good life and impacted so many beyond your family and friends till the very end. Praying for strength, grace and favour for Aunty Fowoke, Babatunde and Faramade and all your family and friends. Rest in perfect peace Uncle. Love.
I Will Forever Cherish Our Friendship of Over 20 Years –
It was most shocking to hear the news of your passing and it was painful that I did not know you were sick and I never got to chat with you before your demise. It’s still tough to believe and even though I partook in the might of tributes after a sleepless night in order not to miss it because of the time difference, I found it difficult to give a live tribute talking about you in the past tense. As much as it hurts to have lost a good, loyal, supportive, knd hearted and fun-loving friend, God must need you more. I will forever cherish your feedbacks and support regarding my Nigerian website set up to promote the nation positively. You offered genuine support and I will forever be thankful. You were the very first friend I always went searching for in the snooker section whenever I came home and visited the club, but now you’ve left a vacuum, I may have to pinch myself to refrain from automatically heading there to catch up with you on my next trip. I will forever cherish our friendship of over 20 years and the memories shared along the way, even though we see as often because of the continental differences. Fowoke who I met during a few of my trips is a lovely person, whom you truly loved and I can only pray that God will strengthen and comfort her and your 2 children, divinely providing for all their needs. May God watch over your mum, equally comforting and strengthen her, your siblings and extended family members. Your curtains in this life have drawn, but the light you shone upon all our lives shall never be put out. Sun ire o! Simee
I can’t still believe that you are gone. You were so humble, approachable and kind. Only God knows why he has let a gem leave so early. You will forever be missed. May your gentle soul rest in peace. And may God give your loved ones that you left behind the fortitude to bear this unbearable loss.
It is still a great shock to hear that Tunde Akinleye has passed away. No one to call me “Ajum Jag” anymore. A real real gentleman. Sun re O. May God continue to grant Mama grace. My dear sister Fowoke, may God bless you. May God grant Fowoke, Babatunde (Jnr) and Faramade the strength to bear this loss. May God stand with his sisters and the extended family and friends. May his soul Rest in Perfect Peace.
Uncle Tunde, I learnt a lot today listening to the outpour of tributes from everyone. You truly lived a life of great influence. You will be sorely missed. May the peace of God be with Aunty Fowoke, Babatunde and Faramade at this time and always. Rest in Peace sir.
Rest in perfect peace, Uncle. Glad – we saw recently and it was all smiles . I pray that God strengthens and comforts the family. Love…
Cozin mi!! I know I’m not your only cousin, neither are you my only one, but you are (can’t even say were) my « Cozin » in FACT and in DEED!! Ha! Babatunde, this was not the plan, but God knows best. I didn’t see death coming at all inspite of the diagnosis and what one knows about it. For me, you were not done yet, it was going to pass. I had a special inexplicable peace. I bless God that we know HIM ooo, if not, hmmm, it just would have been too difficult to accept. You are for me that big brother I never had (never mind that you’re just a few months older), and since 1993, a true anchor and source of encouragement. Tunde, is it our many conversations that I want to recall here or your millions of practical expressions of genuine love for your family members (beyond just your nuclear one) that one wants to talk about? Words fail me o o; You were the bond, and I mean, an extraordinary glue that pulled the Longe-Faloyo descendants together; following in the admirable footsteps of your beloved mum, grandma Folashade – our living legend…the original omo Eki herself. Tunde, I just want to say thank you: Thank you for holding my feeble hands when I needed it most. Thank you for taking me to Concerned Professionals and ensuring that I remained active in reflecting on how to make our nation, Nigeria, attain its divine potential. En tous cas, you played your part and I am proud of you, even moreso from reading the many testimonies pouring out in your memory since September 6, 2020…. Thank you for making the word, family, meaningful for many of us; and ensuring that your « Amazons» Wura, Kemi, Funke and Peju followed suit. Thank you for bringing us Fowoke, loving and caring for her. Thank you for Babatunde (jnr) and Faramade, your precious duo, that will always keep you in our hearts. Thank you for your expression of love that no tribute I write can bring to life. Tunde, as Wura and I agreed the other day, we will do our best in your honour to keep our family together and carry on where you left… it’s a heavy responsibility but as a good leader you left us a legacy…. the legacy of unconditional love! Tunde, I love you more than this or any other tribute can ever express! Cozin mi, omo eki ni o re l’udile yeye re…sun re o eki l’ade ugbo, eki jagun… you came, you impacted and you conquered death by your unwavering love for us all. Wow, you mean I will no longer here that one of its kind baritone voice anymore on my phone saying Tokunbo, bawo ni, mo kan ni ki’ngburo e ni o. O tojo meta, Tami nko? Se o ngburo e? Fare there well till we meet again, where nothing will be able to separate us.. Your « Cozin » Tokunbo Ige To my dear Fowoke, Babatunde, Faramade and my sisters Wura, Kemi, Funke and Ayopeju, the Lord Almighty alone will comfort us all.. It is well indeed!!
