Lawrence Mofoluwaso Olamiti, author of A Peep Into The Past, is essentially a journalist, a curious reporter who follows in the footsteps of Africa’s legendary news hunters such as the inimitable Segun Osoba, Theo Ola, Peter Ajayi, Dayo Duyile, Femi Ogunleye, Femi Sonaike and Sola. He odunfa to mention a few.
Master the rudiments, art and craft of news reporting the same way a surgeon trains his scalpels. Fortunately for Folu Olamiti, fortune brought him to the attention of the wise Obafemi Awolowo, very early in his career and this singular fortune enriched the quality and scope of her news reporting and his eventful journalistic career.
As expected, A PEEP INTO THE PAST chronicles the most notable news stories and feature articles written by Folu Olamiti over the years and most of those stories deal with the travels and travails of Obafemi Awolowo in politics since 1978, the year the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) was founded. This is where Folu Olamiti’s exceptional journalistic skills are best demonstrated, and surprisingly so, because this period coincides with his formative years in journalism.
The section titled Tributes is a great display of emotions and gratitude. And by leaving those pages, Olamiti shows that he is very sincere and grateful. That section also portrayed him as someone who highly values friendship. He praised those who helped him in one way or another in his rise on the path of life. The tribute to the matriarch of the Awo dynasty, Hannah Dideolu Awolowo, gives an idea of the underrated greatness and political sagacity of the historical lady. The piece is a classic example of Folu Olamiti’s mastery of imagery and visual effects and Mrs. Awolowo is presented in a way that one feels the physical presence of her.
The same vividness is reflected in the tributes to Caroline Akin-Deko, Arisekola Alao, Isaac Aluko-Olokun, MacDonald Chikwendu Nwariaku, Uriah Angulu, Ebenezer Babatope and Venerable Rufus Eniola Ariyo, among several people Folu Olamiti mentions for praise and appreciation.
This book is more or less a guide and tutorial on political journalism, as well as a study on human and public relations. Although it is not a biography or an autobiography, it reveals the most intimate trait of Folu Olamiti’s character as a humanist, a philosopher imbued with the deepest candor and spiritual piety. It might as well have been titled A Glimpse into the Mind of Folu.
It is in the travelogue that Folu Olamiti displays his mastery of prose and the development of cinematography in a way that distinguishes him as a distinguished record-keeper with great attention to detail. He describes the towns, cities and other places he has visited in such a way that they generate curiosity in the reader and can fuel unscheduled adventures. His narratives are so appetizing and tempting that the reader is put in the same mood as a wine-thirsty traveler.
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The book provides a vivid account of Folu Olamiti’s meritorious service as the longest-serving resident director of public affairs at the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) as well as a vision of the agency’s operation.
Similar attention is paid to Idanre, the place of his birth, which he celebrates endlessly. Idanre for Folu Olamiti is like Water for Life, or more appropriately like Air for Life. It is with the same enthusiasm that he treats Idanre that he gives to narratives about his international affairs.
A PEEP INTO THE PAST showcases news reporting, article writing, exemplary display of images and imagery, while also showcasing the techniques of public relations and image management. The reader is guided to the workings of international journalism, international politics and how rare opportunities shape man’s life.
The book has opened my mind to the mind of Olamiti and readers will find it stimulating and engaging. A look at the past is highly recommended for journalism institutions, students of public and human relations, as well as for everyone who likes to read great historical narratives.
The book will be formally launched to the world on November 30 at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.