Chief Mrs.(Deaconess) Oluwakemi Adewumi (nee Awoniyi), the founder/CEO of Chikem Farm, Ikere Ekiti is 50.
She is the pretty wife of the Otunba of Ikere Kingdom, Otunba Sola Adewumi, of Equitorial Energy Company Limited and Inspiration hotel and Suites, Ikere Ekiti. She was born 5 decades ago, precisely on the 12th of February.
This graduate of Accounting, from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, has worked for years in the Shipping and Oil/Gas sector.
She started with Al-Dawood Shipping Line Ltd before she moved to Obat Oil & Gas where she worked before meeting her husband, Otunba Sola Adewumi.
She left Obat Oil & Gas to start Equitorial Energy with her husband.
Her humanitarian service and kind gesture earned her an award of excellence from Rotary Club of Akure, Ondo state in 2022, and an Award of Recognition by the Women’s Missionary Union of Ekiti State Baptist Conference in 2017, among others. She was bestowed with the chieftaincy title of Otun Eyesorun of Ikere Ekiti by His Royal Majesty, Oba Samuel Adejimi Adu Alagbado, the Ogoga of Ikere-Ekiti.
She was honoured in her hometown alongside her husband as the Erelu of Ayede Ekiti, while her husband was honoured with Bashorun of Ayede Ekiti by the Attah of Ayede-Ekiti, Oba Afeleye Orisagbemi.
She is a lover of Christ who devotes her time to serving God. She was ordained in 2017 as Deaconess of the Abundant Life Gospel Church, Lagos. and she also served as the President of the Women’s Fellowship of Abundant Life Gospel Church, Lagos for 4 years. Her passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ is worthy of emulation.
In this interview with Princess Adeola Shittu, the Publisher of Event Diary Lifestyle, Deaconess Oluwakemi Adewumi opens up on her life at 50.
Congratulations on your 50th Birthday Thanksgiving. Tell us briefly who Chief Mrs Oluwakemi Adewumi is.
Oluwakemi Bolanle Adewumi (nee Awoniyi), was born on 12th February to the family of Chief David Akintola Awoniyi and Deaconess Dupe Awoniyi of Ayede Ekiti of blessed memories. I am married to Sola Adewumi, a native of Ikere Ekiti. I am a businesswoman who doubles as a farmer. I am the CEO of Chikem Farm, one of the biggest poultry farms in Ekiti state. and I co-run other business ventures with my husband.
I am a practicing Christian and a member of Abundant Life Gospel Church, Lagos. I was privileged to have served as the President of the Women’s Fellowship of Abundant Life Gospel Church, Lagos for 4 years.
I was ordained Deaconess in 2017. By the grace of God, I am the Otun Eyesorun of Ikere Ekiti and the Erelu of Ayede Ekiti, a chieftaincy title bestowed on me by my royal father, the Ogoga of Ikere Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oba Samuel Adejimi Adu Alagbado and the Attah of Ayede-Ekiti, Oba Afeleye Orisagbemi respectively.
I attended Adeyemi College of Education primary school (Staff School), I later moved to St. Louis secondary school both in Ondo town in Ondo State. I was admitted into the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara state where I bagged my OND in Accounting and I later proceeded to Ondo State polytechnic, now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo for my HND in Accounting.
Can you please, take us through your working career?
After my National Youth Service, I started my working career with Al-Dawood Shipping Lines Ltd, Apapa, Lagos. I had a good working relationship with my boss, I was there for years before I moved to Obat oil & gas and I was working directly with the founder who is now the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Ondo state, His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Frederick Obateru Akinruntan.
We were the ones in charge of the Lagos office at Ibafo where we do sell small trucks and as at then, I used to climb those big tanks where fuel is stored. I enjoyed a good working relationship with him throughout my years with Obat Petroleum. I left Obat oil and gas when I got married to my husband and I joined him in his oil and gas business. We started Equitorial Energy Company Ltd with two staff.He was the Chairman and I was the Managing Director (MD) but today the rest is history.
After I had my children, I had to still back home to take care of the children. Going forward, we added hospitality business to our chain of enterprises, and this gave birth to Inspiration Hotel and Suites, Ikere Ekiti.