He Will Never Be Replaced – Freddie
Tunde left an example of a kind natural leader with me. He will never be replaced. I am blessed to have shared times with him.
Copied: May his soul rest in peace. Much was said about Chairman Babatunde Akinyele. But he was one unobtrusive Chairman. He went about his business as Chairman quietly but effectively. The main bar of Ikoyi Club which he transformed from what looked like the reception area of an African traditional monarch, into the lounge of an upscale 5 star hotel, will remain a legacy to his urbane upbringing and tastes. I will always recall his strides coming into the golf section. At the patio and the inner bar. Nodding in response to members’ greetings , always with a smile that often managed to escape his lips. A gentleman. A pity he left so soon. The club would miss his role as an Elder Statesman of our community. My condolence to his immediate family and his close associates in Ikoyi Club who would sorely miss him more the rest of us. Rest in Peace, Chairman.
You will no doubt be missed but will be remembered for your simplicity, kind heart and ability to speak the truth in love. RIP my dear brother. Jumoke Fashakin
I cannot bring myself to think of you in the past tense! I keep returning to this site and learning more and more about you, how could someone in this relatively short time have done so much and touched so many peoples lives! I always wondered how one person could remember so many peoples names plus their wives, children and siblings with out missing a beat. There are few people I call “my friend” you are one of them. Go well my friend, Peace forever 🙏🏾
I have always loved you, for your kind and simple ways, you have always pointed out light on every direction of life. Adieu Sir,
Sleep on Peacefully in the Bosom of the Lord – Dr. Ayodeji Adeniji
Tunde, you will be remembered and missed very much for your organizational capacity and attention to details. It was a pleasure working with you on many projects and especially on the board of Bunmi Adedayo Foundation. Your imprint on the conceptualization, planning, inauguration, strident progress and successes of BAF since inception will remain indelible in our minds. Sleep on peacefully in the bosom of the Lord.
Thank You BA for Offering My First Job Ever! – Ese Olufemi
Memories are there to remind us of things that have gone before… I remember you saying “give her the job” as you walked away, and I wondered, who could this be? Unknown to me, the person who has been sitting quietly like a guest visiting a friend in his office, is the MD/ CEO himself… Very unassuming. Thank you BA for offering my first job ever! I look forward to that time when DEATH WILL BE NO MORE. (Revelation 21:4)
You Were Wonderful Human Being Above All – Ricky Sharma
May God Almighty Bless Your Gentle Soul R.I.P. I clearly remember Meeting you for 1st Time at TBS 2002 Jan… Will always remember you as a Nig Cricket and FCC Stalwart…and a Wonderful Human Being above all… RIP Elder…
I love you and miss you very much Uncle – Abby
God Knows Best! Tope Ilesanmi
I’m always short of words any time I remember that i’m supposed to write these,…. The time I came to your residence recently, you assured me that your are getting better even as you continually assured us all (in LSL) that there is a bright future for us all! We all missed you but I believe, God knows best!
You Were One of the Brightest – Akeem Shafaru
Tunene why? We started our journey in 1971, precisely 49 years ago when we met at the famous Comprehensive High School Ayetoro. We spent five memorable years together, which we all still cherish till today. You were one of the brightest. We all went our separate ways until we met again at our set meetings. We always enjoyed these meetings and other gatherings. Tunene will always call me ‘Stano’ with his baritone voice whenever we meet. We had good times together. Tunene was very humble, kind, witty and very friendly. I sure will miss him very much. Adieu my friend. May the Almighty grant you eternal rest.
You Thought Me How to Turn Stones to Pillars – Tony Obaisi
‘Heaven rejoice when the saint are called home’ BAA, as we @ LSL family called you. There is celebration as you joined the host of heaven. You thought me how to turn stones to pillars, turn lemon to lemonade and how to be persistent, positive and trustworthy. A mentor and a refiner. You impacted yours and other generations positively. I will greatly miss you. Adieu my Mentor, uncle, and Boss. Rest on till we meet on the resurrection morning.
