DEACONESS Elizabeth Adesola Mamora was the mother of Senator Olorunimbe Adeleke Mamora, a one-time Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly and two-time seating senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
She died on June 17, 2015, and was buried on Saturday, August 8, 2015, six days to the day she would have turned 94.
Deaconess Mamora scored many firsts in her lifetime. She was the first woman in the Nigerian Baptist Convention to represent the Women Missionary Union (W.M.U) of the Baptist Churches at the Baptist World Alliance (B.W.A) in Nairobi, Kenya in 1971.
She was the first woman to be awarded the Life Certificate of the Bible Society of Nigeria. She also was the first woman to be ordained Deaconess of the Baptist Church in Ijebuland. She was the first chairperson of Ijebu-East Local Government Council, under the administration of Col. Raji Rasaki as Military Governor of Ogun State.
Mama’s marriage to her late husband, Chief K. A. Mamora, a.k.a Merry Chief, in 1945 was the first white wedding at the First Baptist Church, Ijebu-Ife. The marriage was blessed with five children namely Oloruntoba, Oluyemisi, Titilayo, Olorunimbe and Olorunyomi (who is now late).
One of the children, Senator Olorunimbe Adeleke Mamora spoke to ENCOMIUM Weekly what he would miss most about his mother.
Where were you when you heard the news of your mother’s death?
I was in Lagos. I had gone to visit one of my political associates who just lost her husband. I was with her and some people to commiserate with her when the call came. In fact, I was about leaving the place. I had just written on the condolence register and I was leaving when the call just came. The call came from my elder brother. He just told me that mom had just passed on that afternoon.
Was she sick?
No. It was just old age. At 93, such is not unexpected.
She would have been 94 on August 14, 2015.
What would you miss about your mother?
So many things. I will miss her care, love and motherly counsel. Of course, one cannot forget the totality of the upbringing she gave us. Not just in terms of academic pursuit but also the spiritual upbringing. Putting us on the path of Godliness and ensuring that we attended Sunday School.
Of course, as a teacher and disciplinarian, my mom was very particular about our personal hygiene and cleanliness. She also inculcated in us family values. Family values of honesty, contentment and respect for elders.
As a teacher, did your mom ever teach you at any level of your education?
Oh yes. She was the headmistress of the school I attended. That was Baptist Day School, Ijebu Ode.
Did she, at anytime, punish you when you committed any act of indiscipline in school?
Oh yes, definitely. She disciplined me as expected. It was not just a question of sparing the rod, in addition my mom would pull your ears. Of course, in dressing she made sure we were impeccable. You have to be properly dressed.
Your father was a politician when…
(Cuts in) My dad was a teacher as well.
Before joining politics?
When you told your mother you were going into politics, what was her reaction?
It was really no big deal to her because my dad’s house in Ijebu Ife was a regular venue for political meetings. Don’t forget that my mom was the first female chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Council.
Oh, she was in politics too?
Yes. Although she was appointed then, under Col. Raji Rasaki, when he was military administrator of Ogun State.
Don’t forget also that when Mama HID Awolowo came to Ijebu Ife to campaign for Action Group, it was at the balcony of our house. It was she and my dad that received her (HID Awolowo). So, it was not really a big deal for her seeing me joining politics.
What fond memory of her will remain indelible in your mind throughout your lifetime?
Her patience which some of the people who gave testimony at the wake testified to. Capacity to be patient to listen to people. Her ability to draw people to herself through advice, guidance and so on. Those are the things that one can never forget.
– TOLANI ABATTI