And before we knew it, we added Chikem Farms, Ikere Ekiti. This is our little way of contributing to the development and the economy of the Ekiti state. I appreciate God for how he has helped us so far.
Take us through your growing-up years….
Growing up was fun for me and my siblings and we were given the best any child could dream of. And above all, we were brought up in a Christian way and they taught us to be truthful and hardworking. We were also made to know that our best should come out in anything we are engaged in, irrespective of the fact that we are under supervision or not. I am very grateful to God for their life and their impact on us, which myself and my siblings are enjoying today. All thanks to God and our wonderful parents.
On a day like this, I miss my parents, mostly my father, because I am sure he will have been around weeks before D-day; though my Mum is the reserved type of person, irrespective she would have made herself available.
But all in all, I give glory to God that while they were alive, we gave them the best and their memories are still fresh with us and I pray they continue to rest in peace (Amen). I am the second child of a family of 6, and to the glory of God, all my siblings are doing fine. I appreciate God for the life of my elder sister, Mrs Foluke Ogunyakin and my other siblings namely; Segun Davis, Ayo Akinbola, Toyin Awosan and Tolulope Awoniyi.
Now to your Poultry business, how did you start Chikem Farm?
The poultry business was not part of my plans, but I was introduced to it through a friend.Initially, I felt reluctant about going into poultry. But on this faithful day, we went for an occasion in Ogbomoso and the woman gave me one dozen of pullet that I should start raising them, that before I know it, I will see that the business is worth it. She encouraged me and I started with 1,500 pullets,but today I have the capacity for over 20,000 birds to the glory of God.
Can you share with us your experiences and challenges in the poultry business?
Maybe if she had told me about the challenges I will encounter in the business, I might not have gone into it.But she said the business was worth it and truly it is.
When I started, it was interesting and the urge to expand was there due to the number of eggs that were laid per day, the beautiful atmosphere and all.
Before we know it, I started noticing that some of the staff were stealing from the farm, this made me be at alert and I was able to curb it. On the same day, I laid off the 3 staff and employed another set of people. But with my experience in the business, it is very difficult to nip the stealing at 100%, because they will always have a way around it.
Through my years in the business, I have employed various workers both good and bad and I try to utilise and manage their excesses for the sustainability of the business.
This business is meant for a serious-minded person who will satisfy a long sperm to see the business grow or expand. One of the challenges of this business is that our people are not ready to work rather they want to get paid for service they never render.
For instance, I employed a person and on his first day of resumption, he stole from the company, to me I felt the major reason he apply for the job was to steal and not work. All well and good, irrespective of the challenges we have faced, God has been faithful to us and we have always been on top of every situation.
Also, the government is not helping issues, to get the raw materials ( the feeds) has been very difficult and we all know that in Nigeria today, once the price of anything goes up, it takes the grace of God to return to the normal price. But in all, we give glory to God that the challenges have not been able to stop us.
This is also applicable to the hotel business.But we thank God for his grace that has been sustaining us and moving us forward.
How does it feel being 50?
I feel so blessed and privileged by God to attain this Golden age of my life. I am more than happy and sincerely short of words on how to express my appreciation to God for His faithfulness over my life despite my unfaithfulness.
At times, when I wake up in the morning, all I do is to just fall into worship mode, tears of joy will roll down my eyes, because when I look back, I ask myself how did I get to 50.Recently, someone was asking me, are you sure you are 50 years old? It is just the grace of God. Flashing back, I realised that I have enjoyed the grace and mercy of God beyond my imagination.
I remembered my late parent sharing a story of my naming ceremony with me, how they saw me bleeding a few hours after I was christened, my baby court was full of blood and as they were about to carry me, they saw this wrapped Islamic piece things they called “Tira” under me. What will an eight day old child be doing with such or could have done to deserve such a wicked attack?
I was preserved only by His grace and up till today, I remain a proud product of the Grace and mercy of God. Because as at that period of my infancy, with the such an attack, it is possible I blend to death but for divine intervention I survived it.
