TRIBUTE: Good Night Funmistic

April 28, 2013

Adetoro Oladapo, a Deputy Director with the Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, was a close friend of the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka. They played and schooled together. Oladapo, who is a former National President of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), pays a  tribute to her late friend, who she always called ‘Funmistic’.

Writing a tribute on “Funmistic”– whom I thought will remain a part of my life till the very end having shared with her 43 years of my over five decades of existence– is indeed an uneasy task. Where do I start from? Can I ever recount all our escapades as young rascals in secondary school? Or is it our shared joy and pain as young women and mothers ? Or is it managing career stress and family/sibling politics.?

I met Funmi in Holy Trinity Grammar School, Ibadan in I972. Olayinka nee Famuagun was born on June 20th 1960. She was the first of six girls which put enormous responsibility on her even from a young age.

Funmi as young as age 14 would coordinate domestic chores, including shopping for the house, ensuring that meals were well prepared and served with little or no supervision from her step mother.

Myself having come from Lagos and schooling in Ibadan and staying in the boarding house, a good distance from Lagos then, I spent most short breaks or public holidays with the Famuaguns. There, I saw how a young girl like me had been exposed to such huge responsibility and I got fascinated because she did all these with less stress.

She taught me how to wrap moinmoin in leaves, how to peel large quantity beans with legs, which she also did to the admiration of my in-laws after I got married and was doing the naming ceremony of my first child in Lagos some 28 years ago.

We became close in the boarding house when we became prefects. I, assistant senior girl and Funmi, games prefect, as she was extremely active in sporting activities. We had to work together to coordinate the students. We were heady and rascally, and that earned us great admiration from teachers and students– even till today.

While Funmistic was into sports, I was into school debate and was the “defender of the universe”, fighting any injustice against students. In all these we excelled in our studies. When we sat for the West African School Certificate Examination, in 1976, only three girls passed out of the over 40 girls. We were both in that successful trio.

We sometime went to Erijiyan Ekiti for the burial of my brother in law who was assassinated, Funmi, uninvited left her nine months old baby she was then breastfeeding and went with me for three days, not minding complaint from her family. Funmi made sure that our children wore same dresses for their christening.

Above all, Funmi was highly religious. She served her creator till the very end. Until she was hit by the sickness, Funmi did not fail to send prayer messages to her teeming friends on Mondays, despite her exalted position.

Funmilayo omo aba Addo! Omo Eye Iddo Faboro. Sun re o. Thank you for being part of me and my family. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to pay back your generosity and the emotion you invested in me. Thank you for allowing me to feed you some few days before your departure and share your last few minutes on earth with you. That will remain evergreen in my memory. Good night Funmistic!

This article was first published in The Nation on April 26, 2013.

Last modified: April 28, 2013

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