It was a devastating moment for Ibidun Ighodalo’s mum when she heard her only daughter, Ibidunni passed on, on Sunday 14th June, many days ago. She was the biggest hit by Ibidun’s death because no mother prays to lose a daughter. Not until ibidun’s death, many people would not have known Ibidun’s mum because she is highly reserved. Her name is Mrs. Monilola Ajayi. She is married to Mr. Olaleye Ajayi of blessed memory. Her husband died when she turned 45 and she has been taking care of all her children since then. It was gathered that she is a dedicated woman who nursed her career very diligently and also has her hands in many thriving businesses.
The beautiful woman turned 69 in June and she is always highly celebrated by her daughter. It was through Ibidun’s many Instagram posts that some got to know how her mum looks like. Ibidun was as amazing as her mum is. Her mum does not look close to 69 at all. She is very stylish and taught all her children to be disciplined. Blessed with 3 children, Dare, Ibidun and Tayo, her simple life is all for her children as they all testified to her grandma’s role in their lives. It was gathered that Ibidun’s mum stayed all her life in her marital home in Ibadan before settling in Lagos but still jostles in between. She was in her place in Lekki area of Lagos when her daughter passed on. We gathered she was a Muslim before she converted and never left all her friends in other religions for once due to her loving nature. When she celebrated her 68th birthday, Ibidun did a special family photoshoot and her mum was seen in a very stylish outfit, wearing a white top and blue jean which made her look like she is in her 40s with a good skin to go with. Surely beauty runs in the Ajayi family as shown on Ibidun and all her siblings. When Ibidun was alive, she was very close to her mum being the only girl and this cordial relationship was evident in the way Ibidun celebrated her mum every year to appreciate her. As part of their closeness, one of the many unfulfilled dreams of Ibidun’s mum was to give her a beautiful gift for her forthcoming 40th birthday to hold on July 19 before she passed on 4 weeks to her day. This was revealed by Ibidun’s husband’s elder brother, Asue Ighodalo.
While speaking at her funeral service few days back, Asue said Ibidun’s mum had almost finished the house and planned to give the keys of the house to her husband, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, so he would give it to her on the morning of her birthday. ‘’Ibidun’s mum had been working on a house for Ibidun that she wanted to give Ibidun for her 40th. She took my hands and showed me the house. She said I was going to give this key to you to give Ituah on the 18th so that Ituah would give her on the 19th.
I really needed to show my daughter how much I truly loved her. She took me to the house and the house was nearly completed’’ he said. This is to show how close Ibidun and her mum were.
In many of the lovely posts Ibidun did for mum while she was alive, she revealed the kind of person her mum is. Ibidun described her as ‘all shades of amazing’ and ‘a beautiful woman inside and out.’ She expressed gratitude for all her mum taught her, which has made her all that she is today.
The Elizabeth R boss posted pictures of the celebrant on her Instagram page, with the caption: “My mamaaa!! Happy 68th birthday. I thank God for our journey and how far God has brought us. Only you and I can understand this… I will forever be grateful for you mama, for all you taught me and all that I am today. You are all shades of amazing. Such a beautiful woman inside and out.
“My mum can kneel for Africa!! Very troublesome!! If you know you know and very very strict. Once I say to Keke you are going to grandmas house, her brain resets to factory settings!! My perfect escape route. My mums garri is legendary so much so they sang a song for me in school because of my garri. I had so many food Vals. Even till yesterday someone still called me to thank my mum for the garri she sent to her.
“They say a good name is better than riches and mum has done a good job is leaving a good legacy. Thank you mama for all you do for us and for being a mum and an amazing grandma indeed. We love you. Happy birthday. “#SweetGrandmasAssociation, #NoNonsense, #DisciplinarianGrandma, #Hardworking, #FunkyGramdma”. In one of her posts in celebration of Mother’s Day, she wrote, “To the one who birthed me, nurtured me and sacrificed so much for me, happy Mother’s Day. Mummy I want to say thank you for being amazing and supportive and just all-round loving. Whenever I need you, you don’t hesitate to show up. Thank you for all you do for me and for being a mother in truth and indeed. I love you so much”.
Ibidun was born in Oyo State as the fifth child of eight children of late Olaleye Ajayi. Ibidun as she was fondly called, attended K-Kotun Primary School in Surulere Lagos, before heading for the Federal Government Girls College, Oyo State for her secondary education. She proceeded to study Microbiology at the University of Lagos, Akoka, after which she acquired further training in Business Management from the Lagos Business School. She was also a fellow of the National Institute Marketing, Nigeria (NIMN). Her epic life journey started significantly while she was waiting to gain admission into the University of Lagos to study Medicine, which was her father’s choice. And because she loved her father, she also fell in love with the medical sciences. Her late dad was the president of the Student Union Government, SUG, of the University of Ibadan in the 1967-68 session.
However, her life took a new turn when she won the first-ever Miss Lux Beauty Pageant in 1999. She got into the limelight and seized the platform to boost her desired career in event management. She founded Elizabeth R, a PR and event Management Company in 2003 and thrived as one of the leading events agencies in the country. Over the last 15 years, she has no doubt dominated the events management and decoration business in Nigeria, especially in Lagos and Abuja. Her entry into that space really changed the headlines as she launched her luxury 4000-capacity event centre, The Dorchester, in 2014. By 2016, she launched a bridal store Avant-Garde.
-TAYO FAJORIN OYEDIJI