Gifted hand, caring heart, melodious voice

The story of Adekunle Adebayo can best be described as that of the refinement of a raw talent to a finished product. His rascality was refined by his music teacher in his secondary school days and today, he is a multiinstrumentalist, voice trainer, a school proprietor and a musician with a flair for writing.

Gold and diamond are precious stones and a major source of income desired by many people and countries. Artifacts from either gold or diamond are highly sought after and appreciated in the society; it is indeed, a show of class. However, in its raw form, it is not adore or desired. It needs to go through refi nement to bring out the beauty in it.

Literally speaking, Adekunle Adebayo went through “fi re” just like gold to become who he is today. Brilliant, intelligent and brave were few of his adoring characteristics from childhood but he had the other part of him that almost tarnished these attributes. “I was a rascal, though brilliant and always ahead of my class; it was the other part of me that friends and teachers always complained of,” he said with a smile during an interview with Business Courage.

However, his rascality did not last long as he was tamed by his music teacher, Tifase of CMS Grammar School who took special interest in him and advised him to channel his energy towards a more meaningful path. With the counseling, he developed his passion in music with which he engaged himself during his leisure. He learnt the rudiments of music- from singing to playing of instruments to composition of lyrics and within a short time; he abandoned rascality and was fully embroiled in the beauty of his new found love-music. “Mrs. Tifase helped in grooming me and I am always grateful to her. With my interest in music, I had no time to engage in other things and most importantly, it placed more responsibilities on me and a bright future before me,” he said with fond memories.

With the rascality gone, Adekunle became a toast in his school and his academic prowess became obvious; little wonder, he was made the labour prefect and also given other leadership responsibilities in the school. It was the dawn of the rebirth Adekunle.

Today, Adekunle is a multiinstrumentalist, a gospel singer and a teacher of music.

Determined to raise the bar of his chosen career path, he proceeded to the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta and later, the then Ondo State University, now Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko where he studied Business Administration.

After graduation, Adekunle, whose other passion, outside music was teaching, secured a teaching appointment where he taught English language, diction, poetry, literature and music.

However, the offer from one of the leading fast food companies- Sweet Sensation took him away from the teaching profession where he worked and also composed a jingle for the company. After a brief spell at Sweet Sensation, another offer came from Chicken Republic where he was made a manager but his passion to groom and help shape children led him to resign his appointment with Chicken Republic to return to the classroom which he had left six years earlier.

“Working with a reputable company like Chicken Republic was fulfi lling but I had the passion to teach which propelled me to return to a school- Elkanah Home School. It was a Nursery and Primary school because I wanted to learn the nitty-gritty of education, especially in the training and teaching of children. My initial plan was to be there for a month and start mine but I had a cordial working relationship with the proprietress and ended up spending a year; she was reluctant to let me go after a year but I have to move on,” he said.

The move was one that was criticised by many who could not fathom the rationale behind his decision to quit the exalted position of a manager at a leading fast food company in order for him to start a school with a future that seems uncertain. If quitting the job was odd, his decision to start the school with his three children was weird. Many advised him to let go of the idea of starting the school as they could not see the future in it. Others were of the opinion that it will lead to regret in the future but he remained undeterred stuck to his dream.

“Many people had their views about my decision to start a school; it was something they could not comprehend but I am the one that carried the vision and knew where I was going. It is important to always remain focus and faithful to your dream, not minding what others might say because they don’t see the same vision with the carrier of the vision. When I decided to withdrew my three kids from their school to start the new school, it was strange to many people. But to me, it was the bold step I took and it was a strong message that the establishment of the school was based on the principle of hard work, diligence service and giving the best to the pupils. Within a term, we had more than fi fty pupils,” he recalled of the establishment of Crowning Glory Schools.

He noted that Crowning Glory Schools was not established for the fi nancial gains but with his desire to set a distinction and help in contributing to the education standard. He argued that the school aimed at raising a total child that will be academicallysound, morally upright and spiritually forthright. “The motto of the school is raising a total child which I believe is important in the development of the individual and the country.

“Most of the challenges and threats that we face in the society today would have been avoided if every individual was raised in the proper way. Although, many mushroom schools abound in the society but my desire is to raise the total child that will be useful to himself, his family and the society. Crowning Glory Schools should be top on the lips of people when schools that redefi ned the education sector are mentioned. It is imperative for parents and the society as a whole to ensure that the younger generation are properly tutored and mentored,” he added.

The school offers teachings in crèche, playgroup, nursery and Basic classes; it runs British and Nigerian curricula priming it as a school of fi rst choice. Within a short time, the school has grown and stands out among others within its locality so much that he is currently planning an extension in the border of Ogun and Lagos state in order to accommodate more pupils.

However, there were challenges at the initial stage of the establishment, especially in acquiring the desired premises for the school; it took the third attempt before a venue was secured at Shasha, Alimosho local government area of Lagos state.

“The fi rst challenge we faced was in the location of the school. The landlord of the fi rst property I acquired returned the money I paid few days to the commencement of the school. He said he was not willing to give the property out for the establishment of a school; it was a big challenge because I had acquired furniture and other equipment needed before his disclosure,” he said.

Adekunle remained unperturbed as he sought for another which did not work out as well, until, he fi nally settled at Oba Ketu, Bammeke Shasha. Although, Oba-Ketu, Shasha was not the initial venue he desired, it amazingly turned out to be a vintage and serene environment; often described as the home of learning by most parents. The other challenges he faced, he recalled, are the “common ups and downs witnessed during the establishment of a new school but with time and the quality of service offered, we overcame.”

As an entrepreneur, Adekunle said he is driven by the principle of decision making, determination and discipline, stressing that the principles are necessary in the attainment of purpose in life. “My keywords are what I termed the 3Ds, which are decision, determination and discipline. It is important for the individual to always take a decision and be determined to see to its fulfi llment while the place of discipline cannot be overemphasized if dreams are to come true,” he noted.

He advised parents to do all within their power to train their children/ ward, noting that education remains the best legacy parents can bestowed on their children.

He said that though educational standard has fallen considerably, its restoration will start with the individual who must be willing to rise above odds to the attainment of set goals. He added that parents and administrators in the education sector must insist on quality and merit and not aid the child in examination malpractices. He lamented that, “it is disturbing to note that some parents are ready to help their children in the act of examination malpractices and some administrators are always ready to compromise the standard of education because of material gains, blaming it on the harsh economic condition in the country but if standard of education must improve, everybody and not just the government must play his role”.

Adekunle’s wife compliments his work as a musician and a teacher. His wife is also a teacher and importantly, she comperes at events, especially wedding ceremonies. “It helps having a partner that compliments what you do. It makes it easier because two good heads are better than one; it gives room for brainstorming because she is also into what I do. Most often, people are amazed at our performances during event but it is what we have rehearsed and perfected,” he submitted.

He enjoined young entrepreneurs not to let go of their dreams because of challenges, noting that challenges should not be seen as problems.

In a world where many laboured to no avail, the gifted hands of Adekunle have made ways for him.His caring heart has made him a teacher and mentor in grooming the younger generation while his melodious voices has made him associate with some of the bigwigs in the society. Without ado, the story of Adekunle, also a motivational speaker and a budding author can be likened to a seed sown, nurtured, trimmed and watered which has fully grown and now provide shade for many.

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