I Would Forfeit Any Wisdom for the Sake of Having You Back – Ken
Mr Babatunde Akinleye will forever be remembered as my best boss’s husband and best half. And I am grateful that I am becoming a more fully realized human being, a more caring, compassionate, and empathetic person, just because of one mind blowing encounter I had with him. Still, I would forfeit any wisdom for the sake of having him back.
Pragmatic Tunde, a worthy example! Rest on, my mate – Akinola
Life is truly mysterious…unfortunately we never know who will be taken or spared a longer fate. It is so sad to have lost you Uncle T. My first and ever lasting memories of you was the first time I met you which was when I was made the ring bearer at your wedding – it was such a big event, I had so much admiration of you. The times I remember off you are of joy and celebration. You always had a beaming, charming smile, that just made me admire you. The last time we conversed, you had told me to be careful on my Sport-bike and to be sure to wear the my proper safety gear all the time. Prior to that, we had such a blast at a cousin’s wedding…good memories all across. I really pray that God will keep the family as you make your Journey across to his bosom. Truly unbelievable but it is always a reminder for us left to always be intentional about our purpose. Live life, no grudges no hate, spread love and be thankful for every fleeting moment. Rest Alive in Spirit Uncle.
Rest in Peace – Joke
Mr.Babatunde Akinleye. A man with a good heart and gentleman. So humble. We remember many times you visited TFC, also Happy hour. May your soul rest in peace.
Here files the procession in loving memories of our beloved father, uncle, brother and husband. You raised your children both biological and non biological children with love and care. You have been more than a father to many. We remembered the many time you visited TFC outlets, your love and care towards BAF or free given you shared from your bosom. We trust you shall rest peacefully in HIS bosom. We grieve because there really is never a right time to lose someone as dear and loving as you . Adieu, Mr Babatunde Adisa Akinleye.
This Has Been Too Much to Take in – David
This has been too much to take in, especially at this time of the year. I know you will be greatly missed. Rest in perfect peace, Numawon
You Were Dearly Loved and Will Remain in Our Hearts – Esther Ndedigwe
BA My formator, mentor and role model, it is hard to believe that you are gone. You believed in me and my likes in Logic Sciences who were nobody. You nurtured and brought out the best from us making us to believe in ourselves. You are dearly loved and will remain in our hearts. Rest in the bossom of our Lord Jesus. Adieu the best boss ever.
Our hearts are broken – Salma Sadiq
My dearest Tunde, I still can’t believe you are gone but Allah knows best. Tears will roll down our cheeks whenever we think of your beautiful smile, your voice and your infectious laughter Our hearts are broken. They say: with time the pieces will eventually come back together but there will always be a space – the piece to which has your name on. There’s something Allah has given us; despite age, culture and religion difference FRIENDSHIP, you will be missed my dearest friend and you will forever be in our my heart.
Tribute to Mr Babatunde Adisa Akinleye (Bro Tunde) Writing a tribute to Bro Tunde feels so awkward and sad because it’s difficult to accept that he’s gone. It’s been a week now and the pain lingers. I have wondered several times why good people pass away prematurely, but yes, we cannot question God. We have to accept it. As they say, God doesn’t come down Himself to help people. He sends humans like us. Indeed, my life story would not be complete without him and sister Fowoke. After my dad passed away in 1986, bro Tunde rose up and helped my mother carry her burdens. He was still in his 20s, newly married and by no means rich but he became a strong pillar of support for my family. He loved my mother, his aunty, so much (he fondly called her aunty Ayoks) and God used him to bless us. My brothers and I became part of his very young household and together, with sister Fowoke, they raised us not like their cousins or brothers, but like their own children. They showed us love and selfless generosity. They raised us to be men. To live responsible lives. They showed us a different side of life. They helped raise our standards. He was more than a cousin to me. He became my father. Bro Tunde lived an exemplary life. Within the extended family, he was the light. He knew what was going on in everyone’s lives. He kept tabs on everyone. If you don’t call him, he will call you. He was at every family event, however inconvenient. He gave himself to everyone and did it with joy. He always sought to bring everyone together. He was our leader, everyone’s role model. Wherever he went, he left an indelible mark. As the Chairman of Ikoyi Club, whenever I go to the club and hear people talk about how he transformed the club and positive things he achieved during his tenure, it made me proud. Several times I hear people talk about him (without knowing my relationship with him) and it was always in a positive light – about his forthrightness, his integrity, his generosity, his selflessness. That’s bro Tunde for you. No half measures. He always gave his best. He had a worldview of how things should be and in his own little ways, he preached it at every opportunity. When he told me about the ailment a few months ago, I prayed fervently and trusted God for his recovery. I reminded God that he’s a good man who has impacted many lives (mine inclusive), and He should make him well. However, God had other plans. The scriptures in Isaiah 57: 1 have since provided some clarity. “The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous are taken away from evil”. My last chat with him was on August 31st when he said “I am well”. Indeed, it is well with his soul. He has triumphed over the tribulations of this world. Bro Tunde has come and gone, and has left a mark in the sands of time – a great loss to all who knew him. His work here is done and he has now gone to rest. For me, I will be eternally grateful for what he did for my mother (till she passed on last year), my brothers and myself. To sister Fowoke, Babatunde (Jnr) and Faramde, I pray the Lord comforts you at this time. I pray He heals your grief and gives you the fortitude to bear this huge loss. I also pray that the Lord comforts his mother and sisters as well. A tragic loss for everyone. However, I thank God for the sweet memories he left behind. Good night Bro Tunde. Till we meet to part no more.
