My grandmother, Alice Ọdúnọlá was born on Tuesday, August 29, 1939 to the family of Mr. Emmanuel Ige and Mrs. Felicia Aarinola Adunni Morenikeji, now late, of Morenikeji Compound, Lanase, Aremo in present day Ibadan North East Local Government. Typical of people of Ìbàdàn descent to have a village, she hails from Adéòmí village of Oluyole Local Government Area. For most of my adult life, I referred to her as Grams.
Ọdúnọlá was the second to the last child of her family. In her days, it was not common to give girls formal education. However, she was equipped with the basic skills she’d need to survive. She got trained to Standard 6 which enabled her to learn how to read and write in her indigenous language.
Alice Ọdúnọlá Morẹ́nikéjì was married to the late Pa Moses Àdìgún Àjàó of Ile Laboro, Oke Ofa, Atipe.
All her life, she was a people person. She loved being with people. This trait started at an early age. At different points in time, she lived with a number of her relatives. At some point, she spent a considerable part of her youthful life living with her mother’s relatives in their village at Orígbó, Ibadan.
Her instincts and disposition as a wife and mother were honed at this phase of her life. She became preeminent in her home engineering roles. She also had to contend with the increasingly busy demands of life, family, trade, farming and her commitment to the service of God.
Alice Ọdúnọlá was a fantastic tailor too. Due to her dedication to duty, passion and excellence, she became involved in farming and she managed her yield excellently. She was a woman of many parts and was conscientious. This made her extend the value chain of her farming activities through trading.
She was a mother for all and trained many in preparation for their future life.
Mama’s interaction with her relatives, neighbours and the heads of communities where she lived, was nonpareil. The community groups she belonged to in church made noticeable strides because of her commitment to worthy causes. She was a quintessential mother, sister, mentor, and friend.
Ọdúnọlá was a cheerful giver who kept none of her resources from any and everybody. She lived a contented and pious Christian life and remained a devoted Christian and member of the Christ Apostolic Church until her transition on Monday, the 29th day of August, 2022. Alice Ọdúnọlá lived a fulfilled life serving the Lord and humanity.
Grams had a penetrative and piercing look that makes you think she sees everything. She was soft spoken yet fierce and firm.
My grandmother was humble to a fault. She was the quiet and strong one who’d go any length for you. Interestingly, she can trek any length of distance.
Ọdúnọlá embodied selflessness and made a heavy and long lasting impact in my life. In spite of being swift to reach for the rod when you tend to bend out of moral shape, she’s still the one we all come back to tell everything. She was our confidant.
I remember when we were begging grandma to stop fasting. She said she was doing so because of us. By conduct, she taught us what it meant to be given to prayers, the Word and to live fully serving the Lord. She taught us to be relentless and hard working. She placed a high value premium on ensuring we completed homework and assignments during holidays.
For someone who does quite a number of work in the public sector, I learnt one of the most fundamental guiding principles from Grams at a very tender age. I sneaked out of her house to join a political rally and didn’t stop at that. I came back with 5 crisp 20 Naira Notes. She was furious that I took money from politicians and took no prisoners. All hell was let loose and I was beaten to factory default settings. She made me realise how wrong it was to have done that. Over the years, this has helped bolster the kind of trust people have in me and strengthened my integrity. I am glad I was able to recount this whole episode with my dearest Ọdúnọlá when she was with us in Ibadan in 2019. We laughed it off. Only that it wasn’t funny when it happened 20 years ago.
I remember everything and I sure will never forget Grams. It is indeed, one of my most prized assets, and heritage to be one of her seeds.
There’s so much I could say. Too many stories but the failure and barriers of language to grasp all I’ve got to say will make me stop here.
Quite frankly, I’ve struggled with grief and I sure will take solace in the assurances of God’s word and the beautiful stories Grams told us of what it will be like when she finally meets Jesus. It is worthy to note that Grams was prepared for transition. We spent many nights talking about death and the weirdest was on a particular day when her immediate elder brother, Samuel Adegboye Morenikeji came visiting and they spent hours talking about death.
She will be fondly remembered for her dedication to God, selflessness, hospitality, courage, faith, and undying love for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Alice Ọdúnọlá is survived by her children: Mrs. Bosede Oladiipo, Pastor Taiwo Ajao, Pastor Kehinde Ajao, Pastor (Mrs) Oluseyi Oluyemi, Evang. Gbenga Ajao, Mrs. Wuraola Alabi, three sons-in-law, three daughters-in-law, 19 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, nephews and nieces.
Until the resurrection morning when I will see you again, good night, my sweet sweet Ọdúnọlá 🥺❤
Stay chilling Grams. I love you forever.
Ọdúnọlá Èsú ará arẹsà
Bariola ọmọ elépo rẹ́súrẹ́sú ojú omi
Arẹsà dúdú lẹ̀gbọ́n,
Ojú ló kàn ẹ̀gbọ́n tó fi wẹ
Àbúrò rẹ̀ mọ́ fínífíní,
Ọmọ agúnyán pupa f’álejò pupa
Ojú ń tì mí
Ojú ń tàlejò mi
Ojú ń ti mí
Ojú ń tọbẹ̀láwo.
Ọmọ fènì sépo,mio fènì sépo,
Ní ń bí ìrẹ̀sà nínú,
Wọlé o bu èpo ni yá mọdẹ lára
Ìwọ̀fà o gbọdọ̀ joyè ilari
Bí ìwọ̀fà bá joyè ilara
Tani yóò bá wọn gbẹ́rù ọba dénu ilé?
Ǹlẹ́ ọmọọba tí ń gbọ́ba rù gèngẹn.
A kìí n ba onípọnà ṣe oníbunbu
Epo ni baba yín
Fí ń tẹ wọn nílé mọdẹ
Gbélépongbọ́n ni yín
Ọmọ badu elékùrọ́
Rodo bí olú ọ̀gán
Ọmọ ẹyìn tí n d’orí tí ń yo
Àwọn lọmọ ọlọpẹ mẹ́sàn ọ̀tọ̀ọ̀tọ̀
Afẹ́fẹ́ fẹ́ ,ó wó méjì,ó ku méje,
Ẹ̀fúfùlẹ̀lẹ̀ fẹ́, ó wó méjì,ó ku márùn,
Márùn tó kù ni i fojojúmọ́ s’ọba lóóre.
Ọ̀kan ń fọ́ba lọ́wọ̀ tí ń mú gbálẹ̀,
Ọ̀kan ní fọ́ba lépo tí n mú jẹsu
Ọ̀kan n fọ́ba lépo oloorun
Ọ̀kan tó kù ní so èkùrọ́ gùdùgbà.
Ta fí ń rọmọlẹ́kun badu nígbó ará ìrẹ̀sà.
Ọmọ ewúrẹ́ kú ,
A méwúrẹ́ jiyán.
A mágùntàn j’ọkà
Wọ́n fi bọ ifá baba wọn
Ẹṣin wá kú
Wọ́n pé ń wá lo re s’iru ẹṣin
Ikin ni o gbmi ni abi iru esin
Ikin ni gbọmọ
Òòsà niru ẹṣin nílé ará ìrẹ̀sà