“The woods decay, the woods decay, and fall, the vapours weep their burthen to the ground, a man comes and tills the field and lies beneath, and after many, a summer dies the swan.” These are the words that British poet, Lord Alfred Tennyson employed in describing transience and death. For the Managing Director of THISDAY Newspaper Limited, Eniola Bello, a swan shall soon be laid on the tilled earth.
Only a few weeks ago, Eniola Bello, lost his mother, Madam Julianah Ibimawu Lawrence (nee Ibinoron) to death. Because mama died at the ripe old age of 86 and had seen the birth, growth, and progress of many a progeny, her passing will not have been received with too much bitterness. Gratitude, instead, is the greater emotion for the transition of a woman who had lived so well.
Four score and six years old, and numerous lives are blessed for it. Born in the Odolu Kabba area of Kogi State on 18 August 1933, Mama Julianah combined the soft munificence of her kinfolk and unwavering devotion to family, community and every member of humanity privileged to cross paths with her.
The overarching theme of Mama Julianah’s profound life was her unerring belief in the goodness of folks. This mindset translated to memorable acts of selflessness, compassion, deliberate thoughtfulness, and indubitable kindness. First and foremost, this is what will every memory of mama will evince.
In addition to a life primarily dedicated to others, Mama Julianah gave other lives to the world, among these Mr. Eniola Bello. Her other children are Mrs. Victoria Bosede Ogunbiyi, Commodore Ayo Bello-Odofin (retd), Mrs. Olabisi SamVictor, and Mr. Olaofe Odofin. These have extended mama’s legacy with grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.
Mama Julianah’s interment will be underway on 14 March 2020, with a commemoration service at the ECWA Church in Okebukun Quarters, Ayetoro Gbede, Kogi state. Furthermore, the reception ceremony will be held at Government Secondary School ground, still in Ayetoro Gbede.
With the vast number of lives touched by mama, folks of close and far relation – as well as friends – are expected to be present for her final sending off. Meanwhile, politicians of renown, media executives, and eminent movers of corporate Nigeria will also be on ground to honour the Bellos. All of these are a testament to a life well lived.