My parents/pastors/mentors- Revd and Mrs Taiwo Dinah Opajobi are the ones I am celebrating today.
Where exactly do I start from?
From the very beginning I guess…
I worshipped at University Baptist Church, Ogbomoso during my University days; right from my first Sunday in school till the very last day.
The senior Pastors of my Church, Revd Dr & Revd Dr (Mrs) JideDoyin Abimbola choose a member of the choir to serve as the “Pastor’s Secretary”. The duty of the “Pastor’s secretary” was to gather all the announcement from the various departments in the church. She was more like the chief protocol officer who attended to the Pastors during church services.
In my second year, the Pastor’s secretary had to proceed for a 6-month industrial training; she was in her fourth year.
That was how I was chosen to be the Pastor’s secretary. It was meant to be a tentative thing. I was just meant to fill in for her till she returned.
At that time, Revd Opajobi was a student in the Seminary and was one of the Pastor’s in church at that time.
On a particular Sunday, as the recession took place after service, I got to the main door and Revd Opajobi called out to me saying, “Our Secretary”.
I was quick to say, “I will no longer be the secretary once the person I was filling in for returned” as her return was imminent as at that time.
However, he replied with these words: “You are the one we want. God has chosen you so to have to continue with the assignment.”
That was it.
My first real encounter with the man that had been a real pillar of support and my mentor extraordinaire.
I can’t even explain how I just automatically became his Mentee after that first encounter. Seriously, we just jelled. He is very passionate about excellence. He took interest in my academic and spiritual progress. And for the first time in my life, I found someone apart from my mum at that time to whom I could bare my mind without the fear of being judged or exposed.
So how did my relationship with mummy begin?
Revd had told his fiancee about me and we talked a few times. We were still using call cards at the phone booths then.
It so happened that the annual AGM/conference of our professional body was to hold in Kano while I was in my fourth year of school. Coincidentally, she was living in Kano at that time.
Immediately Revd heard that I would be going to Kano with my colleagues, he asked me to inform Aunty Dinah, as I fondly called her. She gave me a description of her place over the phone.
Once we landed in Kano, the first point of call was her place alongside my good friend and sister Elizabeth. I remember sitting in a tricycle for the first time that day.
She received us as if we had known each other for a long time. She then convinced us to stay over at her place and we slept over for 3 or 4 nights instead of staying with the other students in the students in the hostel accommodation provided for us. It was basically home away from home. Her entire family was so nice to us.
We began chatting on phone once I got my first Nokia 3310 with my Mtel line.
I just gradually became like a sister to her, because that was how she treated me; like her sister.
Once they got married, I was christened their first child.
By this time, my entire family knew them and vice versa.
They have been a part of every single important event in my family. They traveled down for my mum’s 50th Birthday, our wedding where Revd was the preacher for the day and many more.
Revd has walked me through every ministerial assignment I have taken up. His advice is always valuable. When I share any idea I have, he helps with the fine tuning.
He doesn’t only give advice and spiritual support but he is such a giver too. He is not the kind to say you should go and pray when you are hungry. Mbanu.
His check gift to us during our wedding was the highest from a single person.
He was involved through every step of the way of the publication of my first book.
Now, this act left a mark on my heart:
When it was time to fix a date for the launching of The Beautiful Branch, I wanted him to be the chairman so I asked him to pick a convenient date but he declined. He told me to pick any date.
I did, called him to inform him and he said it was fine.
He was there at the event and his check left my mouth agape.
What I didn’t know was that there was a wedding in his church at the same time I had fixed for my book launch.
He left the other Pastors to officiate the other part of the wedding while he hurriedly drove down for my event, arriving several minutes before the stipulated time.
Dad, you don’t know just how much that Single act means to my husband and I.
My father is a worthy role model and a wise counselor.
… A father of very many.
… A superb leader and a leader of leaders who is really passionate about leadership.
Talk about an anointed teacher of the Word…
I mean, you just need to be under his teaching.
I remember during my MSc program, inviting to minister to us in the fellowship I worshipped in on a Sunday morning and boom…
That teaching was explosive.
I have listened to so many teachings/preachings and I can’t remember the topic of about 99% (I guess) of those messages but this particular one I can never forget. He talked to us about the Spirit of Excellence and yes, the message is stuck in my heart. I even remember the song he led us to sing when it was to pray after the teaching.
I remember some of my co-executives admiring me. One of them in particular told me I was lucky to have such a great teacher of the Word and my father. Of course not without some teasing about me feeling cool that he was my Pastor.
Who wouldn’t anyway?
It is in the same way I remember vividly his charge on my wedding day.
And visit his library and you would almost faint. I remember a number of times we entered bookshops together and he would just give me a blank check…. And me that I love books before. 😊
He invests and never stops investing on gaining knowledge.
And his business acumen? Top notch!
Not only that, he is a role model for excellent academic performance, topping his classes.
Do you know how they say that you would know your best friend from how he/she acts in your house; how freely he/she feels to move around in your house?
Yes, their home is my home. Whenever I have a reason to stay over in Ogbomoso, what I get from mummy is go to your room. They have kept the door of their home open to me for several years and I feel really privileged.
Mummy, you are such a beautiful woman with a beautiful spirit.
Thank you for marrying my daddy and helping us feed him fat 😀
Thank you for teaching me how to cook white soup and making yam balls. And those your vegetable soups which are ALWAYS on point.
I cherish and value my relationship with your family.
I can’t write everything about this wonderful family in one sitting….
But indeed I am very grateful to God for giving me such awesome mentors.
Yes, I sit under tutelage of other people. And this father of mine tops the list.
Thank you dad and mum for your love and care.
God bless you G-girl, my dear aburo.
May God keep your home and ministry forever in Jesus’ name.
You will continue to be channels of blessing to our world and you will never miss your reward by the grace of God!
I celebrate you today and always!
I love you!