Her Life

Mummy’s Autobiography

I was born at the Baptist Hospital Ogbomoso on Sunday, November 6, 1938 to the family of Prince Robert ‘Labisi and Deaconess Julianah Adebisi Awujuoola of Saki, then living at Iwo. I was thus the first daughter and the second child, following my brother, Prince Emmanuel Awujoola.

Dad, being a teacher and later a head teacher, ensured that my primary education started as early as four years at a time when there was no nursery or early childhood school. Those years of early school from 1942 to 1946 at Ijero Baptist School and later Reagan Memorial Primary School, Lagos were fun as I learnt the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic but left for home when I was tired.

My real primary education started at the Baptist Day School, Iwo from 1947 to 1952 during which period, I excelled in English, Arithmetic, Bible Knowledge and was among the three who recited the Beatitudes and won a prize.

To the glory of God, I passed the competitive examination to the “Girls University of my Days”. That was Idi Aba Baptist Girls School and Baptist Women’s Teachers College. There, I became independent, working on my G.A. (Girls Auxiliary) Forward Steps, a programme of the Nigeria (and Ghana) Baptist Women’s Missionary Union geared to develop girls spiritually, intellectually and in the fear of God. I thus became (with the late Bernice Siyanbola (Mrs.) Deaconess Aderounmu) the First Queen in Service in WMU/GA in Nigeria.

The training and impact of Idi Aba have remained with me since then.Idi Aba taught me to focus on God through Jesus Christ, my Saviour. The school imparted in me the joy of studying the Bible, praying and rendering service to others. It impacted in me dedication to duty, respect for constituted authority, a dogged determination to study with God’s help and excel in all that I do. I praise God for the missionaries and the Nigerian teachers for a job well done. At Idi Aba as a teacher, studying on my own, I passed all the GCE ‘O’ Level subjects that I took with distinctions.

I was able to proceed to London in 1961 where I did the ‘A’ Levels at North Western Polytechnic; B.A. Honours Geography at Birkbeck College of London University in 1968; Diploma in Education, London in 1976; Master of Arts Degree Cum Laude in Social Studies at Columbia University, New York 1977 and Doctor of Philosophy, Curriculum in Population and Social Studies Education, University of Lagos, 1981 and a Post Doctoral Certificate of the Multinational Institute of American Studies, New York University, New York in 1986.

My working life started at my dear Alma Mater, Idi Aba, where I taught from 1958 to 1961; the Lagos City College, 1968 to 1974; and Lagos State College of Education, Onitolo, Surulere, Lagos 1974 to 1975. Then I became a University Lecturer and Professor of Education from 1978 to 1994 and a UN Administrator as a Regional Population Education Training Adviser for Anglophone Africa from 1994 to 1999. To God Almighty be the glory for all whose lives touched mine and to my numerous students whose lives God has impacted through me.

On my 27th birthday, November 6, 1965, I was married to my ‘brother’ and friend, (Brother Deji, my friend, Lydia’s brother, who, we classmates very fondly called “Brother”) at Heath Street Baptist Church, Hampstead, London. My brother was the Father of the Day as he marched me down the aisle. The only prayer of all the message preached by our beloved Pastor, the late Rev. G. W. Sterry, which we still remember and say till today is: “You shall both grow old together.”

I praise God for my husband and his firm support of my dogged determination to study, excel and be what God wants me to be. He has proved to be a ‘brother’ indeed!I praise God at our growing old together in the fear of God and trusting Him for His faithfulness in our lives and situation. I thank him for his love, understanding and his full support in the upbringing of our children. To God Almighty be the praise.

I praise God for my children and their spouses who are also my children in their love for us, parents, and for me, their mother. Thank you all for accepting those corrections in your growing up years. Times there were that we cried together over wrongs done, but now we all smile and thank God for your acceptance of harsh corrections, tough times, which now result in happy and successful lives for you all. Love and blessings in Jesus’ name. Thank you all for your loving care, expenses and loving concern through prayers, love and sacrifice. God will reward your labour of love.

A family effort at writing led to my writing the Article which was accepted as the National Pledge in 1976 for which I received the National Honours of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 2005 and many letters of honours from various groups, nationally and internationally. To God Almighty Be The Glory!

I praise God for my parents who valued education, based on the fear of God. They showed me the way of salvation, encouraged my education and allowed me to grow in a home where contentment thrived. All through their lives, they showered their love on me through their daily prayers and commitment to my home training. I praise God for Mama Kekere, Mama Rebekah Olagoke, who taught me that hard work and perseverance foster growth and happiness. She ensured all house chores were done and done very well.

I thank God for my brothers and sisters who are true in their love for me and in our steadfastness together in prayers for our families, in appreciating one another and in the unity of hearts that continue to be our strength.

I praise God for my sisters and brothers-in-law. We have all become sisters and brothers, not in-laws. Thank God for the love and understanding that bind us together. Thank God for the bond of united prayers even over unexpected trying times, which we are united in combating in faith. I love you all and thank you for accepting me as “Mama wa”.

I praise God for my friends, especially my Idi Aba classmates, those alive and those who have gone on to be with the Lord. We all treasure the gift of friendship and how far the Lord has led us. We glorify Him for making us stars in our little corners. All IBOSAS, you are dearly loved and highly valued. God bless you all.

I got to the peak of my chosen profession by being appointed a Professor of Education in 1996 with over 80 published books, journal articles, monographs and research reports; and over 100 papers read at national and international conferences and papers presented as part of my service to the community, the church and various groups.

From a humble beginning, God elevated me in His love and mercy to become saved and born-again. At the age of 12, I gave my life to Him and started walking in His steps as a Sunbeam, GA, Women Missionary Society member, then GA and Lydia Adviser, Foundation Member of Ladies Crusaders of Yaba Baptist Church where all women of like-minds come together to serve the Lord. God is our strength as we decide to “Know nothing safe Jesus Christ and Him Crucified,” which is our watchword. Forward Ever, Backward Never – Crusaders!

I praise God for my church, Yaba Baptist Church, for the dedicated Pastors and Deacons who labour selflessly to promote the Kingdom of God in our midst and throughout the nation. I was ordained into service as a Deaconess of Yaba Baptist Church in 1989.

I praise God for the Lunch Hour Prayer Fellowship, the coordinators and especially Dr. Quadri and Mrs. Abiodun, for their selfless commitment to prayer, fasting and visitation in good and bad times. Your labour of love will be richly rewarded in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I praise God for all in Yaba Baptist Church, in the various societies, groups, individuals and others for your prayers, love, gifts, telephone calls and personal visits which strengthened my faith and hope in God and confirmed that we are a “Love Church”! All glory to the God of Love and Mercy!

Senior Citizens, God is your strength and to the oldest Senior Citizen, Pa Edun, I bless God for you, your fatherly role, not only to all but especially to my family. To God Almighty be the glory in Jesus’ name.

For God’s goodness in my life, I say:

Thank you, Lord,

Thank you, Lord,

All I have to say is, thank you Lord!

These words are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Saviour of the world and believing Him, you will enjoy eternity with Him. Amen.

In closing, let me share this quotation with you.

“You are writing a Gospel,

A chapter each day

By the Words that you say

By the Deeds that you do.

People read what you write

Whether faithless or true.

Say, what is the Gospel

According to You”