While one cannot but wonder what was going through the mind of Taiwo Osinowo, aka, Bodataiye Oniyakuya, for drawing such a caricature of a seating governor, in this case, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, one also cannot but praise the way and manner Governor Sanwo-Olu accepted the ingenuity of bodataiye oniyakuya, as a mere expression of himself; saying “Osinowo is just practicing art.”
The conversation between the Lagos State Governor, and Taiwo Osinowo, aka, bodataiye oniyakuya, started when artist Taiwo decided to upload a comic picture of Gov. Sanwo-Olu on his Instagram page with this caption:
“I drew his Excellency, Governor of Lagos State, @Jidesanwoolu. I think I thank God for the successful work. I think his Excellency will love it. I still remain the best artist in UAR.”
Thankfully, Taiwo’s comic image of ‘@Jidesanwoolu’ as he puts it, got the Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s attention who responded with:
“So, it’s me you drew like this? I’m guessing you’ll like to present it to me, abi? Ok, come and present it to me in my office. Hmmmm…”
While friends and family may have advised Taiwo Oniyakuya not to honour Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s invitation, for obvious reasons, reasons typical of the Nigerian society, the ‘daredevil’ young man, who was courageous enough to draw a cartoon image of a seating governor, went alongside his lookalike twin brother, to present the artwork to the Lagos State Governor, at the LTV Blue Roof Agidingbi Ikeja, Lagos, during a youth symposium.
Taiwo Osinowo, the comic artist, who must have resigned to fate that, ‘if I perish, I perish; and ‘if I win, I win’, afterall, as they say in pidgin English, ‘all die, na die’, indeed presented the comic image of Sanwo-Olu to him without fear of being arrested for such a ‘disrespect’ of the Governor. The presentation was even done amidst jubilations as youths present at the event cheered bodataiye oniyakuya. Taiwo indeed, showed a rare courage; one that is needed to survive in a harsh economic terrain like Nigeria.
So many lessons we can take from Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s approach to this episode; some of which are, his humility, sense of humour, approachability, open door policy, his leadership style, and more so, his love for people, (Lagos youths). Truth be told, it takes humility to accept a caricature image of oneself especially from a far junior person in all ramification as the Lagos State Governor has done. Without mincing words, even some of our religious clerics, or some other highly placed individuals may frown at such. But Gov. Sanwo-Olu, graciously called Taiwo Oniyakuya to the podium, and humbly accepted the cartoonlike drawing of himself without any iota of bad feelings.
Gov. Sanwo-Olu even made a promise to the young artist that nothing will happen to him, adding that, the comic artwork will be paid for. With this, one cannot but commend the Governor for such a large-heartedness.
Truth be told, when the news of Taiwo Osinowo, bodataiye oniyakuya, first broke, it was welcomed with mixed feelings. While some Lagosians, and Nigerians by extension, saw it as a rude shock some others just see it as another comic relief to ease Nigerians of the many needless to list stresses they face daily. Bodataiye oniyakuya truly left Lagosians and Nigerians wondering where he got the courage to embark on such an ‘impossible mission’ from; especially in a society like ours where respects for anyone older than one thrives. But alas!,Taiwo broke the jinx in his inner expression of Gov. Sanwo-Olu through his artwork presentation.
While some Nigerians will see it as a ‘show of outright disrespect’ not just to an ‘ordinary’ Nigerian but to a seating governor, Taiwo embarked on a ‘risky adventure’ and the risk is worth it after all. But that indeed, is a daredevil act. But thanks to God, as Taiwo himself puts it, ‘I Think I thank God for the successful work…’, Taiwo Osinowo, made positive headlines; he would have been languishing in prison while the Nigeria judiciary, starting from the Lagos State parliament, deliberate in an unending case to determined his fate. All thanks to God, and a profound gratitude to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for such a fatherly, brotherly, and ‘unclely’ embrace of the Taiwo oniyakuya.
Taiwo, who probably may be catching his fun, through drawings, had earlier drew some Nigerian celebrities which met with frowns.
Research revealed that, artist Taiwo Osinowo had earlier, drawn a comic version of the popular celebrity and actress, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, alias, ‘Omosexy.’ In response to the artwork, Omotola, or ‘Motola, as she’s fondly called, replied Taiwo Oniyakuya thus: “Pls. You’re not well, what is this? Come May 28th, you will be locked down.” This according to news reports, was an event that happened last year.
A blogger, who reported Omotola’s objection, called the comic artist, ‘a hoodlum.’ (Hilarious!)
Another report mentioned that, “Comedian Warripikin, is offering N100,000.00 for information on the ‘comprehensive address’ of Bodataiye Oniyakuya. Also for apparent reasons.
Other Nigerian celebrities Bodataiye Oniyakuya drew their caricature include, the seating President, Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and some others who only Taiwo himself can tell.
Again, while some individuals scowled at the Taiwo Oniyakuya skill of distorting people’s image, amiable Governor Sanwo-Olu, who is passionate about youths of Lagos State, is quoted to have said,
“I honestly can’t lay claim to the person in the frame, but I lay claim to the fact that we will continue to support and encourage our talented youths in Lagos State.” (An unexpected response you say!) Gov. Sanwo-olu in no small measure, “disappointed those who have expressed the fears that he could get the boy locked up, for having the audacity to draw a grotesque image of him.” (PM News)
The big hearted Lagos Governor, has proven that, he could take a joke, including the cruelest of jokes. Life indeed, is how you see it, and what you make of it.
Lagos youths, and probably youths from other states of the federation, salute Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for not taking offense in the comic representation of himself done by Brodataiye Oniyakuya. Nigerian youths therefore unanimously echo a countless ‘gbosas’ to the amiable and tireless Governor of the Centre of Excellence, who has indeed proven that Lagos is truly the ‘Centre of Excellence.’
Please join the conversation and let’s have a robust discussion on, ‘what would you have done if you are/were Gov. Sanwo-Olu?’