•Details Of Her Rite Of Passage In ABEOKUTA
Last Thursday 20th June, 2019 the remains of late Chief Mrs. Stella Atinuke Olufunmilayo Sonola was interred in Abeokuta. She died at 83. She is a retired top Civil Servant in Ogun State. Funeral Service was held at Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Ake, in Abeokuta, Ogun State and reception followed at DLK Event Centre, in Abeokuta. The Service of Songs was held on Tuesday 18th June, 2019 at Amazing Grace Events Centre, Kuforiji Olubi Street, Adigbe GRA, Abeokuta.
Wake Keep took place the next day Wednesday 19th June, 2019 at the same venue..
In her lifetime, she was well loved by many, as she was a very nice woman of virtue. She was also socially active as she was involved in many community initiatives and church activities. She was there for everybody. Her children and family members paid glowing tributes to her. Her eldest son an Architect, Dapo Sonola revealed a lot more about his late mum. “Tinu was born on August 18th 1935 to the illustrious Onasanya family of Ijebu Ode. The second child of 4 children she grew up showing early traits of independence. She married the love of her life Samson Olusoji Sonola and they are blessed with children. Her business started from a little corner shop in Ibadan and this has seen her deal in one commodity or the other all with resounding success. She was a devout Christian, wife and mother. Cowards die many times before their death, the valiant never taste of death but once.
You were a super human being, exceptionally gifted by nature, packing so much into your frame. Frank, honest, consistent, loyal, reliable, dependable and extremely hardworking, slowing down was not a part of you and we all had to accept that. Your drive for the education of those who were around you is legendary You went far and wide to ensure that anybody who needed help in the line of education will always get your ears. To you education was non negotiable
I have always known you to be very practical, naturally frugal and beautiful inside and outside. You loved your husband and the boys to a fault, very protective of their space and you readily sacrificed for all. You contributed immensely to the development of the Sonola and Onasanya families. As the ageing process set in for you, it was there for all to see but I refused to accept the reality, definitely I had allocated you another ten years, to be around to care for us and for the people who you were a mother to. You fought your medical battles over some decades but it was well masked from everybody including those very close to you. I will always cherish the discussions we had over your last 48 hours on earth ,if only I knew they were farewell talk I thank God for the Grace he gave you to prepare for your transition and that you bowed out gallantly Your courage ,strength of character and fortitiude were legendary and will forever remain a guiding principle. Thinking of life without you leaves one very empty. Selfishly I must confess because you -were always there, one step ahead of all. With you around, one did not worry about any task. You will forever be in my mind.
Mother you were the truest, dearest, more than a mother to me. God knows the inner strength you had to
come through with all of us as a family unit and the entire Sonolas. I will forever salute you mother, cause you been all i ever needed in my life. God gave me the best mom in the world! You taught me to never give up on my dreams but to persevere no matter how hard the storms maybe.
I miss you mom
Mum was a woman who did everything within her capacity to give her children and the entire Sonola clan the best. You were strong from the beginning to the end. Principled, pragmatic and practical. You were very principled and pragmatic in your approach to things, this I took for wickedness until I grew up. You did not mind whose ox is good as long as you played out the truth. Your heart was healthy towards the entire Sonola clan, friends and foes. I believe you could have been a great political leader but you chose business in which you excelled at one point you were the only Guiness distributor in Ogun state, . Unilever Cement you were major distributors A dutiful disciplinarian, we are grateful. Yourtraining have made us fit in the society. Awoman. Mum was an inspiring soul always there for all who came to her with their troubles with kind words and wise advice. Our home was open to everyone and her hospitality made them feel important. Mum was the most Family orientated woman and one of the most beautiful souls one could ever meet. I miss you everyday & love you so much Mum. I say THANK YOU loving, humble, compassionate, understanding,
There are so many ways and so many words that I could use to describe how much my grandmother meant to me and how much she impacted my life, but the most memorable word that comes to mind when thinking of her is “consistent” . She was consistently kind, strong and firm in everything that she did. My grandmother was many things; a mother, a wife, a friend but above all else, what I learned and admired most about her was her consistency. Every year, as a family, we visited my grandparents home to celebrate Christmas and every year I saw my grandmother consistently handling herself and the household with both grace and ease, She was a force to be reckoned with. I never once saw her tired, ill, sad, or in need of any thing, she was always confident, calm, cool-headed and above all else, kind.
