– As daughter launches movie in her memory
It seems just like yesterday, but it’s been one year since the world lost one of its finest, Chief (Mrs.) Adetayo Adunni Bankole, the Iyalode of Gbaguraland, Abeokuta, Ogun who died January 3, 2015.
And in honour of the 55-year-old philanthropist and high society woman, her family staged a memorial concert as part of an initiative to keep her memory alive on Friday, January 8, 2016 at R & A Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos, which saw a host of movie stars present.
Performances from the likes of Lanre Teriba (Atorise), Kehinde Oshadipe, Segun Blessing thrilled.
The occasion also saw the launch of Eliza, a movie produced by the late multi-chieftaincy title holder’s first daughter, Toyin Bankole to honour her memory.
ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with the late chief’s daughters, Toyin and Mopelola; as well as guests at the event.
‘It’s not been easy, it’s been difficult’ – TOYIN BANKOLE, first child
It’s been one year since your mom passed on, what has it been like?
How have you and other members of the family been coping since?
It’s difficult coming to terms with the reality of losing someone so dear to you. At first, it would be difficult, but with time and events, the reality dawns on you that the person is actually gone. And like I said, accepting that reality is not easy. But when you find yourself in a situation that you cannot change, you just have to accept and learn to live with it.
As your mom’s first child, there must have been a huge responsibility on you to help everyone get through it all, how have you been able to do that?
Where there’s love, everything is possible. All you need to keep going in such situations as this is love. If everyone loves each other and you have God, everything else falls into place. My mother taught us love, that was her watchword. Love conquers, love forgives. That’s what has helped us thus far, we give glory to God.
What’s the idea the memorial initiative and the concert held in her honour?
Our mom, Iyadunni Bankole made a name for herself, we could call her a brand. We thought that it’s easy to forget people when they’re no more. It’s easier for someone to contribute to the society and make their mark, but once the person is no more, it’s easy to forget that person. And considering mummy’s contribution to the society, we thought it would not be nice to just forget all that, thus we decided to come up with the initiative.
We would come up with other plan as part of the initiative with things we would like to do in her memory. Sincerely, the pain is just beginning to leave us, we’re just getting over the pain of losing her which is why we’ve not been able to really do much.
For the concert, you know what mummy loved doing then was to praise God, so to honour her we thought we should praise God for her life.
Tell us about the movie, Eliza and why you chose to launch it at the memorial concert?
We actually lost two members of our family at a time last year. I lost my niece to sickle cell anaemia shortly before my mom passed on. The movie touches on sickle cell anaemia and its dangers; and centres on a young girl who represents the struggle every woman goes through in a bid to achieve goals.
We all have our struggles, no matter how easy life seems to be. Everybody has a struggle that nobody knows about, that’s what the movie is about. The movie was done in memory of my mom. Contrary to what many people know, her full name was Elizabeth Adetayo Adunni, so the movie was named after her.
Well, mixed feelings, really. It’s good to know that people are here to honour her, it brings back memories of one year ago. Today is a celebration of life well spent.
What has life been like without her one year after?
That’s tough to say. It has shown me some things, it has revealed some people for who they truly are. It has also given me strength to face life and I’ve realised that nothing is really a big deal anymore.
We also spoke with some guests including movie stars at the memorial concert
‘SHE USED TO BE A VERY GOOD FRIEND’ – Hajia Aisha Guobadia, Adunni’s friend
She used to be a very good friend, sister, mentor and a great woman. I can’t believe it’s one year already since we lost her. But I can tell you for sure that her memory lives on.
What do you miss from your time together?
I’ve missed so many things – her beauty, her gentle words, her advice, her love and her care.
What part of her personality left an impression on you?
That would be her love for the Lord. It left a big impression on my heart.
‘She’s a legend’ – TESSY YEMBRA
I still feel bad, but we’re celebrating her today. There are many people who die and are not celebrated, and that’s a testament to the fact that she is a legend.
Do you still miss her?
I really miss her. On January 3, which was exactly one year after she passed on, I cried. Though I have other friends like Hajia Aisha, Iyalode Adunni was different. Three of us used to go out together and did things together. I really miss her, may her soul continue to rest in peace.
‘She was a very wonderful mother’ – Mercy Aigbe-Gentry, actress
She was a very wonderful person and a mother to us all. I recall a particular encounter when we went to shoot Fali Werepe movie at her house. She was so warm, she even prepared the food we ate herself.
What have you missed about her?
Like I said, she was a mother. She’d call, she’d advice, irrespective of the fact that I’m not her biological daughter. I’ve missed that motherly love and care.
‘IT FEELS NICE’ – Kehinde Oshadipe, singer
It feels nice, this is my first event of the year. I never had the opportunity of meeting Iyalode Adunni Bankole, and I was mourning my twin sister when she passed on.
I was privy to how people spoke highly about her that she was a very lovable mother, a wonderful woman and a society woman.
I was invited here today to perform in her honour.
From what you’ve heard about Iyalode Adunni Bankole, what part of her personality would you say appeals to you?
I think it’s the fact that she was generally lovable. I’ve heard only wonderful things about her. I know it’s difficult for someone to please everybody, but Iyalode somehow was able to achieve that. I don’t know how she did that.
‘She was a fashionista’ – SHEBABY
I feel grateful being here, even though mummy is no more with us physically but in spirit.
Would you say her departure has been felt in the industry?
Definitely. Someone as big as mummy departed and you won’t feel her absence. Her presence alone at events was alive, was immense. I remember when I launched my movie, she took the mic, collected money on my behalf and made sure that everyone contributed in one way or the other. I really feel her absence.
What’s the one thing you’d say you learnt from her?
Her fashion sense. It was something else. Mummy could dress to kill (laughs). She was a fashionista.
‘Eliza is a movie to watch’ – KAZEEM AFOLAYAN
Tell us more about this movie, Eliza?
Eliza is a movie about betrayal, deceit, and raises awareness of genotype compatibility in marriage. I don’t usually do narrative movie, I prefer the viewers watching. It parades stars such as Muyiwa Ademola, Funke Akindele, Liz Da Silva, Biodun Okeowo, Adekola Tijani, Seyi Edun, Lateef Oladimeji, and others. It’s directed by Adebayo Tijani and produced by Oluwatoyin Bankole.
As a movie lover, why should I see this movie?
You should go see it because of the lessons. Watching the movie, you can’t easily tell how the story will end. The person believed to be the wicked one turned out not to be. I’ll leave the viewers to make their judgment when they see it.
‘SHE WAS A CARING MUMMY’ – Foluke Daramola-Salako, actress
It brings back memories of her. She was a very loving and caring woman who represented motherhood to almost everybody. We loved her, but we believe God loves her more. She was able to carry everybody along. She left a very good impression on me as she had a very good heart.
What do you still miss one year after?
Her caring and warm nature.
- MICHAEL NWOKIKE