•What Her Children Wrote About Her
For about 3-days, Ijebu-Ode was agog with the burial rites of Chief Mrs. Florence Morenikeji Okenla. The funeral began on Thursday 15th, September, 2022 with Tributes & Service of Songs in Ilese, near Ijebu-Ode, in Ogun State. And on Friday, 16th September, 2022 the Commendation Service took place followed by the Christian Wake Keep.
And on Saturday 17th, September, 2022 the Funeral Service was held at Emmanuel Church, Italupe, Ijebu-Ode. This was followed by private internment a nd then Reception and socials, at the Gateway Stadium, Ijebu-Ode.
It was a Grand and colourful event. Who was this pretty woman in her lifetime? We can tell you a lot about her.
She was born into the Oba Olugbje royal family in Imuto Quarters, Ilese-Ijebu, North-East Local Government in Ogun State, to the family of late Prince George Olufowobi of blessed memory from Odogbolu in Ijebu North-East Local Government.
She attended St. Paul’s Anglican Primary Schools, Ilese from 1948-1955. She later further her education at St’ Lecke’s Ojowo, Ijebu-Igbo in 1956 with Grade A result. She attended various vocational institutions in Ijebu-Ode and qualified in shorthand in commercial institution in London. She could remember how her, mates used to call her ·O.P’J’ means that she writes faster in short hand dictation. she was always the first person to always submit her books to the instructor.
She later went for marketing and management in various organisations like Domino Supermarket at Yaba. Lagos and Omoluwabi Catering School Molete, Ibadan. other working experience at Okenla Paramount Establishment as Administrative Director Assistant when she lost her late husband Chief Olarewanju Okenla of blessed memory and was later promoter to be the General Cashier of all units of the company at the general annual meeting where she received bonus for a job well done. she retired from the catering services when she was 50 years, her catering and baking outlet was known as Flora Catering Services which was situated at No 3, Alhaja Adedoyin Okenla Street, Imom-Road, Ijebu-Ode.
She was a board member of governors at Moslem Comprehensive High School Imepe, Ijebu-Ode. Former Supervisory Councillor for Education at Ijebu-Ode Local Government, Ijebu-Ode. She engaged hersetf into so many works to ensure that all her children went to higher institution after the death of her husband.
She was a major distributor of ALUMACO Nig, Ltd at Apapa representing the company in the sales of cooking , pots in Ijebu-Ode and the environs. She was major distributor of portland cements in Sagamu representing Ijebu-Ode division.
Chief (Mrs) Florence Okenla is a widow of late Chief Olanrewanju Adesina Okenla of blessed memory, who was a prominent lawyer and a successfull business man. Her marriage was blessed with blessed children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She won some awards and recognitions like: (1) Distinguished merit award from the Boys and Girls Brigade of St PauI’s Anglican Church Ilese-ljebu in the year 2010.
(2) Awards of Excellence from the good mothers of so Mary’s Anglican Church, Ajasa, Lagos State for her selfless. rigorous and recentness services to good.
She was the Founded/President Ilese, Ijebu • Matron of Ilese of Rising Elites • Matron of Boys and Girls Brigade Ilese, Ijebu, • Iya Egbe Basiri Society llese Ijebu • Vice President Ajuwaja Sisters Ilese Ijebu • President of Band of Charity Enmanuel Anglican Church Italupe Ijebu-Ode till date. •Matron Christian Unity Band (International at Emmanuel Anglican Church ljebu-Ode) • Matron Young Women Christian Association St. PauI’s Anglican Church, Ilese. • Members of Anglican Christian Fellowship St Paul’s Church Ilese• Members of A GLOW International Women Evangelism Society.
She was a very strong member of Emmanuel Anglican Church ltalupe Ijebu-Ode. She travelled to Jerusalem in 2012. She travelled overseas frequently to visit her children and grandchildren.
Below are the tributes of her children.
I have struggled endlessly to write these tributes after realizing that just about two months ago, I was at your 80th birthday, where I wrote a an encomium for you, and now I am writing a tribute in your funeral pamphlet. What an irony of life! This single experience dawned on me that,indeed, life is Vanity upon Vanity. Mum, your death has made me realize that every single second we spent together, I wasted an opportunity to tell you how much I loved You.
I cried endlessly, like a baby, when the news you had given up the ghost came to me. But I promise I won’t let the tears mar the smiles you gave when you were alive. Not a day goes by that you are not missed, I thought it might get easier as time went by, but it doesn’t. I don’t know how to come to terms with reality, but I know that you for sure are the best Mother a son could ask for in so many ways.
You saw beauty in everything in life. You were asimple-minded human being. You were the best person morally that I have ever known. You taught my other siblings and me how to live to the fullest. You made everything so much fun as a kid growing up up in a diverse polygamous family setting like ours by allowing me to travel with any of my step moms to their various hometowns to spend days without thinking of any harm to me The singular act of freely allowing meto travel and eat from my stepmothers undoubtedly taught me how to face the world I was going to live in as it impacted my human relations and interactions with people as a free mixer, even though I am blunt to the core. You are such a humble family oriented core valued person with no boundaries.
