She had every cause to roll out the drums and throw a big party. The past 50 years of her life have been both dramatic and fruitful.
But rather than go the traditional way of partying, she pitched her tent with the children of Ijamido Motherless Home, Ota, Ogun State.
For Dr. Mrs. Olanike Akindayo, who clocked 50 on September 25, celebrating with children of the home is fitting for a cause she has supported in almost 20 years.
Beyond the celebration, Olanike Akindayo who is a pastor and Head of School at Grace Children School, Gbagada has formed a bond with the children of the home.
She has been helping them in her own little way, raising support and bringing the home to public attention.
So her golden jubilee celebration was not an exception. But this time, a few friends joined her in the home to thank God and appreciate Him for the mercies of the last 50 years.
Indeed, life had happened in many respects. She recalled at the event that she has an affinity with the North of Nigeria, having been born to a close-knit family and named Jummai, meaning Friday. Incidentally, her 50th birthday fell on Friday.
There was indeed every reason to thank God. But the core of her thanksgiving was getting to know Jesus in her teenage years while she was a student at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife in the mid-1980s.
Beyond that, however, was the fact that the Lord used her as an instrument in bringing many to light.
At the event, one of the people she laboured and travailed in prayers for, Pastor Abiodun Emmanuel was on ground to give a brief message.
Pastor Emmanuel recalled in his brief exhortation how Dr. Mrs. Akindayo took it upon herself to intercede and pray for a network of students while on campus.
He recalled how she and one Margaret Fadehan prayed and stood in the gap for them while they were still in the “world”.
Today, Pastor Abiodun has become a global preacher reaching out to thousands of souls.
He said, “I have known Sister Nike since 1982. She was one of the people who prayed for me to be who I am today. I remember she and Sis. Fadehan laboured over me in prayers.”
Turning to Dr. Akindayo, he said, “if nothing should give you joy, I should give you joy. You have given birth to many children of faith.”
He told his listeners that no matter the decadence in the life of people that they should not give up on them noting that his, was a classic case of somebody that ordinarily had no chance of coming to know Jesus.
“I want to thank God today that the Lord has counted me worthy to witness this day. I had to put off all other events so I could be here. There are so many of us that came to know Jesus through the prayers of the celebrant. I am one of her products,” he quipped.
There were so many other testimonies about the celebrant from participants at the event.
But the intriguing thing about the celebration was her exemplary display of passion for the less privileged.
The authorities of the home noted that she had always extended a hand of fellowship to both staff and children of the home.
Her husband, Pastor Dele Akindayo, the Senior Pastor at Inheritors Christ Mission Int’l, was full of joy and appreciative of her supportive role since they got married well over two decades ago. It was a story of starting from the scratches. Today, God has glorified himself in the home of the couple.
Ijamido Motherless Children Home
For the celebrant, however, the Ijamido Children home seems to be a project she holds so dearly. The home was founded by an American, Chief (Mrs.) Irene V. Willoughby (Nee Liverpool) in the year 1958. She was brought to Nigeria by her parents – Pa. J.B. Liverpool and Mrs. Elizabeth Liverpool when she was eight years old.
She did all her schooling in Nigeria and trained as a Nurse/Midwife. She worked in so many places within Nigeria until she was transferred to Ota to open the maternity Centre at the Local Government in 1956. She started running a Motherless home in 1958; the home was approved by the State Government in 1979.
During her lifetime, Willoughby was said to have trained about 500 children. Many of the children are doing great in different fields of human endeavours. Presently the home is being run by its first baby, Mrs. Victoria Obakoya. She took over as the Matron in 1992 before the death of the founder. Her husband, Daniel Obakoya is the Patron of the home.
The beauty of the home is that it has maintained great resilience and has survived over the years despite the demise of the founder. The Obakoyas seems to have stepped comfortably into the shoes of the founder.
For Dr. Akindayo, it was an opportunity to spare a golden thought for Ijamido Children Home while also trusting that many people will see the need to lend a hand of support to motherless children and indeed the less privileged.
If God is leading you to support Ijamido Children Home please contact:
PO Box 51623
Durham, NC 27717
147, Ilo Awela Road
P.O. Box 320, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria