One of the leading educationists who runs Grace Schools in Lagos, Mrs Iyiola Olatokunbo Edun just turned 60 on Friday, July 5, 2019. And this beautiful lady recently was celebrated by family, friends and schoolmates of over 40 years from the prestigious Queen’s College Yaba at Four Point By Sheraton in Lekki, Lagos.
The birthday celebration was a small, but classy type, as the celebrant was treated to a memorable event by all her loved ones. The guests who were no more that 150 at the event were all dressed glamorously in honour of the great woman whose tribute inspired many as a humble, kind and loving mother and friend.
Her story and journey are an inspiration to many. At a time when private schools were not an easy achievement to establish, she fought against the odds to take up the responsibility in 1984 to take Grace Schools to the next level and has never looked back since.
And so it was, therefore, worthwhile on this remarkable occasion of her birthday, as guests from all walks of life, show gratitude for her noble contribution to education, turned out to celebrate the astute educationist and administrator. Ma who donned a glittering brown dress pleated with gold embroidery, was visibly elated all through the evening.
Glamorous in their resplendent outfits, the guests were quite appreciative and cautious of the dinner plan trickling in at exactly 5pm the scheduled time to honour a trailblazer. The dignitaries were successful men and women from various sectors: banking to judiciary; politics, culture, arts, etc.
Among her many relatives, distinguished friends and guests that graced the occasion were Ademola Edun, Anike Lawal, Adesope Edun, Omobolaji Osinowo, Aina Omolara Osoba, Bimbo Joseph, Bunmi Orenuga Yemisi Aina, Kehinde Kamson, Kemi Ogunowo Balogun, Barrister Ladipo Johnson, former Lagos gubernatorial candidate (ANP), Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi, and candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP). Other distiguished guests at the event are; Mrs Funke Agbor (SAN), Mrs Dupe Solanke, Dr Mrs Abiodun Aluko, Dr Mrs Bunmi Orenuga, Mrs Muni Sonibare, Ms Kitan Oyesiku, Dr Mrs Modupe Olorunnimbe, Mrs Susan Iroche, Ms Pauline Ejoor,
Dr Mrs Ngozi Onyia, Mrs Ada Akpata, Mrs Ogita Finnih, Mrs Victoria Onabolu, Dr Bridget Ehigbokan, Mrs Dolapo Ojo, Mrs Femi Ajanaku, Mrs Yemisi Aina – Banjoko, Justice Bunmi Femi- Adeniyi, Mrs Kehinde Kamson, Mrs Bunmi Ozolua, Mr Gbenga Farinde , Mr and Mrs Segun Oloketuyi, Mr Lanre Ijaola, Mrs Debisi Bright, Mr Gboyega Adelaja, Mrs Funso Adegbola, Mrs Funke Fowler-Amba, Mrs Jokotade Adeusi, Mrs Abimbola Benjamin, Mr & Mrs Gbolahan Thomas, Mr and Mrs Toye Adegboye, Mrs Ayaba Amouzou, Yeye Oba Ladun Lawal, Pastor Muyiwa Olusanya, Mr &Mrs Ayo Lawal, Dr Mrs Titi Consalves, just to mention a few
Overwhelmed with joy, Ma, as most people called her, was pretty much at hand to receive the personalities from far and wide as they glided through the red carpet on to her warm embrace. She was showered with praises, prayers and testimonies. The host was described in glowing words as iconic, kind, loving, caring, unassuming, disciplinarian, trailblazer, courageous, visionary, achiever, role model, hardworking, dogged, titan, and mentor.
The congratulatory message to the celebrant aptly captures the sentiments that flowed from the testimonies given by family members, friends and ex-students in acknowledgement of her impact through the school: We watched your schools grow from strength to strength, to the strong international institutions that exist today. Over the 35 years, you have moulded intelligent, disciplined and sensitive professionals with admirable characters. You have fulfilled your dreams. We are so proud of you, one of her sons, Adesope said.
There was music from the famous Naytan to the melodious harmony of his guitarist. As Mrs Tokunbo Edun danced to the rhythm her friends joined her on the floor to make up the beautiful scene. The merry would then trip over as classics of the past wafted through the speakers, momentarily reminiscing the host’s and her friend’s youthful days. Finger foods and exotic drinks complemented with local and intercontinental dishes were on offer.
And then a toast to the celebrant followed by picture sessions. Thrilled and overwhelmed, Mrs Tokunbo Edun was left speechless when asked to say a few words to the gathering. At the end, it was a time well shared together celebrating a woman who has distinguished herself over the years in educating Nigerian youth.
–Joseph Seun Emmanuel