Princess Olufunke Deborah Adedoyin was a wonderful, dynamic, joyful part of our lives. She was a constant source of strength, leadership, encouragement, and joy. She was a wonderful daughter – a great confidante and cheerleader to our Father.
She was a loving Mother, always there and supportive for her precious Tamilore and her other children many of whom she took under her wing. She was a supportive sister, ever generous with her love, time and resources, and she was a great Aunty, and an even greater grandmother. And, as many of you know, and will bear witness, she was a fantastic friend.
She was a remarkable woman all round and so it is with a great sense of loss that we let her go. But we take comfort knowing that she impacted many lives and has gone to rest in the Lord. We are proud and grateful to God to have had Olufunke in our lives.
A most accomplished woman, in 2015, she was voted in to the House of Representatives to represent the Irepodun/Ekiti/Isin/Oke-Ero federal constituency. In addition to being the Deputy Chairman, Committee on Army, in the Federal House of Representatives, she was also African Group Regional Representative of the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians in the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Previously to this, she served as Minister of State for Youth Development, and then Minister of State for Health.
She was very well educated having attended the Centre for Business Studies, Greenwich, London; Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education, Buckinghamshire (Brunel University); Slough College of Higher Education, Slough, Berkshire; and the University of Kent at Canterbury, Kent respectively, all in the United Kingdom, where she earned B.sc (Hons), DMS & MA degrees.
She also attended the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), where she emerged the 1st female Deputy Monitor General in the 23 year history of the foremost leadership & policy making institute in Nigeria.
Princess Olufunke Deobrah started her career at the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank where she was an appraisal officer with African Development Bank/European Economic Community Fund for State-Assisted Industries and went on to be General Manager, Doyin Investment Nigeria Limited, and rose to become Executive Director, Doyin Group of Companies, overseeing all manufacturing activity of the group in the Lagos axis.
Later on in her career, she was also the Managing Partner, Honeycrest Nigeria Limited, a leading real estate development company and Vice Chairman of AG Goldtrust, an international water consortium.
In addition, she was a regular contributor to the defunct National Concord Newspaper; a former member of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM); Convener of the Princess Olufunke Trust, a revolving low interest community based micro-credit scheme for women; A former Fate Foundation Mentor; former Vice President, “Helping Hands”- a charitable organization targeted at assisting women and children in distress; and a delegate to various African and international leadership Forum Conferences.
She was equally accomplished in her political career. In the PDP, she was Chairman of the Congress Committee for Delta State, resulting in the first conclusive congresses in Delta State since 2002. She was also the formerChairman of the Strategy Committee at the Atiku Centre, Secretary of the Program & Policy Committee of the ACD/AC, Vice Chairman of the Zoning Committee of the AC, and was the only female member of the “Summit” – the highest decision making body of the AC, between 2005 -2007.
She won numerous awards and honours, both local and international, in recognition of her sterling qualities and invaluable contributions to womanhood and nation building.
We could continue to write her many accomplishments, but the long and short of it is, she was a great woman, and she accomplished so much. She was passionate about making our country better and she did everything in her power to push that agenda.
Still, in our private thoughts, what we remember most is the personal moments she spent with us, having fun, laughing and joking, giving advice, or even just gisting. She always had a great sense of humour, she was always loving, and had a sincere heart. She was straightforward, speaking the truth as she understood it, and trying her best to fulfill her understanding of God’s purpose for her life.
We will miss our daughter, sister, mother, aunty, but our prayer is that you all take a moment to examine your lives and ensure you are doing your best to emulate her by helping others and impacting the lives of those around you for good. If you want to honour our precious and most loved Sister’s memory, strive to fulfill the purpose God has given you.
Our Princess is gone but her legacy lives on. Join us in thanking God for the time he gave us with her.
Demola Adedoyin writes from Lagos