For 83 years that he traversed this side of eternity, Elder Ebenezer Boluwole Adegbite not only made a mark, but he did also replicate himself in the lives of many that passed through him.
Born on May 6 1940 at Joga- Orile Isale Otun, Egbado in the Yewa North of Ogun state, Adegbite had the fortune of a good education contrary to what was the norm in his days. His time in school followed a compelling sequence.
He attended Iju United Primary School at Iboro- Joga in Egbado Yewa, Ogun State from 1948 to 1953 and then the Anglican Secondary Modern School, Abeokuta between 1954 to 1956.
He took a break from study engaged in some clerical work and then took up teaching in 1960. He became a Grade 111 teacher after graduating from Egba Divisional Training College, Abeokuta in 1965.
In 1969 Elder Adegbite went to the prestigious St. Joseph Teachers Training College Idi Araba, Lagos for his Grade 11 teachers programme.
His teaching career
He subsequently taught at M.T.C. Primary School, Megbon, Mushin between 1970 and 1979 from where he went to the University of Ibadan to pursue a diploma programme in Education.
Elder Adegbite later taught at the Mushin Boys’ High School in Okota, Lagos. He also taught at Ire Akari Primary School Ilasamaja for a period of three months from August to October.
From there he was promoted to the position of Inspector of Education where he spent 10 years. He retired on 31st December 31, 1994.
Bonny Nursery and Primary School
But Elder Adegbite did not give up on his teaching career. After his retirement, he set up Bonny Nursery and Primary School. That was where he gave his all. He only stopped teaching about two years ago. He died on April 5 and was buried on May 26.
His son, Aramide Adegbite told Church Times that his father was a teacher till his old age. “He taught children in the school he established till when he was 81. We had to prevail on him to stop teaching.”
It was when he stopped teaching that doctors detected he had diabetes. Pa Adegbite never went to the hospital before then. “My father had good health. God blessed him. He told me he never had cause to go to the hospital till he was 81. That was a rare grace. My dad was a soldier of Christ. He fought a good fight to maintain holiness in Christ. We shall maintain his sound legacy” said Aramide a real estate expert.
Tributes from wife, children, and acquaintances
Pa Adegbite’s wife, Victoria, 73, described her husband of 51 years as a unique human being.
“He was selfless, godly, and a caring husband. Our marriage was ordained from heaven. We are going to miss him.”
Apart from being a teacher, Pa Adegbite was a committed Church worker. He played an active role a the Christ Gospel Apostolic Church where he served as Sunday School Superintendent.
He was an early riser. He starts preparing for Church by 5.30 am on Sunday. He was a prayer warrior and the priest of the house. He did not joke with church service.
Toyin Adegbite in her tribute said Pa Adegbite was a committed family man. “My dad was my hero, my confidant. He was a selfless father towards his children in attaining their dreams. He was a prayer warrior. He was a pacesetter. He was our role model.”
In his tribute, Taiwo Adegbite described her father as an icon worthy of emulation. “He was a true definition of what a family head should be. He was our hero. He built a strong support system in the family. He was a hardworking and strong individual, who was always there for us. Family meant so much to him.”
One of Pa Adegbite’s mentees, Tokunbo Philips said it was his loving and nurturing personality that first caught his attention.
“That was around 1970. Among the several generations of students who passed through his tutelage, I’m yet to meet anyone who was not fond of Mr. Adegbite.
“I’m thankful for the lifelong mentorship, and for all the ways he touched my life. He was a rare brand of an educator, a legend sort of, who filled the hearts of many parents with joy in their quest for a good education for their children.”
Mrs. Temitope Okedeji another of Pa Adegbite’s children said Pa Adegbite had an enchanting aura that endeared him to many.
“He made people feel good with his warm words of praise. And what’s more, he knew what to do to make wishes come true. He was my Father. He had good stories to tell. He also knew how to be a good listener. He was patient, kind, caring, and the very best friend you could ever hope to find. He was no ordinary man. And I’m proud to tell the world that he was my father.”
Bamidele Okedeji, an in-law of Pa Adegbite said the life of the late educationist is exemplified in the saying, “We make a living by what we get; We make a life by what we give”.
Pa Adegbite’s grandson, Samson Farayola recalled how the late icon taught him “ABD and ba be be” He wrote, “I love you a lot, Grandpa. Thanks for being a good father to me.”
Moyinonluwa Farayola another grandchild believes Pa Adegbite’s good deeds won’t be forgotten. “He was a kind man. He wished us nothing but success in all our endeavors. He once told me “Education is the best legacy. Moyin, work hard. Don’t be a lazy girl.”
Rev’d. Canon Philips Adeyemi described the late Adegbite as a loving father and a caring mentor noting that he led many during their early stage in life to love God. “Today we are living out what he taught us”
Indeed, the late Adegbite will always live in the minds of those he impacted while on this side of eternity.