By OlaTunde M.D.

IYANIWURA: A tribute to my Motherlike Aunt – Omoba Mrs. Stella Olabisi Sotonwa, a.k.a Iya Ijebu on the occasion of her octogenarian birthday.

By Aare, Prof. Tunde Ogunsanwo.

The task of talking about Iya Olomo pupo, Omoba, Stella Olabisi Sotonwa, can be likened to the folktale of four blind men who ran into an elephant and individually attempted to describe the impediment on their pathway. Just like any of them, I can only talk about a very narrow aspect of her life.

How do I start a tribute to Iya Olomo pupo?

Do I call her Iya Olomo weere? A tun ori omo olomo se? An epitome of motherhood? A duro tini when things are rough, Ruth, a b’oko ku?…….?

Without any doubt, Iya Ijebu is a mother in a million and an elegant lady of priceless virtues. A highly accommodating mother but a strict disciplinarian ( which earned her the gossiping phrase Iya Ijebu buuru, among all of us who at one time or the other lived with her).

As a local Sagamu boy growing up in the sixties, I heard so many tales about the wondrous city called Lagos where a mix of omi okun and omi osa in a glass bottle will lead to an explosion. One could then imagine my joy when Iya Ijebu came to Sagamu one day and insisted that I should come and spend my holiday with her in Lagos.

Thank you Ma’am for letting me know the place called Eko.

My motherlike aunt loves children and only God knows how many of us have lived with her on the last count. One thing that is certain is that once you live in her house, you are bound to be successful in life. Today, she has many Doctors, Engineers, Pharmacists, Accountants and so many other professionals to her credit as their surrogate mother at one stage or the other.

Her popular phrase to each of us whenever we were departing to school: Ranti omo eni ti iwo nse oooo will forever invoke nostalgia in each of us.

Without any doubt, my aunt has a special love for education and I recalled vividly that at a trying period in her life she deprived herself of so many things to ensure the education of her children.

May I also use this opportunity to thank you Ma’am for standing by all of us the children of your elder sister, when she passed to the glory beyond on the 13th day of December 1976. You played the role of a mother in our different lives till we became successful. E se pupo ma am.

Before I conclude this piece, let me salute her dedication to her late husband. Iya Ijebu f’eran oko e ooooo. Despite the unpleasant settings of polygamous homes, Iya Ijebu was always speaking glowingly about  Ba’Femi and you will be asking yourself why every nice discussion must end with reference to Ba’Femi.

Mummy, e ma tubo pe fun wa, e si ma jeun omo d’ojo ogbo.

Mummy o, o o, wa pe laiye,

Mummy e, e, e wa jeun omo,

Eni bani ko ni ri be……..


Aare Tunde Ogunsanwo fcsn, fidpmn, mnewwa

Professor of Analytical/ Environmental Chemistry.


It is a special day today as it’s the celebration of an icon and quintessential woman of our time and it gives me great joy and honour to write this.

Mama is very dear to us. She is loving, beautiful inside out, good-hearted, kind, fair and firm, peace lover, easy-going, God-fearing individual, above all a child of God. I have ever shared a bond with Mama like a mother since I got to know her when I resumed as the vicar of the church in 2006 and even till now that she adopted me as her child, we still share valuable years of bonding.   

Mama loves all her children so deeply and delights pleasure in looking out for the wellbeing of the people around her – her children, church members, family, acquaintances and everyone. Mama will not discriminate in anything. She loves the Lord with all her heart, she takes the things of the Lord very seriously with all sincerity and serves God with everything she has. As old as mama is, she is brave, she is committed, a well-cultured, very respective grandma, very organized, no nonsense taking person, highly calculative, very neat, and very happy doing the work of God.

I sincerely acknowledge the grace of God upon you for the love, care, commitment, and great responsibility you usually show towards things that concern people around you most especially the church of God. I pray earnestly even as you attain the octogenarian period that the Lord will give you a renewed strength, divine health, peace of mind, joy over every trouble, and blessings of God on daily basis. May every labour and seed that you have sown continue to deliver great harvests to you in Jesus Name. Amen!

A big felicitations to you Grandma!

………Rev. Oluwatosin Ade Owoeye (Lastborn)

Tribute to a Respected Aunt.
To God be the Glory.

We bought a piece of Land in Akowonjo in 1981 through the help of Pa. Oshin of blessed memory from Ode Remo.

We commenced the construction of the Building in 1984 and at that time my divine path crossed with the SOTONWAS.

At a point, the Children approached us for Career Guidance.

Ever since then, it has been incremental value addition to both Families.

Mrs. Stella Sotonwa has been a Pillar to us in its totality.

My family shall forever be grateful to her and her Children.

To God be the Glory. As we celebrate with you on your 80th Birthday, We wish you a Happy , Prosperous, Joyous and Heart fulfilling Years ahead in Jesus Mighty Name Amen.

It will always be well with you and your family members. Amen.

Enjoy the Day and remain blessed.


Mr & Mrs. ‘Tutu Buraimo and Family.

