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Yiwola Oladepe


Yiwola was married to Bawa around the second half of the 1940s. Her father Akande [Eji-owo] was a merchant and one of the richest men in Ogori. He was noble and had a house with enamel plate decoration – a rare sight in those days. Akande was a man to whose name the description “gbajumo” was always appended. Her mother, Eunice Saniwon hails from Lampese, with strong kinship affiliation to Bekuma.


Yiwola was an embodiment of virtues. She was a woman of extraordinary beauty. Yet, she was gentle, humane and calm. She was a lady you could not help liking, even at the first contact, by the time she exchanged with you, meticulously greeting you in her usual caring manner. Yiwola was hardworking, rich in wisdom and well principled. She was greatly loved by the Ologori. She maintained a garden at Ekena-oba, between Sunmola and Padeola's. At the same sight now stands Demi's up-coming building. Another amazing virtue of hers was neatness, which was obviously bequeathed to her (like all her siblings: Folarin, Mrs Abiose Mosimabale and Mr Tunde Akande),            by her mother. Yiwola spent the better part of each day cleaning and washing things. Her dresses, room and kitchen were always sparklingly clean. Her habit was to wash her feet and scrub her heel against stone several times everyday, especially one particular stone close to her kitchen door. If she talked in a raise voice, she must be complaining about someone's unhygienic behaviour. And it was in this area that those close to her, especially her immediate children received the greatest admonition. You could not spit, clear your throats or blow your nose carelessly when she was near you.


She love people and was loved by them too. Among the palace children, Bimpe (now Mrs. Obajulu) was her favourite. When children got near her, she would remove even the smallest specks of dirt from their head as well as dust their body and clothes not in a “holier than thou” manner, but rather with a smile and as a gesture of how much she cared for people. She might even tease the child if she thought that s/he had been engaged in rough play.

Yiwola was very helpful when she saw any one in need. In 1961 when Auntie Esther (Idowa) was returning to Igarra, where she lived, Yiwola helped carry her luggage on her own head all the way to Magongo where Idowa took a vehicle to her destination.


She was therefore a terrible loss to the Eminefo family when she could not survive a cesarean as she prepared to have her 5 th delivery of children. These were to be the first twins to the Bawa family, one of whom was to be her first female child. But alas! Neither the mother nor the twins survived. Bawa was rescued from suicide when Babalokoja pulled him by his dress as he climbed the window upstairs, overlooking the Roman Catholic Mission. That was also the first and only time I saw the King weep. It was so open and loud that he had to be reminded about the taboos of his office. That was the gem of a person that Oladepe meant, not only to Bawa, but also to all that were close to her.


She left behind Bade, Olaribigbe, Dehinde and Banji and of course the rest of us.