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If you marry more than one wife, you’re helping to reduce the number of single ladies

Posted by By KEMI DAYO-AIYETAN on 2007/09/09 | Views: 973 |

If you marry more than one wife, you’re helping to reduce the number of single ladies

Dr. Babajide Adebowale Brown is quite fashionable, but he believes only Ibadan men are fashionable. Though he would tell you he wears clothes from other tribes, his slim frame and flat shape are the secrets of his look.

Dr. Babajide Adebowale Brown is quite fashionable, but he believes only Ibadan men are fashionable. Though he would tell you he wears clothes from other tribes, his slim frame and flat shape are the secrets of his look.

“When you have a flat tummy like mine, you would wear anything and be elegant. I wear suits, I wear traditional and casual clothes and I look great despite my age,” he said.

Fashion, to him, starts with colour. “When the right colour is chosen, then other accessories will follow. I’m a brown person and would always go for anything in brown. Brown is beautiful, doesn’t fade, retains dirt and fits any complexion,” he said.

That was what lured him into the Nigerian Immigration Service. “I had just graduated and there was no thought of getting employment. I wanted to go for my post-graduate, but there was a delay. One day, I went to see my friend at the Federal Secretariat, Ikoyi and I saw some people in brown and butter colour shirt. To me, it was beautiful and I made enquiries on who they were. I was told that it was the Immigration Service uniform and I remembered I had rejected an offer of employment from the place. So, I quickly rushed home, picked the form, filled and submitted. That was when I joined the service,” he reminisced.

From an officer in 1977, Dr. Brown, as he is popularly called at the Immigration Service in Abuja, rose to become the Deputy Comptroller-General of Immigration Service. To go through his résumé now could be hectic.

His experience on the job had been wonderful. Currently, he heads the investigation, inspectorate, intelligence and enforcement directorate. “Being in the immigration service had exposed me to being a good representative of Nigeria,” he enthused. “Moreover, we are security officers and are supposed to implement rules. We need to guard the borders and provide adequate security. Though there are challenges, we can always overcome.”

But the stereotype civil servant is assumed to be corrupt. He disagreed, saying, “That is a wrong opinion of civil servants because there are still many who are good. I’m not ruling out bad eggs, but I can assure you that a large percentage of civil servants are honest. I believe that if you allow people to corrupt you, you are mortgaged.

“If you collect bribes, you have mortgaged your conscience and you are enslaved.”

Back to fashion. Whenever he is not in uniform, he would be in suit. So, what happened to the Ibadan blood in him? “But I wear suits to the office!” he defended himself. Designer suits? “I wear any good suit. Most of the time, I don’t want to be recognised as an intelligence man, so I wear suits. I also need to lead by example by dressing smartly.”

He continued, “Designers? I don’t understand what you mean by the word designers because anybody that designs my clothes is a designer. It doesn’t have to be a Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss or any other international designers. Anything I wear fits me and a Yakubu, a Nike or an Okereke in Wuse Market could have designed it. The main thing is to be smart. The problem with most Nigerians is that if anything is not from abroad, then it’s not good. I can wear adire, ankara and still be admired by everyone.”

He will tell you that by adoption, he is from Ogbomoso and by birth he is from Ibadan. “I grew up in Mokola, Yemetu and I’m from a polygamous home. My father was very strict and very fashionable. I took after him and my mother. I was the last boy of my mother’s five boys. Mine was a silver spoon and had many mothers. In my home, you would never know who is anybody’s mother and we all radiated love. It was an atmosphere of love,” he recalled.

Does that imply he cherishes polygamy? “What makes you think that I’m not a polygamist?” he queried. “Even if I’m one, I have learnt to manage it because my father had more than ten wives and there was never a day of crisis in our home. I still enjoy the benevolence of my step-mothers till date. Polygamy means added responsibilities and if you have the opportunity to marry more than one woman, I believe you are only being fair and reducing the number of single ladies. You just need to be fair and religious. I’m not saying I have a wife or two, I’m just an adherent of the scripture that says that children are a blessing and we should have our house full of them. I cherish children. I do everything humanly comfortable to make sure I play a commendable father’s role. I have eight daughters and I believe that my children can’t be contested with me.”

With over seven chieftaincy titles from various parts of the country, he wears practically all their costumes. “I wear all Nigerian dress,” he enthused. “I wear Akparawa regalia of the Ibibio; I wear the ‘resource control’ of the Niger Delta and also my babariga from the North. I’m detribalised in my dressing and buy any native attire I like. Being an Ibadan man, I wear our agbada and my cap. Ibadan men are very fashionable and with Dr. Brown, fashion is total.”

Is that why he maintains a skin cut? “There is need to be committed to my body, so I keep my head bare of hair. Nobody knows if I’m bald or when I’m greying. Moreover, I visit the barber less,” he said.

Any jewellery? “Though I wear simple ones, I believe jewellery is for women and because I can’t afford it, I hardly use,” he added.

Now, how does he ward off temptation from women? “Have you read the Lord’s prayers?” queried Dr Brown, who has visited over 26 countries. “Jesus prayed not to be led into temptation, so do I. It gets to a time in one’s life, like mine that you would have seen it all.

“Then, nothing spectacular excites you. You would only need to be apply discipline. It’s a matter of choice. When people talk about temptation, I believe it is relative. Who is tempting who? The man or the woman?”

So when he is tempted what does he do? He said, “I pray to be delivered and when I fall into it, I go back to the Lord’s prayers that God should forgive me, just as I have forgiven others. It’s impossible not to be tempted.”

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Comments (1)

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.