Growing up, his mercy still sustains me and each time I remember that story, I give praise to God. As the year goes by, from primary school days to secondary and my tertiary days it has been God. I can’t thank him enough because it’s only thanks and praise we can use to appreciate him. And that is why my birthday thanksgiving is the most important aspect of the celebration because without God I won’t be where I am today.
What has life taught you at 50?
At 50 I’ve be through different life situations and that has taught me a lot about life. The first philosophy in life is that, if you want to navigate the affairs of life successfully, you must always hold on to God. There’s no one believes or connects with his/ her creator that would be put to shame. Some situations have threatened me in the past, so much that humanly speaking, I can’t survive it, but with God, I experience my breakthroughs and victory effortlessly.
Holding on to God and serving him wholeheartedly without looking back has been my source of strength. You see, when you are doing something and people call it eye service don’t be distracted, face what you are doing and serve him diligently and commit your life in his care, you will see that even when you don’t know, he will be fighting on your behalf and by the time the victories are pronounced, people will be wondering how possible it is for you to survive without scars or bruises.
Let me share this story to inspire others who are passing through challenges of life, the reasons they need to firmly hold on to God. Between Ayomide and Tamilore, I had 8 miscarriages and at a point, I was placed on BP medication, but I held on to my faith that I will be fruitful and nothing will stop me from having another child, it was not as if I was not pregnant, I was at several times, but I usually lose the pregnancy through miscarriages.
At a stage, I held to my prophetic belief and I told myself, I was going to have a child and I won’t die with the pregnancy, nor will I lose the baby. I was going to carry my baby in hand.
At this point, I was introduced to a doctor, Dr. Olusegun Akeredolu of Royal Oak Hospital, Lagos.
On my first visit to him, he asked when was my last period, I said I don’t know, but I use to note it in my diary, so I brought out my diary and I discovered I was two weeks gone and the doctor ask me to do a pregnancy test and I did and it became positive, but he saw that I was not excited with the news and he said “Kemi don’t worry, the lord will give us this” and by faith, I held to his word and I said Amen. As usual, at 3 months I started bleeding and I called him and said, doctor, this is what I experienced and he said don’t worry, come to the clinic, I went, and he stopped some of my medication and he gave me an injection and placed me on bed rest and he said to me again that, the lord will give us this and I said Amen again.
The doctor is a Catholic, Christian and it’s not as if he is a pastor, but he is a man of faith and that alone made me believe that God can work through anybody, all we need is just to trust Him and He will never fail us. Several threatening events happened in the period of that pregnancy, but alas, our faith was intact and the end result was the miracle of my precious daughter “Oluwatamilore”.
Today, being a proud mother, I thank God for the lives of my children. God has been faithful to me and my family.
Another thing my 50years life experience has taught me is to be patient and this brought about the issue of Oluwatamilore’s birth, because if I was not patient, many things would have gone wrong, so much advice, I wouldn’t have been able to say to God be the glory. But with patience, I have been able to boldly say glory be to God and sing his praises always.
Life has taught me to be faithful, patient and trust God and God alone in every situation.
If she is allowed to change one or two things at 50, what will that be?
Hmmm, maybe I would have known and committed my life to God earlier than I did. Maybe, from my Primary school and I would have enjoyed His grace more than I am enjoying now.
Secondly, I would have gotten married earlier, so maybe by now, I will look younger, because I would have faced the stress of childbearing earlier and have enough time and energy to keep my fitness and your look (laugh).
Above all, I will love to serve God better.
How did you meet your husband Otunba Sola Adewumi and what attracted you to him?
If I am to be very precise, I will refer to my meeting with him as a divine arrangement. You know when God himself is the one that allowed a meeting to occur, you have no decision on that arrangement, rather you will submit to the will of the all-knowing God.
Actually, we met at a function and through an interaction that he was having with someone, he was told that one of his sisters from the same town is around and he doubted the person when he was told that my surname is “Awoniyi”. His reason for doing that was that he was too certain that there’s no how I will be from a family from Ikere and he would not have heard of that surname or perhaps have an idea of the family.
To clear his doubt, he walked up to me and in the course of our interaction, he got to know that it was my parents that were residing in Ikere. My father was a teacher and at that time his assignment post was in Ikere.
