Welcome to my Page

Appreciate life's journey, even the hard parts. They teach you what's important.

Welcome to my Page

Appreciate life's journey, even the hard parts. They teach you what's important.

ABSTRACT

Beyond Societal Pressures: Choosing Her Path and Building a Legacy

A Conversation with Chief Adenike Ayoka Okewale

This conversation with Chief Adenike Ayoka Okewale delves into her remarkable life, revealing a tapestry woven with faith, resilience, and the unwavering pursuit of personal purpose.

Born into a supportive yet complex family, a young Adenike witnessed her mother’s tenacious spirit in the face of societal constraints. This experience instilled in her a profound determination and the courage to forge her path.

Throughout her journey, Adenike encountered challenges that tested her resolve. Societal pressures to conform and the initial heartbreak of an incompatible relationship presented significant hurdles. However, her unwavering faith and willingness to listen to her intuition guided her to make choices aligned with her aspirations.

Finding a partner in Olawale who cherished her and supported her personal growth marked a turning point in her life. Together, they built a family, navigating life’s inevitable difficulties with strength and compassion.

Beyond her immediate family, Adenike’s influence extended outwards. Her keen judgment and belief in fostering strong connections led her to play a crucial role in uniting Mr Soyombo with his wife, Afusat. This act exemplifies her generous spirit and commitment to the well-being of those around her.

Chief Adenike Ayoka Okewale’s life story serves as a beacon of inspiration. She built a fulfilling life through personal responsibility, unwavering faith, and the courage to make her own choices. She left a lasting legacy of resilience, love, and steadfast dedication to her family and community.

Chief Mrs Adenike Ayoka Okewale

My Poem to you all

In youth’s embrace, with dreams held tight,
I chased a path, a future bright.
Through trials faced and lessons learned,
A spirit strong, a purpose earned.

Love’s tender touch, a fleeting flame,
Deception’s veil, a whispered name.
But wisdom sought, with silent prayer,
Revealed the truth, a heart to spare.

Though paths diverge and choices are made,
Life’s tapestry, with threads displayed.
A mother’s love, a guiding hand,
Yet choices mine, on shifting sand.

With a grateful heart for the lessons learned,
For life’s full cup, both joy and churned.
I urge you, dear reader, to take my plea,
Live with courage and authenticity.

Let intuition be your guide,
With faith and strength, walk side by side.
For life’s a gift, both sun and rain,
Embrace it all through laughter’s gain.

So cherish moments, big and small,
Embrace the journey, heart and all.
For in the end, when shadows cease,
It’s love and strength that brings you peace.

My Story

Born on March 13th, 1936, I, Adenike Ayoka Okewale, entered the world as the daughter of Chief Michael Adeyinka Sobo and Chief Mrs Agnes Olujimi Sobo. Hailing from Abeokuta South, Nigeria, my father came from Sobo Palepata at Kemta, Ago-otun, while my mother originated from Gbadebo Compound at Isale-Ijeun, Abeokuta.

My parents instilled love and unity within our family despite my father having multiple wives. My mother, a brilliant student, received exceptional support from her teachers and even offered to study overseas. However, her mother, her only child, refused to let her daughter leave. Challenges arose, including threats from cousins, but my mother persisted, eventually pursuing her passion and acquiring skills in fashion design.

Growing up, I witnessed the struggles my mother faced. Threats and attempts to disrupt her education were constant. Yet, her unwavering determination prevailed. She continued her pursuit of fashion design, eventually graduating from a sewing school. Witnessing these challenges alongside family struggles, including illness and loss, shaped me, instilling the values of resilience and perseverance.

My two siblings and I shared a harmonious childhood. A curious detail emerged - I was the only one who received a birthday celebration each year. My older sister, Chief Mrs Florence Oluremi Sodeinde, and brother, Mr Sunday Olalekan Sobo, never showed any resentment. Despite inquiries, the reason remained a mystery.

After completing my primary education at St. Peter's in Ake, I diligently followed in my mother's footsteps and pursued further education. We eventually moved to Iberekodo Girl's School.