It’s been said that a mother’s heart is the child’s classroom.

All her children celebrate her 80th birthday knowing fully well that all we have learnt in our lives has originated from her kind heart, her perseverance and her sacrifice to ensure that we had we she did not. Through thick and through thin she has always given us more than one hundred percent.

As a wife, she was the very best to our late father and a shining example of what a companion should be from the very start.

As a mother she continues, till the present, to give her very all to her children and her grandchildren.
She is revered by her friends and celebrated by her community. She continues to live an exemplary God fearing life and we praise God that we can celebrate her with joy and happiness

We want the world to help us in thanking her for all that she has done

Iya Ijebu Happy birthday to you and many happy returns of this wonderful day.

Owa lodo Ishokun
Omo Eluku meden meden Omo ake nigbo ki eru ba ara ona
Omo mamu mamu ma fuwen Owa mojo lodo Ishokun.

Prince Oluwafemi SOTONWA

This is the day the Lord has made and we shall rejoice and be glad in it. I don’t know where to start from my darling sister Mrs Stella Olabisi Sotonwa (alias Iya Ijebu) has been there for me from birth to date

Of all the sisters in the world I am glad you are mine.You have lived a great life a strong woman with strong heart,now that you are 80 years older,may the good times never end.Sister mi,you are absolutely stunning ,gorgeous,caring, loving, kind hearted, beautiful,brilliant and generous to fault which I try to emulate. May the Lord continuously accord you with unending positive rewards, you shall live longer than our parents with sound health to see your great grandchildren and enjoy the fruits of your labour.Your latter days shall be better than the former filled with more blessings and anointing in Jesus name .We had fun growing up and it’s amazing to think of all that we have done together, sister mi we have shared laughter, tears,good times and have been there for each other through the years and I cannot find words to describe what you mean to me my wonderful blood sister.
Happy Birthday sister mi owa lodo ishokun,good times are in store and here is hoping together we shall share many more ma.God bless your new age my sweet sister and do have a fabulous bashful celebration ! Love you Iya Ijebu

From your sister ( last born)
Dcns Mrs Esther Abike Oresanya

Happy Birthday Grandma 🥳

Have a good one & God bless you
‘Ladun Sotonwa

Oluwole Akintola



Words alone cannot really express the measures of love, care and affection you showered over us during our childhood years . You taught me to be Neat, Prudent and empathising at particular situations. The good memories of your supports during my college days at Akowonjo remains indelible. Aside from collecting my house rent, you always loaded my bag with food stuff and also gave invaluable words of encouragement and advice
My sincere prayers for you on this Special day is that God Almighty grant many more years in Good health , Peace of Mind and total Fulfillment. With Love from Oluwakemi Idowu.

Ode to a mother of all at 80

Iya-Ijebu as we call her came into my world over thirty years ago Bukola, her daughter and Yemisi, my girlfriend, and later, wife met at the School of Nursing, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos and became bossom friends almost immediately. The fact that Bukky spent less than three months before moving on to another institution did not affect their friendship. My first glimpse of Iya IJEBU came from Yemisi who always regaled me with stories of how motherly, how accommodating and yet, how firm Mummy was.

Then we met. I felt at home during my first visit and she became another mother , confidant and adviser. Apart from Bukky who is the godmother of my first daughter, Femi who I had known albeit not closely at UNILAG, and Lanre became my brothers and friends.

Our own Iya IJEBU, I join your biological and numerous non-biological children in congratulating you on your 80th birthday. I wish you many happy returns of your day and I pray that God will grant you good health, peace of mind and joy that passeth understanding. Your offsprings will continue to be sources of pride to you and God will show you His salvation. Amen

Happy birthday Yeye ria as we say in Ijesaland.

Engr. Dideolu Falobi, FNSE, FIoD
Bobajiro of Ijesaland.

Perfection is of the LORD. However, every human is blessed with strength and weaknesses. Mummy, the strength in you produce in us forebearance, patience, hardwork, determination, ruggedness amongst others. As you turn 80, we pray for more celebration in sound health. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU MA! from The Rev’d Olusegun Sotonwa family.

There are grandmas that advice ,those to look up to ,those that are good friends.And then there’s iya jebu and you posses all of those attributes and more I couldn’t have asked for Anyone better
Love fisayo

To my biggest cheerleader and the best grandmother, a hearty congratulations on your 80th Birthday. Thank you for all your care packages, your prayers and love. I’m grateful that you are my grandmother. O dun a yabo ooo.
All my love, Oloruko Iya

To the best grandmother, a strong woman in prayers, kindness and acts. A great motivator and lover. Biggest cheers to you on this special day Ye Jebu.
With loads of love;

As we celebrate your 80th birthday, we would also like to give thanks to God for the way in which He has shaped your life. We would like to thank Grandpa for marrying you, which resulted in our parents, and gave life to us. And we would like to thank you for all that you have done for each of us, for your kindness and generosity, for your words of wisdom, and for being there when we needed you. I will always cherish and love you Grandma.