Her Royal Highness (HRH) Erelu ( Dr) Abiola Dosunmu pulled out all the stops to celebrate her 70th birthday on Friday, July 29, 2017. The landmark event coincided with her 43 years coronation as the Erelu of Lagos, a veritable platform that enabled her to serve in different capacities in Lagos State and Nigeria at large, writes BIODUN KUPOLUYI.
As part of activities lined up to celebrate her 70th birthday, a lecture attended by eminent Nigerians led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had as the Guest Speaker, Nigeria’s former Foreign Affairs Minister and one time Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari who alongside other robust speakers- retired Super Permanent Secretary and Diplomat, Chief Phillip Asiodu, renowned Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi and Culture advocate, Mrs. Bolanle Austeen Peters focused the topic: Threats To Peace and Security around the Globe Given the Present State of the World’s Insecurity.
Each of the speakers highlighted the challenges, threats to peace and security in Africa, especially Nigeria in the face of biting economic recession, dwindling crude oil earnings, falling commodity prices amid drumbeats of ethnic war, intense clamour for restructuring and diversifying the economy. The speakers, having identified the myriad of challenges, proffered solutions.
The Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos venue of the grand party was filled to the brim with high profile guests, including the Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun and his wife, Olufunsho, Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Founder and Chairman of First City Monument Bank, Otunba Subomi Balogun and his wife, Olori Abimbola, a former Oyo State governor, Chief Alao Akala, a former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and his wife, Yeye Olufunke, a former Secretary-General of Commonwealth, Dr. Emeka Anyioku, White Caps Chiefs of Lagos, President, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chief Mrs. Bisi Akande, Nollywood stars, Omotola Jalade and Rukky Sanda.
With no tell tale of age, HRH Abiola Dosunmu, the Erelu Kuti IV of Lagos was resplendent in her trade mark immaculate white outfit, beaming with smiles, acknowledging cheers from her guests including Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, billionaire Fortes Oil Chairman, Femi Otedola, Africa’s richest woman, Chief Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, HRH, Queen Wuraola Ogunwusi, wife of Ooni of Ife, Prince Samuel Adedoyin, Olorogun Sunny Kuku, Chief Sunny Asemota and his wife, Chief Mrs. Ireti Asemota, Chief Mrs. Abba Folawiyo, Sen. Florence Ita Giwa, Chief Mrs. Bola Shagaya, Sen. Olorunibe Mamora, General Ike Nwachukwu, Chairman, INEH MIC HOLDINGS, Chief Mike Inegbese and his wife, Mary Assumpta, Publisher, Vanguard Newspapers, Chief Sam Amuka Pemu, Founder and Publisher, BOS Show and Magazine, Prince Bisi Olatilo, a former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, Senator Daisy Danjuma, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Ms. Biola Okoya and Erelu Dosunmu’s step-daughter, Chief (Mrs) Teju Phillips, nee Fernandez and Mrs. Abike Dabiri, among several others.
With her children, Adekunle, Adewunmi, Antoinete Oyinkansola and grandchildren in attendance, Erelu Dosunmu who holds a pride of place in Nigeria’s fashion industry as a pacesetter wrote two books – MOTHER OF ROYALTY and LEGACY OF HONOUR- both invaluable compendium of her life as a Lagos girl and her life as a royalty. The books captured her first marriage to Major Tunde Elegbede and the agony of his untimely passage, life as a single mother of two boys, his second marriage to Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Baron Deinde Antonio Fernandez, her romance with the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, late Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, aka Tripple A and her relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, fashion, service to mankind and her philanthropy, were launched.
As a fashionista per excellence, in her honour, models of top designer, Ade Bakare Couture had a catwalk in his bespoke, ultra feminine and luxurious designs.
The documentary on her life and the photo slide brought memories of her enviable past, including the opening of her upscale fashion store, TALALA, the first by a Black person on the high street, Bond, London, known for its wealth of elegant stores, exclusives brands and luxury goods, were some of the high points of the 70th birthday celebrations.
Like a royalty that she is, the King of Juju music, Sunny Ade, who had serenaded her in one of his past albums, gave a grand performance to the admiration of all. With grace and elegance, she stepped into the dance floor, joined by family and friends and danced heartily.
With choice food and vintage drinks, the event anchored by ace compere, Tunde Adewale (TEE-A), attended by top socialites and ably catered by Astoria, preceded A Night of Songs of Praise and Thanksgiving scheduled for Sunday, 30th July, 2017.
Happy Birthday, Erelu Kuti IV of Lagos!