By Goke Ilesanmi
She is an energetic self-starter and a visionary who believes that whatever good thing you conceive and believe in, you definitely can achieve through a great dose of persistent diligence, focus and commitment. In short, she is a Professor of Resilience, in the Department of Endurance, Faculty of Perseverance and University of Determination.
She strongly believes that (hard) WORK comes before SUCCESS; and that the only place where SUCCESS comes before WORK is in the dictionary, because letter “S” comes before “W” in the alphabetical order. She is simply a magnificent model of exceptional diligence, excellence, intelligence, temperance and magnetic elegance.
What’s more, she is a unique prototype of outstanding integrity, nobility, royalty, cordiality and humility who is also admirable, respectable, sociable and indefatigable.
She works all her life to become a great achiever and yet wears invisible dark glasses of simplicity to avoid being recognised. Her lifestyle typifies the popular maxim that it is only an empty barrel that makes the loudest noise. Her name is PRINCESS (DAME) FLORENCE ANIKE ADENINYO ADEGBOLA.
In fact, it took persistent persuasion before she finally agreed that this piece be written on her. My decision to write on her stems from the motivational potency of her life-story which is capable of arousing the teeming youth in Nigeria and beyond to work hard for the attainment of success in life.
The decision to publicise her life-story is further predicated on this popular biblical allusion in Luke 11:33, “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick that they which come in may see the light”(KJV).
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
PRINCESS ADEGBOLA was born 70 years ago into the
Royal family of the Late Oba Joseph Dada, Atobatele 1, the Owa Ooye of
Okemesi-Ekiti (1938-1986) and the Late Olori Dorcas Sijuwade Dada.
She attended St. Andrew’s Primary School, Okemesi-Ekiti and Methodist Girls’
School, Ifaki-Ekiti for her secondary school education. At the secondary school, her exceptional diligence, intelligence and excellence were concretely confirmed by her ability to bag double promotion to sit for the West African School Certificate Examinations with the senior set in 1966.
In 1967, she proceeded to St. Anne’s School, Ibadan for her Higher School Certificate education. She however moved to the Federal School of Science, Onikan, Lagos where she bagged her G.C.E ‘A’ Level in June 1969.
In1970, PRINCESS ADEGBOLA secured admission into the foremost university in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany in June 1973.
One major attribute of great achievers is their thirst for greater achievements. Therefore, her thirst for excellence and professionalism spurred her to register for a Post-Graduate Degree programme in Education at the University of Lagos in 1979. She never rested on her laurel but worked hard to bag a Master’s degree in Educational Administration also from the University of Lagos in 1989.
MARK OF DISTINCTION
PRINCESS ADEGBOLA is passionate about distinction. As a student, she was definitely SITTING when others were SLEEPING; STANDING when they were SITTING; OUTSTANDING when they were STANDING; STANDING OUT when they were OUTSTANDING and even when some of the classmates tried to stand out, she ensured that she became the standard with which their stand-out was being measured. Little wonder then that she was able to enjoy scholarships at secondary and university levels.
A woman of many firsts, PRINCESS ADEGBOLA served Nigeria as one of the pioneer members observing the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in 1973 in the then Mid-West Nigeria where she taught Biology at Our Lady’s High School, Effurun-Warri. At the end of the service, she became a full-fledged civil servant posted to the Federal Ministry of Education as Lecturer/Education Officer.
The scope of her work experience covered:
- Secondment to Lagos State UPE (1974-1979)
- Biology Teacher at FGGC, Lagos, Ijanikin (1979-1983)
- Scholarship Administrator at Federal Scholarship Board (1983-1998)
- Project Manager at World Bank-Assisted Education Projects Implementation Unit (1998-2003)
- Principal, Federal Government Girls’ College, New Bussa (2003-2007)
PRINCESS ADEGBOLA rose through the ranks and retired meritoriously in 2007.
PRINCESS ADEGBOLA served in the Governing Council of Bayero University, Kano (2002-2004). She also served as the first chairman of the inaugural session of the School-Based Management Committee of Queen’s College, Lagos (2010-2012).
A woman of outstanding athletic ability, PRINCESS ADEGBOLA was a very active sports lady at the secondary and university levels. She represented her university at the Nigeria University Games Association (NUGA) Games and West African University Games, winning laurels and receiving commendations. Her sporting activities and sociability justifiably account for why she stills looks radiant and twenty years younger than her age.
RELIGIOUS COMMITMENT AND HONOURS
PRINCESS ADEGBOLA, a God-fearing woman, is a very active and devout member of the Anglican Communion. She became a chorister at an early age of nine and remains a chorister even till now. She has served at various times in the Parish Church Council (PCC) of the churches she has worshipped in.
In recognition of her service to the church, she was knighted by the Bishop of the Diocese of New Bussa, The Rt. Rev I. A. Amoo in March 2010 and also, honoured with a Diocesan Award of Excellence in March 2017.
In April 2017, PRINCESS ADEGBOLA was installed the “IYA EGBE ISOKAN” of St. Michael’s Anglican Church, Okemesi-Ekiti, her home town by
the Bishop of Ekiti-West Diocese, The Rt. Revd S. O. Oke (now retired).
Just as she is a silent achiever, PRINCESS ADEGBOLA is equally a silent philanthropist who consistently assists people without making noise about it. In fact, it is the numerous beneficiaries of her exceptional generosity that occasionally betray her silence about her kindness and tell people.
PRINCESS ADEGBOLA was married to a wonderful and loving husband, the Late Dr. Olayide Adegbola. The marriage was (and is) blessed with wonderful children and grand-children.