•What Her Daughters Said About Her
On Friday 5th April 2019 the remains of late Mrs. Beatrice Adekunbi Somolu, popularly called Mama Ibeji was laid to rest after a Funeral Service that took place at the Chapel of Christ. The Light at Alausa, Lagos. Interment was at New Ikoyi Christian Cemetery (By Ikoyi Vaults, 2nd Gate, Ikoyi. Beatrice Adekunbi Somolu, nee Byron was born in Zaria, on the 8th of November, 1936 to Pa Emmanuel Adeoye Byron and Mrs Janet Abiola Byron, nee Oguntolu. Pa Adeoye an erudite scholar, educated at CMS Grammar School, Lagos, in the early part of the 20th century was a famous station master in the Nigerian Railways in the early forties.
Having grown up in the Ebute Metta area of Lagos State. She started her primary education at Ago Ijaiye Methodist School, Ebute Metta and her secondary education at the prestigious Methodist Girls High School, Yaba where she sat for the School Certificate Examination, London and later, St Theresa’s College, Ibadan for her Higher School Certificate. She then proceeded to the United Kingdom in search of greener pastures, she attended Pitman’s College where she qualified as a secretary in Britain.
She married her husband, Hon. Justice Olukayode Somolu and the union was blessed with twin sisters Kehinde and Taiwo.
On returning to Nigeria in the early Sixties.
She started work at Nigerian Tobacco Company NTC, and later joined the University of Ibadan. Her career spanned decades working in various departments within the University College Hospital, UCH until she retired in November 1989.
A very determined and hardworking lady, she believed that what a man can do, a woman can do better. A very loving sister and mother.
Beatrice Adekunbi Somolu had definitely fought the good fight of faith and had conquered all odds.
TRIBUTE FROM TAIWO
Tribute to my mother.
If roses grow in heaven, Lord pick up a bunch for me; place them in my mother’s arms and tell her they are from me.
What can I say? Where do I start? Words fail me literally.
Our first home, our mother, helper, the wind beneath my wings.
From the days of shuttling us to primary school, coming back to pick us up, dropping us at ‘lesson’ and rushing back to work and back to pick us up. You did this tirelessly for many years. Did the burden lighten in secondary school? No.
You became part of the furniture in the boarding house because you came unfailingly every weekend, bringing food not only for us, for everyone for 5 yrs straight. Something school mates and housemistresses found to be astonishing.
You will go to the moon and back to make sure things were easy for us; some in ways we did not agree with but the only way you knew how to.
We lacked nothing, money, clothes, food … nothing. I remembered when one of my friends mentioned that she saw you shopping at Favos (which was down the road), wearing flip flops. I flipped! Your response was simple, “I’ll wear that any day, at least my children have everything”. I got to appreciate that years later.
You were reserved and comfortable in your own world and watched in amazement how we are nothing like you but took everything from the Somolus, loving fashion and out-going, but you didn’t care.
You were very hard working and extremely generous in giving. You didn’t mind telling us to wait sometimes to give to those you thought needed it more than we did.
The older you got the nicer it would have been for you to be close by rather than settling for the weekly phone calls.
Your passing on alone was the hardest to bear, it hurts! I only take comfort in the words of those who say “she’s at peace”.
Good night mummy. Your daughter,
TRIBUTE FROM KEHINDE
Mum … what can’t I say about you? You are our selfless mother, who lived her life for others to the very end.
Mum, how I wish you lived the way you allowed us to live. You had a very unique sense
of humour that made those around you laugh and smile all the time. You made sure we never lacked, even if you have to go without.
You were always optimistic and reassuring.
You always put Tee and myself first and anything else second. You showed us motherly love that was second to none.
From our early years, you made those school runs… Many people knew we were spoilt and probably we were. However, mum, there is nothing more special than to be pampered by a mother.
Like any mother, you ensured we devoted time and attention to studying. Your interest in our studies was such that every administrator, teacher, or fellow student in any school or college we went to knew you by name. You never missed a visit on any weekend while we were in secondary school and most of our friends always looked forward to your bucket of fried plantain and stew. Many of our friends put on the pounds as a result of your wonderful cooking.
Mummy, I thank you on behalf of all of those friends who cannot be here today to thank you themselves
I can gladly say that we were the envy of many of our fellow students, especially Ibadan Poly where almost everyone knew you. At one stage it was rumoured that you worked there! You who brought me breakfast in the mornings and kegs of water daily without fail. What that meant was that I didn’t have to queue up for water.
Mum, you were always there for us and we never wanted for anything that you couldn’t provide.
Despite all, you allowed us to stay true to ourselves and encouraged us in our choices.
You advised whenever we needed advice and our friends became yours too.
I sometimes wish you would have chosen to stay with us in London in those later years, but you rather wanted to stay back in Nigeria while we visit you.
If only you came back for just 5 mins just to relive our last conversation barely 4 days before you passed. You were so sure of what we talked about, but the unfortunate thing is that it wasn’t as you thought it would be.
You gave to the end…
Mum, Heaven has gained what we the twins have lost. I pray that God will look at your life and welcome you home to glory. You have raised us well and I hope you are proud of the way we have turned out. You wanted us to be happy but never made an issue over the differences that we had in the definition of happiness. I pray you will smile looking down on us knowing that we miss you and will always remember you fondly. I wish in hindsight that we could have spent more time with you, but glad that we spoke almost every day. However, nobody could have known that soon after you celebrated your 80th we would not be privileged to plan for your 90th. As the saying goes, it is not how long but how well.., you surely deserve all the praise and accolades possible. Goodnight Mummy … Love you loads.