After almost a year, I just got to know about the transition of a beloved mother, Omooba (Princess) Mary Mojisola Olubunmilola Edebiri nee Awolesi today. Thanks to social media for enabling one of Mum Edebiri’s daughter, Edugie, to connect with me after 18 years. In 1993, God connected me with Mum Edebiri as members of Methodist Evangelical Movement (MEM), Wesley Cathedral, Olowogbowo, Lagos. Wesley Cathedral, Olowogbowo remains one of my early centres of ministerial formation under Most Rev Luke Odubanjo and Most Rev Muyiwa Odejayi. At Wesley Cathedral God blessed me with numerous families till date. Mum Edebiri was a praying wife and mother. Born on 8th August, 1949 and gone to be with the Lord on 10th August, 2021, Mum Edebiri’s 72 years on earth was a miracle and blessing to humanity. She was not just Omooba (Princess) to the 17th Akarigbo of Remoland, Oba Moses Sowemimo Awolesi and Mama Henrietta Awolesi, nee Okoya-Thomas. Mum Edebiri lives on as a godly woman, a Princess, a daughter of the King of kings, loved and accepted, sanctified and redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
At Olowogbowo, Mum Edebiri was not just my prayer partner, she was a pure mission enabler. Mum Edebiri was a mother to all the ministers at Olowogbowo. She was a giver. She retired in 1990 from Cadbury PLC to start her own business and to dedicate more time in supporting mission, leadership, and stewardship at Wesley Cathedral, Olowogbowo. Always with her inspiring gap teeth gentle smiles of nobility, chastity and Christian modesty, Mum Edebiri had joy in decorating the church with beautiful flowers on weekly basis. Mum Edebiri on one occasion met my wife at Oke Arin Market, Lagos, and after enquiring from my wife what she wanted to buy, she asked my wife to go back home. The following day, Mum Edebiri came to our official residence at 11 Broad Street, Lagos, with two boxes of clothes for my wife to make her choices. Mum Edebiri did not return home with any of the boxes.
Mum Edebiri was very focused and firm, soft, simple and easy going. Mum Edebiri remains a model of Proverbs 31 woman. She easily forgives, loved her husband and her family. Mum Edebiri was very decent, enterprising, humble, kind and enduring. She honoured God in all her undertakings. I was privileged to dedicate her new business office at Yaba in Lagos. At a point in time, we dedicated some weeks together to pray asking God to release her from her roles in Wesley Cathedral, Olowogbowo so that she can join her husband, Professor Edebiri, to worship together at his Roman Catholic Chaplaincy, University of Lagos. Mum Edebiri’s gifts blossomed and very impactful at the Catholic Chaplaincy, University of Lagos. To mark her Platinum celebration, she fulfilled a vow to train a Catholic Priest. Mum Edebiri, a portrait of a godly wife and mother, consecrated herself to do the will of God. I learned from her example. I learned that you do whatever needs to be done to obey God—no matter what the cost. She never magnified the sacrifice in obeying God. Mum Edebiri’s faith in Jesus Christ was not theoretical or detached; it was a living faith in a living Saviour. Such dynamic faith produced tremendous works of righteousness.
Mum Edebiri, Princess of Elegance died in faith, with dignity, in Jesus Christ. We lost a praying mother, but we have not lost her prayers. All night prayers and vigil at Olowogbowo, Methodist Praying Partner, Coming Alive quarterly fasting and Prayer were no big deal for Mum Edebiri. All her prayer focus was on her husband, marriage and her children. Mum Edebiri was a prayer warrior and her testimonies lives on. Matthew Henry said of parents that they could far better leave behind for their children a treasury of prayers than a treasury of gold and silver. Mum Edebiri has passed on the legacy, the heritage and the mantle to her children to serve God with their strength, spirit and soul. Mum Edebiri, a virtuous woman nurtured her home with integrity, discipline, and giftedness. Mum Edebiri as a wife and mother was trustworthy, a positive influence, a hard worker, a planner not because she tried to be one, but because of who she was. Her attitudes were delightful, healthy, compassionate, unselfish, and public (Prov 31:13-25). Mum Edebiri’s applause are from her family, her husband, from God’s Word and from her works (Prov 31:28-31).
I join the royal families of the Edebiri of Edo State and the ancient Awolesi kingdom of Shagamu/Remoland, in remembering and celebrating ‘the noble, enviable, adorable and impactful life and times of Mum, Omooba (Princess) Saint Mary Mojisola Olubunmilola Edebiri, nee Awolesi. Mum Edebiri was a true Christian, a Saint, a Princess of the Most High, one who knew God, loved God, served God, and now enjoying eternity with God till Resurrection morning. Please, remember the family in prayer.