+Why She Does Not Mark It Annually
HRH Oba Olatunde Oginni is a popular Oba in Osun State. Last week, his mum Mrs. Florence Oreoluwa Abiona Oginni (JP) celebrated her birthday and Kabiyeesi made it a befitting one, at Oke Ooye in Ilesa. Mrs. Florence Oreoluwa Abiona Oginni (JP), popularly called (Mama Fine Girl) was born to the family of the late Pa. David Odeyemi Ogundare and Mama Marian Ajayi Fayokun on Wasinmi-Igando road, Ilesa, old Oyo State now Osun State.
Till date, nobody has an accurate record of her age because there were no means of keeping records of events, birthdays, inclusive then. Her father, Pa. Fayokun was a renowned carpenter, hunter and farmer in Igando, Ijesaland. And her mother was a successful trader. Mama Fine Girl as she is fondly known and addressed till date, has lived a life of dedication and commitment to the well-being of people around her.
Early in life, she sacrificed her education for the survival of another addition to her father’s family as she offered to take care of the children. Consequently, she could not go beyond Standard Four, but if you ask her, she will tell you without mincing words she has no regrets whatsoever because she had her intelligence going for her in all she laid her hands on while earning a purposeful living.
Mama Fine Girl has had her hands in many pies as she started out as a Textile Merchant, a venture she started with just 60 pence as of then as a young girl, but now an equivalent of N27.
Oreoluwa was the 8th child and the 2nd surviving and only daughter of her parents with her brother, Mr. Niyi Fayokun Esq., who strongly believes till date that Oreoluwa is still a young girl. When he was recently asked his sister’s real age as the preparation for this celebration was in top gear, he said, ‘Oreoluwa is still a young girl’.
Oreoluwa was her mummy’s pet. She has since her early days been given to selfless service as she chose to take care of her brother’s love child. As a young girl brought up in the North, precisely Kano and Zaria, Oreoluwa cut her business teeth by dealing in Kolanut and Textile taking after her mother.
Her knack for excellence, being an agile and restless girl, earned her a certificate in food vending to school children, a business she started with just two shillings about N90 among others which she added to her chain of enterprise. Not yet done with textile and food vending, she went into traditional hairstyling and was distinguished for her exceptional taste for creativity in weaving and braiding girls’ hair, which made her a regular face girls’ hostels at weekends. This endeavour later became a money-spinning venture because she had to hire some other ladies, who placed her on commission for using her facility and clientele base.
To make up for her inability for proper western education, her father insisted that Oreoluwa should enroll for training in Sewing, which took her another 4 years.
There is hardly no human endeavour Oreoluwa did not venture into, a reason that informed her reluctance in coming back to the South West until later when he had little to do, but to give her children motherly care.
Her industry, hard work and honesty inspired her father to construct a separate building for her father on their Kano premises. When it was time for her to make a choice of a life partner, it became a big issue because her father never believed her suitor was from Ilesa or a Yoruba man because he looked more of Nupe/Tapa extraction.
The riddle was, however; resolved when she finally relocated to Ilesa as a Sewing mistress to the Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa now the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) nurses’ designer of choice. As fate would have it, the two love birds met at their source (llesa). This put paid to Oreoluwa’s father’s fears of not marrying off his daughter to a non-Ijesa man. Mama Fine Girl was blessed with Monisola. Both are like five and six. Oreoluwa and Monisola became Siamese twins who were always together except when she started her elementary education.
Monisola Haastrup (nee Oginni), according to Mama Fine Girl, is described as a daughter with a difference. Why? Monisola never gave her any problem while growing up as she was hardworking, obedient and a lover of God.
In Mama Fine Girl’s estimation, Monisola was a brilliant young girl. At a very tender age, she demonstrated a teachable character aside from being humble, attributes that I believe are working for her. I could recollect we both woke up early enough on daily basis to prepare for the day’s work, by first attending the early morning prayers in the church before coming back home to get her prepared for the school, Monisola’s growing up years were without hassles because she had this independent spirit and carded out domestic chores without any prompting from me, which I am convinced put her on the right footing as a good homemaker.
One thing that endears her to me the more is Monisola’s love for the word of God. That Monisola is making waves in the United States of America as an ordained minister of the gospel in the Redeemed Christian Church of God is not news to me because I never expected anything less. ‘I am happy today because Monisola being the first child did not disappoint God and the entire Oginni family as she has made the family proud. I brought her up with the word of God and I am happy that she has remained in the faith’.
Mama Fine Girl’s marriage to Chief Folorunso Idowu Oginni, JP, Aro 1 of Odogbo Ijesa did not in any way prompt her relocation to the South West immediately as her business thrived the more until circumstances called for it.
Oreoluwa had delay for years before she had Mojisola, Olatunde, Olatunji and Abiodun. Mojisola incidentally prompted her final relocation to the South West when she gained admission to college in Garage Olode, Ile-Ife, old Oyo State now Osun State.
Mojisola’s admission excluded hostel accommodation, which was the tradition then for college students to be in hostels. To ensure proper integration of Mojisola who was coming from the North into the college, Oreoluwa (who was later nicknamed ‘Mama Fine Girl’) relocated to Garage Olode, Ile-Ife to look after the well-being of her children.