You Will Be Greatly Missed – Jimmy and Ronke O
You were kind and very sweet. You always spoke with care and great intelligence. You will be greatly missed. Love always.
Great Men Never Truly Die – Adekunle Adedayo
‘A compelling chapter in life’s book. Only a moment you stayed, but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts.”- Dorothy Ferguson
Babatunde Akinleye was a focused, honest and vastly resolved go-getter, who always set his sight on achievements, irrespective of the project embarked on. He was a tremendously dependable man, I make bold to say, as he never let me down in all our engagements, no matter the inconvenience. Our intertwined journey began when my Beloved Aburo Fowoke, brought Babatunde home and introduced him as her potential suitor. Fowoke was the first grandchild in Olayinka’s (my wife) paternal grandmother’s lineage. Her brilliance shone through her academic prowess, resulting to her being adored and overly protected by all. As expected, this mandated the need to undertake due diligence and have Babatunde’s background checked, to ensure that she was with the right person. I was the one who ventured into town to inquire about him from my friend Late Segun Onabolu and my aburos in Ikeja: Gbenga Ademulegun and Lai Ori-owo. They revealed to me that the he was from a modest and respectable home. Thereafter, we foresee and realized that they both had a bright future together, of which, I am deeply grateful to God for perfecting same, as their marriage was filled with the kind of love that’s worth emulating. I will always be indebted to him for taking good care of Fowoke and how he trained the children, which is evident in their academic and personal accomplishments. Babatunde was a great man who was ever willing to serve through any capacity afforded him. Upon the passing of my precious son, and the inception of his foundation, the Bunmi Adedayo Foundation, Babatunde was called upon to handle its affairs. He took on this responsibility, with his wife at his side and executed projects with sheer determination and dedication. Today, the milestones and accolades garnered by the foundation are as a result of this man’s undiluted love and passion. I am satisfied with the gratifying knowledge that God would compensate Fowoke and children for the beautiful works done for the primary school children, whose lives were transformed as a result of his efforts. Although, your sojourn here on earth has been brought to an abrupt end, I know that God has you in the comfort of His arms. In the words of Rob Lano, *the sorrow we feel when we lose a loved one is the price we pay to have had them in our lives.* Rest on, great man. God be with you, till we meet again.
