Essence and the Woman…Erelu Abiola Dosunmu’s Grand 70th Birthday Party


There is nothing gorgeous about being draped in the finery that constricts the heart and soul. Erelu Abiola Dosunmu understands this priceless fact hence her predilection for modesty and unabashed humility. The ravishing socialite who is reputed for her quiet demeanour effortlessly exudes dignity and class; the woman who projects as the nucleus and undying essence of the social scene even before contemporary celebrities were born, recently turned 70 and like a woman of true character and quiet nobility, she elected to celebrate her anniversary in a grand style.

It beggared no surprise or shock when the crème of high society gathered to celebrate one of their own, the newest entrant into the Septuagenarian club, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, last Saturday. The glamorous gig, with a glut of gripping parades of purposeful phases of culture, couture and postures, was turned into a huge carnival of styles and ceremonial displays. Famed for her ageless élan and preference for white ensembles, the Erelu Kuti was swarmed by associates, relatives, friends and prominent names and faces on the social and political and business scenes. She swirled and swayed in happiness and as much as her legs could carry her.

She was beside herself with joy. Understandably because in the last two years, her world had been rocked by tragedy; the three men she cherished most in her life; her confidant and soul mate, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; and her estranged husband, late Chief Deinde Fernandez, all passed in succession. Erelu Dosunmu was undoubtedly devastated by the deaths of the three men. She has since embraced the fact that death is a necessary end. Thus, she committed a lot of resources into her 70th birthday party which was preceded by a lecture with the theme “Threats to Peace and Security Around The Globe Given The Present State of The World’s Insecurity,” at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Guest Speaker was Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) and former Foreign Affairs Minister.

There would be a Nite of Songs of Praise and Thanksgiving by 6:00 pm today at the Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Coincidentally, this year marks the 43rd year of her reign as the Erelu Kuti of Lagos, a ranking chieftess who reigns as regent upon the death of an incumbent monarch until a substantive successor is chosen by the college of kingmakers. Born in Kano into the royal family of Prince Adewunmi and Ajoke Dosumu of Lagos Island, she studied business administration in London before delving into business which she has made enviable success of.