You treated all the children in the extended family equally and showed them motherly care to the point I have to doubt; sometimes, perhaps you don’t love them more than me as your first child. You brought in all your family who cared to live with you in the magnificent Okenla Chambers and struggled to provide 3 square meals for almost a dozen people as a single parent because your only husband and our dad left you unceremoniously atthetender age of 39 years. You had so much gait and beauty that could have attracted so many mento you and sought your hand in marriage. You shut your doors and hearts on all of them and concentrate on the upbringing of your children as your main priority.
No matter what I do to move on from this pain, deep down inside, I will always know that I will never get to hug my mom again I love you with every single part of my being. You were and always will be the gold Standard.
May you continueto rest peacefully atthe bosom of our Lord.
Otunba Gboyega Okenla.Esq
Otunba OIugbeje of Ilese Kingdom
Mummy, wherever you are, trust me I am still in shock and wondering what else I could have done to avert your sudden and unexpected passing going by the fact that I was with you during the Moslem holiday on Friday 8th July till Tuesday 12th July afternoon around 3pm when I left you at home in ijebu- ode and I did not pick up any clue in your physical look or any sign that you would pass to glory by 9.45pm same day; before I got home in Lagos, whilst in the traffic gridlock on Lagos/Sagamu Expressway. I was speechless and sat still in the car for over an hour on receipt ofthe news that the doctors had certified that you had passed on, I was helpless and and confused and it came to my sudden realisation that we are all pawns in the hand of Almighty God. We had wanted to turn back to see what we could have done but we couldn’t despite the gallantry efforts of the security details on the journey with us. I vividly remember and it would remain indelible in my mind; Dupe talking to the doctors on the phone pleading frantically to ensure they save your life and Abi also in the car screaming and confused in disbelief of the fast unfolding events leading to your demise. It was unbelievable and my heart sank when the Doctor in finality said “there is nothing more we can do” and yet again I felt a sense of helplessness pain of our frailty as mortal beings. Mummy, You have gone to be with the Lord and I will forever miss you and particularly pained that despite the fact that you had a good life but I feel you are yet to get the full benefit of your labour of love on all of us as I wrote to you when you turned 80 in May 2022 that you will be around when I turned 70 which would be your 93 years!
I also told you on your 80th Birthday that when I count my many God blessings in life, I always remain grateful to Almighty God for ordaining you to be the vessel that God used to bring me to this world as one of the blessings. The lessons you taught me whilst being nurtured by you in my infancy up till my maturity without any iota of doubt essentially formed the person I am today. Your teachings and wise counsels makes my personality today. Your generosity, kindness and love for all your children and their immediate family, your siblings and all persons that came across you knows no bound. I will forever remember your constant admonition of virtues of family unity and your coinage of the Yoruba phrase
“Irepo Omo Iya dun” meaning literally the unity of siblings is sweet.! You indeed practiced this phrase to the end as reflected in the ways you fought forthe welfare and wall being of all your children and your siblings. The Bibles says in Psalm 133 verse 1 “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”. You loved all your children equally and will go to any lawful extentto protect us all.
You were a strong woman standing tall among your peers despite all the vicissitudes that life has thrown at you. I could not stop crying whilst writing this tribute as I feel a great sense of loss that a gentle soul has departed this sinful world. You were such a rare gem and respectful to all, I sometimes feel awkward when you addressed me respectfully by calling me “Orno Oke” or call my wife “Otunba” or “Yeye” justto avoid calling us by ourfirst names! Sleep on Mum, I will forever miss you “lye Gboye” as I jovially called you. You were also known and called by different people with different pet names such as “Mama Junior”, “Mummy FM”, “Aunty mi”, you appealed to different people in different ways and related to them accordingly with so much love freely given with nothing expected in return. Adieu Mummy, I am still dreaming and I need to come to reality of your passing but I take solace in the fact that you have leftthis worldto rest in peace eternally.
Otunba Olufemi Okenla
TRIBUTE TO MY MOTHER, CHIEF MRS. FLORENCE MORONKEJI
The news of your death came as a rude shock when I was called on Wednesday morning, the 13th of July, 2022, that you have left this sinful world, I spoke to you on a video call on Sunday the 10th of July, and you were full of life, active, energetic, and happy, not knowing that would be my last conversation with you.
Mother hasleft a good legacy and preached love, Unity) and harmony amongst her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A devoted Christian interested in church activities and programmes, she belonged to various groups in Emmanuel Anglican Church Italupe.Mother was the President band of charity and Otun Iyalode St. Paul Church, Ilese. She went to Jerusalem for pilgrimage; she led all her children to a Christian way of living.
