By Ishola Olateju
There is no doubting the fact that women are the pillars of the home. This is because they play significant roles in the safeguard of the home front for men.
Women are quintessential elements of society. They contribute in no small measure to the growth, development and the raising of generations cum generations. Apart from providing the needed support for her husband, she is also a strong force in the society whose impact cannot be over-emphasized.
Overtime, I have seen women who despite their huge responsibilities at their primary place of assignment, the home have grown in leaps and bounds to become successful, nation builders and of essential contributions to the growth and development of the world.
One of such women that I know is Sherifat Abidemi Aregbesola. She is one I love to call “My Mother”, not because of anything, but her steadfast role in nation building, caring heart for the family and one with golden imprints wherever she is.
Born in Ijagbo town of Kwara state on this day in 1960, Sherifat is a graduate of Catering and Hotel Management from the Lagos State Polytechnic. Her professional experience spans industries including the Hospitality, Print, Aviation and Education sectors.
Before her emergence as the First Lady of the State of Osun while her husband, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the current Minister of Interior held sway as the Chief Executive of the state, Mrs Aregbesola had been a symbol of motherhood and an exceptionally supportive wife to her husband.
Throughout the administration, Sherifat Aregbesola showcased an exemplary profile of Mother to all. She was an epitome of care and love as the chief host in the State Government House.
Her concern for the welfare and happiness of people prompted her to establish a Foundation named Sheri Care Foundation with the acronym (SCARF), with its activities revolving around care for the aged, the needy, people with physical challenges, widows and the young ones one that transcended the administration with the last being her intervention to provide palliatives for the people of Alimosho Local Government of Lagos state, Ilesa East of the State of Osun and Ijagbo of Kwara state to cushion the effect of the total lockdown declared to curb the spread of COVID-19 in May, 2020.
Because of her special interest in the issues of Environmental Conservation especially Climate Change and Environmental Sanitation, Sherifat devoted a lot of her energy, resources and time to a statewide grassroots campaign to bring about attitudinal change among people in the area of Total Community Sanitation.
Her focus as Wife of the Governor is to Engender Total Community Sanitation assisted in making many communities in the state engage in self corrective measures by constructing indigenous and affordable toilet facilities in their homes and communities thereby reducing diseases associated with the unclean practice of Open Defecation.
As a testimony to this laudable effort in the area of Sanitation, Abidemi was recognized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and was the only UNICEF Ambassador for CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation) in Nigeria.
All these and more speaks about a woman who cherishes passion for excellence, service delivery and in all, the development of humanity.
One of the most defining moments of her marriage with Ogbeni Aregbesola was the period while her husband fought to reclaim his stolen mandate. The time was defining such that when her husband was threatened and left home for months, she was able to rally the family and gave the needed moral support to the 8th Governor of Osun.
Motherhood entails great things as far as life is concerned. Mothers often sacrifice a lot and often make hard decisions for the good of their children and wards.
There is a certain strength in a mother that is not always appreciated but as we grow older and wiser, our appreciation grows for the woman who nurtured us into adulthood and in the case of Iya Kabiru, I have grown and lived to appreciate her for nurturing me into a limelight of responsibilities and responsiveness.
Personally, It is very hard for me to take credit for any of the successes I have in life. As hard as I have worked to become the best I can be, Iya Kabiru worked even harder to help me reach my dreams. You have taught me so much through the years. I have learned to value the strength of a mother through your practical actions, your character, your behaviours, your diligences and indeed I see how much in love and sacrifices you give everyday to make others happy.
I Celebrate Your Life today because your person and the day you were born mean so much to me, to be in your custody, under your motherhood guidance and tutelage in my life this another year are rare blessings which have shaped my life for better.
Each time, each day, each moment passing by I spent you is full of love and compassion. I cherish the very special bond we have and I will never taken it for granted.
You lift my spirit in so many ways, I celebrate your life; I honor you and I send to you my love and care and praise. I love you so dearly and want you to know, I think of you often wherever I go. You lift me up, you protect me, you are like walking sunshine over me.
I am lucky to have a great guidance under your motherhood. Your endless affection makes you special and rare;
I am always surprised by how much you care. Everything you have given or done for me, I can never repay.
Sherifat is a goal getter, humility personified, calm and calculated as well as being a strong matriach of the Aregbesola family.
As the golden jewel of inestimable value reaches the diamond age, one can only pray for many more fruitful and fulfilling years to continue to add value to humanity.
Happy Birthday, My Mother!