Toyin Akinosho a geologist, writer and publisher of Africa Oil and Gas Report says he regrets not being married or having any child at age 60. The renowned publisher shared on being the only child of his parents. With his father now late, Akinosho says despite his regrets about not taking it seriously to settle down at the time he should have, he believes he has been a good son to his mum who is now 93-years-old.
In a chat with Saturday Beats Alexander Okere, Toyin who recently turned 60 said that he thought he was too young to be 40 some 20 years ago. It seemed to him like time flew by so fast.
“I was very surprised when I turned 40. I thought I was too young to be 40. Although I had an interesting party (to celebrate it),
I still didn’t think I was an old man. But in Nigeria, nobody gives you the opportunity to call yourself a young man once you are 50.
In fact, once you approach your mid-40s, people, not your children), start calling you dad.
So, by the time you are 60, you really would have acknowledged the fact that people think you are an old man, even if you don’t feel so.
At that time, you are no longer embarrassed when people say ‘good morning, sir’ or ‘welcome daddy’ when they are addressing you.
I’ve been hearing that sort of thing for over 10 years; I need to begin to feel comfortable with it.
I do not feel very strongly that I’m an elder. But the environment doesn’t allow me not to feel so.
He further said
“My mum had me when she was 33; so she was 40 when I was seven. My dad was roughly 43 years old. So, they were almost in their middle-age, having fun. They used to go out a lot…..
Are you married?
No, I’m not married. I don’t want to blame anything. I am an only child and I have been very comfortable with the degree of aloneness I have enjoyed.
I think it is not good for anybody. I basically allowed things to slip overtime and got used to that. So, I found myself at 60 alone.
The person I thought I could start something with wasn’t particularly keen on it. There have been two relationships like that in the last 13 years.
One of them ended when I came back from the CNN award in Cape Town, South Africa.
Do you intend to try again?
Yes. I am working on something now.
What is the opinion of your parents’ about you being single?
My dad died and my mum is 93. She has complained about it.
Do you have any regrets not having a child she could call her grandchild?
Yes. I am a very unusual person. I know I should have done something but I didn’t feel that sense of regret when I should.
But I think I’ve been a very good son to my mum.
So, how do you cope with loneliness?
I have never felt alone. I have a circle of friends and there was a time my house was practically everybody’s house.
How do you relax?
I read a lot. I like travelling. I take extensive walk and I live in places where the night life is vibrant. I attend exhibitions.
I watch plays, discuss them and write on them on a fairly regular basis. I create platforms. I am constantly writing.
That is work but it’s also my therapy. My real hobby is reading. I read virtually what anybody has done.