When I was sad, my mother was sad When I was happy, my mother was happy. My mother was a caring and powerful woman despite all her challenges. She was a virtuous woman and adaughter of Zion. My mother was a trustworthy woman who worked with her husband as a secretary for long time before she finally retired with no blemishes until daddy’s demise.
Mother trained all her children all alone afterthe demise of our loving father, Late Chief O. Ade Okenla. A sacrificial mother who laid her life for children to live, you are indeed Abiyamo tooto, I would miss my mother’s prayer as she constantly prayed for me to become what I’m today. My mother would not sleep until I returned from work. She would say, “no matter how old a child is, she is still a child to her mother. Mother, we will greatly miss you! If I need to returnto another life, I would like my mother to be my mother, “lya gbogbo omo ile,” My mum communicated with all her family daily while living with me in the UK. She was a great lover of her Siblings and extended family. Sun re o omo Elese ajuwara, Omo Kare ye, Karoko …. Aya Okenla o fi Ara re pamo. I take solace in God and believe we shall meet again in eternity. Good night, sweet, strong Mother.
Adieu, The world’s best Mother
From Mrs. Ayotunde Adela;a
My mum’s exit was sudden and unexpected because I was with her on the 11th of July, 2022, and I did not see any sign on her face despite the fact I looked deep into her eyes to be sure she was well aside from leg pain of which she complained.
Iyemi, as I fondly call her,was a strong, dedicated, intelligent shorthand specialist,devoted that would always pray for all and, above all, a sacrificial woman. I remember my spirit allowed me to say two prayers for her when departing for Lagos after her birthday, which we celebrated in grand style. That event returned joy into her life. I prayed and told God to grant her good health and long life; she would not mourn again and for God not to make her a burden to us. Her exit was divinely planned by God. He held unto your soul during your tribulations period, allowed us to celebrate a VIRTUOUS WOMAN at Eighty to make you a conqueror!
You are in a better place where there are no more pains and sorrows; you confirmed this to your granddaughter in her dream; she called and said, “ mum I saw grandma in my sleep,she wore her peach birthday clothes, and we were both smiling to each other, but her eyes were closed” A sign of relief to me. You came,you saw, and you won. No more battle; your victory was sure!
I am so grateful to God for planning your life well and not allowing you to die In your tribulations; what would have happened. You would have been buned like a chicken, but for the excellent Woman and mother that you were, God shamed all your enemies and allowed your soul to rest well on the 12th of July, 2022, and to be celebrated which was your utmost desire.To only Him be all the glory and honour forever.
To the world, you were one person, but to me, you were the world. You left a legacy of love and unity for us all. My mum was a precious gift from God,so beautiful at that age, so much grace, love and patience and a good listener, all these you possessed.You touched my heart in so many ways even on dark days; your strength and smile made me realize I had an angel beside me.
Ida not know how I will live without you. We were so close that we video chatteddaily, and I loved and listened to every chat when I needed to hear your voice.
Your special ending prayers have been answered by God.” Ki e magbelaisiewu; abo Olorun a daju lori yin,” meaning, we should live without fear and God’s protection is inevitable. Amen.
Omo Elese Ajuwara, Omo a ri ko araye , a roko tan eye ti fo lo Sun re o, Omo Onimuto Omo ARICHMANN, Chief Mrs. Florence Morenikeji Okenla, rest in peace. Every step I takes, every move I move, every single day of my life, I will be missing you.
Love from Oluwafetakemi Adekoya
My dear Mama, I knew one day this should come to pass because I am aware that we will all die one day. However, I never thought this would happen so soon. My sweet Mama, never thought this would happen so soon. My sweet Mama, how I would have wished you everlasting life because of my love for you.
You were the best mother I could ever pray for in my life over and over if indeed human -beings can come back to life. I dont know what to say presently or how best to describe you. You lived a fulfilled life on earth, and your testimony had chaperoned you to Paradise, where I knew you are resting now till eternity.
Mummy, you were there for us. You went all out to give us a good and decent life. You trained us with iron hands; You wanted us to rememberthe son of whom we were in life. Dear Mama, how I wish you live forever and continue to show me love, care, and affection. Alas, you are gone!
I will never forget the two words you uttered to the neighbour who offered you a ride before my arrival, “Wale she 0 de ma womi niran, and inside his car, you still thanked him.’ (Wale, so you will be looking at me like this).
I didn’t know when I came visiting in the morning before your demise was the last time I would ever see you on earth. You were cheerful and chatting as usual with my sister-in-law. I wanted to grab your cup of tea, but you held my hand and told your maid to bring another cup for me to serve myself. I knew you had something to tell me from the expression on your face as you were staring atme, but you stopped! How could I believe that would be the last time I will ever see you alive, my dear mother, Florence Moronkeji Aya Okenla, O fira e pamo. Omo Olufowobi, Omo Elese Ajuwara, sun re oooooo! May your soul continue to rest in peace forever. I will always cherish your memory!
Your last born, Oluwadurotimi Okenla