Oreoluwa popularly known and addressed as Mama Fine Girl till date got her new name from Mojisola’s classmates who were fond or calling Mojisola ‘Fine Girl’ because of her beautiful looks. This new appellation rubbed off on the mother who was the school’s caterer as she was addressed as Mama Fine Girl by Mojisola’s classmates, a name that has become a household one.
Trust Oreoluwa, a woman of industry, there was no stopping the trade. She continued with her food business and she became the toast and darling of the students who formed the bulk of her clients. A woman loved by both the young and the old later sought audience with the owner of Mayor Hotel Garage Olode, Ile-Ife to expand the frontiers of her business. She eventually added catering for the hotel’s guests as well; as she belongs to the school of thought that a woman who knows her Onions must be productively engaged so as to live a meaningful life.
Mama Fine Girl did not allow her world of business to affect her walk and work with her maker, being an ardent follower of Chris and a child of God right from her childhood days till date. Oreoluwa and her husband were born into the Church Missionary Society (CMS), now Anglican Church, but had to join The Apostolic of Church when her husband relocated to the North, Zaria specifically. Her reason for choosing The Apostolic Church was because there was no Anglican Church close to their residence and the nearest one then was The Apostolic Church of which she is a devout member till today.
Mama Fine Girl walk with God has been of tremendous blessing to her children, her stepchildren, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. If she were to go by her zeal and anointing. she would have founded a church, but for her fervency in serving God in other way than being called a Pastor, which means much to her as she believes in affecting whoever comes her way positively or God, a belief she holds on to tenaciously.
To know more of God and remaining steadfast in His service, Mama Fine Girl got admitted to Christ-Pattern Bible College, Ilesa. Osun State, where she bagged a Diploma in Theology in 2006. In her words: ‘God has never for a day abandoned me. He has been good to me all the way and has always answered my prayers whenever I call on Him. I have no regrets living for Him.’
Mama Fine Girl has never allowed challenges of life take the better part of her as she draws strength by confessing he word of God at all times apart from taking solace in soul-inspiring hymns such as: It is well with my soul, Ore ofe ohun, Adun ni leti wa…, Aigbagbo Bila temi l’Oluwa readily come to her mind whenever she feels depressed or troubled.
Mama Fine Girl in appreciating her first son, Olatunde Oginni, who built her personal house and sponsored her trip to Jerusalem for pilgrimage (JP), said: ‘Though here are sites that the aged were barred from visiting, I was determined to visit all. Though there were occasions that shook my faith in the holy land, God proved Himself as He saw me through the rip.
God gave me the strength and the wherewithal to visit the historical landmarks in the Bible. This trip has remained and will remain evergreen in my memory. I will eternally be grateful to Olatunde who God used to make this dream a reality.’
Back home, Mama Fine Girl does not joke with payer meetings. She does not miss the prayer sessions that holds every last week of June at Ori Oke Erio, Ekiti State where she goes to intercede for her children, step children, grandchildren and greatgrand children. She still climbs the mountain unaided even at her age.
As a woman of faith. she has not. only shown her children, step children grandchildren and greatgrandchildren hat the only way to success is God, but has also got them fully involved in the things of God. No wonder, her first son, Olatunde was made and installed the Baba Ijo of his country home church, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Odogbo Ijesa, Osun State.
As she rejoices that her daughter, Monisola has no in any way dragged the name of the family in the mud, so also is she happy over the life and progress of her first grandchild. Oluwatosin Lam Adesina (nee Osewa) who she nursed till she started her elementary education. And the reason she took over the nursing of Oluwatosin was to allow her mother, Mojisola to continue with her education.
When it was obvious that Oluwatosin was almost taking after Mama Fine Girl in catering business, as she actually wanted her to step into her shoes; prompted her husband, to withdraw Oluwatosin who was then one of the pioneer pupils of one of the foremost private nursery and primary schools in Ilesa, Olatunde Memorial Nursery and Primary School.
Chief Folorunso Oginni, however; did not only withdraw Oluwatosin from school, he handed her to her father, Mr. Akinwole Osewa so that she could continue her education and not toe the path of her grandmother who was a trader.
At the home front, Mama Fine Girl was a mother to the core as she took care of all who came her way without any discrimination since she had to cope with her stepchildren. Being married to Chief Folorunso Oginni, a man with many wives, did not tempt her into losing her integrity as she remained faithful and honest to her marital vows, an attribute hat is missing nowadays.
While her husband kept increasing the number of women in his life, Mama Fine Girl concentrated on God, her children, her stepchildren and her business concerns and never betrayed her husband. When Mama Fine Girl was asked what she wouId Iike to be remembered for she replied humorously: E ti ya mi be o. Me ti pari assignment mi laye which literarily means ‘I am no ready for death now. I am not yet done with my assignments on this side of the divide.’
‘What gladdens my heart at all times is when I see those who have been my tenants prospering and moving to their personal buildings. My major assignment now is praying for my children, step children, grand children, greatgrandchildren tenants, neighbours and the church of God, among others, on a daily basis.’
In conclusion, Mama Fine Girl added: ‘When my God-given assignment on his part of the divide is accomplished, I will love to be remembered for good and most importantly Gbajumo ko wa nkan ti which translates thus: An influential person has everything at his/her disposal.’
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