The art and media space stood still for 5 minutes for the mother of Toyin Akinosho, Elder Sarah Adebola Akinosho (NEE Nelson). The announcement of the passing of the Lagos-based nonagenarian businesswoman, charismatic church leader, and culture patroness was made public in the month of October. She was aged 93 years old.
Her beloved son, Toyin Akinosho, is the maverick culture connoisseur and media entrepreneur. He is the publisher of Africa Oil and Gas Magazine, and BookArtVille. He is also the Secretary-General of the Committee for Relevant Art, organisers of the Lagos Book and Arts Festival – the most consistent book and culture picnic in Nigeria.
Mama Akinosho’s Service of Songs held at The African Church Arch Cathedral, Bethel, Broad Street, Lagos, on the 5th of November 2020. The burial and the reception were all done on the same day. The service was graced by families of the Akinosho and Nelson families, as well as associates, friends, and members of the diplomatic community. The Service of Songs gave the family an opportunity to praise God for her life and to pay their last respects. The service was conducted by His Emminence, Julius Olayinka O. Abe, and the laity.
Mama Sarah Adebola Akinosho (Nee Nelson) was Saro, of Lagos heritage from her paternal side, and from Ijesha, her maternal side. She lived through the high presence of the British Empire; outlived the Nigeria Independence activism years, and lived a graceful life. She was the Secretary of the Improvement Society of the African Church, as well as the first President of the Cathedral Young Women Friendly Society.
In his tribute to his mother, Toyin Akinosho drew from ennobling childhood nostalgia to relive the moments. He said:
‘What I remember when I grew up: Loud arguments, protestations, and banter as scores of friends of yours and Dad’s turn up for the Frejon Party you organised every Good Friday – the most important date in the Easter Holidays; itself being the most important event on the Christian calendar. The rendering of ‘Olorun Bethel Eniti, (Oh God of Bethel by whose hands), the ‘Cathedral Anthem’ from a chorus of drunken voices, as the Frejon Party reaches its crescendo.’
Mama Akinosho in her lifetime was a constant champion of her son’s media, cultural and curatorial projects which dwelt on history, culture, literature, politics, oil and gas including governance. Toyin Akinosho is renowned as an unrelenting mentor of media, artistic and creative minds through his several projects.
The befitting reception at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos, brought men and women from all walks of Toyin Akinosho’s professional and creative journeys to converge, and celebrate the patroness behind the patron of other creatives. Her numerous contributions are most felt by the presence of filmmakers, dramatists, dancers, actors, visual artists, writers, curators, media gurus, publicists, curators, diplomats, oil professionals, and consultants who took out time despite the heavy traffic, due to the blockade at the Third Mainland Bridge, amongst other businesses to be at the event.
Photos: TOJ Concepts
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