My grandmothers kindness was known to all who knew her and even those that did not know her, she was someone who aimed to do her part to make the world a better place in whatever way she could and that’s exactly what she did. She made the world a better place for her children by being a loving and caring mother and for her grandchildren by being an example of a responsible adult. Outside of her family she provided various resources forthose in less fortunate positions and worked to help out children in need. I could go on and on about the various ways in which my grandmother blessed this earth with her kindness and I still would not be able to accurately articulate just how amazing she was. She was proof to us all that true goodness exists in this world and her presence will now and forever be missed as she continues to live on in the hearts and minds ofthose whose lives she touched.
In our country, when you read about “great” people you find that it is a term generally reserved for politicians, government officials, military rulers, business leaders, rich or acclaimed people and some traditional rulers. People are often declared great by virtue of the job they did or position they occupied.
The term is, to a much lesser extent, applied people who lived a life of social impact. Seldom are people referred to as great or revered because in all they did, for everyone they came across, for all the days they lived, they believed in just doing that which they thought best regardless of personal discomfort. Religion, creed, tribe or race was not important. All that was important was you were human and deserved to be treated right.
My mom was such a person. Growing up, her house was always full of many who were her “children”. Whether she gave birth to them was an unimportant detail. She went to great lengths that we sometimes never understood to do good. Everyone benefitted from some good she felt they needed. Sometimes before you even knew what you needed, she offered you just that help. She was hardworking, working even on her hospital bed. Asking about everyone and if they were fine. Her thoughts more of others than of herself. She sacrificed her happiness so that others may be happy. She was tireless and full of energy. Nothing was too hard, no road too far, no sacrifice too great if someone would be the better for it atthe end. She was kind and thoughtful, gentle but firm. She was down to earth and entrepreneurial. Teaching the virtues of hard work to anyone who cared to learn. She believed there are many ways to changing your path from one of poverty if you were willing to work hard, recognise opportunities and
move quickly. She encouraged us, pushed us, stood by us and many others whilst caring little about herself. Most of all she had unique vision. Often seeing opportunities years before it made sense, at least to me. We often argued about the concept of business risk. She will say “don’t worry I have heard” but by the next day had done that which you thought risky without losing any money. I came to accept that education does not a business innovator make. She was successful in all that she did and was acknowledged as such. Being Ijebu by birth I learnt to accept that just maybe genetics has some impact in this and learnt a lot from her. She never complained, but gave so willingly of herself even at those times when she was less than fine. Even on her last day, she kept trying to send me away from her hospiatal bed, asking me to go back to my job as I must have a lot to do in the office. My response that we were in an age where we could attend meetings remotely or respond to mails without being in the office fell on deaf ears. Even when I joined a meeting whilst in her hospital room, she felt my
physical presence at the meeting venue might make better sense. She was determined, loving, and a great teacher. She impacted many with her kindness, her selflessness, her lack of false airs, her humility and most of all her heart. Whenever she called, even when she was feeling less than 100%, she would always laugh and say; “I am calling to find out if my application for a job has been approved” to which I always respond; “Ha your level of experience means you want the chairman’s job 0″. We would laugh and she would move on to what she called about. No matter what I was doing, when my mom calls, I pick up. She meant that much to me. It was that simple. It is difficult to process that she is gone. For those who knew her, she was vibrant and had none of the symptoms of old age.
She was ageless in her simplicity and beautiful in her kindness. She was a rallying point for many and a constant source of inspiration. She was able to make sacrifices you will marvel at and never acknowledged it. She never wanted to be thanked all she asked is that you do the same for others.
Herword was her bond and she was forthright in all she did. So, when you ask me to define great, the picture that comes to my mind is not that of kings and presidents, not of business leaders or governors, never that of inventors and innovators but that of my mother, Mama Oapo as she is fondly called by many or Mummy by loads of her “children” Thank you for all you were, thank you for all you did. Goodnight mom. Now you have the chance to truly rest.