We Cannot Replace You, Ever – Ayeniran
Brother Tunde, You were always warm, loving and kind. Your memories will remain sweet and precious. Goodnight dear Cousin.🌹
Oh death where is thy sting! BA, I wished I had one more chance to let you know how great, amazing and what an outstanding Boss you were, but you left too fast. I’m in pains, but I know it’s just pain and it will pass, but am comforted because you are in a better place now. You were a Boss like no other, you broke all barriers and trailblazed your way through all the hurdles in this world. You lived a very impactful and fulfilled life and am eternally grateful to the Lord. You were a man whose smiles brightens up anyone’s day and you had solutions for every situation presented to you. You were a man so full of wisdom, your exemplary leadership qualities was such a huge blessing, there are not enough words to describe all the precious memories you’ve shared with us your staffs. You listened to everyone, irrespective of their social status, level, personality or class, etc. Thank you for all the advice, trainings, support, strength, encougement and hope you taught us. BA, though you seem far away, I want you to know that you are greatly missed and will always be remembered. We the younger ones, will continue to chart the course of your legacies which you left behind. Fading away like the stars of the morning Losing their light in the glorious sun Thus would we pass from this earth and it’s toiling Only remembered by what we have done.🎶 Adieu BA, I bid you farewell. Keep resting in the bosom of the Lord. Goodnight Sir
LIFE! The fact was never assumed. The assumptions were never the facts. The tribulations came before solutions. A selected few made life easy to live in. But what is life without creatures? What is living without breath? Who is Akinmade without you? I’ve been putting my thoughts together for more than a decade of how awesome you’ve been as a father because I didn’t and I will never see you as my uncle. You brought light into my life when everywhere seemed dark, you enveloped my heart with so much joy that words couldn’t express. Your voice kept sounding in my head at the mention of my name or in a conversation with that statement “se eyi ti o le se, ma ro ti anybody after all won ma soro and awon Lo ni Enu won – do your part, forget about people because no matter what you do, they will talk after all they own their mouths”. A Mr do good without a need to do so and this qualified him as a selfless and a reliable mentor to my whole existence. We had our down times which brewed me to be the famous “Optimist” And those down times raised the bars loving you more as a Mr no nonsense as a matter of uprightness. A father you can never dread but to love, a leader you can never run away from but to emulate every bit of his actions. September 6, 2020 a day I will never forget in my life because I lost you without saying thank you with a treat when you clock 60. I have alot running through my mind and I just wish God can give you another chance to rise so as to pour out my mind to you for ever loving me even with my weaknesses. I love you dear father and I will always do. Your priceless jewel (Fowoke) is in safe hands while you’re there in heaven to support us(children) to take good care of her. I’ve learnt alot from your tutelage and I pray that your soul will continually rest in internal glory. Rest on BAA ❤
I met Mr. Akinleye for the first time in 2007 when I was converting my Junior membership to full membership in Ikoyi Club. My first impressions were that he was a very stern man as he would repeatedly yell “silence in the playing hall” if any errant member was not respecting the serenity of the sections required environment. I thought this would serve as a barrier to most endearing to him, how wrong was I? As the years past, I grew to understand Mr Akinleye as not only a stern man, but also highly principled yet friendly. It was men like Mr Tunde Akinleye that made the snooker section of Ikoyi Club the best section in the club. The commradery and brotherliness that exist today is because of men like Mr Tunde Akinleye. My life is richer today because of him. I have brothers from all over the Nigeria, nay the world because of him. His death like all death can never be understood merely accepted. I have lost my most senior brother and friend but have gained an angel. I will always cherish the time spent in Mr Akinleye’s company. The way he would say “Wally Walter” everytime I entered the playing hall, the way he was a constant source of guidance to not only me, but to all members of the club irrespective of age. He was a gentleman, a leader, father to all, he was my brother and my Chairman and I will sorely miss him. Adieu brother, blessings will follow your legacy in Jesus Name.
He Was a Reliable, Disciplined Fellow and a Distinguished Engineer – Dr. Abiodun Osiyemi
May his soul RIP! Late Mr Babatunde Akinleye and I were brothers since 1986 till his death. We played squash at University of Ife which I represented and we played snooker for many years at Ikoyi Club where he was our Chairman of the Snooker Billiards section and then Chairman Ikoyi Club 1938. He was a reliable , disciplined fellow and a distinguished engineer. We we also served together on the Board of Concerned Professionals May his departed Soul Rest In Peace.
BA (as we called him in Logic Sciences), words fail me to say goodbye to you because I know you loved life as you always told me to find things to do to make me happy. I pray God will comfort and console the family.
Your Time Here Was Short But Very Impactful – Folu Peters
Tunde, What a great loss!!! But heaven has gained a beautiful soul! Indeed your time here was short but very impactful. Thank you for being a blessing. You were always supportive at the extended Longe-Faloyo functions. Several times you will call, whenever you come to the states, just to see how we were doing. That was very thoughtful and always appreciated. May the Lord be with the beautiful family that you left behind. May the God of all comfort wrap His arms around them and fill them with peace. Rest in perfect peace!
A special and honorable person. Not just my cousin, but a good friend! Sleep well, Cuz – Adedayo
“Laja jo ri mi” means “Laja, please see me”. A boss like a father, always treated us as his family. I still can’t believe you’ve gone, look you through the pictures it seems there is life in those images. I love you, but God love you more😢😢😢
Tunde Akinleye: Humble, simple, gentle, loving, lovable, unassuming, iconic smile, respectful, Godly….. all these and much more comes to mind, as I think of you. You left us, not only with wonderful and beautiful memories but also a legacy. May the Almighty Father comfort the family and friends you left behind. Goodnight Sir Tunde, sleep on and rest on peacefully in paradise.
