Simbiat Abiola

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ALHAJA CHIEF (MRS) SIMBIAT
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Born (1938-02-05) February 5, 1938 (age 84)
DiedNovember 10, 1992(1992-11-10) (aged 60)
NationalityNigerian
CitizenshipNigeria

Mrs Simbiat Atinku Abiola was the first wife of Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Abiola[1] and mother of five children[2], including Kola Abiola[3]. She was an industrialist, entrepreneur and devout Muslim.

Legacy

At her death, she was:

  • Vice Chairman and Project Director of Concord Group of Newspaper Nigeria
  • Vice Chairman Radio Communication (Nig) Limited.
  • Vice Chairman Banuso Fisheries Limited.
  • Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Wonder Bakery Nig. Limited
  • Vice Chairman Abiola Farm Limited
  • Vice Chairman Abiola Bookshop Limited
  • Chairman/Chief Executive Zedekayat.

She was a keen Sportswoman, one of the first women to play Novelty Football matches at Abeokuta Grammar School in 1954. She was the Life Matron of the Disbanded Moshood Abiola Football Club, Abeokuta and until her death, the Life Matron to many associations and social clubs as well as the Proprietress of Kakanfo Queens FC Abeokuta.

She was the senatorial candidate for National Party of Nigeria Abeokuta Central, Ifo/Otta and Imala Local Government during the general elections in 1979. She narrowly lost the elections.

She had many titles by virtue of her Islamic and community interests and in appreciation of her contributions for the upliftment of Islam, Women, Ogun State and Nigeria as a whole. Her titles included:

  • Matron FOMWAN, Ogun State.
  • Iyalode of Ibadan, Gbagura, Ogun State
  • Iyalode of Imole and Ajibede of Ojo town Gbagura, Abeokuta
  • Iya Adini of Muslim Ibadan Gbagura
  • Iya Sunna of Habadiyya Islamia (1988)
  • Iya Sunna Adini (Youth Form) 24th February 1989
  • Iyalode Kenta, Abeokuta (6th May 1989)
  • Iya Oba of Eggua in Egbado
  • Yeye Oba Gbagura, Gbagura, Abeokuta
  • Yeye Meye of Ijebu Waterside
  • Otun Yeye Oba of Shagamu
  • Iyalode Efon Alaaye, Ondo State (20th March 1990)
  • Yeye Tayese of Oshogbo Land (Osun State)
  • Iya Egbe of United Muslim Council and
  • OTUN IYALODE OF EGBALAND.

After her death, on the laying of the foundation stone for the Simbiat Abiola School in Cairo, Egypt in December 1992, her husband Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola said “ Like a comet whose brightness lights up the night sky, the memory of Simbiat continues to shine brightly in the hearts of all those with whom she made contact. We who were fortunate to be closest to her, weep for the loss of our wife and mother. But we also celebrate the passing of this bright and noble star, whose care and wisdom gave us the strength to bear the brightness of her memory in our lives… ”

She was born on 5th February 1938 to a well-known family at Oke-Iddo Gbagura, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria[4]. Her grandfather’s mother was the first Iyalode of Ibadan Gbagura, Iyalode Gbagura and Osi of Egba land. Her grandfather was from Oke-Ita Igboni Ikereku Abeokuta. Her father’s mother came from Egba-Oke Ona Kereku (Feyisetan’s compound) and Ilaro.

Her mother came from the Orunkan Compound in Ago-Owu while her maternal grandmother came from the Jojolola Compound, Kenta Itoku, Abeokuta. Jojolola was the second Iyalode of Egbaland. Her great grandmother was from Alamatu’s Compound in Mokola Ile Alaram Compound, Abeokuta.

She started her schooling at a Quranic School in 1943. She attended All Saint Primary School, Kobiti in 1949 for a short period then proceeded to Nawair-ud-deen School Oke-Ijeun where she finished her primary school education in 1954. She attended Nawair-ud-deen Modern School Oke Ijeun (1955-1956) and later studied at Nwair-ud-deen Teacher Training College, Ita Elega Mokola, Abeokuta from 1957-1958 where she obtained her Grade 11 Teacher’s Certificate. She taught briefly in 1959

Although she got married to Late Chief Moshood Kashinawo Abiola in a traditional ceremony in Abeokuta, their marriage was legally solemnised on 2nd October, 1961 at the Registration District of Kelvin in Glasgow, Scotland. She had her first baby (late Musiliyu Abiola) in 1959. She gave birth to her second child (Kolawole Abiola) in 1962, followed by Deji Abiola, Agboola Abiola, Mobolaji Abiola, and her last child Wuraola Abiola.

She proceeded to Glasgow, Scotland in 1961 to join her husband. There, she enrolled for Nursing at Robroyston Hospital, Glasgow, and later did a diploma course in Art and Fashion Designer at Rodimus College of Art and capped it with another certificate in Interior Decoration from the School of Domestic Science in Glasgow.

She returned to Nigeria with her husband in April 1966. She was employed at Yaba College of Technology as a lecturer in Art Department with specialisation in clothing TIE and DYE between the periods of 1966 to 1969.

Chief Mrs Simbiat Abiola came from a family with a long history of female leaders and entrepreneurs. She resigned her appointment the College in 1969 to concentrate on her young family and two private businesses then, Radio Communication Nig. Ltd., and Tinu Fashion House. She was a disciplined, industrious and loyal woman who dedicated her life to her family and helping her husband’s businesses grow.

She died after a brief illness at a London hospital on 10th November 1992, surrounded by her husband and five surviving children.

She was soon after buried in the family compound in Ikeja Lagos, according to Muslim rites.

References

  1. "Meet Simbiat Abiola the woman behind the legend MKO Abiola - Opera News". ng.opera.news. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  2. "The Unknown Nigeria Blog: SIMBIAT ABIOLA, The Story of Love And Courage". The Unknown Nigeria Blog. 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  3. "kola-abiola-remembers". guardian.ng. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
  4. "Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-11-11.

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