Folashade, Feyisara Laniyan, LL.B, B.L.:
A Painful Earthly Loss, A Monumental Heavenly Gain
On the 14th of January 2010, the earth lost a spiritual giant and heaven gained a saint.
Folashade Feyisara Laniyan, nee Ojedokun was not born into this world alone, I, Olukayode Oluwole, had the privilege of being her twin. Folashade was everything I seek to be, bold, decisive, caring and forthright. She was a leader and brooked no barriers, accepted no obstacles, a lady of immense Christian faith.
She was also a madam protector and as adolescents she always offered protection to Adebowale, Akinola, my younger brother from my sometimes inexplicable wrath. Her strength was immense, her determination clear and her mission certain. She was a pillar of support to my mother and a benefactor to so many too mention. At home, a formidable friend to her husband and a home maker/organiser per excellence. Together they always found a new goal and a new mountain to climb.
Whilst she got most of her ebony looks, the better looks, from my father, Dr Olasupo Ojedokun I settled for a mixture of resemblance from both parents.
She graced this earth for close to 44 wonderful and productive years and was married to a remarkably generous soul, Mr Ademola Aderemi Laniyan and had four wonderful children until she was triumphantly translated to heaven on the 14th of January 2010.
She did not allow the ‘return’ of the ravages of cancer to affect the valour of her fight nor the stoicism of her faith. In the fight she was a sight to behold and example to follow. She indeed won the war and today many others and I stand inspired and stand in awe for the defeat of death and the mark that she left.
For me, Folashade, was a pace setter, while I displayed every sense of lethargy in secondary school education at King’s College, Lagos, she, Folashade made remarkable progress and as an arts’ student recorded a distinction in Mathematics at Federal Government College, Oyo. She went on to Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife to study law while I aspired to be a local champion at King’s College. I confess that through doggedness rather than pace I followed in her footsteps and eventually read law at the same institution. After a hard day politicking about, I could always look forward to a nice meal in her room while she was at Ile-Ife. It is remarkable that when I was rusticated from university it was my twin sister’s concern rather than my mother’s rebuke that made me turn over a new leaf.
After she qualified as a lawyer she was posted to Ogun State for her youth service and I followed after her a year later. She choose to remain in Nigeria, got married while I departed for the shores of the United Kingdom.
In Nigeria while many others went to work for banks in the short term boom of the eighties she settled into the Law firm of Bentley, Edu & Co and worked her way to the Associateship position, before departing for Jackson, Etti & Edu where she became a Partner and worked in the specialised area of trademarks and intellectual property.
Her generosity knew no boundaries, when I was called into the Christian ministry of Friends International; she and her husband generously provided my family with a eight seater vehicle as a gift. When I was awarded my Ph.D, she surprised us with her presence, arrived on the Friday and returned on the Sunday after the ceremony. I say, a remarkable lady in every material particular.
Style came to her naturally, she graced her homes and her person with elegance, again a sight to behold and appreciate. The world will certainly be poorer with her absence.
Today she stands, gloriously victorious in heaven while the enemy is astounded, she graces God’s presence after life’s fitful struggles. Some may say have they not won? But I quote from the Bible, the book of 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 and ask:
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
’Shade, now you have departed, who shall set the pace for me? Now you have been translated to glory who shall challenge me? I wonder, I do wonder. But to Ademola Laniyan, to Moshope, to ‘Tomife, to Temiloluwa and to Boluwatishe we, Adebowale, Morayo, Olajumoke, the Laniyans and I owe it to follow in her footsteps as mighty vessels in the hands of God. We the Laniyans, the Ojedokuns and other relatives will not rest till we attain the fullness of God’s desires for our lives. We will give our all for your children, for you would have done the same for us.
I choose to begin my conclusion by addressing Ademola, Moshope, ‘Tomife, Temiloluwa and Boluwatishe, also to my dearest mother and all those that mourn:
Joy cometh in the morning, for the scripture tells us so and I know so. I do not know if life would be worth living if it did not. There is evil in the world, there always will be, and we can pray against it and we know that when our saviour comes triumphant it shall be banished completely.
Today, with Ademola’s permission but with God’s help I promise Folashade, Feyisara that your dream lives on, that the future you worked so hard to build will become a reality.
We remember the scripture Psalm 113:3 that:
“The Bible says: From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.”
Therefore we all make a promise to Folashade Feyisara, a soldier extra-ordinaire of the Lord:
In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we will remember to praise the Lord.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of the water, we will remember to praise the Lord.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we will remember to praise the Lord.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we will remember to praise the Lord.
In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we will remember to praise the Lord.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we will remember to praise the Lord.
When we are weary and in need of strength, we will remember to praise the Lord.
When we are lost and sick at heart, we will remember to praise the Lord.
When we have joys we yearn to share, we will remember to praise the Lord.
So long as we live, Folashade too shall live, for you Feyisara, are forever a part of us, and we will always remember to praise the Lord Amen.”
Ejire mi! Adieu! Till we meet again my dearest and elegant twin, a mother and above all a wonderful wife! You are irreplaceable Folashade whose beauty and compassion, both internal and external, will never be extinguished from our minds.