I barely know you, but, it feel as though I’ve known you for a long time. Rest on Sir. Your legacy will forever remain.
Death really has a sting. This is so so painful Tunde. It should not have happened to you, not you at all. God knows best. Sleep on lovely soul. In a while we will all meet again at the feet of Christ. Thoughts and wishes to your wife and children and sisters and extended family who are presently bearing so much pain. May God comfort you all.
I’ve Always Admired the Way He Carried Himself – Doyin (on behalf of the Sobowale family)
The passing of Uncle Tunde really hit home close. We all should use this as a reminder to focus on our interactions and the legacy we plan to leave behind. I wasn’t very close to him neither did we interact very much, but I’ve always admired the way he carried himself – showing respect and honor to all around him. Reading about him from others, and seeing the many pictures posted of him composed and smiling, helps me personally realize just how enormous our love to others can be, and the impact little things can have – which is ultimately why it can hurt so intensely to say goodbye to uncle Tunde in the form that we knew him. While it was painful to lose a husband, dad, brother and an inspiration in his physical form, there are countless memories that have been shared since his passing that will forever remain in our hearts. This was simply time for his spirit to move on from the body he was in. His spirit is still very much alive, to this day with us. As we grieve and pray for you aunty Fowoke and the Akinleye family during this sad time, let’s please try to focus on the happy moments he spent with us and dig deep to find the strength to move forward through this. God bless and continue to strengthen you. Uncle Tunde left behind a great legacy.
We Still Give Glory to God – Olufolahan
Uncle Tunde! I will forever miss your deep voice and the way you used to call my name every time we saw or spoke. Your calm and peaceful presence made such an impact in all our lives and has left a void that can only be filled with God’s comfort. In all this, we still give glory to God because we know that you are with our Father in Heaven, where there is no sorrow or weeping. We have peace and even joy knowing that we will meet again on the other side. We love you and we will take care of aunty and our cousins while we are here on earth. Love always
Tunde, l thank God for your life! You used to call me ‘lyawo wa’ because my husband was your Senior in Compro! May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace!
Egbon was always nice to me as a junior ‘Compronian’. Always quiet and a swift talker. All my interactions with him were always fruitful. Rest on my senior and Godspeed.
Tunde, I remember when we first met at the Police College squash court, where the usual squash banter takes place and that’s when we started our friendship and having some humdinger games over many years. As we grew older things naturally slowed down and instead, we started chatting over drinks and reminiscing about the good old days. My dear friend, may you soar with the angels, as that I know is where you will be. You will be sorely missed but fondly remembered. Rest in peace, my dear friend and brother.
A Good Man Gone Too Soon – Bimbo Babarinde (Babson)
What a great loss! I first met Tunde in Comprehensive High School Aiyetoro (Compro) back in 1972. He was such a gentle, humble and very brilliant chap. He was also a great Cricketer back in the day. He later went on to Ife to study Engineering after which he set up a successful Company in Lagos. We lost touch for a while, only to find out later that he was married to a friend from Unilag. We reconnected years later and continued our friendship from where we left off. Last summer, he was in the U.K to watch the Cricket World Cup. He called me up to arrange a Dinner date with me and some old friends. We all met up at a Restaurant in South London. We had a Whale of a time spinning Fabus, gisting about his tenure as Chair of Ikoyi Club and generally Merry making. Little did I know that that would be the last time I would ever see him. As I write this, I am still in a state of shock. May the Lord grant the Family the fortitude to bear this great loss. A good man gone too soon. Babatunde Akinleye (1961- 2020) RIP.
Really sad news. May Almighty God comfort and strengthen his family and friends. Egbon, may your soul rest in perfect peace – Akintunde Akinkunmi
You Were So Unique – SS Okelola
Still difficult to distill; indeed unbelievable to me that Tunde is gone! Tunde: cerebral, pleasant & polite – his networking is incredible, nurturung friendships & relationships across ages & cultural divides! With his boyish looks & gentle smile, yet principled & firm. Organised, methodical & diligent, he gets things done – almost effortlessly! We still chatted two weeks ago, only to be rudely jolted with this shocking news! I thank God for the quintessential Tunde & deeply mourn this sudden passing. Our thoughts & prayers are with Mama, Fowoke, your children, siblings & loads of relations & friends who will be devastated by this loss. Fare thee well, Tunde!