School life brought a boyfriend named Seni. He transitioned from Form 4 to Grammar School. His uncle, an auditor at the Oxford House bookshop in Ibadan, secured him a job there. Seni was a quiet and gentle soul. He began offering me pocket money from Standard 6 until Modern 2. Then, things changed. His mother suggested approaching my family with a marriage proposal. While I expressed the need to finish my schooling first, my parents wouldn't have allowed me to marry so young.

Seni remained patient, waiting for me to complete Modern 2. After graduation, the school principal, Mr Malaolu, was the point of contact for securing teaching positions. During this meeting, Seni inquired about our wedding. However, I emphasised the need to attend Teacher's Training first. He informed his mother, and shortly after, Seni's father passed away. My friends and I offered our condolences.

Upon returning home from a visit, I faced unexpected pressure to marry Seni, almost bordering on coercion. Yet, I remained firm, determined to finish my education first. This experience left a deep unease within me, prompting me to seek guidance through prayer and reflection.

My mother consulted a family member, a diviner, to inquire about the potential union. The findings revealed a fruitful but short-lived marriage, with Seni's premature demise. This revelation resonated with my family, reinforcing my decision. Additionally, an uncle pointed out Seni's past romantic involvements, further solidifying my doubts.

Ultimately, I realised a better fit was crucial. The oracle's prediction confirmed my intuition, leading me to prioritise personal growth and purpose over societal expectations. After consulting the oracle, Seni arrived seeking confirmation about the wedding date, and he was informed that we were not destined to be married. He cried, expressing his mother's opposing consultation with a positive outcome. Accepting his fate, he eventually left.

With my Modern Two qualification, I embarked on my teaching career. My first posting was in Ishan, while my sister, a teacher, was transferred to Mosunmore. My mother followed my sister, and my father came to Ishan Anglican Church School with me. Being further from our hometown and a family member residing there, Ishan helped us navigate the new school environment.

1954, I graduated from the modern school, officially starting my teaching career. I taught at Ishan Anglican Church School from 1955 to 1956 before attending the Egba Divisional Teachers Training College for two years.

During the initial two years of teaching before entering Teacher's Training College, I held the position of prefect girl (1956/1957). This role allowed me to choose an assistant, and I selected my friend Tutu Oropo. After completing my second year of teaching, I continued my studies.

My teaching journey included placements at Ijemo Primary School while attending the Teacher's Training College, an African Church School after marriage, and Megi, where I eventually became headmistress. Later transfers took me to Anglican Primary School, Apata, and St James African Primary School, Idiape (1959), until I departed for England in 1963.

Driven by my desire for further growth, I pursued a management course at the College for Sales and Distributive Trades Polytechnic in London. This led to a job at Sainsbury's before returning home to Nigeria. Back in my home country, I secured employment at AJC World in Ibadan.

When Olawale Okewale expressed his interest in marriage, I initially hesitated due to his career in teaching, considering it temporary. He assured me it was just until he secured a more permanent position.

Throughout our courtship, I experienced a strange phenomenon. I had been dealing with severe menstrual cramps, for which a friend of my father's crafted a waist bead as a remedy. After finishing school, I stopped using it.

My mother then offered a new concoction, supposedly a solution for the cramps. The routine was to collect it upon returning home from work and use it once a week. She emphasised consistency for effectiveness, and I agreed, taking it every Friday.

Following this new routine, a peculiar pattern emerged. Every Friday after taking the concoction, I'd have minor arguments with Olawale on our way home. We'd reconcile the next day, but the pattern persisted.

One particular Friday, I couldn't find my mother at home and skipped the concoction. Interestingly, the following days were devoid of arguments with Olawale. This revelation dawned upon me - the concoction must have been the culprit behind the disagreements.

Suspecting my mother's motives, I wrote to Olawale, explaining my discovery. He expressed surprise and suggested involving my grandmother to seek her support for our relationship. However, I needed further spiritual guidance before taking that step.

Upon my mother's return, she inquired about the concoction, and I revealed I had stopped taking it after realising the impact on my relationship. Faced with the truth, she apologised for her actions. She explained that she opposed the union and believed this was in my best interest.

Olawale's mother later approached my mother, pleading for her support of our relationship. Following this, my mother confirmed my feelings for Olawale and our marriage. This acceptance came after consulting the oracle, a common practice in our culture.

