By Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson
THE ESTHER AJAYI FOUNDATION GHANA was launched at the prestigious Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra on 10 March 2018.
First off, on 9 March 2018, a team from the Esther Ajayi Foundation (EAF) was at the Royal Seed Orphanage Home, in Ofankor, Central Region of Ghana, to share materials which would help the inmates cope with the misery fate has visited upon their young lives.
For those who were not at the ceremony, a glimpse of these children’s brutish existence came to the fore, the next day, 10 March 2018 as EAF formally berthed in Ghana, at the auditorium of the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra; when a documentary on the orphanage was shown. Only a few in the packed hall could have held their tears seeing the children cringing upon themselves during a rainfall: the roof of their room could just have been non-existent.
Showing the documentary, it would seem, was to pinch the dignitaries who came from around the world to honour God and His tool, Rev Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi, who is steadily becoming the Mother Teresa of this generation, that while enjoying the cozy evening, a thought should be spared for the less privileged such as the children of Royal Seed Home.
The first speaker of the night was Mr. James Ebo Whyte an accomplished writer and a leading motivational speaker in Ghana. Whyte narrated how a thoughtful intervention of his secondary school teacher in 1968 changed his story from being a motor mechanic in Ghana to the celebrated Mediapreneur that he is today. He said he has also caught the bug of giving and that, today, he remained a blessing to so many others – in appreciation to what God has made of his life.
Next was Mrs. Gifty Anti, a journalist and broadcaster who also narrated how she benefited from the benevolence of people in her community while going to school in the face of paucity of funds. She has held on to the joy she derived from the blessings and has also dedicated her life to giving and blessing of others.
Then came, Reverend Father Andrew Campbell, who arrived Ghana in 1971 as a young Catholic Church priest. He said he found out about the despicable ways the people ostracized lepers and how the people wrongly believed leprosy was contagious. He founded the Leper Aid Committee and remained a veritable blessing to the leper community of Ghana ever since.
It was the turn of the American Pastor George G. Bloomer of the Durham, NC based G.G. Bloomer Ministries and Come Let Us Reason Together (C.L.U.R.T.) International Assemblies. Pastor Bloomer attributed his spiritual height to divine grace which brought him up from the project home environment to the prison and out and eventually becoming a man of God. He extolled the virtue of giving and being a blessing to the less privileged.
The priest used the analogy of Satan whom he said does not give without conditions but the man of God said it is divine to give freely without strings attached. He said one of the persons he knows who give without strings attached or expected – one who plant trees under which she does not expect to seek shade – is Rev. Mother Ajayi.
This was a perfect cue-in for the spiritual amazon and the prime mover of the EAF to mount the stage. The Iya Adura, as she is fondly called, made a grand entrance to a praise song accompanied by Bolaji Olarenwaju. Iya Adura Ajayi exudes confidence, focus and integrity. She was joined on the stage by her husband, Pastor Ademuyiwa Ajayi and the Ovation International boss, Bashorun Dele Momodu, who was instrumental to EAF coming to berth in Ghana.
Iya Adura praised God for the journey so far, which she traced the story from the secondary school where she met her husband (Pastor Ademuyiwa Ajayi whom Iya Adura fondly called Buroda Muyiwa) to the marital blessings of four biological children and an adopted daughter; how the family relocated to the UK from Nigeria and how the husband who was the breadwinner fell ill and the family finances plummeted resulting in the loss of their London tenancy. Out in the street and seeking help until God intervened and reversed the family into abundance and glory. She insisted that the path to her charitable disposition and benevolence was the only reasonable course for her given the benevolence and grace with which God turned her sorrows into laughter. She extolled the spirit of giving and declared that having established her uncommon charity in the UK, USA, Israel and other nations, it was the turn of Ghana to receive from God’s abundance.
Several gospel musical act entertained the audience and sumptuous dinner was served. Guests were also presented with copies of the specially branded Holy Bible and other EAF – branded souvenirs
The thought-provoking evening was winded up with presentation of sundry gifts by EAF partners to the Iya Adura in appreciation of her seamless charity around the world. It was more significant when the proprietor of Royal Seed Home climbed up the podium and presented to Iya Adura a token certification of appreciation on behalf of the orphanage.
Won’t you too be a partner? To give a little from your abundance to charity. In cash or, and, kind – time, service and support. Planting trees under whose shade we may not sit. Let’s all join the Iya Adura and the EAF in making the less-privileged share in our abundance.
Otunba Abiodun Olufowobi (Pabiekun) is a lawyer and avid blogger.