Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Full Disclosure: as I sit here and type this, I have “Forever Young” by Jay Z and Mr. Hudson and “With Long Life” by Israel Houghton playing in the background.

At 7, at Fehintolu's naming ceremony
Now to some history. Starting three birthdays ago, I decided to write a ‘birthday-themed’ post on every birthday. The intent of this was to capture my dominant thoughts on each birthday, and document them in a public manner. Many posts I write, I write with an intention to convey a message to people external to me – but not these ones. These ones I write primarily to ‘future me’ – to remind me of the power and beauty of my youth.

In what is one of my favorite memories ever, 7000+ people at the OAU Amphitheater sang me "Happy Birthday" on my birthday in 2011...
First, gratitude. I read through my birthday pieces in 2011 (un-posted), 2012, and 2013 – and I am dizzyingly amazed how much has changed, and how far God has brought me. The pictures below don’t tell half of the story, but they come close. I’ve had amazing opportunities, done (mostly) amazing stuff, met (mostly) amazing people, and shared these years with amazing family, boo, and friends. Unshaken by the waves of agnosticism and atheism sweeping young people in my generation, the most fundamental belief in my life remains my belief in God – and today I’m immensely grateful that He has kept me.

With Manoj Kumar (GM of P&G Nigeria) on my birthday in 2012...
Next, some poking fun at myself. Still in the spirit of gratitude, one of the things I’m most grateful for is how my torso has gradually expanded (since graduating) to match the size of my head. I tell you! You have no idea how ‘traumatic’ it was to be called “Big Head” and “Monitor” through Junior Secondary School… Malik, Folarin and the Loyola Gang – I’m looking at you here!!! Not to worry if you met me more recently – just thank God for my new-found chubby cheeks.

With friends on my birthday in 2013...
Now, some introspection. Every birthday I think to myself (and today, my favorite Auntie Ogo reminded me) “Koye you’re getting so old”. I’ll be very honest, I don’t want to grow old. “Forever Young” and “Immortality” didn’t become my favorite songs for no reason. But like you probably found out already, there’s absolutely NOTHING I (or anyone else for that matter) can do about it.

So what can I do instead?


The primary commitment I make to myself today is to live: to overcome fear of rejection, ridicule or failure and just do things; to give blinding focus to excellently executing the ambitious plans I make so well; to “fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run”; to step out in faith when God calls. And yes – to sky-dive as soon as I get the opportunity.

And maybe, just maybe – I’ll be forever young – with memories to spare.


1.    The boo stayed out late last night to ensure I came home to a birthday gift laid out on my table this morning. Aren’t I so lucky?!

With the boo, a few days ago...
2.    Thanks to Wale Osideinde, Joseph Fayese, and Opeyemi Awobotu – who could have chosen to spend last night anywhere else in Lagos – but chose to spend it with me. (And yeah – my brother, Koye-Ladele M. III – who worked, talked, and pleaded his way into coming to Lagos yesterday too).
3.    I always talk about “Living” in connection with “Loving” and “Learning”. My last post about death has more details on the other two themes.


  1. Happy Birthday Bro... I reserve the rest for my own post ... hehehe

  2. Happy Birthday dear......u are bright light and u shall continue to shine brighter.....av an amazing year

  3. Happy birthday Koye. Wishing you an awesome year ahead. Welcome to the gang. .........

  4. Happy birthday to you buddy. I wish you long life and prosperity.