•For Their Mum’s Burial
November 13th, 2021, will remain a memorable day for the family members of Babalola in Ilupeju-Ekiti as they gave their mother, grandmother and great grandmother, the late Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Ibidun Taiwo Babalola, the Iya Egbe Olobi of Ilupeju-Ekiti a.k.a Mama Africa, a befitting outing and thanksgiving service in Ilupeju-Ekiti, Ekiti State. The talk of the town party saw personalities from all walks of life in attendants.
Mama Africa, who slept in the Lord on 27th November, 2019, at age 109, owing was buried, immediately after death, but the outing and thanksgiving service was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On Saturday, 13th November, outing and thanksgiving service was held in her honour at the Cathedral of Saint John’s Anglican, Ilupeju Ekiti, Ekiti State. Entertainment of guests took place at the open field of Methodist Primary School Field. City People’s Adeola Shittu brings you the gist.
THE OUTING AND THANKSGIVING SERVICE
The final burial rites of the late Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Ibidun Taiwo Babalola at the Cathedral of Saint John’s Anglican, Ilupeju-Ekiti. The 3 hours service played host to many dignitaries as the Bishop of the Anglican Communion, The Rt.Revd. Isaac Olatunde Olubowale, Bishop, Diocese of Ekiti Oke delivered a short and touching homily. He was supported by other officiating ministers at the service.
MEET MAMA’S SUCCESSFUL CHILDREN
The late Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Ibidun Taiwo Babalola, the Iya Egbe Olobi of Ilupeju-Ekiti was blessed with 4 God-fearing children, who are all successful in their various areas of endeavour. Her children are, Mrs. Comfort OLuremi married to Oluwole family; Mrs. Mary Omowaye, married to Mr. Samuel Omowaye; Prince Olajide Babalola married to Mrs Bolatito Babalola and the baby of the house, Mrs. Toyin Awe married to Awe family. They were all on their feet as they ensured that their guests were well catered for. The women wore olive green lace matched with Swiss ipele and gele, while men spotted olives green complete Agbada.
MAMA’S IN-LAW VERY SUPPORTIVE
There is, no doubt, that Mama is blessed with wonderful sons-in-law and daughters-in-law whom during her time she used to refer to as her children and she was able to bind them together. They all came together to give their mother, the late Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Ibidun Taiwo a befitting burial. The Oluwole’s family, the Awe’s family, Olajide Babalola’s In-laws and the Omowaye’s family and also Mama’s members of the extended family were also present.
WHAT MAMA’S CHILDREN DID FOR THE CHURCH
One of the customs and traditions of the Anglican Communion during burial rites is for the bereaved family to donate or present gift items to the church in the name of their late father or mother. So, for the Babalola family, Mama’s only son, Prince Olajide Babalola, who spoke on behalf of the family pledged to donate a multi-million naira musical instrument that (comprises Mixer, Sleeve, Digital Organ, speakers) for the development of the church.
TRIBUTES BY MRS. COMFORT OLUWOLE MAMA’S FIRST DAUGTHER
Mrs. Comfort Oluremi Oluwole is the late Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Ibidun Taiwo Babalola’s first daughter and while paying tribute to her mother, she described her late mother as a courageous woman and a woman of faith, who despite her turbulent motherhood and child-bearing experience of having given birth to 7 children (4 male and 3 female) who all died at infancy; yet as Hannah in the Bible, God rewarded her with 4 children, 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; all alive to pay their last respect to her. Another remarkable part of her tribute was that despite that Mama didn’t have the opportunity to attend school, she ensured that all her children are graduates and she never supported any of them if they do anything bad.
ABOUT THE RECEPTION
After the church outing and thanksgiving service at St. John’s Anglican Church, Ilupeju-Ekiti, members of the communities and families were asked to move to the Civic Center, while all Mama children’s guests also moved to the open field of Methodist Primary School, where a big 1,500-capacity marquee beautifully decorated in white and green with lovely flowers by P-square Events was sited. The entrance of the hall displayed beautiful photographs of Mama. The ushers and bouncers were at their best. It was a very classic event.
GRENVILLE SCHOOL FULLY REPRESENTED
It was, indeed, a befitting burial for the late Chief (Mrs.) Babalola, as members of staff of the Grenville School, GRA Ikeja own by Mama’s only son Olajide Babalola, stormed Ilupeju-Ekiti in two coaster buses to give mother of their Chairman a befitting burial. The list included Mrs. Adedoyin Isreal (Principal Element School), Mrs. Josephine Imade (Vice Principal Admin), Mrs. Olufumilola Odunneye (Coordinator Pre-school), Mr. Ezekiel Ojo (Chief Accountant) among other staffers of Grenville Schools at the event.
