By Ahmed Ajikobi
A veteran and renowned photo laboratory operator, Chief Segun Salami on Monday, gave up ghost at the age of 70, National Pilot, can report.
The deceased, who is a father of 15 and hailed from Oko, Surulere local government of Oyo State, was pronounced dead around 9pm at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital.
It was gathered that, Bob Shege as Salami is widely known by his patrons was admitted at the health facility for four weeks where he was said to have been responding to treatment before his death.
When our reporter visited the deceased’s residence at Ibrahim Taiwo, the wives and children were noticed receiving those who had come to sympathise with the family over the loss.
Speaking with the eldest son, who is also the Manager of Bob Shege Photo lab, Olarenwaju Salami, he said, he visited his father on his sick bed at the male ward, UITH, before his demise on Monday.
“I never saw his death coming. I was with him on Monday from morning up till 1:30pm. He told me he was getting better and demanded to eat and we gave him liquid pap because he was a diabetic patient.
“He drank the pap and was served vegetable soup too. The sickness that led to his death began early December, last year.” Olanrewaju divulged, adding that his father had been battling diabetes since 1994.
According to him, the late Salami was diagnosed by one Dr Chidioke at the UITH and was prescribed some drugs which he had been using since then.
“Sometimes in the Year 2,000, he stopped the drugs because he thought he had been healed from the disease. In 2005, it reoccurred but he was able to suppress the disease with the medication before his death.”
While extolling the virtues of the departed, Olarenwaju described his father as a hard working man who struggled to grow his business, starting from the loan he collected from Cooperative society money to set up the photo lab in 1980 at Adabata area of Ilorin west local government.
“Everyone who needed to set up photo lab had to travel abroad to learn how to operate then. It was only my father who started photo lab business without travelling abroad.”
He said, his father fulfilled all he set out to achieve except the wedding of four of his children which he promised to choose a date as soon as he recovered from the illness.
Speaking on what he will miss most about Bob Shege, Olanrewaju said, “I will miss his fatherly role and counsel. He would always tell us all never to give up. We will continue his legacy and pass it on to the coming generation.”
According to him, Salami before had trained all his children and two of his wives on photography, “and he empowered us to stand on our own.”
” I first started photography business at Bob Shege photo lab, Ogbomoso, followed by my brother, Ayo with his studio called photo best, also, Ibukun with Imagery Plus. Others are; Dare at Bob Shege photo lab, Offa, Mrs Lola Salami, Bob Shege photo lab, Kainji in Niger State.
“In addition, his other children are employees of Bob Shege photo labs in Kwara and other neighbouring states.”
Similarly, the widows of the deceased described their husband as a loving and caring man.
According to the eldest wife, Abigael, through the support of her late husband, she has acquired knowledge in photography in Lagos, Ijebu, among other.
Bob Shege is survived by four wives; Abigael, Grace, Olabisi and Rebecca Rihanat, 15 children and nine grand children.