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Family, friends fete Olori (Chief) Julianah Olateru-Olagbegi

By Maria Famakinwa

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One of the prayers of every child is for their parents to live long to enjoy the fruits of their labour and to also see their great grandchildren. This is why the royal family of Olateru-Olagbegi lineage of Owo in Ondo State rolled out drums to celebrate their matriarch, Olori (Chief) Julianah Olateru-Olagbegi who have lived through a century.

Olori Olateru-Olagbegi, popularly called ‘mama Bayo’ was born on April 24,1924 to the family of late Samuel Ojuluyi and late Elizabeth Ojuluyi of Ilesha, Osun State, mama obtained her standard six certificate after which she proceeded to school of nursing in Akure where she bagged a certificate in midwifery and was transferred to Owo.

Marriage

While working in Owo, mama’s office was beside the palace of Olowo of Owo, Oba Olateru-Olagbegi, who often visited Mama’s working place to be sure things were done accordingly. From there, Mama’s commitment to her duty coupled with her irresistible beauty attracted the then king who married Mama in the year 1945.

 She joined other wives of the monarch in the palace. Though described as a disciplinarian to the core, mama can be said to be one of the few who enjoy uncommon grace not only for celebrating 100 years but for the fact that she gave birth to six children who are alive to witness her centenary birthday celebration.

After her marriage to the royal family, Mama’s character and her caring heart endeared her to other Oloris in the palace. She became a unifying factor among the Oloris who loved and trusted Mama to no end. They so much trust Mama that she was made to take the deliveries of their pregnancies.

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Life challenges

While narrating her challenges, Mama, revealed that the one she could not forget was the Western region clash of 1966-1967 that claimed lives but thanked God for sparing her life.

Looking at Mama’s life, you don’t just see a woman who is one of the rare persons to have lived through a century. No! Her cheerful mien and sharp wits belies her age. Rather, you see a beautiful soul, a strong, resilient woman who, every day, inspires you to endure and overcome every trial and tribulation of life.

Religion

As Mama ages, so her strength. As a devote christian, mama attends Methodist Church Oke-Owo and belongs to “Egbe Otun Oluwa” where she contributes her quota to the church development by religiously paying her dues, a virtue which she has passed to her children. Mama moved to Akure 23 years ago after the death of her husband and attend Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry (MFM).

Attaining a centenary age is a rare privilege especially in this part of the world with short life span. According to mama, the secret of her long life is God because she doesn’t have any special food except that she avoid eating genetically modified food. Aside this, Mama does things that makes her happy and moves with people who are positive thinkers.

When the scriptures speak of the dividends of a righteous life, it could not have been more aptly shown than citing mama’s life as an example. Even from a close range, her age could easily be a subject for arguments because there are some who are not as old as mama but not as strong as she is.

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Beyond all the adulation accorded to mama on this special occasion of her centenary birthday, not many have bothered to observe the role of the God factor in the life of this kindhearted woman whose life today remains a prayer point for many. As a matter of fact, that has been the underlying drive behind her successes and longevity.

100 years, Wow!

Olori Olateru-Olagbegi’s foray into the centenarian club has seen heaps upon heaps of encomiums being loaded on her person, and one does not need to look far to see the reason for this because clocking 100 years of age can only be a miracle. One will not be wrong to say that the combination of nature and nurturing has been generous and kind to mama who is privileged to see her fourth generation. Described by many as a unique mother with a unique personality, Mama’s life no doubt personifies favour, grace and mercy of God.

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Family, friends fete Olori (Chief) Julianah Olateru-Olagbegi

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