One of the consolations of life on Earth is the brightness and brilliance of stars making their rounds about the Earth. It is by that brightness that man has lived and flourished; that same illumination daily impresses upon every human being to rise from darkness and face the day. That unchanging brilliance, that same enduring beacon of hope, is what Alhaja Erogbogbo, the ‘Kind Teacher’ has displayed in her years as matron and mandarin. At 90, that light has not dimmed, but refracted in her children and grandchildren.
President Muhammadu Buhari offered his own rounds of congratulatory salutations to Alhaja Sadiat Abeke Erogbogbo, the renowned and well-regarded retired schoolteacher and businesswoman. At her 90th Birthday on June 7, 2020, the President is among a multitude of well-wishers happy to publish their bit about the matriarch, and congratulate her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on the fortune of being related to—and instructed by—Mama Erogbogbo.
Mama Sadiat Abeke Erogbogbo has touched more lives positively than is practicable to keep count of. As a classroom teacher who dedicated her heart and mind in equal measure to the education of children, she positively outdid herself. Her methods in communicating life lessons earned her the moniker ‘Kind Teacher’. She bore this name throughout the early years of her professional life, and embodied the integrity and uprightness it represented.
The influence and impact of Mama Erogbogbo is like light reflected on a spider’s web. Although she was born in Kano in 1930, neither era not place placed a hedge on her path. She was herself educated first at St. Brighton school, Ebute-Metta, and then Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, and then Hope Higher Institute—all in Lagos. It was after this that she went on to teach in Kano, Lagos and Jos, touching lives all the way.
A figure endowed with more fire than most, Mama Erogbogbo’s abilities also blossomed in the corporate world. She earned her plaque in business as a visionary and thorough character. That too was only a launching pad for her work in the community, for which she has been aggrandised for peerless commitment and dedication. The Ansar-Ud-Deen Society has lauded her fortitude and fidelity the most, and armed her already-luminous reputation with an award of diligence and devotion.
The family of Mama Erogbogbo is another edge for which the nation is grateful. Her marriage to Alhaji Asafa Erogbogbo (94), who fondly calls her S A and still teases her about her beauty and her “ figure 8” , remains an epitome of love everlasting. The union yielded seven children; all of these are well-to-do. Alhaja Kofo Kazeem is her first child and daughter, an accountant; Alhaji Abayomi Erogbogbo is second and a competent Information Technology Systems Consultant. The others include Taofiq Rotimi, Joke Gbeleyi, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Moji Williams, and Shola Erogbogbo.
Among other things, Mama Erogbogbo is to thank for the life and work of Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the brilliant Chairman and CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM). Mama is also to thank for 23 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, all of whom are being prepared to eclipse the light of Mama Erogbogbo in brilliance and breadth.
At 90, Mama Erogbogbo has more children than those related to her, more well-wishers than she can reckon, and more bands of legacy than anyone with whom she shares a common Birthday. Though advanced in years, her light is the brightness of a young star. She is the phenomenal fruit of an ancient and peculiar era, and the embodiment of a truly fruitful tree.