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MAKING IT BETTER: Hip Hip Hoorah….It’s Another Birthday!

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Monday, May 30th, 2016

I was going to start this piece with an apology and to beg your indulgence for my seeming lack of humility in some parts of the write up. However as I continue to write I realise that I actually don’t feel any remorse or a need to apologise for the pride I feel as a recipient of my families’ love and in wanting to share this in a safe space.

I have now reached a stage and age in my life that people in the West would fondly describe as ‘a woman of a certain age’. I remember when I was in my teens, I couldn’t wait for the all the world to know when I hit 21 and beyond. I felt I would wear it as a badge of honour and that it would speak to my maturity and coming of age.

As the years went by and I hit my forties, I found myself resorting to those little games some women engage in on reaching certain age milestones. This is where they refer to their age in terms of decades (4, 5, 6 etc), or some even go as far as using biblical terms such as three, four, scores. It’s all a light hearted way of camouflaging the actual numbers involved.

This week I turn 59 and as I call the number out loud with pride I realise I feel some similarities as I did in my teens. As I approach that wonderful milestone of 60 I once again feel a sense of maturity (it’s for real this time!), I feel as if I have truly come of age (again it’s for real this time!) I have earned my stripes, paid my dues and I am truly proud of where I am in life and how I got there.

When I was in the seminary training to become an Ordained Minister, one of our assignments was to invite loved ones to write something about how they experienced us in their lives and how they felt about us. I was blessed my beautiful and generous daughters decided they wanted to express their views about their mother. I have chosen (with their permission) to share those thoughts with you. This is a living gift they gave me that keeps on giving.

My heart is bursting with pride, joy and overwhelming gratitude and it is from this place that i put pen to paper. So I invite you beloved readers to celebrate with me as you read this article and think of your own joy and all that you hold precious in your life

‘Mother Luck

Luck: Coincidence, Kismet, Chance, Happenstance, Destiny, Fate, Provenance, Probabilities

Luck is a funny thing. There is small luck – the kind that helps you to win things or happen upon things; and there is big luck – the kind that decides your fate. We tend to think of both as being out of our control, distinctly decided by the Gods – but of the latter I’m not so convinced.

As a child, my schoolmates used to come around and befriend me so that they could play with my mum. That was the first time I really realised that my sister and I had something special in our mum that not every kid had. I guarded that knowledge jealously, preciously, and with pride. I WAS LUCKY.

As I got older I saw it more and more, and although the love she had for us was special and unique, the talent behind it was something that impacted almost everyone she encountered, and I understood it was a gift that needed to be shared.

Older still, and I was still watching and witnessing the smiles she created on the faces of strangers, the lives she changed through love and compassion, the help and healing she provided to those of humble means and the most broken of hearts. I watched, witnessed and Iistened to her change fates.

I was raised with love to love. This love has kept me alive. Everything positive I have achieved is because of it. I have had a million set-backs in my little life, and there is no doubt that I still experience pain, but with the help of my family and the life changing love given to me by my mother, my fate –  my ‘big luck’ – has been altered.

Luck is a funny thing – we think of it as being chiefly out of our hands, but I know differently. I’ve seen it. Love can change your luck. Love is the antidote to fate. Hope, help, faith and love can change a person and make them see the world differently. It allows for connections within the universe to be made that were not previously possible.

My mother has been helping people (in some form or another) for her whole life. This has been through different shapes and systems, in whatever form that has been possible.

As a Minister not only do I feel joy for her, but I feel joy for all the people who, due to her hard work and God given talent, will be able to experience, her compassion. They will experience an indescribable comfort and a sense of hope from her that is pure and unique.

I look forward to seeing her giving people the tools they need to change their luck, to make their own luck and to decide their own destiny.’ 

 Tinuola Victoria Ogunbadejo (My first born daughter)  


What is there that can be said about this woman? The woman who’s shaped the lives of so many, has helped, healed and counselled so many. The woman who has dedicated her professional life to bettering the lives of others; the woman who has travelled the world, sharing the stage with world leaders and activists; the woman who has tucked me in at night and read me stories (never forgetting to dramatise the voices to bring the stories to life because it brought us so much joy!).

People always wonder what it is like to have a mother like mine, one as intelligent, successful and vivacious as mine. People try to picture what happens around our dinner table, the conversations that take place. The simple fact is I am in as much awe of her as anyone else.

My mother has a light that burns so brightly, a heart that is so big it just keeps giving. I’m truly lucky to have a mother like mine.’

Andrea Olufemi Ogunbadejo (My last born daughter)

Gloria Ogunbadejo writes a weekly column for Punch Newspaper. She is a Psychotherapist, a life coach, a holistic counsellor and an ordained Minister



12 Responses

  1. Happy birthday momma. I celebrate U. Eph 1:17-23 that’s ma prayer for U. Godbless ur new age ma!

  2. Awwwwwwwwwwwww.. Proverbs 31 woman. Her children arise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her.
    Happy Bday ma. Many more glorious yrs 2 celebrate in gud health nd sound mind. May u continually b a blessing to generations to cum. May God’s love continually grow in ur hrt nd may his light shine always at ur path. GOD bless u nd enlarge ur coast. I celebrate u ma.

  3. Happy birthday ma’am. I pray for more auction to function in your professional field and ministry. Amen.

  4. Bon annivasaire maam, age with grace. You are a blessing to this generation of ours. Be blessed ma

  5. Happpppy Birthday ma. I must say you have inspired the world through your articles. I don’t know you personally but i have seen your words and they describe you deep down as a woman of virtue.

    God bless you,thanks for using the Pen as a tool to reach lives. Happpy Birthday!

  6. Waaaaaaaaaoh happy DIAMOND anniversary ma. God bless your new age, you have been a blessing to me and the world at large. Your seed sown is multiplied and your fruit of righteousness increased, may all that you have secretly asked God for be delivered unto you and it shall be to you like Isa 40:5. I call you blessed momma. God’s hand is upon you now and forever.

  7. Beloved brothers and sisters, Amen to all your beautiful prayers and wishes for me. I wish you all equal and more. I feel truly
    blessed. Thank you

  8. Happy birthday Ma, may the lord bless your new age. I must say I can relate to an extent how you feel. I remember my Mother turning 50 and I was so excited that I kept on ringing the bell on her new age to every one and it was not just about the age but her accomplishments and journey. I still in my twenties have a lot to achieve so I can also wear a badge of pride in my 60’s . Cheers

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