Lagos-based business woman and CEO of Aibee Ultimate Integrated Services, Hajia Aisat Bolarinwa, is a very religious woman. She says she has surrendered her life to Allah. No wonder she starts and ends everything with prayers. Aisat recently clocked. The Aibee Ultimate boss, who is the wife of the All Progressives Congress’s Chairman in Kwara State, marked her birthday in grand style in Ilorin. On the sideline of the celebration, Aisat shares her life journey with Hammed Shittu, talking about growing up in Lagos, the influence of her parents, getting married, women participation in politics, and much more Growing up in Ebute Metta was fun.
I was born on Apapa Road, Ebute Metta (West) Lagos State and my formative years were spent in Ebute Metta. Growing up there was fun. It is unlike an environment where everyone is on his or her own. We interacted regularly with our neighbours, exchanged visits and played together. With my upbringing, I acquired a lot of native intelligence through interactions. I grew up in a polygamous home. For me, division in polygamous homes is from the mothers. Allowing the children to mix with one another freely is a recipe for peace and unity in that home.
I was never pampered while growing up
Yes, I was born with silver spoon but my upbringing betrayed that. I was never pampered. Forever, I’m grateful to my parents for my kind of upbringing. Carrying out my domestic duty with ease, developing good manners and ability to relate beautifully with people are all due to training by my parents. Both of them influenced me positively. Dad taught me to be faithful, honest, trustworthy and obedient. Mum remains a disciplinarian, no nonsense person. She took me through a hard home training and today I enjoy it because carrying out my daily house chores is one of the easiest things for me to regularly do.
Once a wife has a wonderful husband, it is incumbent on her to reciprocate
I give glory to Almighty Allah for everything. I was a Christian but married to a Moslem. The very first day I met my husband I decided that I would join his religion. And I thank God I am not regretting that my decision. I was born into a large family, Dr. Joseph Olusola Lambo family from Abeokuta, Ogun State. I attended Oregun Primary school, then Regal Memorial Baptist College Yaba before proceeding to the University of Lagos. I got married to Bashir Bolarinwa on May 25th, 2006. It happened to be my dad’s birthday, but he was not around to witness that. My husband was the political son of my dad when he was alive. It started from there. Then we used to eye each other but I never gave him a chance then as I was still very young. As God will have it, I eventually got married to him. Since then, I thank God I have not regretted my action. My husband is a very loyal family man. I also pray for my daughter to get married to somebody like my husband. If my daughter can have somebody like my husband, I will go and sleep because I know she is in a safe hand. If there is another chance in this world to come back, I pray to have someone like my husband again. He is a wonderful man and once a wife has a wonderful husband, it is incumbent on the wife to reciprocate by making him happy, because if everybody around him is happy, the wife is happy too. He will also be happy.
If you think your husband is not good, a good wife should try as much as possible to mold him. Bashir Bolarinwa is 50 per cent what I want. So it makes the work easier for me. The sword is in a woman’s hand. So a woman can throw the sword in the direction she wants it will work.
Dad showed me the way to approach
Best gift ever received was from my dad. He showed me the way to approach God. No matter what, he would wake me and others up every morning to pray. This is a gift that I still keep and will forever remain with me. The Most difficult thing that ever happened to me was the loss of my dad, because I loved him so much. Overtime, I have tried to overcome it; I mark his exit every year as a way of remembering him.
Few days to the death of my father, he came to visit me in school in Abeokuta and he requested that I should follow him to Lagos. Because I was young and felt like spending the weekend with my friends in school, I declined. Unfortunately, three days after, my mum was asked to pick me from the school that my dad was dead. It was a mistake; I didn’t follow him to spend the last few days with him as the last born of the family.
I pray for the best of this world and hereafter
My biggest fear is losing the hereafter. The world is full of ephemeral things. I pray for the best of this world and the hereafter. My desires are between me and Allah. I look up to Him for guidance and accomplishment.
Life has taught me to be patient
Life has taught me to be more patient and love my fellow beings as much as I love myself, and most importantly, to surrender the control my life to God.
Life as wife of a politician
I was born and reared by the aged. I was the last born of my family when my dad was alive. So I should know how to manage home. I am from a polygamous home. I study what is happening and how to go about it. I have garnered experience from all the politics in a polygamous home. My dad was also a politician when he was alive. So I stay in a glass house. It means that those who live in a glass house must not throw stone. As I said earlier, my dad was a politician when he was alive. He was the Chairman of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) during Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s days. All the things they did then were done in our house. I grew up among politicians. And with God on my side, I have been able to maneuver through. And coming from Lagos to a new terrain, I try to do my best for them. It is not all about food. Politics is a game I enjoy so much. So, even if there is crisis, I will stand and give him courage. Politics is very interesting in Nigeria, because you might be sitting and eating with each other, but you will not know which one is with you. When you get to the field, you would not know what is going on again. By the time you look at your back, you would not see anybody again.
However, I want more women to come out and participate in politics in Nigeria. It is even worse off in Kwara State. Perhaps, Kwara is a predominantly Muslim state. I am just thinking that on my own o! we have more women in politics in Ogun and Lagos states. Men should encourage us by giving us more opportunity. Women have a lot of things upstairs. Who says we can’t do anything. We manage our children even when they are grown-ups.