As you read this, Mama Margaret Mary Ayoola Badejo is in a happy mood. She will be 90 this week and she is so excited about her new age. Her children are equally excited; So also are her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and in laws alike.
There is a big plan to celebrate this accomplished woman who loves to dance. She has had a very fulfilling career as a Nurse in the Public Service and she retired as a Director, Nursing Services in the Ministry of Health.
Let’s tell you more about. Mama was born in Kaduna on the 25th May, 1932 to Pa. Jacob and Mama Alice Opemuade. “We, her children count ourselves privileged to have a mother like Mama – a pious, devoted, God fearing, selfless, prayerful, educated, kind, well-spoken, well travelled, stylish, urbane, corporate and loving mother.”
“She can be likened to the virtuous woman in Prov. 31:10-31. She trained as a Professional Nurse under the Colonial Masters in Sacred Heart Convent Kaduna, School of Nursing Kano, and School of Midwifery Kaduna, finally capping at the University of Benin in Nursing. She got married to her ‘Darlown’ – late Prince Alphonsus Gbadebo Badejo of the Fidipote ruling dynasty in Ijebu-Ode. The union is blessed with lovely children, grandchildren and great grandchildren…to the glory of God!
Mama as a professional Nursing Sister started her National Service in Northern Nigeria from Kaduna to Zaria to Kano to Jos and later transferred to the Old Western State of Nigeria. Ever committed to service, Mama was posted to the Ministry of Health in Ibadan, from Ibadan to Ikire, from Ikire to Osogbo, from there to Oyo, amd them to Araromi-Obu, she moved to Aramoko-Ekiti, there to Ado-Ekiti, and from there back to Ibadan…She trans-versed the length and breadth of Nigeria, without any objection, yet she was a young lady raising her children and keeping the home front!
Thank goodness to her very understanding and supportive husband – Papa Alphonsus Badejo, who encouraged her on the job and offered to keep the children with him in Ibadan, rather than moving them all around her various duty posts, as Papa didn’t want the education of the children to be disrupted by Mama’s job constraints and frequent transfers here and there!
At every single opportunity, ever dutiful and caring mother will come to Ibadan with her official car and driver to spend time with her husband and family…before travelling back to work. The 2 of them were so inseparable, not even by distance!
Mama faced a lot of challenges at work – solely for being sincere and honest. She wouldn’t compromise her professional ethics nor allow any form of corruption. This affected her promotion but like a Christian Soldier, she persevered and fought the good fight of faith. She served on and trusted God to see her through. Eventually, after suffering a while, her promotions were granted as God came to her rescue and all entitlements paid!
She rose to the topmost echelon of her Nursing profession at the Directorate Cadre…to the glory of God!
Mama was very submissive and caring to her late husband. She cared for him till his last breath. She lived sacrificially for her husband and children. Till Papa drew his last breath – he was thanking Mum for being a loving and loyal wife, a God sent. She extended her charitable nature to her nephews, nieces whom she brought up under her roof with the consent of her late husband and trained in western education. She treated them all like her biological children, there was no discrimination – our house was like a hostel. When asked why, she responded that she did not want any disparity between them and her children.
That is the loving heart, God endowed our mother with. A devoted Christian, she served as a Lay Reader, Church Warden and President to many Church societies, like St. Mary’s, St. Teresa’s and Catholic Women Organisation, to mention a few. Mum would never miss Mass in church. She would sometimes be invited by the Priest to Minister in her local church at Special Events/Conferences…Christ The King Catholic Church, Odo-Ona, Ibadan.
Mama has been a role model to many, having been able to multi-task for years, combining effectively well her church responsibilities, marital duties at the homefront and her very successful career! She ascribes all these to God Almighty’s enablement and grace.
Her love for God made her request on her 80th birhday, for the launch of a foundation for the training of seminaries in Ijebu-Ode Diocese, Ogun State, Nigeria, because Mamas dear husband is a Prince of the royal family of Fidipote Ruling House in Ijebu-Ode. Her foundation for the training of seminarians is called – St. Joseph’s Foundation. To the glory of God, the foundation is up and running.
Mum, as loving as she is, is also a disciplinarian and fair woman revealed to one of her children. “She taught us the fear of God and how to be useful in home chores, like cooking, cleaning, baking, sewing and gardening. Mum is also a doting grandmother and great-grandma. With her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the diaspora, she enjoys travelling all over the world to spend quality time with them all. To the glory of God, our dear Mama has started fulfilling Biblical injunction as evident in Psalm 92:13-14, “you shall bring forth fruits in old age, you shall be fat and flourishing because you are planted in the courts of our God”. Indeed, God is ever faithful!
City People celebrates Mama. We say Happy birthday to the Queen Mother and our Matriarch. We all love you and you know it! We wish you many more fruitful years in Jesus Mighty name. Amen.