70 HEARTY CHEERS TO A FOREMOST HOROLOGIST, CHIEF (MRS.) FOLASHADE ALUKO
By Adebayo Fajinmi
Her beginning was not fascinating; it was emblazoned with despondency. When she told me her story, it was a sort of tragicomedy; a literary genre that blends tragic and comic forms. Chief (Mrs.) Folashade Aluko, a foremost horologist was smart, and her navigation did not belie a Yoruba saw “whoever will grow up to be smart would have it from childhood.” When she was a teenager, she was laced with natural inclination for horologe in the age that people paid obeisance to “my shoe will make a rich ko ko ka sound if I study.” Just like black men of yore craved to know what spirit speaks in a radio, so was her penchant to know what ticks in a timepiece. In Igbajo, Boluwaduro Local Government Area,Osun State, where she grew up, she was fond of disassembling all the clocks in every house she finds herself without the wherewithal to assemble them. Thus, her renown as a ‘destroyer’ spread like bushfire. William Shakespeare posited in King Lear, a tragedy based on the mythological Leir of Britain that “The stars above us govern our conditions,” but to Folashade’s begetters, conditions were governing her star. Anxiety and pain wrapped their hope trenchantly and seamlessly like Nnu-Ego, the protagonist in Buchi Emecheta’ 1979 novel, “The Joys of Motherhood.”
Later, her inclination took her to Switzerland to train as an horologist. She’s today unarguably one of the few people bestriding wristwatch-design industry in the world.
One of the superpowers she commands is networking. She’s a master networker who excels at making, maintaining, and maximising relationship across a broad of spectrum of cultures, professions, religions, and political ideologies she has leveraged, more for the benefit of others than herself.
Since she has mocked her kingdom of impossibility, the Yeyemeso of Igbajoland, through her bank of love has been a shoulder many people lean on. She’s a woman who recognises excellence and can do anything to raise it to stardom. When I was doing SUNDAY TIMES, a weekly editorial at PAAMF, I didn’t know she was one of my ardent readers until she told one of her friends to get my phone number. Immediately, she phoned from Houston, praised me to high heavens and sent two gifts simultaneously, in cash and kind to encourage me. She’s kind to a fault.
She’s a community builder and peerless socialite. No wonder she’s one of the most decorated women in South-West, Nigeria. She deserves every accolade that will come her way today.
Happy birthday Yeyemeso!!!
Adebayo Fajinmi is editor with TOS TV NETWORK.