“I Celebrated My 50th Birthday Beside My Sick Son In The Hospital”
If not been told one can never believe that Tawa Muraina-Alli is 50 already. She clocked 50 April 4th 2017 but she doesn’t look it at all. She is as beautiful, as classy, rich and as simple as they come. Yet she is very popular and married to Akogun Saradeen Abiodun Alli, a very successful, reserved and respectable politician and former S.S.G in Oyo State and also former Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company Limited.
She is a woman of many parts. She is a successful, well exposed businesswoman. She deals in fabrics of high quality and shuttle between Nigeria, Canada and England. She is a woman of great beauty and arbiters of style. Born and bred in Ibadan some 50 years ago, Tawa attended Polytechnic Staff School, St. Lewis Grammar School for her secondary school education. She further her education at Oluyoro Catholic School of Midwifery. After which she travelled out of the country to work briefly. She later went for a Degree program in Midwifery at the prestigious Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. But for the fact that Tawa doesn’t like working under people, she came back to Nigeria and ventured into business.
Tawa’s essence is simple and humble and God dominating. She is not given to publicity of any kind and all her siblings are successful too. Her sister, Tairat Adeyemi was Special Adviser to Ex-Gov. Adebayo Alao-Akala on Due Process.
All these factors and many more are the reasons Tawa’s mega 50th birthday party, slate for Sunday December17th, 2017, is going to be huge. The party, which will hold at Professor Oristsejolomi Thomas Hall of the International Conference Centre (ICC), U.I, will host all the who-is-who in the society across the country and beyond. K.1 will be on band stand while professional party vendors have been engaged too. Last week, City People’s Correspondent, DARE ADENIRAN had an exclusive 50th birthday interview with the ever smiling Alhaja Tawa Muraina-Alli. During which she opened up on her life at 50, how she cut her 50th birthday cake in the hospital. Her background, her new focus at 50, how she learnt the rudiment of business from her mum and many more issues.. It is very interesting and inspiring. Read on.
You clocked 50 some months ago, what are your reflections at 50 like?.
Lovely journey through 50 yes. I need to thank God for His faithfulness over my life, for making me to witness the day. For making me realised that its good to have faith in Him, that its good to know God and be thankful for what He has done.
Was turning 50 something you prepared for or did it crept on you? What was going through your mind when you woke in the morning of your birthday. Were you anxious or was it just like normal day for you?
Well, it is something I have been looking forward to since I was 49. I was hoping that by the special grace of God if am 50 I have to really, really celebrate. And that is why I shifted the main celebration to this time.
I woke up that day full of thanks to almighty Allah. Yes, it looked like a normal day but then that feeling kept me so elated throughout the day that I was so thankful for being able to see that special day in my life.
So how did you celebrate it the day you clocked 50. Was there special gift to pamper yourself or what?.
Unfortunately that day I was in the hospital. I cut my birthday cake right at the hospital because my son was so sick. But I was still thankful for everything. Few days to my birthday I got the call that I have to travel down to England. I got there in the morning of my birthday and I went straight to the hospital. Funny enough the poor boy had arranged for cake that his mom must celebrate her 50th birthday no matter what. Food and drinks were even brought to his hospital room. So we had little celebration and cut the cake.
Turning 50 one must have seen different things, the bad, the good and the ugly. What would you say life has taught you at 50?
It is been good, it is been rough but in all we thank God for the grace. Of course turning 50 is not a child’s play and if not for God’s grace we wouldn’t have been where we are today. But most importantly, what I have learnt from my experiences in life is to value and appreciate the existence of God. My experiences have made me closer to God. Because I have gone through a lot in life but here we are today. I will celebrate this and be thankful for many good things that will come after 50. I also thank God for my son’s life because he was so sick that he couldn’t sit up non stand up. This was something I have never experienced before in my life, I don’t take my children to hospital except for immunisation and that is all. But this one, to me, was a kind of test on my faith in God and it has passed away.
Are there things to change about your life now that you are 50? Do we expect a brand new Tawa Muraina or what?
Noting really to change about my life except for the fact that what I intend to do more is to be thankful. Be thankful in the sense that sharing the little I have with other people and accepting and allowing the will of God. Take each day as it comes and do good not only to my immediate family but also to my environment.
Though you don’t make noise about yourself but you are one of the successful women in Ibadan; cool, calm and rich. What can you relate your success in life to, is it handwork or something you cut in your background?
Hard work! Yes. But I think it has to do with my parents and my background as a Muslim. We were being taught to accept anything that happen to us as the will of and in good faith. I can say take after my mum in business and that has also helped me a great deal.
If you sum up your achievements in life right from the younger age up to this moment would you say you are fulfilled at 50?
It is still the grace of God. That is why I can say proudly that I am fulfilled because of all that He has blessed me with. I thank God am alive, I have good kids and good health. Though I might not have it all in life but I am happy and I thank God for all He has done and hopeful of greater tomorrow.
Let’s talk about your beauty and your fashion regime, you are beautiful, your skin is very fresh, how do you maintain your beauty. How do you keep everything together?.
I thank God for creating me the way I am. What we eat comes out of our skin so I try as much as possible to eat lots of protein, lots of fruits and I do light exercise to keep my joints and body together. But top most of it is that I eat moderately. I take lots of water too. On fashion, fashion is an inborn thing for me.
You seem to be a kind of reserved woman who doesn’t keep friends. What explains that?.
I do have friends. I have some good friends but I am not somebody that likes keeping many friends because I stay away from trouble as much as possible. That is why I keep my friendship circle very slim.
Briefly, tell us about yourself, background and your growing up years?
I was born in Ibadan on Monday morning of April 4th 1967. I went to Polytechnic Staff School and later St. Lewis Grammar School, Ibadan for my secondary school education. After that I went to Oluyoro Catholic School of Midwifery. That was the first nineteen years of my life. I was later sent from my school (Oluyoro) to Lantoro in Abeokuta to go and work then and two of us were retained. But because it was outside Ibadan I felt discouraged somehow, all my life I have always lived in Ibadan.
I was the only child of my parents that didn’t go to boarding school, others went to boarding schools outside Ibadan. So a while after my posting I ran back home to tell my mum that I couldn’t stay in Abeokuta. That was how I ended up helping her at the shop until I got another job at Iwo through a friend of mine. So after working for a year, I left Nigeria for England at the age of 21.
Worked briefly for about a year over there before I came back home and started my own business. In 1994, I went to Canada and filled in for my degree program in midwifery at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.. At my final exams my supervisor, an old white woman, said to me that “I know you are a good midwife but I don’t see you sitting in one place”. She even wrote that in my assessment report. And that was exactly what happened. After graduating I just continued with my business. That I cut from my mom as a business woman, she was into fabrics and now we major distributor of biscuits. Growing up with a caring but very strict mother also shaped one’s life to be a better person in life.