ROYAL FATHER’S WELL REPRESENTED
The gist will not be complete without mentioning the presence of traditional rulers, who were represented at the late Chief Mrs. Babalola’s, final burial. The Apeju of Ilupeju-Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Olaleye Oniyelu II, was ably represented by his Olori, Tolu Oniyelu and Olori Ayodele Oniyelu. Also present was the Owatapa of Itapa-Ekiti, Oba Dr. David Makanjuola Ajaja, Ph.D, The Onire of Ire-Ekiti, Oba Victor Bobade, His Highness, Oba Sunday Awe, the Obanla of Ilupeju-Ekiti among others. The royal list included high chiefs who were not left out.
BETWEEN MRS. COMFORT OLUWOLE AND MRS. BOLATITO BABALOLA
Mrs. Comfort Oluwole is Mama’s firstborn, while Mrs. Bolatito Babalola is the pretty wife of Prince Olajide Babalola and she is the CEO of Jibodot Fabrics at Tejuoso, Lagos. Both women were on their feet throughout the duration of the event as they ensured that guests were well catered to.
AKOGUN STEPHEN ABIODUN OJO WAS EVERYWHERE
Akogun Stephen Abiodun Ojo, an insurance guru and finance expert, is one of the industrious sons of Ilupeju-Ekiti and a very close friend to the Babalola family. Akogun, as he’s fondly called, was the chief host of the pre-burial party held on Friday at Onward Hotel, Ilupeju-Ekiti. His pretty wife, Yeye Akogun Yemisi Ojo, was not left out as she looked stylish in her aso-ebi. Also Chairman, Yemkem International, Chief Akintunde Ayeni and his pretty wife, Erelu Yemi Ayeni, all came to support Prince Olajide Babalola.
OTUNBA SOLA ADEWUNMI & PRINCE OGOJI VERY SUPPORTIVE
One of the dignitaries sighted at Ilupeju-Ekiti for the late Chief (Mrs.) Babalola’s final burial was an industrious son of Ikere Ekiti, Otunba Sola Adewunmi and his pretty wife, Erelu Adewunmi. Also, Prince Ogoji came with his pretty wife. Prince Ogoji is a director at UBA. They are both close friends of Prince Olajide Babalola and they spoke on why they gave their support to him.
Mrs. Moji Ajibade, Olori Feyi Ogoji, Erelu Kemi Adewunmi, Mrs. Bukola Babalola (Abbey), Chief Mrs. Kemi Akintunde and a host of others rocked Ilupeju-Ekiti.
Prince OLAJIDE BABALOLA, A PREFECT HOST
A shipping tycoon and the Chairman Grenville Schools, GRA, Ikeja, was, indeed, a perfect host as he was on his feet at the ceremony. JB, as fondly called, is a man of the people and his humility is second to none. That perhaps was the reason his friends rallied round him. As the only son of the late Chief (Mrs.) Babalola, he ensured that he gave his mother a befitting burial. Did we tell you that for two days all hotels in Ilupeju-Ekiti and its environs were fully booked for Prince Babalola’s guests, as he ensured their safety? He wore a white complete Agbada with a beaded royalty cap. His wife, CEO Jibodot fabric, changed into a blue-black with silver sequined lace with blue-black Swiss gele.
EGBE OLOBI FULLY REPRESENTED
Mama, during her life, was the Iyalode Egbe Olobi of Ilupeju-Ekiti before she was made Iya Egbe Olobi of Ilupeju-Ekiti (President Kola-nut seller). Members were all present to pay their last respect to her. It will interest you to know that since the demise of Mama, Egbe Olobi of Ilupeju-Ekiti is yet to appoint a new president. Give it to Egbe Olobi as they were all looking glamorous in their green lace aso-ebi matched with aso-oke as they presented a customized wall-clock to Mama’s children. The highlight of the event was the joint thanksgiving and presentation of gifts. Members of Egbe Olobi who were present are; Mrs. Eunice Osaromaye, Mrs. Abigail Ogunleye, Mrs. Felicia Ojo, Mrs. Aje, Mrs. Comfort Osaromaye, Mrs. Ruth Adeloye, Mrs. Kiritana Ogunsesan, Mrs. Comfort Oloruntola, Mrs. Alice Ogundana, Mrs. Alice Olaleye, Mrs. Abigail Odupeye, Mrs. Bodede Apata, Mrs. Rachael Fasanmi, Mrs. Juliana Ajiboye, Mrs. Comfort Ogunyemi, Mrs. Anike Ojo, Mrs. Comfort Fayaufor, Mrs. Reachel Ajigbe among others.
During the late Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Babalola was born in 1910, more than 100 years ago into the family of the late Pa Osanyintile Akesanyinti and the late (Mrs.) Osanyintile Ige. She was the third child of the six children of her late parents. Mama did not attend school but was so energetic and adventurous that her parents sent her out at a young age to live with one of their relations at Idumota, on Lagos Island. She made so much money from hawking food and kola nuts at motor parks. Having spent many years in Lagos, Mama decided to relocate to Egosi-Ekiti now, Ilupeju-Ekiti where she met her heartthrob, the late Chief Williams Babalola, and they got married. She had turbulent motherhood as she lost her first seven children, 4 boys and 3 girls who died in infancy. Mama waited for many years before God gave her 4 children and all 4 children are alive and doing fine.