An Eagle Soars Higher – Aunty Yinkus
‘’Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time.But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” Isaiah57:1.
Babatunde, my beloved aburo, there is no consolation substantial enough to wipe away my pain, there’s no remedy to this irreparable loss, no balm soothing enough to heal this wound in my heart but I draw hope and strength from the word of God, especially as expressed in Isaiah 57:1 above. Aburo mi, you were a special man and an exceptional brother. I often wonder why exceptionally kind people leave the world too early, but then, this scripture consoles and ministers to my broken heart and I can only be grateful that you are in a better place. I know God loves you so much that He took you to protect you from this perilous world. You were exceptional and God’s promise for you is eternal rest in His paradise. Aburo mi owon, you were my friend, confidant and like a dear son. You became all these to me when you came into the family and what a priceless and precious gift we had in you. Despite the many times Fowoke, your darling wife and my dear niece, travelled out of the country; spending time with me; giving me the support I had needed to run the company, both physically and mentally; working late hours into the night, which had meant spending lesser time with you on such days, you never for once objected or interfered, neither did you complain. That was the expression of your undiluted love for me and mine, and the rare kindness of your heart. In your usual committed manner, you were always among the firsts to pay for my birthday cruise. Always optimistic and full of life. There are so many warm and unforgettable memories I have of you and I am eternally grateful to God for that. I will without a doubt miss your unequalled contribution to the growth of the Bunmi Adedayo Foundation (BAF) as the Chairman. You were an embodiment of great ideas and a born leader. It is excruciatingly sad that you had to go. If only I had known that your phone call on Thursday, 3rd September, 2020, to me would be your last, I would have poured out my heart to you. I miss you dearly. We all miss you but God loves you more and has called you home. You have done well. Rest well my beloved, until we meet to part no more. We love you, always and forever. With all my love.
The Best Boss I Ever Had – Meg
You were the best Boss I ever had. I learnt so much from you and never stopped talking about you and your leadership style. When I spoke with you about a month ago, I was happy that you sounded better than some months back. I never knew it will be the last. I pray for your family you left behind, the Lord will comfort them. The shock is still there, but I consoled that you have gone to be with the Lord. Rest on sir!
Thank You for All the Love – Bola Dawodu Sodipo (Bobo)
We lost a gem and a beautiful soul. I never expected to be writing these words, the shock of it all is overwhelming surreal, like I am in some sort of bad dream. However with each day that passes, it Dawn’s on me that you are no longer with us…. A life taken so suddenly, so abruptly its almost unbelievable when you hear the incident replayed by those who were around when you were taken from us. Gone way too soon and again I am hit with these feelings of unfinished conversations and missed goodbyes. I also know that whatever I am feeling can’t be compared with the emotions of the ones whom you birthed and raised and those you grew up with. The shock is more or less just starting to wear off and it has inspired me to remember all the moments I had with you. First of all I would like to thank you for all the love, care and support you always showed me. In the old book it says “in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”. This means that in spite of the untimely and painful loss of our dearest Uncle Tee as I affectionately called him, we must be thankful for the good life that he was blessed with and the precious time that we had to spend with him. The warmth of his love will stay in our hearts as we pray to the Almighty to continue to bless us all and receive the gentle soul of BABATUNDE AKINLEYE.
Your Exit is Too Early and Painful – Olaide
Tunde, wow… it was a shock to my system after I was informed that you had passed unto the other side. Words failed me. Even as I write I am still in shock. Felixooo as you used to call me in that your unique baritone voice. Amongst others, what came to my mind was “deck 14” on the ship we all spent the cruise we enjoyed with our wives a few years ago. Though I ate the most, we all ate 24/7. What a fine gentleman… even in your professional work, I found you to be extremely diligent and precise having being privileged to see you at close quaters in that area albeit briefly. Heaven certainly was missing an Angel and by His grace you have gone on to glory. Rest in peace bro.
You Had Character, Poise, Humility, Intelligence – Tunde Sodade
There was too much to admire about you my brother – Character, Poise, Humility, Intelligence, Bibi Ire ….! Rest with the Lord. Indeed you lived respected and died heavily regretted. May the good Lord comfort Fowoke and the entire family as only He can. Adieu!
