Friday 7 December 2018

PAINFUL EXIT: Sunday Joshua Awodiya Sunny Jay; The Man Who Captured Imo Hill, Ilesa

Sunday Joshua Oyediran Awodiya was born in Ilesa, Osun State 13th July 1953. He completed his Primary School Leaving Certificate at Ogudu Primary School, Ilesa in 1965. He obtained his Secondary School Certificate at first attempt in 1971 having enrolled at George Burton Memorial College, Ibala roads, Ilesa in 1967. He secured a job as a clerk with Niger Dams Authority in Ojora, Lagos in 1972 he later sought knowledge beyond the shores of Nigeria. He was admitted to The American College in Paris, France in 1975, he was in class with Diplomatic Corps and Ambassadors children with whom he forged deep personal relationship. Among them was Scott, the son of American ambassador to France and later Ghana. He frequented Scott's home and the Ambassador opened the doors of American to many of Sunny Jay 's friends and family by freely issuing them visas and permits.

In 1977, Sunday Awodiya Sunny Jay arrived the US and attended George Washington University, it was here that he was nicknamed Sunny Jay as 99% white student body could not fluently pronounce his African names and he frequently appeared on the Sports from pages of local newspapers in Washington DC as a George Washington University's soccer star. He obtained a Master of Business and Public Administration degree. Immediately after graduation he worked for Circuit City Electronics Stores in Beltsville, Maryland as a sales consultant, and later became telecommunications consultant with a Korean engineering firm in DC. Armed with international business knowledge and understanding of the burgeoning cable and wireless communications technology, he decided to go into private international business consulting. He traveled the world not for vacation but for business opportunities. He was multilingual. He spoke French, American and Nigerian English, Spanish and of course, Yoruba and Ijesa dialectic.

He returned to Nigeria about twenty five years ago and he came back to settle down in Ilesa, his root, to start a telecommunications company that he called Multi Vision. He travailed on Imo Hill (Oke Imo), climbing and clearing, mounting and sealing. As if guided by the command to go into the world and subdue, so he did conquer Oke Imo and located the hidden abode of then British settlers of the colonial era on the hill. Now he has put his indelible emblem on that hill.

The works of Sunny Jay are set on the hill in this town and such works can never be hidden. They are monuments and testaments to his adventurous nature, his resiliency and his foresight. On the crest of Imo hills lie line of sight telephony antennas of MTN, GLO, AIRTEL and others.

Sunny Jay also dabbled into cable television. With dogged ingenuity he would connect a web of seemingly tangled wires to a television set to bring cable programming to many homes in and around the town. He also started Obokun TV, an Internet based YouTube multimedia production and delivery company.

Just as his works not veiled in this town, Ilesa, so is his person. He was a man about town, a genuine human being whose imprint started with his ebullient personalty. He was generous, electric and eccentric with his gifting of uncommon intelligence, technical ability, perseverance and adventurous drive- all the qualities of a genius trailblazer.

Sunday Joshua Oyediran Awodiya (Sunny Jay) slept in the Lord on Friday the 16th of November, 2018 and buried at the Okejigba cemetery on Friday 7th December, 2018 after a funeral service at the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Ifofin Methodist Church, Ilesa.

May his soul rest in perfect peace. Amen

This write-up is adapted after "A Eulogy" written by Daniel Olawale Awodiya also a Professor of Communication at Delaware State University, Delaware, USA

Photos from the burial

Sunny Jay's children; Okiki, Toye and Tumi

Sunny Jay's children wife and their uncle
Dust to dust

Sunny Jay's wife: Bisi


All photos credit: Oladimeji Lasore

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