It is with a modest mind and all glory to God that I put these few lines together, to celebrate my historic return to sports presentation on radio, and hope for the crystallisation of all things bright and beautiful in the resurrection of my broadcasting life.
Indeed, I did have a short stint back on air with ‘SportsDay On Radio,’ which was a weekly programme on Brila FM packaged by this newspaper, but the latest ‘Return Of The Speed Tongue’ is a major and far-reaching one, as I now have the privilege of airing my voice on five radio stations five days a week!
That is the big joy in my heart, as I put these lines together, and it is all coming courtesy my former boss at Brila FM, Bimbo Adeola (The Top Striker), who called me up two Fridays ago and inquired if I would be ready, willing and able to step into his big shoes for the time being, as he takes a trip to America with his family on holiday.
Yes, it is meant to be a stop-gap arrangement, with some cool cash to smile home with along the line, but the opportunity of going back with the ballistics of turbo-charged delivery is something I would always cherish, and Bimbo has hinted that this arrangement would be in place for as long as I am capable of running it. Eureka!!
That’s the stuff fairytales are made of, because this ‘summer deal’ comes at a point when economic recession has really bitten hard on me, as SportsDay is also being stifled by the mountains of foreign exchange scarcity and the sporadic fluctuations of the exchange rate; which has affected almost every print media house in the country.
So, with money hard to find in these stifling times, getting a source of extra cash must never be waved away with a puff of bravado, otherwise one stands to be dammed by God, and another opening to cherish may never resurface – remember what the poet says in Paradise Lost.
But it’s not just about the money, it’s more of the passion, enthusiasm, excitement and relish I derive from hitting the airwaves with sports presentation on radio; not just anyhow sports presentation, but doing it in the fast-paced manner. That’s talking about the speedy, breezy, accelerated way that was popularised by the then Larry Echiejile, now Dr Larry Izamoje (Double Doctor), on OGBC 2 Abeokuta.
In those days, Larry would say ‘chop rice leave stone,’ as he rolled out story after story in a jet-speed delivery that will take in as many items that many other presenters would never be able to voice in under 15 minutes. Larry said back then that he was inspired by George Michael’s Sports Machine, but I was aroused and motivated by him, schooled and groomed by Bimbo Adeola, and blessed by God to spit fire with ‘The Speed Tongue’ (thanks to Sylvester Ekong – aka Alibi – for giving me that sobriquet).
In 2012, I went back to writing, which I started in 1994 with Complete Football, before Complete Sports was born in 1996, but I left in 1999 to focus fully on grassroots football promotion. Which tells you that a lot of water has gone under my bridge; yet I’m not letting up – as I continue relishing God’s ingenuity in keeping my brain saturated with rhythmic words until I go six feet below.
Anyone who thought the end had come for ‘The Speed Tongue’ must have been disappointed on Monday, July 17 when ‘the roller-coaster, spell binder’ returned to the airwaves, as Bimbo Adeola’s special largesse through 27th July Limited Sports Network brought me back to what I love doing, and what you love listening to. What a relish I had when I rolled out the first edition of Soccer Expo (Live) last Monday and ran it every day till Friday.
Now you can hear me Monday to Friday at 5:30pm on Star 101.5 FM, Lagos. However, the story got even better when Bimbo also handed the reins over to me for his syndicated show – This Is Football with Cowbell Coffee, which runs on Bond FM Lagos, Rock City FM Abeokuta, Treasure FM Port Harcourt and KSMC Kaduna; meaning you can hear my voice all across Nigeria from 5:45pm every day of the working week. Ain’t I so lucky?
As I doff my hat to ‘The Top Striker’ for making all this possible, I must not forget to also give thanks too to my boss at SportsDay, Ben Alaiya for allowing me to do this little bit extra on the sidelines, while still holding my post as editor of his newspaper. Big and loving hearts don’t come better than that…
Though you will no longer hear me say ‘Femi Fasetire’ (since my new tag is Sam O’Femi Olusetire), the flare of The Speed Tongue is still in store, as God gives me the grace to retain the flash in my style, and the supersonic rhymes that made me your number one sports presenter on radio. With God’s grace on my side, I can only get better with each passing day, as I aim to make the best of this second chance – with the aid of your prayers, of course!