By Gbenga Gbelee
To her husband, she is a heart throb, a rare breed and a shining light to womanhood, to her children, she remains a mum in a million, to her grandchildren, she is a grandma with a huge difference, to her relations, she remains an ever dependable, caring, generous, understanding
and passionate Aunt, to the many beneficiaries of her pet project, she is nothing short of an Angel by virtue of her caring heart and giving fingers.
Little wonder when she turned 60 years on mother-earth and her mission was not to wine, dine, cheer and merry the day away, rather; primary to her was the need to broaden her scale of impact in touching lives, bettering the lots of the needy and supporting the indigent.
Welcome to the world of Mrs Frances Kofoworola Ajeyalemi, the Executive Director of Eola Care Foundation; and wife of the pioneer Dean of Students’ Affairs, University of Lagos and the incumbent Registrar of the Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB), Prof. Duro Ajeyalemi.
The day was Saturday, 3 rd of June, 2017 and all roads led to the Education Hall, Faculty of Education on the UNILAG campus, Akoka in Lagos.
The agenda for the day as set by the family was to mark the 60 th birthday of their matriarch, Mrs Frances Kofoworola and also to raise funds in support of the celebrant’s vision, mission, passion and commitment to help, support and impact through the Rola Care Foundation, a pet project which is very dear to the heart of the celebrant.
The course of nature via a downpour which dragged till midday on Saturday was not enough to deter the teeming well wishers, admirers and dignitaries who kept a date with the Ajeyalemis as their matriarch rolled out the drums to acknowledge God as she turned 60.
The venue of the event was tastefully decorated to suit the mood of the day as the celebrant Mrs Ajeyalemi; flanked by her husband; Prof Duro Ajeyalemi was indeed the cynosure of all eyes in her glowing and dazzling attire while welcoming her retinue of guests and receiving cheers and congratulatory messages.
It was more of an avenue to acknowledge God as the giver of life, good health, joy, bliss, strength and all that add up to make the celebrant at 60. Songs of praises filled the air and the dance floor was electrifying with God at the centre of it all.
The celebrant’s joy knew no bounds, surrounded by the husband, children and grandchildren, her dance steps were clearly different- no one could match her prowess as she moved to the rhythm of the songs from a live band as her own way of returning all glory to God in the spirit of celebrating a decade past the golden age.
On ground to celebrate with the matriarch of the Adeyalemi family were the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Academic Planning, University of Lagos; Professor Toyin Ogundipe, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Iyiola Oni, Former DVC, management services, Prof. Duro Oni among several other personalities from the Academic and Non Academic community of the University.
In a brief homily by Emeritus Professor of Geo-informatics and Surveying; Venerable Francis Fajemirokun congratulated the celebrant and her family on the occasion which he described as, ‘destiny fulfilment’. While wishing the celebrant sound health as she adds more and more years, Ven. Fajemirokun emphasised the need for every mortal to be conscious of the hereafter hence see each day as an opportunity to obey God’s word and better mankind as an act of service.
Also in a goodwill remark, the chairman of the occasion who is also the Chief Executive of Arts Insurance Group; Prince Olu Awogboro represented by Dr. Jaiye Oyedotun showered encomiums on the celebrant describing her as a devout Christian and an epitome of virtues,
one which has endeared her to so many people over the decades.
Goodwill messages also came from relations, family members, friends and well wishers of the celebrant, they were unanimous in lending credence to her heart of generosity to all, passion for the indigent and ever reliability, they all wished her more decades of worthwhile
service to humanity.
Highpoint of the event- which the celebrant; Mrs. Frances Ajeyalemi underscored as primary to her- was the fund raising for her pet project, ‘ Rola Care Foundation’- a Non-Governmental Organisation which she said focuses on supporting the poor and the indigent.
In appreciation, Mrs. Ajeyalemi remarked that Rola Care Foundation came about as a continuation of act of giving which she was taught by her mother (Mrs Modesta Ashake Amusu), right from her tender age.
She had earlier appealed for all birthday gifts to be monetised and donated to the foundation as part of efforts to aid its philanthropic activities and other outreach efforts.
Mrs Ajeyalemi who was visibly overwhelmed with joy and elation was particularly filled
with gratitude to God, her family and her maiden relations for the support over the years just as she assured of her readiness to keep giving her best in service to her family and mankind.
There was enough time to sing, wine and dine as well as cut the birthday cake with the celebrant;Mrs. Frances Kofoworola Ajeyalemi as she clocks 60 and to support her vision and pet project; Rola Care foundation.