If the late event and sponsorship manager of MTN Nigeria Dola Bamigboye were a coin, he would literarily have more than two sides because he was many things to many people.
Little wonder he had countless nicknames such as Bob Fay Junior, Baba D, Dollar among others. He was all things to all men.
Dola was there for everyone. He would dance for your newborn, bury your dead, light up your gathering and he would always ask after your own. He was there for everyone. You didn’t need to ask.
The rich will remember him as would the poor, as would the streets and the cities and the places, the old, the young, the upper class, mid class and the lower class.
Dola was a fashionista, humanist, philanthropist, networker, great father, lover of God, dancer, loyal ‘MTNer’, public servant and a man of the people.
Born in Leicester City, United Kingdom, Dola would always remind his wife and children of his date of birth. “13 – 01 – 62”, he would state emphatically, as if they could ever forget his birthday, even if they wanted to.
His late parents Claudius Agboola and Phebian Bamgboye were both indigenes of Usi Ekiti.
After four years in England, Dola was brought back to Nigeria to start nursery school at Sisi Obasa Day Nursery School, and later, Ladi Lak Primary in Yaba. He had a boisterous childhood with his siblings Gbemi, Bolamole and Fey.
His secondary school years were spent between African Church Grammar School and CMS Grammar School. He went off to Federal School of Arts and Science, and one year later, School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University. There, he met Ochee, whom he would later call wife.
He often described his love story as one of a whirlwind romance, a meeting of perfect opposites who simply just clicked.
Dola moved to London to start a new chapter, completing a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the Middlesex University, and a master’s in Social Sciences from Goldsmith University.
He had started a life in London, punctuated with academic achievements and exciting adventures with trusted friends, but there was something he needed to do. So in 1992, he went back to Nigeria, to marry Ochee.
Not long after their baby Bidemi came along, and for two years Dola and Ochee were a family of three. Ayoade and Ayodola, their twin girls, came along in the thick of summer 1994. Then they were five. He worked hard in London until he was faced with the opportunity to relocate to Lagos, a decision he did not take lightly.
From 2003, until the very end, he worked as the marketing and sponsorship manager at MTN Nigeria.
Dola carried the MTN brand like his own, little wonder he was fondly called Baba D at the MTN office.
The energetic Dola was a man of faith who routinely gave his life to Christ, much to the confusion of those who assert that once will do. He danced like the Biblical David almost every Sunday. He ministered – not as a preacher, but as a man of humility and the purest love, to those who needed it the most.
While October 10, 2020, may have been his last day on earth after battling high blood pressure and diabetes for many years, his capacity to love, to accept, to welcome, and to cherish those around him lives on.
Dola’s immediate family of five has now been reduced to four, but they will spread his generosity and humility with all the time they have left. His siblings mourn him but smile at the legacy he left. His best friends, Jibola, Jem, Paul, JJ, Seton and many others, will uphold that brotherhood. His cousins, the Bamgboye, Oye, Olubobokun, Olusola-Kupoluyi, and others remember him fondly. He will especially be missed by his Ochefu family and a whole host of spouses, nieces and nephews, who experienced his magic and loved him deeply.
His MTN family will remember him as the life and soul of the eighth floor. His church families will miss his dancing, but will rejoice in the comfort that he’s dancing in spirit.
Memories will pour afresh from October 21 to 22 when the funeral rites for Dola will be held alongside his internment, but many will ruminate on his abiding legacy.