Saturday, January 4, 2020 10:19 pm
By Prince Yemisi Shyllon
She lost her Nigerian husband in 1977. He died from injury sustained during a polo game in Lagos. She did not remarry since then, but devoted her energy to managing the art and books shop, which she jointly owned with her husband .
To better appreciate this woman of Swedish origin we need to recall that she was only in her late thirties when her husband, Gabriel Olusegun Oniopaku died, yet she refrained from remarrying. This writer never met her husband, but OYASAF has owned an 8ft × 5ft of his oil painting for some 20 years.
The most enviable legacy of Mrs Oniopaku, which calls for appreciation and celebration, is in her long years of selflessness of sponsorship and managment of the ERUOBODO FOUNDATION. This foundation has helped poor and abandoned babies for decades. It has given succour and promise, to the abandoned babies on our streets, including those deformed and afflicted.
Through ERUOBODO House, she for decades picked and took care of such babies and organized numerous plastic surgeries and cure to many of them, within Nigeria and at her country of origin(Sweden).
At the time of her death, some of such abandoned babies have been old enough and gotten married to one another. Many of them have also become part of the management of her ERUOBODO Home, which is located on about 6 acres of land in Ijebu ode.
In addition, she has thrice responded positively to my requests for assistance for art workshops and market opportunities in Sweden, for three Nigerian artists. These artists that she assisted at my request, are now global art players. I am also aware of some many other artists that have been helped by her, in that wise. Adieu mama. Adieu to your saintly soul. Adieu to a wonderful wife with a rare loyalty of a lifetime, to her loved one, who departed in her prime. Adieu to a rare example of living a life of selflessness. Adieu to this woman of substance, who lived a meaningful life and who ignored all the very many attractive possibilities, readily available to her in her country of origin, but who chose to live a life dedicated to the memory of her husband in and for the country of her late husband . May her soul rest eternally. Amen.