Mrs. Olubimpe Abike Odubela is the beautiful wife of Barrister Olusegun Odubela, a former Commissioner of Education in Ogun State and Head of Rickey Tarfa Law Chambers.
She turned 50 on April 27, 2017, but was in far away London with her children who were busy with their university examinations.
On Saturday, August 26, 2017, the husband staged a wondrous party for her to mark her golden age at their Nicon Town Estate, Lekki (Lagos) residence.
encomium.ng met with the birthday girl for an exclusive interview where she told us the story of her life.
We want to start by congratulating you on your 50th birthday?
Thank you very much.
Do you feel your new age?
Not at all. I feel young.
What was the first thought that came to your mind that morning you turned 50?
The very first thought was that waoh, the clock is ticking. Because once you are 50, your life span keeps on reducing.
What precisely would you say you are grateful to God for turning 50?
I am so much grateful to God for sparing my life, most importantly, His gift that He gave to me – my children. Because He has blessed me with beautiful children and that gives me great joy.
You don’t look 50.
That is what everybody is saying.
What is the secret?
It is just God. It runs in the family anyway. If you see my mum, you will not believe she is 90. She still moves around. She goes to parties once in a while and she does not use walking stick.
While growing up, did you ever envisage you will be where you are today?
Yes, because in everything I do, I always aim to be the best. Everywhere I go, I have to shine. So, I put it in my prayers that everywhere I step into l, everywhere my children step into, they will shine. It is only God that does it, not me. Because He will give you everything it takes to shine. It is Him and only Him that can do it.
Will you say your childhood was a privileged or an humble one?
It was a privileged one. I am the only girl of the family.
Among how many other siblings?
Three boys. My dad used to be a politician in Jakande’s regime. He was a commissioner in Jakande’s cabinet.
That means you had the best of everything while growing up?
I thank God.
Which schools did you attend?
Corona Primary school, Gbagada. I lived with my dad in Lagos then while my mum lived in Ikenne. But she comes to Lagos once in a while.
So, who was taking care of you as the only girl of the family?
House help. As I said earlier, my mum was always coming to Lagos. You know Ikenne is not far. She had a poultry and a bakery in Ikenne, which she was seeing to then. So, after my primary school in Lagos, my mum took me with her to Ikenne and she put me in Mayflower School, Ikenne for my secondary education. I didn’t like it but I had no choice because my mum wanted me to be near her.
Was Tai Solarin still alive then?
Yes, he was. After Mayflower school, I went to Ogun State University, where I studied Microbiology.
What have been doing since you left university?
When I left university, I started working with Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) then. But I left FEPA because it was taking much of my time and I needed to take good care of my children. I left FEPA to start a business of selling children clothes at Tejuoso Market.
From there, I changed to selling lace both in the shop and at home. With this, I had enough time to take care of my children. That made me happy. But when they started their advanced level and university education, they relocated abroad and I had to be there with them.
So, it was not easy for me to monitor my business properly. It was as if I was working for the sales girl. So, I just stopped and I started learning fashion design. Today, I have my own fashion design outfit – Odubela Couture. I have an office and show room at Chevron Estate.
Who are your clients?
Women, l make all types of women clothes.
At 50, when would say is the happiest moment of your life?
Every moment has been the happiest moment of my life. But my greatest joy has been my family.
When would say has been the saddest moment of your life?
I really cannot remember any. Because in some situations when l wanted to go low God lifted me up.
Where and how did you meet your husband – Mr. Segun Odubela?
We met by chance and I knew the very first time I met him he was going to be my husband. We went to the same university but we never met there. So, that day that l saw him, we looked at each other and we started talking has if we had been friends for long.
I have met so many people but I didn’t feel anything. So, as we were discussing, something was telling that this is your husband even though our discussion was not about boyfriend and girlfriend issue. It was a general issue.
When l got home that day, I told my mum. I said, I met somebody today and something inside of me told me he is my husband. Please, be praying for me.
For how long did you two court?
I met him in 1990 and we got married in 1993.
Would you say it was love at first sight?
I will say it was just God. Because l wasn’t looking for handsomeness or height. I was looking for the bone of my bone. Somebody that will make me shine. Not somebody that pull me down.
How will you describe the marital journey with him so far?
We’ve had our high and low moments, though most of it has been high. We’ve had turbulence, serious turbulence but we thank God. Here we are today.
Who apologises first between you and him when there is disagreement.
I am very quick to apologise. It’s in my nature.
Has there been occasions when he apologises when he offends you?
Yes, because at times, I tell him you did this you need to apologise to me. Once I say that, he will say ma binu (don’t be annoyed). Sorry.
At a time in his life he went into politics. Did you like it?
Yes o. Because, I saw it as a way of giving back to the society. When Amosun was campaigning, I told my husband he would win and he would give him something (political appointment). But that something I don’t know.
Were they very close friends that time?
Yes. When Amosun eventually gave him something (nominated him as a commissioner) he came to me to ask, ‘ should I take it?’ I said yes. Because it is a way of giving back to the society. So, for those four years (2011-2015), I did not mind him joining politics. But not extending more than four years.
Why didn’t you want him to go beyond four years?
Because he needs to come back to pursue his SAN ambition. Now he has got it.
Can he now go back to politics?
We leave that to God.
All your children are girls. Do you miss not having a boy?
What is it that you still want God to do for you at 50?
I want more blessings from God in all areas of my life.
- TOLANI ABATTI