By Kingsley Anaroke
It was her birthday on October 15th last week, but she chose to keep it low. The demands of her office kept her busy like footballers on pitch, focused on goals. It took me several innocent phone calls trying to reach her for an earlier scheduled appointment to know it was her day a day after the D day. On this day, I waited to see her, having been told her office was hosting a big man with love for dollars. I was dressed casual for private office discussion, so I did not crave to meet the dollar-minded manager and as such played low on official appearance. She has an office twin sister. Soon, they appeared walking side by side as usual and spotted me where I was stealing some glances at the up and down movement of people at the lobby. They both called me almost at same time, as if instructed at the blast of a whistle count. I joined them as they walked to their offices. She turned back in between our market of discussions, and quietly released it: “Yesterday, was my birthday!”
“Really”, I responded in surprise. “Wow, and you are just saying it, Madam?”
“I was reminded of it. Besides, yesterday was hectic here”, she retorted, as we all entered her office. Her colleagues joined us in mini caking and wining and a toast to …There, I was reminded of the need for another hand bag.
Folake Soyinka is an amiable personality. She lives out the traits of a true Libra. Libras are known for being charming, beautiful, and well-balanced. They thrive on making things orderly and aesthetically pleasing. They also crave balance, and they can be equally as self-indulgent as they are generous. Libras are also the kings and queens of compromise, and they like making peace between others.
Folake is the wife of Prof. Wole Soyinka,the first African to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. She is a Deputy Director at the Nigerian Shippers’ Council(NSC) and indeed, works directly with the chief executive officer(CEO). She wears no air of the Kongi’s fame. Very unassuming and socially eclectic,but this throws no surprises because Libras are known for their social, intellectual and loyal nature.
Could this be what Kongi saw even as a Prof. of global fame when he got unsettled emotionally about her over 30 years ago? He insisted it must be Folake or nobody! You can only appreciate the bond and marital maturity in Soyinka’s Memoir, You Must Set Forth At Dawn. It is an intimate chronicle of his public life, a meditation on justice and tyranny that enveloped the land of promises, delivered in elliptical and arresting style. He dedicated it to Folake.
“And to my wife, Adefolake, who, during the
season of a deadly dictatorship, demoted me
from the designation of Visiting Professor to that
of Visiting Spouse, but was still left with only an
Invisible Spouse as I was swallowed by
my study even during visiting hours.”
Folake has a style you must like and while she remains a lady to watch, she is one of the United Nations Generation Amazons in the Maritime Sector to be decorated next month in Ikoyi, Lagos by MMS Woman of Fortune Hall of Fame(WoFHoF) Initiative. Happy birthday and Congratulations on your new age.