Mrs Adepemi Oladejo is a rare breed; a woman I respect so much because of the qualities inherent in her. I have never seen anyone so deep into sacrifice and selflessness. It is always her putting others first before thinking of herself; a trait that I could not but emulate though I am praying to God I will be able to match.
I attended the primary school where my mom used to teach in the 80s/early 90s. It is a government primary school in a local neighborhood. I said a local neighborhood, yeah and the name is Community Primary School, Ayekale Agugu Ibadan. Those were the days when government teachers were so dedicated to their duties and ensured that the wards passing through them got the best of education. My mom was surely a good teacher and those of us who passed through the school and were ready to make something out of our lives fulfilled our dreams.
My mom is one of those few women who don’t wait for their husbands to cater for their Child’s needs. I remember vividly many occasions where she had to take the lead to ensure we had the best. I appreciate this because many times I went to some friends’ house where they starved until the daddy came home and some that were chased out of lessons (I hope u know that is what we called extra mural classes) because daddy did not give them money to pay.
Perhaps the greatest sacrifice she made was to resign her job because of us – her kids. It was in the height of the creation of Osun State in 1992 or thereabout. Both dad and mum are from the same town in Osun State so they had to leave the employ of the Oyo State Government. Their decision was to leave us in Ibadan so as not to disturb the quality education we were getting but that was at a price. We could have moved to our hometown where they were posted or maybe leave us in the care of relatives in Ibadan till weekends but they understood the effect that was going to have on us. My mum decided to resign and stay at home in Ibadan so she could monitor us and ensure we don’t depart from the way they were bringing us up. Her friends were very mad at her; almost calling her a fool for leaving her job just to take care of her children. They wondered how we were going to survive on my dad’s salary and how my mum might regret the action. She was not concerned about all the noise but decided to make the best use of the opportunity. She went to learn fashion designing and later set up her own shop.
It was not rosy to be very sincere and at a point I am sure she thought her friends were right. Most of them either moved to our hometown or left their kids with relatives but were making their salaries and also enjoying promotions. I wonder how my mom was able to ignore all those feelings. Fast forward many years – did it pay off? I will definitely say a big YES. Today, her first born is a graduate(graduated more than 6 years ago), an expatriate consulting for a top GSM company in Africa and married. Her second child graduated more than 3 years ago and works for a real estate company in Lagos. The third born is a graduate of Electrical Electronics and is currently serving with Motorola in Lagos. Last born … 10 years younger than the 3rd born is in SSS1 in a prestigious secondary school in Ibadan. Those that are graduates graduated between the ages of 21-22. I am tempted not to compare her notes to her friends’ but I can only say they understand today that her sacrifices paid off at last.
Not all women will be able to do what she did. And that is why I am saluting this wonderful woman for her roles in shaping my life and my siblings’. I imagine how I might have turned out if not for her love and attention. My mum is 52 but she looks much younger and most people argue she is my sister; but that is where it ends. She is a tough mother. She practiced tough love on us and I can assure you her products were flawless and the man that came to be in me is as a result of the lessons I learned from her.
I love you Mum … and you have just started enjoying the fruits of your labor. You will live long to enjoy the dividends. Amen.
My dad’s will come soon.