Israel Adebayo Adebajo was born on January 21 1920 in the southwestern Nigerian town of Imobi. He died 50 years ago last week, aged just 49.

He lost his father when he was 14, forcing him to assume family responsibilities at an early age. He travelled to Lagos in 1939, attending St Peter’s Church School in Faji, and undertook secretarial studies. A self-made man, he never went to university.

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