My Dad, Late Rev. Solomon Ogunmola Tade was from Ikogosi, Ekiti State and my Mum, Mrs Biatrice Adetoun Adeoye was from Ijagbo in Kwara State. I was told by my parents how they came together to become husband and wife. My Dad worked at Ijagbo Baptist Church as a Pastor and also as a teacher, when he was there teaching and pastoring at Ijagbo, he met a very beautiful woman as one of the students at Baptist Day School at Ijagbo, he liked my mother so much and fell in love with her, in those days, parents don't just give out their daughters in an easy way, it is very difficult because they will find out the background of the family, then the family of the woman will sit together and decide either to agree or disagree.
In their own time, once they know that someone is courting another person, no such man dare move closer to that woman again, nobody dares go nearer. Initially, Baba Adeoye did not want my mother to marry my Dad because my dad was from Ikogosi while my mum was from Ijagbo and at that time they don't allow their girls to go out of the town to marry; they prefer their girls to marry from their own town, because of this my Granddad (Baba Adeoye) was not very happy with the marriage plan because there was somebody at that time. Baba Adeoye and Baba Odewale were so close. Baba Odewale had to go to Baba Adeoye and he said he is in support because he knew Baba Odewale and they have been friends, they had worked together, he knew him in and out and he was happy to recommend him to my mother, that he should not fear because they are from a good family, he responded that this is the reason why he didn’t want any of his girls to go to school, once they open their eyes at school others will follow their footsteps, after all the deliberation, God brought them together.
Baba Adeoye happens to be the pioneer and founding member of the church in Ijagbo, so he knew everything, my parent's wedding happened to be the first wedding that was conducted in First Baptist Church, Ijagbo.
In those days we don't go to school at age five unlike nowadays, we were busy working at home, going to the farm with the family, especially my parents, who have an onion plantation, so we follow them to the farm wetting the onions, during those times these were our jobs because we don't go to school early. Later on, we began to use our hands going across our head to touch the opposite ear, if we were able to achieve that, that means we were fit enough to go to school, that was how I started my primary school at First Baptist Day School Ijagbo in the year 1948.
I started Primary School in Ijagbo, and then from there fortunately and unfortunately for me, my mother died when I was 12 years old and I was in modern two in Alabama Baptist Secondary Modern School, in Abeokuta in the year 1955. I started my modern school in the year 1954.
The death happened during the Nigeria Baptist Convention at Owu Baptist Church, in Abeokuta, Ogun State on the 25th of April, 1955. It was announced during the program and that was where I got to hear about it, immediately, I started crying while my brother and younger sister were just looking at me because they didn’t understand because they were still very young. Majority of the missionaries hearing the demise of my mother left the venue of the Convention when they heard the wife of a Pastor died and the children are very small, so the convention took up the burial, they bought everything for the burial, the white missionaries were present at the burial, they pitied us and started begging and consoling us on the demise. Other arrangements were handled by the convention officials.
We were not aware that some consultations were being made between my Dad and the white missionaries on how we will be taken care of. After the burial, my Dad called us and told us there will be a new development, that the white missionaries have decided to sponsor our modern education, he called Dupe, Dele and Debo that the Lord has arranged for us while the last born (Funmilayo) will be going back with our Dad, a white missionary named miss Perry sponsored my sister, while miss Brooks sponsored me, and my brother was also sent to Baptist Boys High School (BBHS) where he had his secondary school.
That was how my sister and I became students at Idi-Aba Modern Secondary School Idi-Aba Abeokuta, we were taken care of by our sponsors, they paid for everything we needed, we were clothed and always happy. We were always putting on a white cloth, and when they see the happiness in us whenever we put on those clothes, they will give us more. They trusted us to the extent that they leave their rooms to us to take care of.
I finished my modern school there as well as my sister. After the modern school, my sister decided not to stay in Idi-Aba again that she would like to go back home to Ijagbo but I stayed back here in Idi-Aba, the white missionaries had another Baptist Woman Teachers Training College (BWTC) at Ile-Ife, myself and other mates of mine were transferred to go to Ile-Ife to start our grade three(Grade three is the starting point for teacher's college) at BWTC in Ile-Ife while my sister went back to Ijagbo. Immediately after we finished our grade three, Mr Eyitayo wrote to us that BWTC has been upgraded to grade two and that we can come for an upgrade. That time I was teaching at First Baptist Day School, Ire in the year 1966. I told my dad that I received a letter that my school has been upgraded, so I had to leave Baptist Day School at Ire so that I can go and start my grade two at BWTC at Ile-Ife, it was a two-year course and I enjoyed the place.
