Chief Mrs Funke Arthur Worrey was born into the Royal family of Ogunmade Onile Gbale Chieftaiancy house ,Isale Eko, Lagos .She is a qualified Secretary by profession. She also holds a Diploma in Fashion designing from the Paris Academy of Fashion Designing .She also holds diploma in Social studies from the Ohio State University, USA She is well known in the circle of Charity Organizations and service clubs in the country.
She belongs to many social clubs among which are Ikeja Lioness Club. She is a life member and for many years the secretary of the prestigious Lagos Ladies Dining Club, also she is a life member of International women’s club and many others.
However, at 90 Aunty Funke as she is fondly called is still full of energy, charisma and grace.
Recently, City People’s reporter FEMI FABUNMI caught up with this highly energetic woman and she bares it all on life at 90, how she still goes to the gym and many more. Excerpts
Can we meet you ma?
Yes , I am Mrs Funke Arthur Worrey, I am 90 years old and I am very proud of that ,look at me I cannot even believe I am 90 because I eat well, I sleep well I still go to the market. Basically, I still do things younger people do. Sometimes when I see people especially younger people complaining of waist pain, leg pain and all that I just thank my God.
You are 90 and you look very young, tell us the secret ma?
There is no secret anywhere, I eat well and sleep well. From my womb God has been looking after me and I thank Him for that.
What do you think has really helped you look this young , food or exercises?
In those days I used to swim and jog, I still do these simple exercises because I am used to it. Sometimes I will park my car in Marina and walk to Isale Eko and Ebute Ero just to look at women and surroundings .I notice that our women in Nigeria are working, seeing them strapping their babies at the back and selling goods is wonderful.We are the best women in the world.I also read a lot of magazines, novels and newspapers just to be updated with happenings in the world.
Tell us about your work experience ?
I was born and bred in Lagos, My great grandfathers were from Isale Eko, infact we are from Onile Gbale Ogunmade Davies from Isale Eko in Lagos.My own father took me everywhere he was very active. Lagos was very small from Tinubu to Obalende , Isale Eko and Marina,Lagos was not big at all. Girl child behaved very well then because of how we were brought up, we dressed decently and we were well behaved. I went to Methodist Girls High school and later traveled to England with my husband. We later came back to work here in Nigeria. I am a member of International women’s club, Lions club and now the small world. We generate money for ladies and all that.
Tell us about your NGO?
A lady Mrs Deji Alakija invited me to join national council of women society, we were the pioneer members ,fortunately we started off just before independence and we help with preparations as at then. I later joined the small world and we invited all charity organisation in Nigeria to apply, whatever we make we give it out, for instance this year we made 35 million naira and we didn’t touch any of it. I love these NGO’S and will continue to do it till I depart.
Tell us about your husband and how you met him ?
My husband died 9 years ago precisely January 26, he was in England while his father lived here in Jos , before long the father died but before that whenever his children visited they were always visiting my uncle. My husband two elder brothers married white ladies, my husband returned home to Birin Kebbi where he was posted to teach. One day he visited us , all the girls lined up to greet him we were well trained then, he shook hands with us and when it got to my turn because I was the last he grabbed all of my hand and asked after my name I told him then he said Funke you are going to be my wife. We were all surprised at someone who was seeing me for the first time. I actually got scared and told my sister he had no shame, my sister told me that is their ways of life over there they call a spade a spade, she said I will be his wife. Teddy was very romantic and caring , he was taking us all out on a picnic, to the cinemas and stadiums he spoils us rotten before we knew it we started getting along. At a point he left for Birin Kebbi where he was posted to and I fell ill. As God will have it he was not happy at Birin Kebbi he came back to Lagos and we continued our relationship till when he died. He was a good husband and I am happy for being his wife for over fifty years.
Tell us about your children ?
I have four children ,Fola is a good man , he attended Saint Saviour and later proceeded to Kings college, he later went to live in Delta because his father insisted he must know the tradition of Delta state.he joined Lagos Civil service before he became solicitor general and later commissioner for land and now secretary to security trust fund. I had Biola, Enitan and Titi too they are all doing well.
Looking back do you have any regret?
Yes o, because I lost Biola she was a book warm she was very brilliant, if she was alive today she would have made it in life, she would have been here for my 90th birthday too. Her death is very painful but we thank God for everything. Apart from that no other regret I enjoyed my life, I have traveled to about 25 countries of the world.
What do you still do and you fill fulfilled doing it at 90 ?
few weeks back we were having an event at small world and we sold many tickets. All the counties of the world were represented and I was shown to the world as a strong 90 year old woman. I was really happy.
At 90 do you take medications or visit hospitals for medicals?
Let me tell you it is the grace of God, the last time I visited hospital was during my ante natal days. I am so blessed like that. I am not on any medications. I crack bones, my teeth are still complete. It is just the grace of God.
Do you work out ?
Sure I do work out, I do not have any pains, I can jump and still run, my mental faculty is still very strong. It is by the grace of God.
What advice do you have for the youth out there?
Our youth are very brilliant, but what pains me is that they go to school and after few years there will still be jobless, this is not good at all. I pray God will help them, but my advice is that they should continue to be steadfast.Nigeria will be great again I know.