Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Be calm, be obedient to God and He will bless you - ELIZABETH OLUREMI FADAIRO

The story of Mrs Elizabeth Oluremi Fadairo, Nee Taylor, the wife of Chief Olu Fadairo, the story of one woman and three sets of twins …

Oluremi was born on January 20th 1938, few days after Chief Obafemi Awolowo got married Hannah Idowu Dideolu at the Saint Savior’s Anglican Church, Ikenne on December 26, 1937. Remi is the last child of a family of six from Abeokuta, her father was a Civil servant who on retirement went into farming and her mother was a trader. She attended Tinubu Primary School; Livingston Primary School before crossing over to Princess Modern School in Ebute-Mate, all in Lagos. Her grandmother in her days was very popular for she had three set of twins and the entire villagers knew her as ‘Iya Beji’, in fact it was said that most newly married ladies will go to her for prayers and blessings so they too may have twins and prosper in their marriages. 

Mr and Mrs Fadairo with their first set of twins

In 1954, Remi was done with her schooling and was planning to relocate to Ghana for a vocational training course. It was at this period that she had gone, alongside a cousin to visit the cousin’s friend who was also a friend to the handsome Fadairo, this visit was to change her life completely. The moment the young charming Fadairo set eyes on Remi, he was convinced she will be the bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. They were introduced to each other and while they exchanged pleasantries one could hear their laughter as it rings through the atmosphere of the building.  Few days after their meeting, there was a game of softball organised at the Desalu compound in Ebuta-Mate, Remi attended and behold once again Fadairo was present too and he was even the master of the game for he was the one throwing the ball. As faith had planned it, Remi had an accident during the game, Fadiaro had thrown the ball towards her side for her to catch up but unfortunately she missed her stepping and fall, sustain a cut, a deep cut and Fadiro felt guilty within himself that it was his fault and that brought them much more closer.  As he pampered her, while the wound was been treated, he asked for her hand in marriage and the pain disappeared as she said ‘YES’.

Family is everything

On November 3rd, 1955, they became husband and wife when they both echoed ‘I DO’ to each other. The young couple from the start planned their marriage even as they started the long journey for life as husband and wife. Shortly after the got married, they had their first child in 1956, few months later the child died, they moved on, had their second child in 1957 and again, the child died. Two dead kids in two years. 

Adebayo and Adewale, they opened the doors for the twins

Devastated, the man of the house lost hope and feared of what would be the state of his wife’s health if she continued loosing children, they both prayed to God but just before God answered them, pressure was mounted on Mr Olu Fadairo to get a new wife after the death of the children because of the alleged bad luck the marriage had brought to his life. His people told him that the wife might be possessed and that is why her babies are dying. The poor woman will spend days crying and asking God to make it right for her. The husband also believed in God and even his wife’s capacity to bring him joy.

Mr Adebayo, Dr James and Mr Adewale

By September 1958, when she discovered she was pregnant again she was worried, she told her husband and pleaded that he should tell no one for the time being. She went on prayers and asking God to help her make the baby stay. At the hospital she was told she is expecting twins and the fear increased. Twins. Will that mean she will be …. No God forbid. In May 1959 she had her first set of twins – all boys: Adedayo and Adewale. She gave them so much care and love and nurtured them with all she had. 

Standing left to right is Mr Adewale, Mr Oluwayemis, 
madam Idowu & Mr Adebayo. Seated left to right is 
Mama Elizabeth Oluremi & Dr James

In November 1960 she took in again and by July 17, 1961 another set of twins landed, this time a girl and a boy: Ajibola (Olaonipekun) and Popoola. Four children in two pregnancies not minding the loss of the first two pregnancies, their prayers had been answered. They couple were ready to stop, no more children. After all, they had agreed not to go beyond four from inception.

Mama Remi explaining some photos to Dr James with
Mr Bayo in white and Mr Yemisi watching

Then it started happening, the kids started falling sick, resulting to sleepless nights and anxious moments, then just like it is in all African homes, superstitious idea and stories started flying in here and there that without an IDOWU or ALABA – (a single male or female child after a set of twins) that the twins may not live long.

Mama Remi models with her daughter 

 So the couple embarked on a search for their Idowu or Alaba and behold, on June 26th 1963 they had the third set of twins – Olugbemiga and Oluyemisi - again all boys.

Mama Remi as a model on he cover of 'Woman's World Magazine

The fear that she may have a 4th set of twins, made them wait for about seven years after the birth of the last set of the third twins before another attempt was made to get the ‘Idowu’ which had to come after a set of twins.

Chief Fadairo in a handshake with General Yakubu Gowon, Head of state of Nigeria

Considering the fact that they had more than a twin set, they decided not use the names ‘Taiwo’ and ‘Kehinde’ as their names for easy identifications. They called them by their real names Adebayo and Adewale, Ajibola (girl) and Popoola, Olugbemiga and Oluyemisi and the last but not the least Idowu. God blessed them all and today they are all happy. 

Mama Remi got a book gift from Dr. James

Chief Fadairo retired as the General Manager, (Publication Division) of Daily Times of Nigeria in 1984 having worked there for 36 years. He joined his Creator on November 16, 2008, at the age of 78. Mama is very much around as u can see in my photo with her, Mama is 82 and she will be 83 on January 2021 surrounded by all the twins and Idowu and plenty grandchildren.

Madam Idowu and Dr. James

When asked what is her secret, she simply said ‘I remain obedient to God and God has blessed me, I had tremendous respect to for my husband and I never listened to hearsay.” 

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