Gone too Soon – Ike
My dearest egbon, All I have to say is that I am going to really really REALLY miss you. May The Almighty grant eternal peace. Sleep well egbon mi. Toyedayo
Rest in the bossom of your Lord – Feyi
Aunty Fowoke, it is well – Suleiman Shaibu & Family
Mr. Akinleye thanks 🙏 for your impact, thanks a gentle life you have lived. Rest In Peace. For those loved one you have left behind, the Lord will comfort them. Aunty Fowoke, it is well.
You are a decent man, a smooth talker with good command of English. You will be sorely missed. May God comfort the families left behind. Adieu!!! – ASK
I’ll Miss the Sunday Hugs – Yetunde Omikorede
Babatunde, words fail me. I will miss the hugs on Sundays and the words of comfort “Sis, it is well”. Yeah! IT IS WELL!!! Your “Sis”
Short, But Impactful Life – Lekan Somorin
Tunde your journey was short but impactful, definitely you will be missed but not forgotten. Rest In peace My Amiable chairman🙏
Difficult to refer to you in the past. You ran a good race, albeit a short one. One thing stands out in my mind about you and that is how resolute you were ( there I go speaking of you in the past again) once you were convinced on an issue. Seems like days ago (months more like it) you posted your mum’s birthday and some days ago yours and loved ones and we celebrated…now we mourn? How fickle life is, so transient…I try to recall the last conversation we had as I go through our last chats. As chairman of our dear Ikoyi Club you were certain on what you sought and worked towards them. More importantly as a son, husband and father …these roles are the ones that I grieve more for. Praying our good Lord to give your mum, wife and children the strength and comfort to bear this loss. Rest well…
May the Lord Grant a Repose of Your Soul ‘Sheni – Balogun
Tunene, Still smarting from the shock of it all. You gave us no notice. May the Lord grant a repose of your soul, wonderful mate. We miss you dearly. Who are we to question the Lord? Fowoke, may the Lord comfort and console you and the family and give you strength, Amen!
Garo Garo as I nicknamed you because of your unique & funny cricket stance, I will miss our yabis. Wow! I didn’t see your being stumped coming. Garo Garo, who will tease me by calling me GM GM? I still kept your last yabis of July 15 when you said that I am still using Pure Water Phone. Usually I would have replied by referring to your camera as Pinhole camera which will get you boasting about your camera. Then I will hit you badly that your camera uses SIM card. How can I forget the photo shoot for our cricket club’s (Foundation Cricket Club) 30th Anniversary 5 years ago when you and Demola Tade handled photography, Demola brought out his camera which had delay and yours didn’t have. Demola would delay his camera and join in the group photograph while you will not be able to delay your camera and join in the group photograph, I had to ask you if your camera was using Sim Card. That joke hit you so bad. Adieu Garo Garo till we meet again to continue our yabis. George Wiltshire (Apay)
Tunde,I remember you, but I find it difficult to discuss you in the past tense.You are a gentleman par exellence.A good man and an excellent chairman of Ikoyi club.Your strides are noble and your smiles charming and makes others smile.A quiet high achiever as evidenced.
It is a Great Loss – Remi Oladapo
My sincere condolences to Tunde’s family at his passing, it is a great loss , he will be remembered as a caring person who brings people together. May he rest in perfect peace.
My very first encounter with my Senior T was in Compro Aiyetoro and it still reverberates till today. He was a “go to kind of fella”, extremely intelligent & humble. I shared the same hostel with him as a junior student so interaction was daily and if I can recall, he was Head of House at some point. Fast forward to adulthood, he still possessed the same milk of kindness & ready to assist you with business work whenever available. He was social & amiable to both the young and old. I admired his cerebrality & confidence which made an impact whenever you are around him. May the Good Lord console his nuclear & extended family. He left a good name for his children to walk shoulder high most especially in our society! Senior T, I pray you REST IN PEACE PERFECT PEACE!
Funeral Service and Interment
In the full view of mourners wearing very heavy faces, Babatunde Akinyele was interred and committed to mother earth at the Islington Cemetery, London, England, after a funeral service at Islington Chapel, Saint Pancras on September, 30, 2020.
However, a service of songs was held in Lagos, Nigeria on October 5 in Lekki where the cream de la cream of the society, led by Mama Olayinka Adedayo, Proprietress of Tastee Fried Chicken , was in attendance to show their love for the good man, who left his worthy prints in the sands of time.
Omo Arin gbere bi ole wolu
Omo pakun o mukun tore
Ogbeye gbeyawo rebete toye l’orun
Iyawo setan olewa okore
Bariola omo Barire
Omo agba tin finu ja.
Sun re ooooo