Nollywood Blogs | 15 May 2010 07:57 CET

If you want to live long, keep away from sex as much as possible — 99-year-old Pa Julius Omidogbon


“Ah! If I'm privileged to live up to 2011 when I will turn 100, I'll be very glad to ride a horse to the church for the thanksgiving. For me, nothing will be too much to glorify the name of the Lord for His mercies on me.”

These were the words of 99-year-old Pa Julius Omigbodun, the first University graduate from Osogbo, Osun State, in a recent encounter with NFC.

And if you are wondering if he would truly be able to mount a horse at that ripe age, you would be surprised as he said, “Look, I can drive myself to anywhere. Though I have a driver, it does not mean that I cannot drive myself. So, don't be surprised any time you see me driving. Of course, I will drive if need be.”

Although he could stay at home if he so wishes, he still likes to move about to attend to a few things. “I move around to see things for myself in some cases. I have some property within and outside Osogbo and I give them to an estate agent to manage. But that does not prevent me from going out to be able to see the true state of things”, he explained.

Interestingly, this nonagenarian still possesses a very good presence of mind whenever he is engaging you in any discussion. He remembers past events with impressive accuracy. Giving a peep into his background, he said, “I was born in Osogbo in Oloba Ado's compound in September 1912. My father died on May 31, 1951 and my mother died in September, 1961.”

His love for education beggars description. Even in the face of some hardship, his thirst for education was unquenchable. No wonder, it's one of the legacies he has bequeathed to his children. Today, all his children are doing fine in their chosen professions.

While explaining how he got admission into St. Andrew Teachers Training College, Oyo, he said, “I went to Saint Andrew Teachers College, Oyo. There were four of us who sat for the examination in 1929, but only two of us passed.”

After completing his education at the college, he was always moving from one school to another, imparting knowledge on some young minds. He later got a transfer to Ilesa Grammar School in April, 1944, from where he went to Fourah Bay College for a degree in English, Economics and Philosophy.

Omigbodun, the pioneer principal of Osogbo Grammar School where he served for 21 years, is a stickler for details. For instance, when this reporter referred to Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi as one of his contemporaries in school, he snapped: “No! Bolaji Akinyemi is the son of my classmate; he is our son. His father was my classmate and friend. His father and I attended St. Andrew's and Fourah Bay.”

Surprisingly, when he was asked why he didn't want to talk about his marital life, this elicited sadness and joy. While he is happy that his children are doing well, the death of his first wife brought sorrow to his face. Even as old as he is, you could see the anguish. “My first marriage took place in January 1941. She was a teacher at Queens School, Ede. She was travelling between Osogbo and Ede when she died in a motor accident. She had three children for me and they are all doing well in their chosen professions.”

As proof that he is physically strong, he only started using a walking stick last year. “I'm from a family where the grandparents were over 120 years before they died. At the time my grandmother died, she was 120 years. I knew her very well; we used to warm her in the sun early in the morning before she died. My father was 105 before he died on May 31, 1951. I believe I inherited long life from my progenitors.
I'm also very conscious of my lifestyle. I did not run after women so much. That is the secret,” he disclosed.

When asked if he would like to marry a new wife so that she could be taking care of him, he pointed to the photograph of his late wife and said, “That is my wife. Listen, if you want to live long, keep away from sex as much as possible.”

But even as he wishes to live up to 120, you wonder whether he's afraid of death or not. He said: “Well, I do project that since Moses died at the age of 120, I'm going to live up to 120. I did not use my life roughly. I'm not afraid of death. When death comes, I'll go. There is nothing I can do. When nature calls me away or when God calls me away, there is nothing I can do.”

Much as a lot of people are aware that he's the first graduate to have come out of Osogbo, many do not know how he happened to break that record. Revealing the secret, he said, “I'm lucky to be the first to graduate in Osogbo. With some assistance, I was able to get to Fourah Bay. I left St Andrew in 1932; I left Fourah Bay in 1946 at the age of 34. So, at the age of 38, I was back in the country.”

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