After our wedding in September 1967, my husband was working with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in the Library and he has been applying for further studies which were delayed by his superior because he was competent in his job, he didn't give room for him to go, and when my husband heard that his superior is the one delaying his education, he was angry. Later on, he suddenly got a letter of approval for him to go and study, we had been married by that time, I was in Ijagbo and he went back to Zaria, I didn't go immediately with him, it was there he saw a letter for his scholarship in the UK to study Library Science. He told me about it and I told him since it was a scholarship, that was not a problem because we were not financially buoyant at that time, even during our wedding, he didn't have enough finance for the wedding and the Lord used his sisters. So he left for UK and I stayed at Ijagbo with his relatives. He went for his education and he started planning on how I will join him in the UK. It wasn't too late for me to get pregnant by the time he left, but unfortunately, my first child was a stillborn, as the Lord would have it. The Lord used people to help me; my passport, as well as my visa were through and that was how I went to join him.
When I joined him in the UK, I was helping him financially, because the Lord gave me a good job there in the Post Office in London. An exam was conducted before I could get the job alongside other white applicants, they were making jest of me that would it be a black girl that would end up with the job, we all went in for the exam, and I got the job among every other white applicants, I can testify that my brain was still very active as at then and God truly helped me.
After getting the job, I became pregnant again which happens to be my first daughter Rolake, I had a very good doctor then named Mr Talo who is a very good doctor of ours, he liked me, he collected all my history and asked how my first pregnancy happened the first time, I told him that I was in labour for three days, not that I had any problem. I had a brother that worked in a pharmacy section Late Mr Ajiboye, he said that whenever I have a contraction I should always contact him, that he would come and pick me up. Immediately I started feeling the contraction within me, I sent for him and he came as promised to pick me up. I was driven to the hospital into the labour room, for two days I was still there, it was until the third day that the baby was retrieved and he was dead by then. I explained everything to Mr Talo, he responded they were wicked. So, at every clinic I attended there, he kept an eye on me and attended to me, whenever he sees me, he would call me to start coming over, he was a very nice man.
The day I was supposed to give birth, I went to the clinic that faithful day; after doing his normal checkup on me he said to me, I should go and pack my loads, I was surprised what load, he responded again saying I should go and pack my loads, I got home and I was crying, my husband said what happened, I told him Doctor told me to go and pack my loads, as I was crying, my husband noticed an ambulance waiting right in front of our house with nurses all ready to pick me up, he had to hasten me up with the loads, I got into the ambulance and I saw the nurses, they were very caring, While Doctor Talo was already waiting for my arrival at the hospital, I gave birth to my child at Wintonton hospital, St Marys wing. My husband followed me and he was dressed and he followed them to the labour room, there were three rooms for the delivery, my husband was following them all the way and Mr Talo himself was also at alert for anything, be it operation judging from the first birth incident, it was when I got to the third stage that the baby's head came out of me, Mr Talo was surprised and asked me if I was sure of what happened to me the first time, I told him, yes, that I can't deceive myself, he then said that nothing is wrong with you, you just had a normal delivery, that was how God did His wonders since then I have been having a normal delivery.
In my last year in 1967, when I was rounding up my last year to become a grade two teacher, I got a letter from someone, although when I was teaching at Ire, there were a lot of admirers and sometimes I scare them off because I was never ready for a relationship then, also my mother always told us that when a man touches us, we would get pregnant and that was the reason why I always ran away from men. At times, the disturbance would be too much to bear, I would run home and my dad would ask what's going on again, then I would tell him that the boys were troubling me, at that point, I will decide not to go out again. Later on, my dad said nothing is going to happen to me all I need to say is no.
When I was in my last session, there was a particular letter that came in then, I was wondering who the person is, I opened and read the letter, I didn't know what to do, I sealed it back and post it to my dad - I did that because my dad is a disciplinarian and I tend not to hide things from him, on holidays I go to see him, there I asked him if he saw the letter I posted, he said he saw it but I should be patient. After some time during the holiday, this man came to Ijagbo, he wrote to me in Ijagbo and then I showed my Dad, I told him this man is from Zaria, they said he is in Ijagbo, then my dad laughed and said I should reply the letter, as I was still contemplating on writing him back then I got another letter from him again, saying he will come and visit me, then the thought of running away came to my mind again, my brother was making fun of me. My dad called me and told me that he has been friends with the father of the man that has been writing to me for a long time and that he is a good man, he came from a good family (Atono Odo), apart from the family of Adeoye, the next family is Atono Odo, people like those two families and they are good in that family, when he comes around neither should you abuse him nor should you frown to him. We were living upstairs in our mission house, my brother, Debo got a glimpse of him coming to our house, he ran to my dad that the man is coming and he is carrying something, my brother called me and told me to come and peep at him, I started asking the question, what is he coming to do? who told him I want to marry now?
