She always had a smile on her face. Even when circumstances seemed unfavourable, that smile never left her face. My mother would laugh at anything, even at the least funny thing. Indeed, she appreciated the simple pleasures of life and found happiness in most difficult circumstances. Obviously, it must be this light-heartedness pleasant disposition of hers that won her so many friends.
Sisi, as my brothers and I fondly called her, was the soul of our home. She would listen patiently to our accounts of our busy day. Without being judgemental, she would listen to the “funny” and “weird” things we told her. Then, she would offer her words of encouragement to each one of us, urging us to soldier on. Eventually, she would celebrate our achievements, no matter how little…
Mother left this world on the morning of November 14, 2018. That was when we realised that we had lost our best friend. Who would have taught us integrity, contentment, respect for humanity and how to pray the way she did? And talking about prayers, we never missed church services. She would never accept any excuse for neglecting one’s service to the Lord.
As a hard worker, she never tolerated laziness. I recall how, growing up with my two brothers, she used to share household chores and responsibilities between us. Whenever we argued among ourselves or quarrelled about who had the most chores, she would often tell us: “It’s division of labour.”
I could go on and on about Mummy. But whatever I recall or say about her will always revolve around the capitalised keywords: Prayerful, Warm, Kind, Disciplined, Supportive, Virtuous, Focused and Intelligent. To her, everything was possible so far as the Almighty God was involved.
Her social life was anything but dreary. She had good sartorial taste, loved nature so much that she enjoyed planting flowers, loved taking photographs and dancing, even as she would recite a thousand “Thank you, Jesus rosary, which she never missed. She would religiously go for her morning evangelism at the local bus-stop with her team but would not miss her political news on TV or the Indian soap opera, Twist of Fate on Zee World channel.
A rare gem, who lived solely for her children. That was my mother. To her, no sacrifice was too big or small for us.
Mummy was great company for young and old, men and women. She abhorred injustice and arrogance. She used unconventional and powerful ways to teach her children life lessons. I know she is now proud of us. After all, she laboured to see us excel.
Born in February, 22, 1952, Mummy bore the names Grace Modupe. She was born into the family of Ogunleye Ojo of Atetedaye Quarters, Ifaki-Ekiti.
Otunba Grace Modupe Badejo was a beautiful lady. She attended her Government Primary School Owo and Saint Louis Catholic School, Owo (both in Ondo State), where she was both the dormitory and table prefect in 1974.
She later attended Faith Christian Theological Seminary from 1966 to 2000, where she obtained a doctorate degree.
She worked briefly with Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs (Nigerian Prisons Service) from August 1974 to August 1978. During this period, she worked at the Ado-Ekiti Prison, trained at the Enugu Prison Training School and in Okitipupa Prison, where she finally resigned in 1978. She joined UAC Property Division in August 1978, from where she was transferred to A. J. Seward, Oregun Ikeja. She rose to Supervisory level before resigning in March 1998 to establish several mini neighbourhood stores within Lagos State.
In 2014, she was installed, Otun Iyaloja of Ajuwon Market by HRH Oba Nuradaon Egunsola, The Alayiwon of Ajuwon. In December 2017, she was crowned the Yeye Baobagunwa of Ijelu, Ekiti.
Called to the service of the Lord, she ran a motor park evangelical ministry for over 10 years with a team of able God-sent men and women. She was a devout Catholic and member of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary Society and Night Adorer.
A committed Christian and leader, she would be remembered for the genuine love she showered on her fellow humans while on earth.
Mummy’s remains will be interred at the Badejo’s residence, 5, Adeniyi Badejo Close, Iju-Ajuwon, Ogun-State in Ajuwon, Ogun State after a funeral service at the St Alphonsus Catholic Church along Akute-Ajuwon road in Ogun State from 10 am. A reception follows at S & Y Events Centre, Iju-Ajuwon Road, Cele-Bus stop, Lagos.
These events would be preceded by services of songs and Christian wakes at the Badejo’s residence on Thursday, December 20.
Mummy, it really hurts us to see you gone. Life indeed will be different without you. Our assurance is that you have gone to be with the Lord. Till we meet to part no more, accept the warmest wishes from your darling husband, Otunba Christopher Adeniyi Badejo, and children, Anthonia Yetunde Badejo, Dr Christopher Adeniyi Badejo (jnr) and Michael Adegbenga Badejo.
*Badejo writes from Lagos