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Ode to teachers (2)

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Some readers thought my last column was my last. It was only marking my thirty years in journalism, and I thought I should pay homage to those who taught me and buoyed me one way or another. In my year as a Gordon Fisher fellow at the University of Toronto in Canada, two professors made quite an impression. Abraham Rotstein, whose class on economic anthropology pried open the bowel of economics. The other, the late Alkis Kontos, who taught political philosophy with a sort of juvenile gusto.

I remember with relish my lunch with a crop of about half a dozen PHD students at a Chinese restaurant every Friday afternoon outside the University of Toronto campus for the full academic year. I remember Mark and Serge, and we sparred over everything from political theory to diplomacy to literature. Everyone had to be prepared. I still inhale the aroma of the Chinese cuisine airborne with our uproar of debates. Thanks to Kenn Bisio and Jay Brodell for making university lecturer in the U.S.

Tunji Bello, now Lagos State SSG, I am indebted to as the colleague with whom I have worked with the longest with such great chemistry of friendship and intellectual sparring. He even addressed two of my classes at Denver, Colorado.

Shall I Not be grateful to all the awards over the years? I thank DAME for endorsing me four times, and NMMA also four times. I won both the same year, and both awards have made me perhaps the most decorated columnist in this country. The Nigerian Academy of Letters looked my way and made me a honorary fellow, an accolade that often goes to those many times older. My grateful thanks. Also thanks for all the awards in Europe, Canada and the United States.

I must thank Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his immense role in my career, and his large heart and ability to absorb me for who I am when my pen goes wherever it must.

I also thank her, my other half, for her soulful zest, beauty and integrity over the years. Looking forward to the next 30 years…

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