“Children, honour your parents, that it will be well with you,” God enjoins us in His Word, Ephesians 6:2-3. This is not a plea but a command and it goes with a promise that it will be well with the children. The Sobo family members obeyed this command on July 27, 2019, in celebrating their mum’s birthday. Our brethren, Pst. and Pst. [Mrs.] Lanre Sobo, came all the way from Dallas,Texas. Had they sent large amount of Dollars for the birthday, with ‘wonderful’ excuses why they could not make it, nobody might have bothered. Dollar, for sure, would have represented them! Thank God they came.
Dr. & Mrs. Onanuga, members of his Redeemed Christian Church of God [RCCG] in Dallas, came also for the birthday. Perhaps, other members were there, but the couple recognized my wife and me and came and greeted us, appreciating God for His gifts on our children in their Church, Dcn & Dcns Chidi Anyalechi. It was a high class celebration. The invite limited admission to the names specified on it, yet, the hall was full of people. A lady came and greeted us. I could hardly recognize her. That was my daughter, Kemi Toluwalawi, a Pharmacist and a member of my Church, who had just returned from Uk. She and the ladies on her exclusive table, singing and dancing merrily, were classmates in the school with one of Mama’s daughters.
It was a ceremony in which humility and quality kissed themselves. It was difficult, however, to hide affluence. We felt a whiff of it through the type of venue chosen, the seats, and food served, all reflecting the personality of the celebrant and of the guests. In fact, everything about the birthday spoke loud. It was conducted by the Redeemed Christian Church of God. That the celebration was preceded by a Church service, revealed Mama’s personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.
There are birthdays and there are also birthdays. Mama, looking plum and cool, her face transfigured with joy, as her dancing steps, even at the age of 80, showed her contentment, and gratitude to God for His blessings. Some parents may be tired of living, and they see every new day as punishment. It may result from the type of children they have. Not Mama! Some people, though 50, look 80. It is something else when a woman of 80 looks 50! Though satisfied like Rev. Simeon [Luke 2:29-30], Mama will not pray like him, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace”. If Jesus tarries, after another 80 years, you may be invited for her birthday!
We gathered that day, July 27, 2019, because of a baby girl, named Victoria Omowunmi, who was born on June 24, 1939, to the family of Chief Jacob Omotayo Ojobaro and Janet Abosede Ojobaro, now all late. Between 1951 and 1958, she was at the Methodist Primary School, Ebute Metta and Children Home School, Ibadan, before entering Lisabi Grammar School, Abeokuta. A Civil servant, she rose to be the Chief Typist in 1988. She joined the Teaching Service, where she retired in 1998. In 1968, she wedded Pa Jackson Olajide Sobo, a marriage that brought Pastor Lanre Sobo, his sister, Mrs. Yinka Sideso, and their wonderful spouses, Mr. Francis Sideso and Pst Kemi Sobo.
In 1964, she surrendered her life to Jesus. Unlike a youth, whose dad was ministering, and he told the people around him not to mind him, Pst. Lanre’s testimony is that Mama is a devoted Christian, a doer of the Word! While most people fight with their fists and mouth, her weapons, as the Bible enjoins us, are not carnal but mighty through God, Lanre said. Worshipping God, no matter the provocation, is what she does. Today, she is a committed and an active member of the RCCG, in Glory Assembly Parish in Ikorodu, Lagos.
To Pastor Lanre, his mother is ‘contented, loving, caring, dedicated, blessed and favoured’. Stressing contentment, he said that he could not remember even one day she was anxious for anything, while some mothers have a shopping list of complains. This is in consonant with God’s Word that we should not be anxious for anything. For over twenty years he has lived abroad, his mum has never made a request for anything. Christ Jesus, she says, takes care of her daily and when she called, usually, during birthdays or anniversary celebrations, it was to pray for the couple and their children.
For Aunty Oluwayimika, her daughter, “You made me who I am today. You taught me to be strong in the Lord, and to be prayerful. You inspired me”. Still on her Mum, “When I needed strength, you gave me hope, when I needed help, you gave me support and when I needed even more, you gave me endless unconditional love”. A mother indeed, says Pastor Kemi, for she has never regarded nor treated her as a daughter-in-law but as her daughter! To her, Mama is a mother, a friend and a prayer intercessor. Mama will never allow her to do any house work during her visits to the US.
Mr. Francis Sideso said that Mama accepts him as a son and not as a son-in-law. “I have never met a more loving, caring, compassionate and strong person in my life,” he said. Titilayo, Mama’s granddaughter, calls her, “My first mother” and a woman that made her, “To be strong, prayerful, patient, respectful, loyal, giving, caring, kind, non-judgmental, and sophisticated”. Her laughter, she said is ‘contagious’. “You are a sweet, caring, and loving person,” says Jonathan, her grandson. Rere, her grandson says, “Without you, my father would not have been born and he would not have married my mother. It means that I would not have been born!”
As we appreciate the entire family members of Sobo for organizing the birthday celebration, Mama’s life remains a challenge to us. Life expectancy of women is below 70 years and for a woman to be 80 and she is still strong, is praiseworthy. As the family members did not spare money to make the day great, God will bless them with long life, and their children and grandchildren, will also honour them.
Mama’s success was from the day she was named Victoria. She grew up to be victorious! Living out her name and for the Lord, she surrendered her life to Jesus in 1964. She has gone through slips and slithers in life but came out successful, ignoring offenses, knowing that bitterness makes a bad situation worse. Her weapon is prayer and worship. She is tender with people’s scruples but unflinching on integrity.
A few years ago, her spouse, who also, gave his life to Jesus, left for Heaven. What about you and your parents? Where will you spend eternity? Mama, Happy BIRTHDAY!
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]