“I wanted a private event that will enable me praise God and have fun with my close family and friends”
These were the words of renowned Nigerian Herbal and Slimming expert, Dr Quincy Olasumbo Ayodele, shortly after she hosted a spectacular 60th birthday party at the luxurious Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai.
The event which was carefully choreographed and co-ordinated by Mrs Joy Agbakoba’s Travellers Haven Ltd was as fun-filled and spiritually-stimulating as it was hilarious. Indeed it could be said that Nigerian Class met Emirati luxury.
The event was planned to be an enjoyable weekend get-away and it lived up to its billing, delivering on every turn from arrival to departure.
Guests began to depart Nigeria for the occasion on January 23rd and has been planned, majority arrived the airport decked in the official attire of a special black T-shirt on a pair of jeans.
The camaraderie at the airport, the lively smiles and the convivial atmosphere was a taste of what was in the offing.
Majority of the guests were booked into The Atlantis and The Dukes while some preferred other facilities in the tourism- friendly city.
It was on Friday, January 25th that the party train really roared to life with a desert safari trip.
Guests who had previously been handed special white Tshirts with “Quincy@60 emblazoned on them and asked to wear white trousers were picked up from their different hotels and chauffeured in cosy Toyota Landcruiser SUVs to the desert.
On the way, there was a stopover at an area for 30 minutes for the adventurous guests to try their hands on Quad Bike riding and other forms of biking activities.
Of course, the group that had this reporter, YES Magazine Publisher, Azuh Arinze and Jeweller Adeola Jekami were not brave enough to ride the bikes but sank their teeth into some juicy roast corns- which turned out a good side attraction.
At the desert, with the SUVs firing on all cylinders, it was an adrenalin-pumping experience as the drivers navigated the dunes in break neck speed performing zig-zag stunts that was gripping and super exciting.
What was more, despite all the activity, with the setting sun providing a perfect backdrop for the wonderful showcase, their was no dust in the air! The air was clean and clear.
The journey soon came to an end and guests were encouraged to take pictures while the drivers prepared their vehicles for the return journey.
There was no dune bashing on the journey back and thus it was smoother and guests heaved a sigh of relief as we soon hit the highway and landed at a well-laid campsite.
With darkness already upon us and the moon peeping slightly from the skies, the place was a beehive of activities.
Here, many of the guests for the Quincy@60 event were.meeting for the first time and so it was a good opportunity to exchange pleasantries.
We spotted Global Excellence Publisher, Mayor Akinpelu, Bank Director and Former Guinness Nigeria MD/CEO, Chief Seni Adetu and lively wife, etiquette expert, Janet Adetu, Oba Adeyemi Adekeye of Jogoland, Mr Iranola Ayodeji and wife, actress Susan Peters and top rate Comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st.
The fun night under the Emirati skies saw guests enjoying a buffet dinner and Arabian-style entertainment that included fire eater and belly dancer.
Trust any gathering of Nigerians, we will always show our uniqueness, the organisers gave a special birthday to the inimitable and quintessential Quincy and later presented her with a bouquet of fresh flowers.Our section of the campsite was upbeat to the envy of others.
D-Day was January 26th and that was the day that the Lord had made for the All white Quincy@60 Birthday Party at Atlantis, The Palms.
From about 6pm guests had begun to arrive and they were ushered to a special cocktail area, not before they spent some time for special photographs at the backdrop with the celebrant’ s ever smiling face dotted all over it.
As they stepped into the venue soft tunes wafted from the PA system which was so soothing and comforting.
Later, guests were directed to their already assigned seats and all was set for what turned out to be a wonderful session of thanksgiving and praise worship.
The day’s compere.was Gbenga Adeyinka 1st and he was at his professional best, titillating the audience with mature and authentic jokes and also ensuring that the programme was not boring.
Programme proper kicked off when the celebrant and her dear husband, Engr. John Ayodele, COO, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company were welcomed into the arena.
The celebrant sparkled and was so resplendent in a figure-hugging elaborately sequinned and well embellished red fish tail dress.The lady in red beamed with undiluted joy and wore her usual infectious smile.
Guests were on their feet and applauded as she sashayed gingerly to her seat dancing to a medley of gospel songs.
No sooner had they settled down that the experienced Gbenga Adeyinka asked celebrant and her husband to relive the old days of the beginning of their romance by holding on to each other and sharing a kiss.This obviously added to the jollity of the occasion.
The ceremony which had Mrs Sani Sami, who represented Senator Daisy Danjuma as Chairperson was then officially declared open with a powerful session of prayers by Pastor Chinedu Chigbu of the City of David Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
It was from here that the famous Minister and Gospel Musician Nathaniel Bassey tòok over, he belted out many of his hits and the audience was in a spiritual frenzy.
With his trumpet and his voice, he stirred everyone to a such a soulful height that elicited tears of joy in many. The highest point if his ministration was when he mounted the stage shortly before midnight and on the stroke of 12am, launched into his now famous Hallelujah challenge and literally brought down the roof of this luxurious and first-rate facility .
That was not all, guests also sang the celebrant’s favourite hymns ” All Will Be Well as well as Oh God My Help Of Ages Past.
Before dinner was served, guests were blessed with a 5-minute talk or what we can call wisdom nuggets by Chief Seni Adetu who advised that birthdays are not only an occasion for celebration but also for reflection.
He urged the celebrant to always remember that each day one wakes, is by the grace of God, secondly, she should always count her blessings and thirdly, stay closer to God.
He asked Dr Quincy Ayodele to continue to celebrate the goodness of God, and always thank Him for His mercy.
The celebrant later cut her cake assisted by her dear husband, three children: Toby, Tola and Temi and grand children.
It was Hajiya Sanmi Sani who represented Chairperson, Senator Daisy Danjuma that officiated the session.The cake was cut after everyone including the celebrant spelt the letters: L-O-V-E.
Then royal fathers and guests according to their table numbers were invited to join the cake cutting photo session.
At different points in the course of the ceremony, a special documentary that chronicled the life of the celebrant was shown.This also included a segment where her husband and guests poured praise on this remarkable angel of mercy and business pioneer who was described as humble, hard-working, beautiful inside and out, a friend indeed and a role model.
Those featured included Senator Daisy Danjuma, Admiral Jubril Ayinla (Rtd), Mayor Akinpelu, Azuh Arinze, Sam Olatunji, Quadri Ayodeji, Mrs. Adeola Jekami, Yusuf Adeoye and Seye Kehinde, Publisher, City People.
What could be termed the highest point of the occasion was when Dr Quincy Ayodele officially handed the baton of Quincy Herbal to her daughter, Mrs. Toby Keeney.
The excited Toby declared in her speech that she was taking over for good and was optimistic that she was going to take the business to greater heights.
After the performance of a rising musician called Gbosa and a pulsating performance by Sound Mind, the vote of thanks was delivered by Temi Ayodele, celebrant’s only son, then the DJ took over and thrilled till late into the night.
In a short interview Dr Quincy Ayodele said that her guiding principle has always been ‘Simplicity costs you nothing but buys you everything”, stating that she was grateful to God that the party was a huge success.