It was a good farewell for Mama Janet Olukoya two weeks ago when she was given a befitting celebration of life after her demise at the ripe age of 95 years. Though she was interred at Ondo State where she hails from the night of tributes service was held for her at the Mountain and Fire and Miracle Ministries headquarter, Onike Yaba on Thursday 29th August 2019. At the service, the pretty wife MFM G.O gave a touching heartfelt tribute to her mum in Law whom she always referred to as mother in love. She narrated how she got married at age 23 and how she warmed her way into her mother in laws heart. This she shared with many tips on how wives can live peacefully with their mothers-in-law in what she called a salutation speech. “Good evening everyone, I want to appreciate everyone for their presence here today, my salutation speech. A wedding day is the first formal day of the marriage commitment, a great turn in one’s life when you start to make some very important decisions about the life you want to live, whatever decision it is you made at that time, that is where the journey starts to become interestingly interesting and horribly horrible. Marriage is the journey of 2 people at the start of it and later widens with the involvement of other people around the relationship, like the immediate family members, in-laws, friends and acquaintances. Out of all these contributors, mothers in law, stand out. They just generally seemed to have their own reserved way of seeing things and handling matters their own way. Perhaps it is just to secure the mother-child cord connection.
There are countless numbers of horror stories about the relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law that they don’t glorify God at all and it breaks my heart. I drew strength for my words today from the book of Psalms 133, verse 1 -3, This verse describes to us the sacredness and honour that dwelling together in unity brings to people. So the first time, I met mama Janet Olukoya, my mother in law, she was introduced to me and she entertained me but she did not say much to me and that bothered me a bit. After a little silence, she called my fiancé and spoke to him in Ondo dialect, ‘’Daniel, give my wife coconut’’, I was wondering what that meant until my fiancé brought a whole coconut from the basket of groceries that she bought for him. I could not imagine the relief that washed over me when Mama offered me the whole coconut that she called cocojiya, I looked somewhat amazed because I have never heard anyone use that name for coconut but it was common with the Ondo indigenes. I found that strange anyway so we all laughed over it. But the coconut was a big whole message, although I did not have the clear understanding of what the message of coconut was at that time, I later realized she had put in my hand the key to becoming a good friend, that was a whole big message for me towards understanding her person and having a beautiful relationship with her.
At the initial stage of my relationship with my mother in law, I was overly sensitive to the way we related, I was looking for my biological mother in her but at some point, I had to come to acquaintance with myself that these two great women in my life are different individuals but they are special in their own way. Having a prayerfully united and loving family is very important, it was so important to me that I bond with my mother in law, it was so important to me that I understand her so I worked really hard towards that. It is good to have a prayerful and loving relationship with everyone, I achieved that with the help of the holy spirit. If you can work out the differences and start to find the good in one another, we will achieve it although it can really be difficult to get along with some people as we have different personalities, viewpoints, opinions and values, and senses of judgement, but with the help of God, we can work things out and enjoy a good relationship. The title, mother in law hold thrills together. While it has the word mother which highlights the sweetness and comfort, it also has the term inlaw which brings to mind the rigidity and stranger in her, and that makes it a bittersweet symphony.
My relationship with my mother in law, Mama Janet Olukoya at the beginning was like that of a matron and her maid but with time as we lay our foundation stones together for our future build, I realised that the term in-law was a barrier between both of us and it was just restricting us from bonding well. Here we are, I was just a young wife of 23 years of age then, hmmm, a long way to go, but the moment that I realized that my biological mother lived with her own mother in law for close to 50 years without any cause for separation, I knew I needed to build more effort into building a strong relationship with my own mother in law too because it was important to me that we bond well.
I sought the face of God over it, God knocked off the term in-law and gave me the term in-love instead, that changed everything big time. It was a real milestone in my life and I was happy. We enjoyed a glorious relationship together as a family, that aspect of my bonding with my mother in law did not only help my calling as a minister of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, it allowed a good and healthy environment for my marriage relationship to grow well, romantically, physically, and spiritually. My mother in love, mama Janet Olukoya was a no-nonsense and very tough woman, by that anyone could easily misunderstand her good personae, but she was kind-hearted, intelligent and very funny. Her sense of humour and power of expression was phenomenal.