In 1959, we tied the knot. However, the path to marital bliss wasn't without challenges. Pregnant before the wedding, I encountered complications during childbirth. The baby boy, born prematurely before the seventh month, sadly passed away two days later despite my uncle's efforts to transfer the newborn to a specialist hospital.

Grief-stricken and contemplating suicide, I found solace in the unwavering support of my uncle. Due to this tragic loss, the planned engagement ceremony in August had to be postponed. Though we had already visited the registry, my sister suggested delaying the official wedding. September 1st was chosen as the new date, proceeding with the ceremony but excluding the church service.

My husband eventually left the teaching profession and secured a production inspector position for the Ministry of Agriculture. Our firstborn, Funmilola, followed by Tunde, Titi, Toun, and Tolu, a surprise addition to our family.

Years after venturing to London and returning home, fate brought me face-to-face with Seni again. It happened as I was picking up my children from school. Our paths crossed, and we talked until we reached the junction where our routes diverged.

I learned that life hadn't been kind to him during our conversation. He had only one child and a gas station facing closure. He revealed he married another woman after I declined his proposal. She had a child from a previous marriage and bore him one as well. However, hardship struck, and his wife's parents took her away.

He confided in me that his family, including himself, his siblings, and their children, had been victims of his mother's witchcraft, as he later discovered. This explained the string of misfortunes they had all endured. Only his brother, who suspected this earlier, managed to escape his mother's influence.

His sister, another victim, had only one healthy child, while the others suffered from disabilities. The unbearable situation forced her to leave her marriage. Seeking solace, Seni found himself drawn to a church and its teachings. He committed to the pastor's instructions, including prayer, reading psalms, ritual bathing, and sleeping with a cross under his pillow.
One night, a dream unveiled the truth - his mother was the root of the family's problems. He cautiously approached his sister, but she remained unconvinced. Faking it as a joke, he later confided in his uncle, who, aware of his mother's actions, offered his well wishes.

With the support of a friend, he started afresh, selling grains to make a living. Though his wife and child had left him earlier, he eventually rebuilt his life.

This encounter with Seni was a powerful reminder of the importance of staying true to oneself despite societal pressures and expectations. It underscored the significance of intuition, resilience, and faith in navigating life's challenges and making crucial decisions.

Throughout my life, I have strived to embody a spirit of generosity and kindness, which is evident in my actions towards family and friends. Even when faced with societal norms and pressures, I held firm to my convictions, prioritising personal growth and well-being over blind conformity.

My journey is a testament to the vital role of resilience, intuition, and faith in overcoming life's obstacles. Furthermore, my inherent compassion extended beyond my immediate circle, as exemplified by my efforts in facilitating the union between my husband's friend, Mr. Soyombo, and Afusat. Despite initial reservations due to religious differences and existing relationships, I recognised Afusat's admirable qualities and advocated for her as a potential wife. My proactive approach, which included writing a letter of recommendation, ultimately paved the way for their marriage, highlighting my unwavering support for those around me.

Chief Adenike Ayoka Okewale's life is a testament to the enduring power of personal responsibility, unwavering faith, and the courage to make choices. Her story, intricately woven with moments of triumph and hardship, offers valuable lessons that resonate far beyond her immediate circle.

From a young age, she witnessed her mother's fierce determination to defy societal limitations, fostering a spirit of perseverance and the conviction to forge her path. Throughout her journey, she navigated challenges with remarkable resilience. When faced with societal pressures and the complexities of relationships, she prioritised her aspirations, trusting her intuition and the guiding light of faith.

Her life choices, shaped by a deep sense of responsibility and a commitment to personal growth, led her to build a fulfilling life and a loving family. Beyond her immediate circle, her influence extended outwards, evident in her act of uniting Mr. Soyombo with his wife. This act exemplifies her compassion and her belief in the importance of fostering strong connections within the community.

Chief Adenike Ayoka Okewale's legacy transcends generations. Her story is a beacon of hope, particularly for young individuals navigating their life paths. It is a powerful reminder that with faith, resilience, and the courage to follow one's compass, individuals can overcome obstacles, build meaningful lives, and leave a lasting positive impact on the world around them.

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