Johnson Babalola
March 3, 2024

Baba Ti Dagba (Daddy is Old)

A few months back, a close acquaintance shared a tale with me, one that echoed sentiments I’ve since heard from various sources.

KC, residing abroad, received distressing news: his father, BB, was gravely ill in Nigeria and admitted to one of the country’s premier private hospitals. Despite the best efforts, BB’s health declined, prompting KC to take action. He mobilized relatives, friends, and financial resources to support his mother in caring for his ailing father. Yet, despite all measures, BB’s condition continued to deteriorate. KC was perplexed; how could this be happening in a reputed medical facility? With each offer to return home to assess the situation in person, he was dissuaded with reassurances and calls for prayer.

Months elapsed, but BB’s health showed no signs of improvement. KC grew restless, torn between concern and guilt. Ultimately, he resolved to return to Nigeria, sharing his plans only with his mother and a trusted friend there.

Upon arrival, KC was taken to a hotel near the hospital by his friend, where his mother later joined him. The following day, they visited the hospital, only to find BB in the ICU with negligent nurses attending him. Despite his fury, KC confronted the situation with a measured resolve. He discovered lapses in care, vital observations overlooked, tests neglected, and records left unattended. In a culture where respect for elders prevailed, KC’s direct rebuke of the older nurses underscored his commitment to his father’s well-being.

When a nurse dismissed his concerns with “sebi baba ti dagba” (after all, daddy is old), KC’s reaction shifted from anger to reflection. He recognized the danger in a mindset that deemed a 58-year-old as “old enough to die.” It dawned on him that such perceptions might have contributed to the lax care his father received. With a resolve born of conviction, KC demanded a transfer to another hospital, lodging a formal complaint against the negligent facility.

He remained by his father’s side, ensuring meticulous care until BB’s full recovery. In the aftermath, BB’s prayer for KC resonated deeply: a blessing for guardians armed not only with compassion but also with knowledge, confidence, resources, and time to avert premature tragedies.

In essence, the story of “Baba Ti Dagba” underscores the importance of advocating for loved ones, challenging complacency in healthcare, and rejecting fatalistic attitudes towards aging. It teaches us that proactive engagement, coupled with a commitment to excellence in care, can turn the tide even in the face of dire circumstances.

Johnson Babalola, a Canada and Nigeria based lawyer, leadership consultant, storyteller and corporate emcee, is a public affairs analyst. Follow him for discussions on real life issues that affect us all.

You can obtain a copy of his newly released book, REJECTED on Amazon, FriesenPress, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Apple Books, Nook Store etc.