Adekunle Bankole Sonola
I have pondered for days on how best to say Goodbye to my lovely mother and every time I’m lost for words. At this juncture I have no other option but to give a tribute to the Best Mother anyone can ever wish for. You left a legacy for us all to uphold, you are the mother of the people – homeless, voiceless and the needy. You taught and raised us to put God First, be honest without compromise, caring for the
less privileged, responsible, hardworking, respectful and humble in all our dealings. You embraced everyone you come in contact with, uplifted and empowered those with a clean heart, you showed hundreds of people your secret to success without fear. I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend more time with you in the last 2 years after more than 25 years of travels.
Your motherly instinct and love is absolute, though it gets us into trouble, I remember very well an incident during my university days, you went to Ijebu Ode 33 Breweries for a meeting and decided to stop by, unknown to me you were waiting for me at my Hall of Residence whilst I had joined the demonstrating student rally. You waited patiently for few hours and upon my arrival I was caught in the act. Immediately I was accosted, the expression confirms I’m in serious trouble. The voice said “Go and pack your books you are going home with me”. Court Marshalled straight to Otunba Adesoye in ljebu on our way home and the rest of my punishment is still very fresh today. The motherly protection is instinctive and timely …. You scarified so much for us the children, and put other people first and you downplay your needs and me time.
Though I’m not there with you in Nigeria, anywhere I am in the world the phone call keeps coming once or twice a week and always ends with your prayers and motherly blessings which gives me the courage and motivation to further excel and live by your teachings. You carryall our worries 24/7 and kept us all together. Always a treat coming home for Christmas to be showered with love, soul food and be in your presence. You have left a mark in this world and we shall forever celebrate you and your legacy. My Sweet Mother, Sleep well in the blossom of the Lord.
To My Inspiration
It took a long time for me to mentally get to a place to write a tribute to my mum. She meant a lot to me and I loved and will forever love her dearly. As you may already know, I am the last born of my parents. The last card mummy’s hand bag, the baby of the house, and many other nicknames that are too numerous to mention. As a result, I had the privilege of growing up closely attached to my mum.
From a very young age, she taught me most of the values I imbibe today. The values associated with being Godly, honest, magnanimous, humble, respectful, hardworking, hardworking and hardworking. By the way, in case you are wondering why I repeated hardworking a couple of times, I will tell you.
My mother was the hardest working person I, have ever known. Besides dedicating her life to successfully raising six boys, she was a very savvy business woman. She was extraordinarily intelligent and was always willing to share her knowledge, time and wealth with people from all walks of life. She was relentless, selfless, and she defines, for me, the saying “you can do whatever you set your mind to do.”
My mother was extremely devoted to her family, particularly her children and my dad. Her sacrifices to me and my brothers were immeasurable. I can confidently say that none of us will be where we are today, but for mummy’s guidance, motivation and ever-present support. Mummy was my hero, my North Star, my inspiration. Making my mum and my dad proud was always a driving force in my life
and will continue to be. Regardless of the fa.ct that ~ummy is no longer physically. With us, I Will never stop making her proud. I will miss you everyday for the rest of my life and I know that all the people you touched will miss you too.
Thank you mummy for been a great mother. Thank you for being the mother of many. Thank you for a life of selfless service to me, my brothers and my dad. Thank you for a life of service to the many people that see you as their mother. The many people you inspired, motivated and pulled up. Thank you for a life well lived. Thank you for everything. Finally, may God grant my beloved mother eternal rest and peace.