He finally came in and prostrated to my dad, my dad greeted him asking after his friend (the father) as well as the mother, at one corner of the house I was peeping, and in my thought, I was asking myself what is wrong with the behaviour of my father, my brother has got his way down to the visitor and was greeting him as well, after the exchange of pleasantries I was called upon, he and Debo were just cracking jokes and having a nice time together while I was just sitting there looking at them and pretended I saw nothing. Then afterwards my father introduced him to me that this is his bosom friend's son and he support the coming together of the two of us, so don't be annoyed with him, my dad then called me to him and we greeted each other, guess what he brought as a gift? He came with a Hausa sack filled with quail's egg - the sack that he brought was not a common one, so when he left I started using the sack to school. I cooked lunch for the house and he also ate, he was seated with Debo all through the time, when it was time for him to go, Debo saw him off. The Lord brought us together in a miraculous way. We started our courtship in 1967 and we got married in the same year.
Mummy's voice about her husband
He is caring and gentle, he treats me with care, he is always conscious whenever he offends me and he apologises immediately. He is very good, at times I tell him I want to buy something, he won't think it twice before he does it, surprisingly he will do more than I expected, he is also very loving.
I taught in Baptist Day School, Ire from 1966 - 1967, then First Baptist Day School, Surulere and several other schools in Ilorin. I was in the teaching profession from 1966 to 2003 and I retired as the Head Mistress in Tank Ebubu Primary School in March 2003.
Education was tough when I was still a student unlike now that you have to pamper kids, there was no pampering then, it was serious discipline and if you cry and go to report at home, it is like from fire to frying pan, so you dare not disobey. During our time, we studied hard if we want to pass. At Idi-Aba, the pass mark starts from 70% anything below that would be written in red, how many reds do you want your parent to see, that was how it was during our time. Education was tough and one must be focused on it.
As a teacher in Education, I realised some students wanted to learn but the environment they found themselves in, didn't allow them to learn appropriately, so you have to cuddle them. There are some students that until you beat them they won't be serious but some students are not intentionally unserious but because they don't know it. During our time, our parents don't take nonsense with us unlike now whereby if a teacher beats a child, such a teacher can be dealt with. Education has gone down.
It started in our sitting room, I had to support my husband by my gesture, like inviting people and taking care of those that come around and welcoming them, I started as Choir Mistress at Zion Baptist Church, teaching the Junior choir, when we were in Ilorin. I was also the women leader in the Women Missionary Union (WMU) of the church.
I made people feel welcomed and also made sure that they were satisfied. Sometimes, I had to surrender many things like food and clothing, take care of the needy, and the Lord always directed me to anybody and at times I don't let my husband know. I share the little amount I have because I always like sharing and that is why the Lord is making me what I am today. Sometimes, the Lord will direct me to get some things for the man of God even if I'm in the market, and I will make sure I take it there before I got back home. This is what I love doing, except if I don't have, that is when I don't give.
Every morning, I wake up as early as 4 am, we have a cook in the house, so I make sure everything is in order in the home but the only thing I cannot do is bend down and start sweeping. I prepare the bathroom for my husband. My job in the morning is just to prepare the bathroom for myself and my husband, I also prepare breakfast for my husband before the arrival of the cook. Once the cook comes around, I will only instruct her to dress up and start sweeping. I prefer to go to the market myself. Most of the time, my husband and I coordinate our dressing and come out neatly.
My daughters have complained about how I work and I'm taking things easy now.
I was with my dad from the age of 12 after the death of my mother. I'm the kind of person that likes to be tidy, but my brother would always do the opposite, my brother is fond of calling my name without adding sister, I was amazed the first time he would ever add sister to my name, that was a day to my wedding.
Mummy's voice about her unforgettable
I thank God because the majority of those that I have taught are in high positions now. When they meet me or come to me, they will say mummy, you were my teacher and this is what I have become, right there I will pray for them. There was a time when one of my daughters Sade was schooling in Kwara Polytechnic, someone drove past her and said this lady looks like my teacher, he parked beside her and confronted her, you must be Mrs Odewale's daughter, she responded yes, please wherever you are going I will take you there, Sade said no, that her destination is very far, he responded that your mother was too good to me when she was my teacher and tell her that this person (I can’t remember his name) met you. He then took my daughter to school.
Those times when I board a taxi, whichever child I see on the road I pay their transport fare to school, and that has become my tradition to the extent that they would always greet me and asked about me from my daughters when they see them in the taxi. I was happily doing them. I give thanks to God. There was a particular student of mine, I can call her anytime now for a medical check-up, within a twinkle of an eye she would have prepared all that is needed, she even gave testimony during my 70th birthday about how she didn’t know calculations, and how I was able to help her through. She is not the only one though.