MKO ABIOLA: – FROM GRASS TO GRACE
Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (August 24, 1937 – July 7, 1998), often referred to as M. K. O. Abiola, was a popular Nigerian Yoruba businessman, publisher, politician and aristocrat of the Egba clan born in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Moshood was his father’s twenty-third child but the first of his father’s children to survive infancy.
MKO Abiola showed entrepreneurial talents at a very young age, at the tender age of nine he started his first business selling firewood. He would wake up at dawn to go to the forest and gather firewood, which he would then cart back to town and sell before going to school, in order to support his old father and his siblings.
He later established a band at age fifteen where he performed at different functions in return for food. He in the end came to be acclaimed enough to begin requesting money for his exhibitions and utilized the cash to uphold his family and his optional instruction at the Baptist Boys High School Abeokuta, where he outperformed. He was the editor of the school magazine – The Trumpeter, Olusegun Obasanjo was deputy editor.
Many people wondered why Simbiat (Abiola’s first wife) was next to God in Abiola’s life. Abiola owed her a lot.
ONE, throughout Abiola stay in Grammar School, it was the uniform he used from year one, he used till year 4 until he went to Simbiat’s house one day and the girl’s parent saw MKO, it took the love of God to allow MKO to enter that house in a cloth that looks worse than a rag!!! The following day, they got him a New uniform. It was Abiola’s happiest day.
TWO, the First time Abiola ate fried egg in his entire life was at his year 5 when he visited Simbiat’s family. Abiola was only eating YAM until they asked him to eat egg, he asked “what is this”, they told him “egg”….”what type of egg is this”, he asked. “FRIED EGG”, they replied. “FRIED egg?, do they fry egg?”….MKO said this himself!!!
MKO did 16 subjects and had Distictions in all. This amazed the Western Regional Government because his was the best result in the region. He was also offered overseas admissions to study LAW, ACCOUNTING and MEDICINE. Abiola, under the scholarship of Western Region went to the University of Glasgow, Scotland to study ACCOUNTING!!
He graduated with First Class and got overall best result in the University!!!! He was chartered at both Scotland, England and Nigeria!!!
If poverty did not stop MKO Abiola, nothing will stop your progress too!