Dr. Olugbenga Sonola
Your one and only last card
Many would not know the depth of our relationship; we maintained a friendship that knew no bounds
and I called you Mummy from the day I stepped into the Sonola Family. I remember with fondness those memories we shared especially when you decided that it was ti me for us to start a busi ness. From Ashade Market of selling bottles to Eleganza our waka was from Lagos, Abeokuta and beyond. In those days, we drove ourselves. I will drive for some time and mummy will drive the rest and so our relastionship grew. Mama Jonah is forever around to ensure that cooking is done during all the naming ceremonies and aso-ebi is forever plentiful I believe that the grief being expressed today is an acknowledgment on our part that you were an original element, a devout Christian, a woman that feared the Lord, a lover of God, a woman of prayer and faith, gentle, peaceful, submissive, full of love, caring, kindhearted, warm, generous and a blessing to a lot of people. Mummy was a loving mother to all, not only to her children and family but to all around her. She has gone to be with the Lord, resting in the bosom of her creator. Though it hurts a lot, but it was God’s time. We feel the pain in our hearts and Mummywill be deeply missed and forever loved. She personifies a loving mother, her memories and smiles will live on in our hearts forever. Now that she is gone, Our joy is that she is now resting in the Lord Jesus, till we meet at the feet of Jesus Christ. We will miss her and would love to give her a memorial and burial she truly deserves, returning some of the love she had warmly shared and spread widely. I will miss the wonderful Christmas celebrations we always spend in Abeokuta with family, those moments are cherished beyond words. Forthe umpteenth time, Iwonderto myself again, “So it is true!” With sorrow in my heart but gratitude to God for a life well spent, I say adieu mummy. Goodnight mummy. 0 daaro mummy. Bye mummy. I loved you till death mummy and heaven knows I did and still do and will forever do.
My grandmother spent her entire life teaching me to be who I am today. She taught me how to display confidence, how to light up the day in my own special way and how to relate with anyone and everyone. My mom has always said that I get my organizational skills, which she put to good use over the decades, from my grandma, and I believe anyone who knew us both would agree with that assessment. Another thing I learnt from her was her sense of style; grandma was an inspiration in how she portrayed and carried herself, with such poise and grace in everything she did. Through her strength, she taught me to be strong; through her love, she taught me to care for others and through her support, she showed me how to be a champion. I hope when you remember grandma, you don’t think of her this way. Instead remember the best times you spent with her, her laughter, her sincerity, and all the lives she touched. Remember how much she loved her family, her husband, her boys, the girls she always wanted and found in their wives and then her grandkids who became the lights of her world. Grandma, no one was ready to say goodbye or really wanted to do so, hence we’ll just wish you eternal peace; and when tomorrow starts without you, I know you’re not gone but are right here, in my heart.
Dr Seun Sonola
One of my favorite quotes was said by a man named Malcolm S. Forbes. He proudly proclaimed, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him”. While sitting down and wondering what to write about my grandmother, I chose not to write about something she had done for me, or said to me, but rather an act that to me, showed her true character.
It was a mildly windy day in Abeokuta, only the clouds could be seen in the sky. That day marked my grandmother’s eightieth birthday. Rather than choosing to celebrate her birthday as many do by throwing a party, she chose to give back to those less privileged than herself. We journeyed to different locations, which included an orphanage and a school for juvenile offenders. With us, we brought gifts of food items, and also the gift of joy, as the drummers played music. I watched as the children danced to the beat of the drums. Some children did not have arms, some had barely functioning legs, but they still danced. The smiles on their faces were priceless.
On that day, I looked to my grandmother, and I thought, this is a true display of character. Despite the cloudiness of the day, my grandmother brought a little bit of sunshine into each one of those children’s lives on that day. She chose to honor the day of her birth by helping others, by ignitingjoy in them and by sharing her wealth with others. Years later, I still think back to that day, because to me it was truly inspiring to witness and to be a part of. Every time I think of my grandmother, this is my fondest memory of her, because at that moment, I saw her heart and it was truly beautiful.
My mother-in-Law, or Mummy, as I used to call her was a rare gem, selfless. She had a very big heart and was always willing to assist anyone in need, family or not. Such a person is very hard to come by.
People used to say and still do, that “beware of mother-in-Laws for they tend to meddle in ones matrimonial home”. Mummy was the opposite, she kept her space but ensured that all was well with all and never interfered. She adored familyvalues.
I always looked forward to christmas because mummy always ensured that there was plenty to eat, drink and more than enough to take home. I saw mummy two days before her demise, she was so excited to see me, we hugged each other and talked about the intended surgery that she was going to undergo. In my mind I did not think that it was anything major. Little did I know that it was going to be my last time. We hugged each other once again before I left and as is her custom, she prayed for me and my family. Mummy called again when I got home to ensure that I was safely back home and again prayed for me and my family. To this day, I still find it very difficultto acceptthat she is no longer with us. I miss her loads and she will forever remain in my heart. E sun reo We love you but God loves you more.