After that conversation, we became mutual friends and he began to treat me with much care and affection like his kid sister. Though I know he has emotional feelings for me, but it appeared difficult for him because he was already playing the role of a brother and already I am seeing myself being his younger sister.
Months after months, it became so clear that my brother could not hide his feelings any longer, so he opened up to me and express his love.
Hmmm, the situation I found myself in was like a crossroad, but just like I said earlier if God is the one that planned a meeting, his decision and not my decision will stand.
I call him Olusola because he is everything to my world. Though we have our challenges, but his love and care for me and our children has been keeping us stronger together.
In all, I am grateful to God that he is my husband and the father of my children and above all, our love keeps waxing stronger every day
How do you cope with the challenges in your marriage?
Every marriage has its ups and downs,but the grace to manage it is what we seek and God’s intervention showed up at every point. One thing that helped us during our challenging period was communication.
For anything I feel or not certain about, I call his attention and ask questions, I ask questions very well because I always want us to be on the same page and that has helped my marriage.
I know when to ask and when not to. I ask in a good atmosphere and if there are things to sort out, we discuss them and put them behind us. Communication has been a great instrument of help to me.
What is the secret behind your over 20 years of marriage?
I will say the grace of God. And secondly, communication,because without communication so many things will go wrong and the true love we both share would have disappeared. If Communication and love are missing,such a marriage will stand the test of time.
I love my husband so much and I can’t but express that at all time. And for him, he loves and sees me as himself, what else do I want?
You are 50 but you look younger than your age, what is the secret?
I will attribute the secret to God and my husband and above all, I will say I gave myself peace of mind and I hand over everything to God. You see when you hand over to God, he will direct one’s path and before anything happens, the holy spirit will reveal it and put one through.
How fashionable is Otun Eyesorun of Ikere Kingdom?
I believe this question will be better answered by those that are associated with me, but in my personal view and assessment of myself, I will say i am a fashionista. There is this adage that says, “dress the way you want to be addressed”.
I am always particular about the way I dress and my children can testify to it. I don’t appreciate people not dressing well, especially when they have the capacity to do so. I give attention to details when it comes to what I wear. I feel good dressing well and it is one thing that makes me happy and fulfilled. At times, I pack my clothes and go to the studio for a photo session because it makes me happy.
As a fashionable person, when you are comfortable with what you wear, you have this inner joy that brings smiles to face. On my phone, I have over 17,000 personal pictures. It’s a passion that I love to do. My father is a fashionable man but my Mum is the quiet type and she wants everything to be moderate. But my father loves fashion, maybe I took that from him. I enjoyed doing it and appreciate it when I see somebody dress very well. I am a fashionable person. I don’t go by what is trending or in vogue, all I am about is decency, moderation and class that gives details to what I wear.
Which of the fashion items do you love most?
I love every fashion item. Anything that will set me up and make me look good, I don’t joke with them, from my hair to my toes I don’t joke with it. And those that come to beautify me knows, I don’t reduce my standard and I don’t joke with my look and I don’t negotiate my appearance. I’m a very detailed person and people around me can testify to that. I love detailing, maybe because I was brought up by a teacher and God gave me another set of parents that are my in-laws.They are also teachers, and this makes me to understand how to do things properly. So when I give anyone an assignment the result has to be very detailed. My husband knows once I believe in something, I want it done, perfectly.
At 50, what are you giving back to society?
Before now, I see giving to the needy as a way of life and a way to show appreciation to God for the grace I enjoy. Doing things that affect humanity positively gives me joy. Maybe because of my upbringing, my late parents are givers and my late father-in-law is also a giver and I’m married to a man who believes so much in lifting other people. So we have plans.
What do you appreciate about people?
I know there’s no perfect person and we all live to tolerate ourselves, but I love to relate with people who are focused, honest and above all have the fear of God.
What turns you off about people?
I detest people with pride, dishonesty and disloyalty.
How do you unwind?
I love travelling and I love to give myself a special treat by going to Spa but above all, I love taking pictures because it makes me feel happy. I feel more relaxed when I have my family around me.
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