•How She Celebrated Her Birthday In LONDON
As you read this, former Nigerian High Commissioner to Zambia and Malawi Ambassador Ibironke Adefope is in a happy mood. She has been in an upbeat mood for weeks now, because of her new age. She turned 70 on Wednesday, 23rd February 2022 and she celebrated it in London, in the company of her children, family, friends and classmates.
Many just can’t believe this beautiful woman has turned 70. This is because she has continued to look refreshingly young. And she has been ageing gracefully. Twenty years ago, she celebrated her Golden Birthday at the Nigeria House, Lusaka, Zambia, on 23rd February 2002. She was then the Nigerian High Commissioner to Zambia & Malawi. Many distinguished Nigerians travelled to celebrate with her in Lusaka. Some of her classmates at St. Anne’s School, Molete, Ibadan in the early 60s rallied around her. The event was compered by High Chief Lekan Alabi, Maye Olubadan-designate and the first Culture Ambassador of the National Museum & Monuments, Ile-Ife. He was at the event with his beautiful wife, Chief (Mrs) Adetokunbo Mojirade Alabi, the first Yeyemeso Lalupon, Ibadanland. Mrs Alabi was her classmate at St. Anne’s School, Ibadan.
To celebrate her 70th, there was a birthday party held in London on Saturday, 26th February 2022. Oloye Lekan Alabi was also in attendance. Oloye Alabi is a former Press Secretary to 4 governors of old Oyo State (made up of present Oyo & Osun States).
How does Ambassador Ibironke Adefope feel at 70, we asked her last week? “I feel great. God has been so Merciful and Gracious to me. This landmark is quite significant and I really feel it. I guess if one looks back to all the events of one’s life a special feeling will arise”.
What are the lessons life has taught her at 70? “ A lot. Life has taught me that God is indeed the Master planner of our lives, just humble yourself and allow Him take control. Another lesson is not to depend on human beings who can disappoint at any time”.
What has changed about her at 70 and what has not changed? “Strength. One is not as strong as before. The need that you have to do something has decreased. I tend to now take things in stride. What has not changed? “Well, the capacity to Love and Share”.
She has always been a Lady in every sense of the word. What shaped her into the kind of woman she has turned out to be? “What shaped me is the privilege of being born by loving and caring parents. Also, the advantage of going to one of the best girls’ schools in Nigeria, where the fundamental principles of life are taught, like Manners, Diligence, Loyalty, Honour and Charity. As I said above good parentage, loving, kind, humble upbringing, well-educated parents that also believed in giving their children good education”.
What was her background like? What kind of family was she born into? “My father was a Civil Servant with the Ministry of Agriculture. My Mother was an Educationist”. How about the schools she attended? How did she choose her career path? “I was privileged to have attended the best schools at all levels of my education. My Primary School was St Luke’s Demonstration School in Ibadan. My Secondary School was at St Anne’s School, (the oldest girls’ school in Nigeria). Then, I attended International School at the University of Ibadan for my ‘A Levels and New York Institute of Polytechnic, Columbia University, New York. I was a Science Major. I wanted to read Medicine but couldn’t handle some aspects of it, like blood etc, I discovered the discipline of Public Health and chose it as a career and obtained MPH from Columbia”. Does she feel fulfilled at 70? “I feel fulfilled and accomplished, as I said earlier, God has been most gracious. Looking back, I guess I can say I was able to achieve in many areas of life, raising wonderful children, able to contribute to Socio, Economic and Political order of the Society. I thank God”.
Adefope, who turned 70 on Wednesday, 23rd February, had an intimate party in London, with her family and close friends. Her joy knew no bounds, as she danced and took photos with guests.
Born in Ibadan, Oyo State, Adefope has enjoyed a very fulfilled and accomplished life. After her advanced level studies, she travelled to the United States for her university education. She was blessed with parents who knew the importance of education and were ready to go bankrupt to give their children quality education.
Oloye ‘Lekan Alabi, who also graced the London celebration, said he has known Adefope for years, as she was a former classmate of his wife, Chief Adetokunbo Alabi, at St. Annes School, Ibadan.
“She is like a younger sister to me”. Till date, they have remained bosom friends and confidants. “We share common grounds in cultural, political and socio-economic fields,” he added.
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