•ABEOKUTA Celebrity Woman Reveals
Madam Mojisola Ogunsina-Odegbami is a popular society woman in the Obada area of Abeokuta, Ogun State. Popularly known as Mama O Ni Gba, Madam Moji Odegbami was married to the popular Odegbami family but before then, she had been through a lot in life. She struggled earlier on in life because she came from a very poor background but at 70, it is all history. She had completely forgotten about her sorrow because God has been gracious to her. She is now a mother and grandmother who has seen both sides of life.
MOJ, as her friends and former schoolmates from the Badagry Grammar School (BGS) would call her, is a woman with the heart and strength of a man. While talking about her at the party, some of them revealed that you’ll never have any dull moment around Moji Odegbami. You will never find her around girls because of the kind of strength she has. She had been helpful to many in the past, she is still very helpful to men right now, her neighbours also noted.
Last week Saturday, she clocked 70 and held a classy birthday bash in Abeokuta. It was classy because there were 2 high-class royal fathers and about 4 high chiefs at the event. They came to celebrate a woman who many regarded as a leader, mother and cheerful giver.
During the party, Madam Mojisola revealed how she had been able to survive the many storms of life. She explained how two of her children were able to survive cancer, all thanks to God’s goodness and mercy. Being 70 meant a lot to her and those around her.
After the party, City People’s Brands Editor, DAMILARE SALAMI (07033526688) hooked up with her and she exclusively spoke about the shiny and gloomy days of her last 70 years. In that interview, she revealed how she became a taxi driver, how she lost her job and how she was able to bounce back. Below are excerpts from the interview for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.
Congratulations on your birthday…
Thank you very much.
How do you feel being 70 today?
I feel so great and I’m thankful to God for allowing me to see this special day, it’s a great day.
You are 70 and it’s a milestone achievement. What has life taught you at 70?
Life has taught me to be humble, fearful of God, help people, especially those who are not as lucky as I am. Because I have learnt what it means not to have food on the table and with that, I know how important it is to help others. I have been through a lot in my life. I am the first woman to drive a taxi in Nigeria.
When was that?
That was in 1983.
What led to that incident?
Well, I was the assistant secretary of the Lagos State Management Board at Oko-Oba but I got fired by the then Jakande-led government and I had 3 children to feed and extra children that were living with me. I couldn’t afford to let them go hungry. So, I had to turn my car into kabu kabu (taxi) and that really helped me a lot.
At some point, you became a widow, right?
No… I was never a widow. We divorced and everyone moved on.
What was it like being a single mum?
I am telling you, it empowered me. It empowered me and taught me a great lesson and that was what I taught my children; never to rely on any man. They have to be self-sufficient and be able to fend for themselves with or without a man.
Let’s reflect on growing up. What was it like for you?
Growing up… I came from a very poor family. I am one of seven children, 5 girls and 2 boys. My parents never had anything but we were always happy, my father struggled to send us to school. Out of the 7 children, I am very proud to say that I am the only one that has a master’s degree.
How were you able to turn the situation around? There are a lot of people who give excuses that their parents are poor and they become wayward but your case wasn’t like that.
They are not serious. If they are serious and ready to become something in life, they will always find a way out of their situation. They don’t have to rely on their parents or anybody; if you are serious and hardworking, you can become whatever you want to become in life.
At what point would you say you had a financial breakthrough in your life?
After I travelled to the United States, it was still very rough. With my Master’s degree, I was still cleaning butts and doing other menial jobs but I was resilient about it and that helped me a lot. With the proceeds I made from those jobs, I was able to send my children to school and make a convenient living for myself too. After my retirement back in 2016, I had served the American Government for 35 years, I am back in Nigeria financially okay. Now I can relax and enjoy my retirement benefits. The social security I get over there is more than enough for me to fend for myself and those around me, that was the turnaround for me. Even while I was here in Nigeria, I never relented.
What are you looking forward to in life after 70?
I’m looking forward to spending 90 years, 100 years and if it is over 100 years, I’m ready for it. The fact that I am 70 doesn’t stop me from enjoying life, I will continue to enjoy life until God says yes, it is time to come home.