Although, Mama was not literate, but she thrived in her Kola-nut business. Her business prospered and she was able to train, nurse, build and bring up educated children in a way of the Lord. During her lifetime, she was a dedicated Christian, who devoted her life to Christ. She was a member of Egba-Agba in Saint John Anglican Church, Ilupeju-Ekiti. Besides, she was an outstanding community leader. She was formerly the Iyalode Egbe Olobi of Ilupeju-Ekiti before she was made the Iya Egbe Olobi of Ilupeju-Ekiti. She will forever remain in the hearts of members of Egbe-Olobi because of her good deeds as a functional leader.
Mama was an exemplary role model to her nephews, nieces, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as she contributed enormously to their education and training. Mama did everything to foster unity among them all. She was a compassionate woman, kindhearted and always ready to render help to anyone who came her way. Mama would be missed by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for her vocal, brave, honest, loyal, accommodating and dutiful role as a mother. She detested dishonesty and two-faced people, she was quick to forgive those who offended her and was very forthright. The late Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Babalola, is survived by four children, 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
CELEBRITY WOMEN PRESENT
This party gist will not be complete without mentioning the large number of celebrity women who flew to the town from all parts of the continent to celebrate with the Babalolas in giving Mama a befitting burial. They all looked beautiful and stylish in their lace aso-ebi. Presents were Mrs. Omolaraa Aboyade-Cole, Mrs. Moji Ajibade, Chief Mrs. Bola Gbemiro, Mrs. Yemisi Omosilade, Yeye Akogun Yemisi Ojo, Mrs. Bola Gboyin, Mrs. Moji Ajibade, Olori Feyi ogoji, Erelu Kemi Adewunmi, Mrs. Bukola Babalola (Abbey), Chief Mrs. Kemi Akintunde and host of others rocked Ilupeju-Ekiti.
ABOUT THE SOUVENIRS
Prince Olajide Babalola and his pretty wife, Bolatito, are known for organising A-list party and when it comes to party souvenirs, they don’t give less. For those who brought the lovely green lace Aso-Ebi, Thermocool cooler with the receivers’ names written on them were shared to them, while electric kettle and other souvenirs were given to the guests.
ILUPEJU DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION ALL FLEW IN
Also at the party was the members of the Ilupeju Development Association (IDA). Mama’s son is the Vice President of IDA. Dr. Femi Babalola, President of IDA led other members to Ilupeju as they all flew in from different states to celebrate and honour Babalola’s family as they buried their late Mother the late Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Babalola. Members of IDA who were present included Chief Arch Dipo Ajayi, the Asiwaju of Ilupeju-Ekiti, Akogun Stephen Ojo, Samuel Esan Ogunleye, Mr. Gbenga Adegun, among others.
WHO DID WHAT
The reception venue was transformed by Akure-based event decorator, P-Square Event, owned by Mrs Olayinka Michael, who brought in the 2,000-sitting capacity Bamoral tent with full air condition. Louem Event Concept, Divine Care Catering Service, took charge of the catering. Also 2 Tees was on ground, while Teebsignature took charge of cocktail and mocktail drinks. Famous and indigenous Ekiti broadcaster, Mr. Sola Oladele and Erugale, anchored the event.
Dignitaries present are; Gen. Yemi Adetayo from Abuja, Mr. Bayo from Akure, Mr. & Mrs. Rotimi Ojaomo from USA, Daddy Ogunniyi from Akure, Comptroller Bamisaye from Abuja, Elder Wale, Hon Sanya Aladeyelu & wife, Ahaji Amusa, Mr. & Mrs. Alabi, Chief Kayode Ojo, Deji Ajibola, Chief & Mrs. Tayo Idowu, Mr. Sunday Adunno, Chief Fasanmi, Members of Classic Club, Chief & Mrs. Esan Ogunleye, Mr. Sam Awe, Dr. & Mrs Laoye Awoniyi-Famiwole, Mr. Sunday Diamond Animasaun, Seyi Ayeleso a.k.a Oscar, Otunba & Erelu Sola Adewunmi, Prince & Olori Ogoji among others.
ON THE BANDSTAND
It was, indeed, a well-befitting burial as King of Tungba Gospel Music, Yinka Ayefele and his band thrilled the guests with his evergreen songs.
FREE MEDICAL CHECK-UP
Did we tell you that as part of the celebration of the life of late Chief Mrs. Elizabeth Ibidun Taiwo Babalola, the Iya Egbe Olobi there was a free Medical checkup for the aged and elderly one in Ilupeju-Ekiti. The medical outreach was done by Mama’s children in conjunction with Omolabake Foundation. Free eye check-up with over 100 free glasses were given out while free diabetes tests, blood pressure tests among other medical tests were offered for free in memory of Mama.