Biola Okoya is a phoenix in many ways. Why is this? The mythological birdie is credited with abilities and characteristics that stand it out. Tears that heal all sorts of wounds, and an intellect that is suspiciously modest and peculiarly exceptional. However, the most feted myth about the phoenix is how it renews its life with fiery fervour, rising from its own ashes. So, with Lady Biola waltzing in and out of the Nigerian social scene, one can only think of a phoenix – although Lady Biola is far fairer, with more flair and fewer feathers.
January 11 will remain a day of days for different classes of the Lagos society. This includes the affluent and wealthy and invited, and those who alternate across these three classes. And the party that qualifies the third class is none other than that of Chief Rasaq Okoya, the Aare of Lagos – the 80th birthday soiree which shook the city and shook it well.
While the party attendee list was a rich basket of the uppest of high society – most notably Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, the presence of Biola Okoya sent more than a few eyes crinkling at the corners, brows reaching hairlines, ties properly knotted, and smiles climbing down from hitherto stiff faces.
Why does a single person’s presence unhinge tension from folks? Most probably because Lady Biola has not been much of a regular participant in such high-octane parties. Granted, Aare’s party stood out among others, his daughter’s presence also lent solidarity to the Okoya clan and increased the heat in more ways than one.
Before her long hiatus, Lady B was allegedly a practised party torch, the limelight of many a merry shindig, sowing light and life to grateful hosts. However, she uneventfully retired, walking the dimmer bends of society. Expectedly, folks had a bit to say about this abrupt sequestration, with rumours of a tiff with the Aare, illness, even conversion to Christianity.
But the Okoya Phoenix set all those tittle-tattles aflame. Not only was she a solid presence beside her family, but she also lighted fortunate guests and invitees with that openly radiant smile. Let it be known: the groove has been regained.