Mike Dada, Managing Director, PRM Africa marketing and Communication and President Executive Producer, All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) Nigeria, on Saturday, April 2, 2016, celebrated his mother-in-law’s 75th birthday and his son, Mowayewaserere’s 7th birthday.
The well attended double birthday is brought to you here as recorded by Dapo Adeseko. ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with Mrs. Veronica Morenikeji Baruwa.
Congratulations, madam. How do you feel today you at 75?
I feel very happy and it is amazing because I did not expect this. I thought today’s ceremony is for my grandson because it’s his 7th birthday. I always call him God’s gift (Ebun Oluwa) simply because he was born on April 1. I was born on April 2. It is a surprise package for me. Mike always surprises me.
At 75, what has been the experience?
75 years is a long journey. It is quite interesting. There were ups and downs but with prayer and faith in God, we surmounted all the challenges. I give glory to God.
What would you say life has taught you at 75?
Where do I start from? Is it when I was nursing babies or bringing them up. To me, life is full of experiences and fun. Life is an experience. When you are facing challenges, when you conquered your challenges, life becomes fun.
When was the most challenging period in your life?
I had a turbulent time with one of my principals, but I thank God because it was a challenge and I was able to overcome it and I am alive. I don’t want to talk more about that.
What is your philosophy of life?
Live and let live. If you have, give. When you do not have, share your experience to encourage others. Impart others with humility and love.
What is the secret behind your beauty at 75?
There is no magic about this. After working so hard, you need rest. All my children never gave me any problem. They care for me, including my in-laws. After eating, I take care of my grand children and by 8pm, I am on my bed.
How do you spend your leisure?
I always stay with my Bible and commune with my God.
Would you say that is part of your success story?
Yes, of course. Because without God, it is difficult to achieve anything.
What are those things you used to do but you can no longer do?
Before, I loved to trek as exercise. When I was in service, I trekked to school and came back. But now, I can no longer walk a long distance due to my age. Another thing I used to do was to wash clothes and iron them. Even till now, I still wash some of my clothes as exercise.
What legacy would you like to be remembered for?
First, they should be faithful and honest to their God. Once this is done, they would be faithful to their neighbours and to themselves.
What is your message to your grand child that is celebrating his 7th birthday with you today?
Mowayewaserere is my gift from God. My message to him is for God to give him wisdom, knowledge and understanding. I was 68 when God gave him to me.
You were once a principal, what is your take about standard of education?
Our education standard has fallen because there are many mushroom schools and they don’t employ qualified teachers. Instead, they employ cheats. These days, many teachers leave their duty posts for their personal business. Our government also contributed to this. When they fail to pay teachers regularly, that is why teachers look for other means of survival.
What is the way out?
There should be regular monitoring, training and retraining of teachers.