Segun Odegbami during his youthful days and present age.
Traditional first harvest ritual is a time-honoured celebration deeply rooted in many cultures around the world. It marks the culmination of months of hard work in the fields, symbolising gratitude for nature’s bounty and the commencement of the harvest season. A few weeks ago, a typical cherished experience was shared by the renowned football legend and academic, Dr. Olusegun Odegbami on his Facebook diary page.
On the fateful day, he embarked on a journey that began at dawn; made his way from the bustling streets of Lagos to his rural haven in Wasimi-Orile, located in Osun State. Despite the usual traffic bottleneck at the Otedola bridge, the drive was relatively smooth, setting the stage for an extraordinary day ahead. Within the serene campus of the Segun Odegbami International College and Sports Academy (SOCA), tucked away amidst the lush greenery, lies Dr. Odegbami’s humble 2-acre farm. It was a special occasion, as it was time for the first harvest of the year. From the thriving crops, one could spot the towering corn stalks that had been nurtured with care by his farm hand. With the recent generous showers of the rainy season, it was time for the age-old tradition of the first harvest. Dr. Odegbami, a first-time participant in this time-honoured ritual, was in for an unforgettable experience.
The atmosphere on the farm was filled with the invigorating scent of vibrant vegetation. With a corn cob in hand, he delicately pulled it down by its silk thread before gently using a cutlass to separate it from the plant. What lay before him was nothing short of a farmer’s delight – the freshest and most succulent corn one could imagine! His anticipation was palpable. This bountiful harvest signified more than just a crop yield; it heralded the beginning of a culinary journey. From the night of harvest, until the bountiful month of October, Dr. Odegbami and his family anticipate to be treated to a feast of corn in various forms – roasted, boiled, or paired with spicy peppered beans.
The 71-year-old Odegbami warmly extended invitation to his few friends and fans, regardless of location, to join in his celebration of nature’s bounty. As the sun set over the picturesque Wasimi Orile, the retired football legend and farmer reveled in the simple joy of harvesting his own produce. With this early rain harvest, Big Seg, as he is fondly called, not only celebrates his agricultural success, but also showcases the rewards of reconnecting with the earth, reminding us all of the beauty and sustenance that nature provides.
The former professional footballer, Patrick Olusegun Odegbami, had won 46 cups and scored 23 goals for the Nigeria national team, which he guided to its first Africa Cup of Nations title at the 1980 tournament. Nicknamed Mathematical 7, he was famous for his skill on the ball, speed and precision of his crosses from the right wing. He played for the Industrial Investment and Credit Corporation (IICC), now Shooting Stars of Ibadan in his entire career, from 1970 to 1984. In 1976, he won the African Cup Winners’ Cup with Shooting Stars F.C. Nigeria first African club trophy. In June 2022, he launched a radio station called Eagles 7 Sports Radio 103.7FM in Nigeria.