Talk of one influential female politician in the fountain of knowledge state, Ekiti, and Hon (Mrs.) Yemisi Afolabi, the Women Leader (PDP), of Ekiti state chapter’s name will be mentioned. This stylish woman of substance is an indigene of Efon Alaye in Efon Local Government area of Ekiti state. She was a civil servant before her appointment as the party women leader. Recently, City People’s ADEOLA SHITTU was at the PDP party secretariat in Ado Ekiti, where she engage her on her role as the state women leader of PDP and her 21 years of marriage. Enjoy.
Tell us a bit about Hon. (Mrs.) Yemisi Afolabi?
She is an indigene of Efon Alaye in Efon Local Government area of Ekiti state. I’m happily married to Mr. Gbenga Afolabi, an indigene of Irepodun Local Government area of Ekiti state. I had my primary education at Efon Alaye High School before I moved to Lagos where I attended Idi-Araba High School in Mushin Local Government area of Lagos state for some month before I moved to St Timothy College, Onike Iwaya, Lagos State after which I returned to Ondo State for my Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) at Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti where I studied Accounting, I later went to the University of Ado-Ekiti for my Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Financial Management, I didn’t stop at that, I also attended International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) in Ekiti for my Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism after which I went back to Ekiti State University (EKSU) for my Masters in Business Administration. Until my appointment as the PDP State woman leader in Ekiti State I was a civil servant in the state.
What motivated you to go into politics?
Well, ever since I was young, I have always loved and have passion for politics, but owing to what we hear about people mostly women who go into politics, it’s not encouraging, but then, I would say, I’m a woman of principle and I go for what I want. You see, my case was different because incidentally I became who I am in politics with the support of Governor Ayodele Fayose. I recall sometime in 2015 when the governor called me to take up the appointment. As at then I was still a civil servant, but all alone as I said, I love and have passion for politics and owing to my love for politics, I have been contributing in my own little way into politics at the grassroot level, but I appreciate God for crowning my efforts, with the appointment. I bless the name of the Lord for the kind of Governor that we have in Ekiti, he has been a great mentor, motivator and pillar of support to all of us.
How supportive was your husband, when you informed him about your new task as the State woman leader?
I bless the name of the Lord for the kind of husband I’m married to, he has been a supportive husband to my career and it would interest you to know that it was my husband who accepted the appointment, because when they first called me, I told them I was not interested because I have my job and I don’t think I can cope with the new task, but my husband said ‘no’, I know you can do it, that I shouldn’t worry that God will help me. So, he persuade me to take the appointment and ever since, he had been so supportive. I will appreciate my husband, children, siblings, and family members for their support. In a nutshell, my husband and parents had been my supportive pillar in this journey.
When the Governor approached you in 2015 to become the PDP State woman leader, how did you feel?
I felt well, this is a call to serve and to serve my people because all my life, have always loved helping people and I saw it as an avenue for me to achieve my aim in assisting people in one way or the other. Though it does not necessary means financially, but glory be to Almighty God that in the last two years, l have been able to render assistance to my people, one way or the other.
As a politician what is the secret of your successful marriage?
To the glory of God, this year my marriage will be 21years. We got married in 1996. Owing to my father’s instruction then, I had a quiet introduction in 1996, but in 2001 we had an elaborate wedding. So after my introduction in 1996 I move with my husband before we formalised it. Though, I won’t say my marriage has been without its ups and downs. As I used to tell people, when something is not right and you are pretending as if everything is okay. One is only deceiving itself and not deceiving that person you are lying to because the person has nothing to lose. So, I will say I face many challenges, but to the glory of Almighty God and with the help and constant prayer of my parents and siblings, I was able to overcome and today, I give God all glory and adoration to my husband. You see, all the ups and downs that I face in my marriage then have made me stronger and now I can face any battle, no wonder I was called upon to come and lead women in Ekiti State.
How do you manage your home as a politician, wife and mother?
You see, everything is all about planning and don’t forget that it’s how you lay your bed, so you lie on it, I figured out everything and I realise that politics should be separated from my family affairs. So I plan how I do my things. Now, we don’t have much activities in term of politics because nothing have changed in term of time and our activities, so let me say, we are in a recess compared to when I was in service as a civil servant and now as a politician.
As the State women leader PDP, do you have ambition to contest any post now or in the nearest future?
You see, Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose is my ambition. I don’t have any ambition, I follow my boss, Governor Fayose’s direction and foot steps in politics. If he instructs me to sit down, believe me, I will sit till he ask me to stand up, so I don’t see myself contesting for any political post. As I said, whatever he ask me to do, is what I will do.
As a stylish politician, what is fashion to you?
You see, fashion to me is a person’s ability to look good, presentable and responsible. So, to me, I don’t believe fashion is all about wearing expensive clothes. I don’t believe in conspicous consumption, but I believe in putting on something suitable on me, that will look presentable and responsible. Somebody who is responsible, from a good home and married to a responsible husband. I love looking good 24/7. I go for the best and I buy what I know I can maintain and I don’t do things because people are doing it.
What is your favourite fashion trend?
Hmmm, my favourite fashion trend is cloth and after cloth is cloth and I also love buying jewelry. You see when I go for shopping, I buy my clothes and jewelries in bulk. You see before now I used to run a boutique where I sells cloth, shoes, bags, wrist watch, jewelry among others. So when I travel I buy what I know I need that will last me for a year. Another thing is that I have girls and I want them to look good just like me.
How do you unwind?
You see, a homily person, if I’ m not at the party secretariat or at a function, then I’m at home. . You see, I love to be in my house, mostly in my bedroom and it would interest you to know that I feel more relaxed in my bedroom.