The holy spirit taught me that having patience and developing my sense of humour will make me win her over and it worked, it melted the eyes and we became even better friends. The warmth of a mother was right inside her always but I felt it little because it clammed up in her while she was testing to be sure whether or not to hand over the baton unto me. I know my mother in law must have wondered about me, the kind of person I might be because people change but I was determined to do everything in my ability to measure up to a standard that is good enough for her son, my husband. My mother in law saw what she wanted to see in me that gave her the assurance that I could continue from where she stopped so she handed over the baton to me. This she did with fortitude and courage, I can say now that I am blessed in love, health, friendship and especially family, I am just grateful to God. I learnt that coconut message was patience, the one my mother in law passed to me was patience.
I am so extremely grateful to God for mama Janet, my mother in love, she was the hard and rough side my biological mother never had. So it was an experience taking her on board, she was my other mum and mother in love. Mama, your strong sense of humour and the funny ways you pronounce some English words makes me laugh, I will surely miss all of that. I am so extremely grateful to God for Mama Janet, Thank you for letting me be me, and letting you be you. The coconut is hard outside and difficult to process but once the shell is cracked open, the inside of it lies a nice white coconut flesh, white refreshing milk and some really nice refreshing water, yes Mama, that was who you are. As a mother, you shared your views about life with me at some point and it was like a compass to me to help me in the road of life, your hard but heartfelt words and actions most of the time, helped me to look up above. The law left us dramatizing as actresses on the stage of life but when Christ love took over, it kept us bound together as great gifts to one another. This indeed injected some energy into the bone marrow of both of us to discharge our God-given duties to the man-child Daniel, your son and my husband. The time we shared meant so much to me and will be very difficult to forget. Five years ago when my mother passed on to glory, even in your frail body but kind heart, you encouraged me in a way no one did, it kept me stronger at that difficult moment, again, thank you, Mama, I am most grateful to God for letting our path crossed in life. Mama at this point, I will say farewell, we love to have you with us but the Saviour wants you more. Farewell, my mother in love. From your daughter in love, Pastor Shade Olukoya.
Mrs Shade Olukoya is the wife of MFM General Overseer Dr D.K. Olukoya.
Sister Shade Olukoya was born into the family of Mr. & Mrs George F. Adesanya as the fifth of seven children. All members of the family were brought up as God-fearing Christians and attended the Christ Apostolic Church. Her Dad, George, who was a Marine Engineer with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for many years, ensured that all his children got a good education. For her primary education, Sis Shade attended Surulere Baptist School, Modupe Johnson, and proceeded to Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls Secondary School, Sabo, Yaba, for her secondary education. She also attended Ajjeh Comprehensive High School during the Jakande regime in Lagos State. Sis Shade attended the Darnley Career Academy, London, UK, a college of Arts, Fashion and Textile design, from where she obtained a diploma in Fine Arts and Interior Decoration and a Bachelor of Arts degree. Mrs Olukoya is a talented artist. She is the artistic illustrator of almost all 250 books (as at July 2015) authored by her husband. As a small child, Sis Shade showed so much interest in creativity, especially in the natural habitat, which kept her wondering about God and his works. She also received a lot of encouragement from her father upon realising her artistic gift. Sis Shade cites her sense of imaginative composition as another special gift from God which has helped her tremendously in her art career. Mrs Olukoya is the International Coordinator, MFM Women’s Foundation. The foundation has been established to empower women in the church through adult literacy education and skill acquisition training programmes. Mummy G.O. is also a specialist musical performer. She is a great soloist who performs hymns and many genres of Christian music as the spirit leads. On special occasions and to the admiration of the congregation, Sis Shade and her husband, Dr Olukoya give duo musical performances. This activity is usually a cherished sight to behold. Sis. Shade is a firebrand. From her youth, she has had the gift of deep dreams and visions. Mrs Olukoya’s messages and ministrations in church services and special programmes are wonderful with results following to the glory of God.
–TAYO FAJORIN OYEDIJI