Semowo: The golfer with the microphone

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He is one of golf’s most interesting golfers, a face many want to see at ceremonies. With him, there are no dull moments. No wonder, he has become the first choice for many. His voice, deep and verse, is trained to send messages.

A colourful voice that sees the good side of even ugly situations, a delight to be with, you play with him, you are sure to be entertained.

He is Akin Semowo, master of ceremonies extraordinary and a golfer. Complementing these attributes is rich sense of humour. Not a comedian in the real sense of it, but one well grounded in the art of keeping his audiences happy. Semowo is not just an MC, the S-man, as he is fondly called, is born to crack your ribs. When you have such a man on the golf course, you are sure to be entertained. Akin Semowo is actually an entertainer.

Fondly referred to as the S-man, Semowo has anchored many events within and outside golf clubs. He had the microphone at the Ikoyi Club Captain Day closing ceremony in February 2016. And he was the anchorman at Ikeja Golf Club Captain’s Day a month later.

Now, for regular callers at Ikoyi Club, one of the biggest tasks for MC’s is keeping the golfers on their seat. Most of the times, these high networth individuals breeze in and breeze out, but when the S-man is in charge, the story is always different.

That was the case in February at Ikoyi Club, at a ceremony that normally should last well into the dark night. The question to ask is what do you do to keep this ‘big-men’, on their seat as the MC?

Well, Semowo knows better. He dug into his golf bag and came up with a trick. Picking the mic, the S-man announced,

“Gentlemen”, he said, “I am aware that there is a raffle draw later tonight, and it’s a no show, no prize raffle draw. So I suggest that those of you who want to go now should start going quickly so that the few of us left can win the raffle draw.”  The rapturous laughter that trailed the announcement was deafening.

“We won’t go,” they reacted, “we will win together,’ they added.

And that was the joker.

Throughout the presentation, the ‘big men’ waited.

In a chat with Golf Nigeria International much later, the S-man explained better, “I am not an announcer, I own every event I anchored and I have to do it well. I do it in such a way that people don’t just see me as an announcer. I try to make the difference to the event that I am anchoring,” he explained further.

So far, the S-man has anchored many events ranging from seminars, anniversary celebrations and numerous golf events.

A 17-handicapper, what you miss in his game is what you get at the 19th. However, if anyone had told him he will one day be running after the dimpled white rubber ball, he probably would have asked the person to go back to sleep.

Today, Semowo sleeps, eats and dreams golf.

It all started some years back after hinting his wife, Ronke, of his intention to play golf. Shortly after, the lovebirds went on a foreign trip and there, the wife reminded him.

“Darling”, she called out to her husband, “you talk about playing golf, why not just get yourself a golf set now?”

Well, the attentive husband, pick his phone, called friends back home to Nigeria and … that was how the most important thing in their luggage on that trip made its way to their home….but dumped in one corner of room.

One day, the wife sighted the golf bag resting behind the wall in one of the rooms. As expected, the wife would have none of that, ”You mean, this thing is still here?” She murmured to herself.

Then, she hatched a plan. She must have said to herself, “This S-man sef, having spent so much money to buy this thing, he has allowed it to rot away here, I won’t take this, he must play golf.”

She then called out to her husband. This time by his nickname, ‘S-Man!, Entertainment for life, then added, “You know how much this thing cost you, I will sell it o…”

At that point Semowo had no choice, he picked the bag and to the golf range he headed. He got trained and was given a handicap. As if to confirm what every golfer tells you, Semowo got hooked. And at a time he was playing off handicap 13 and had many trophies to show for his effort. The most cherished among them all is the trophy he won at the Tayo Babalakin Captain’s Day in 2013.

Mounting the stage for his winner’s speech, Semowo recalled a deadly encounter at the club.

He had just finished a round with his friend, Joe Oduah, and needed to shower and clean up. They headed to the locker room but there was no water. Not bothered, Semowo and his friend headed to the Main House for a cold bath. Getting there, S-man undressed; he removed his T-shirt, shoes off, trouser flung to one corner, and then walked to the small cubicle-like for the cold bath.

As he entered the Bath, his mind raced back to some of the missed shots earlier on the course.… stretching his hand for what could have been a cool finishing, S-man held what he later described as high tension wire.

He landed on the floor, breathless. Meanwhile Joe was away doing his own thing.

Like someone in a trance, Semowo traveled back to his Ogba, Ikeja, home where he played with his little boy. He pepped into the room, Ronke, his wife was there, he was happy. To him, all was well way back at home…but Semowo was in a trance.

But for Joe Oduah, who came in at the right time, Semowo wouldn’t have been around to tell the story.

Today, S-man is alive, healthy and still play golf.

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