By Sheriff Balogun
Sheila, the late educationist and widow of late social crusader, Tai Solarin who died on October 21 was yesterday buried amidst encomiums in her country home in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State.
The late educationist and Tai were co-founders of the highly successful Mayflower School, Ikenne, Ogun State.
While the burial ceremony lasted yesterday, the sleepy town of Ikenne stood still for several hours. A large number of dignitaries from across the country also trooped in to bid farewell to the educationist.
The burial ceremony was held at the Mayflower School Gardens. In his sermon, the Presbyter, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Ilishan Circuit, The Very Reverend Joseph Osifuwa, admonished the gathering to live a purposeful life worthy of emulation.
The cleric stated that the gathering was not to mourn but to celebrate the good deeds of the woman he described as a "woman of many parts.
"We are not gathered here today to mourn but to celebrate this great woman. She left so many indelible works which people must draw inspiration from. Many come into this world without impacting on those who came in contact with them.
"Mama, agreed with her husband to fulfil the mission that God gave them by giving qualitative education to thousands of Nigerians. She contributed positively to the development of education in Nigeria and for many years to come, we shall continue to appreciate her contributions to the education industry in Ogun State.
"Madam Sheila knew the purpose for which she was sent to this world and she fulfilled the purpose. Are you pursuing the purpose of which you were created? She kept the light and the fire burning many years after the demise of her husband till the end.
"She has lived her life. She has made her impact and she has left her footprints in the sands of time. Her husband and herself have done their part. What will you be remembered for?"
Speaking at the event, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State commended the efforts of the deceased "who demonstrated commitment to education in Nigeria."
Amosun said late Sheila was a mother, whom Nigeria will miss a lot because, "we believe she did so much for education in Nigeria. We will make sure there is affordable education for all irrespective of religion."
Amosun promised to build a model school, which would be situated inside the Mayflower School’s premises and named after Sheila.
Daniel described the deceased as "a disciplinarian who has done the best during her life," urging the living to emulate her life.
Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko who was represented by Ranti Akinrele, an Ex-May described late Sheila Solarin as "a good woman in deed who has lived up to her age" adding that her contributions to the country can never be forgotten.
Mimiko added that the death of Sheila "signified the exit of one of the educationists in Nigeria who left imperishable legacies in the education industry in Nigeria."
Also, the Provost, Tai Solarin University of Education, Dr. Abiodun Ojo in his speech said Sheila's death was celebrated "because of her significant paths."
He described late Sheila as someone who lived a worthy life and accomplished so much, adding that she was a renowned author and educationist who will be remembered for her good deeds.
Also, the President of Naija Wives Association, an association comprising foreign women married to Nigerians, Mrs Roseline Afolabi described Sheila Solarin as a distinct woman and member who stood out as an educationist and has contributed a lot to the country.
An Ex-May, Temilade Adelesi described late Sheila Solarin as a distinct mother and teacher who will forever linger in the heart of Mayflower students and Nigeria in general.
He urged all Nigerians to emulate her as a role model.
Sheila joined her late husband to work at the famous Mayflower School in Ikenne, Ogun State for over 60 years.
Some of the other dignitaries that witnessed the burial ceremony were former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, as well as many members of the Mayflower School Old Students (Ex-Mays).
Others were former Nigerian Ambassador to Netherlands, AmbassadorTokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu and Senator Biyi Durojaiye.