|Chief Dr. Mrs. Folashade Razak Okoya|
|… With their kids|
Against all odds, what began 2 decades ago is still going on pretty strong contrary to how people felt it should have ended. The then 50 plus year old man met and fell heads over heel in love with a 20 plus year old young and still impressionable girl then and one thing led to another and from just been mere lovers, who many thought he would just have discarded after a short-while, to now his darling, very stylish wife of 20 years and still going strong, with 4 grown up, well trained, brilliant kids to the booth.
So on the occasion of the awesome celebration of the man’s 80th birthday, the gorgeous wife penned a heartfelt tribute that was both awesome and touching and in fact, something all should study and learn from on how they also can make their marriages work.
Hear Chief Dr. Mrs Folashade Okoya-
“My Chairman, there is nothing I write today that would be news to you, because you know everything about me. You are my Chairman, my darling husband, and my everything. I love you, just as you love me and I adore, respect and cherish you with all my heart and will forever do so. Both of us desired to make our marriage work, irrespective of the wide age difference, and I am thankful to God that we are all alive to witness the beautiful occasion of your 80th birthday and over 20 years of our marriage.
I knew when I got married to you, that it was I who had to adjust myself to fit into your life. You were in your 50s and fully formed, while I was still in my 20s. I never, therefore, made any attempt to change the way you did your things because I believe you were already used to your ways over the years and that trying to change you would be very unnecessary.
For me, marriage is about sacrifices; and since I did not want it to fail, I decided early in the day to sacrifice whatever was necessary. I studied your lifestyle and adjusted quickly; even though it was not easy, looking back now, I can say that it wasn’t really difficult. You made it much easier with your support, love, and appreciation. I am now more mature, smarter and have a better understanding of everything and now see things from a different perspective. I now clearly understand why you wanted things done your way and I am very glad I complied without much ado.
You are a man of great stature and wisdom, and all you ever wanted was for me to hold the house and family together; but as a young girl in her twenties, this task did not look easy or interesting at the time. I thank God for the wisdom and understanding he gave me to be an obedient wife and I can say today that everything you wanted was important and in order.
We now understand ourselves better, and all I can say to you as you celebrate is that I love you very dearly and I am grateful to God for blessing me with you – a wonderful husband and great friend.
You have supported me all the way; and with you by my side and God being so faithful, I have been able to play the role you wanted me to play, able to plan well in the Okoya Family and to fit in properly.
I have learnt great lessons and wisdom from you that I can even offer some of the words of marriage counseling to other couples, especially women. We all need, wisdom from God to understand that our husbands need to be respected and appreciated and be able to trust us. They want us to be loyal to them and I thank God for helping me to provide these for you because they matter so much to you.
There is nothing that you have asked for that was too much; although it was difficult at the beginning, I have overcome with patience. I have learnt not to argue with you. This, in any case, was never a challenge to me as I am naturally a peaceful person; which is why I could accept that I am wrong, even when I know that I am right, for the sake of peace. I believe that the argument will not get anyone anywhere.
I didn’t think you took note of these, but you did and have come to respect me so much because of these sacrifices.
As a matter of fact, I knew I had to shower you all the respect, especially because of the age difference, but you have reciprocated in so many wonderful ways that nobody can imagine, and I am indeed grateful. I thank you for appreciating me so much and for your love. Once I made my choice of you, I knew there was no going back, irrespective of whatever people thought then of my early marriage and the age gap between us. I had resolved to stay married and, thankfully, God has blessed me immensely, through your reciprocated love, care and attention.
Failure wasn’t an option for me as I can never trade my loving family and the peace of mind it provides for anything. You have been a wonderful husband and I am very happy with you. You have respected and loved me; and my prayer is that our love shall continue to wax even stronger, that we shall continue to respect each other, and that we will never take each other for granted. You have not, in any way, taken me for granted. I am sure we both enjoy each other’s company. Moreover, I personally feel happy and blessed in our marriage. Together, we have four lovely children, for whom you have been a great dad.
You have also given me the opportunity to soar professionally. You have trusted me to run your factories, which, I clearly understand, are very dear to you. For me, this is a great measure of trust and I shall, insha Allah, uphold this trust.
With your support, I am already able to achieve a lot, in terms of restructuring, rebranding, growing the company, and saving costs. We are working to attain your vision of ensuring that Eleganza Industrial City becomes the number one producers of household items in the entire Africa. I am proud to say that, as the Managing Director of Eleganza Industrial City, and with you by my side, Eleganza is much bigger, stronger and with high-quality products. I thank you for your mentorship, vision and support. I thank God for your health and ability to have clear and untainted vision at 80. I like to note that the New Eleganza Industrial City is a massive project located on 35 hectares of land. It is called an INDUSTRIAL CITY for the production of all kinds of household items and more.
My Chairman, you are so passionate about this project and I pray that Allah will continue to be kind and good to you and grant you the strength and health for achieving your dreams and goals in the new Eleganza Extension Site. I resume daily at the factory from Monday to Saturday. All I know is what you have taught me over the years. You remain the centre of my universe and my whole world revolves around you. I have even started to like factory life, just like you. I do not feel complete except I do my bit at the factory. I have gained a lot of experience from you, in both the manufacturing and real estate sectors.
People have asked me how I manage to cope running the company and combining it with family, and even social demands. You have honestly been a very supportive husband and I thank you today. You have helped me to rediscover myself. I am, no doubt, naturally a very structured and organized person. I outline my plans in such a way that all my roles are played without any one of them being compromised. Today, as you celebrate the milestone age of 80, you remain my everything, and I offer my continued unconditional love.
I will continue to love and to respect you and I pray that we both live many more years together. Happy Birthday to you, my Chairman! Our products, by the way, include the following:·Furniture (plastic chairs, tables, iron beds, iron clothes’ stands, and hangers, etc.); •Cooling boxes and food warmers; •Luggage of different sizes and designs; •Baby diapers and lady sanitaryware; •Soap, beauty products, etc.; •Hair vinyl thread; •Pet cap and perfume bottles; •Ladies’ shoes and men’s slippers; •Disposable and reusable plates and cups. Our recent new products include: •Casserole -different sizes; •Hair attachment and weave-on; •Aluminum and roofing sheets; •Shaving sticks; •Eleganza biros/cosmetics are coming back soon.