There’s an old song from an old Nigerian soap opera that dealt with contemporary issues of the late 2000s (including HIV/AIDS, gender bias and equality, etc.). The song went along the lines of “women of substance, women of virtue…tomorrow is our time. Let’s make Nigeria proud”. Today, the hopes and aspirations glued to that song have been actualised; Nigeria is an admirable playground for such women, and Erelu Fayemi is a Queen among them.
Ekiti State citizens are amongst the most fortunate folks in Nigeria, with their association with ace power couple, Governor Kayode Fayemi, and his wife, Erelu Bisis Fayemi. Needless to say, the duo has upset a countless number of traditional laxities and lethargy that often characterise leadership at the state level. Since they first arrived in 2011 and left in 2015, to the current 2019-2023 term, the Fayemis have shown that they are of firmer stock than a million others. But curiously, the light of JFK does not frazzle that of Lady Erelu, except to lend it strength and shine.
It was Erelu Fayemi who co-founded the first Pan-African grant-making organisation, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), and is the serving president of the women-empowerment foundation. In that capacity alone, Lady Erelu has assisted over 800 women organizations in over 42 African countries, touching countless lives on a continental level.
Zoom in a bit further and find that Lady Erelu’s charity extends to home. Adopting the AWDF template, she established the Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), employing available resources to train, motivate and empower the women and the youths of Ekiti State. That was in 2011.
Ever since, Lady Erelu’s seeds returned crops of financial empowerment and growth, interaction and participation in politics, better healthcare, promotion of women rights, etc. Her brilliance, unrelenting spirit, and near-divine grasp of the way things work continue to earn her long glances, wallpapers and motifs, and a possible statue or two in the nearest feature.
That’s a woman of substance, and one of virtue, doing Ekiti and Nigeria proud.