In the grand tapestry of life, there are those whose stories transcend the ordinary, leaving an indelible mark on history’s canvas. Such is the captivating narrative of Princess Tejumade Alakija, a name synonymous with elegance, accomplishment, and an unwavering spirit. Born into the esteemed lineage of the late revered Ooni of ile-Ife, HRM, Oba Sir Adesoji Aderemi, and the distinguished Omisore family, her journey was destined to be remarkable.

Princess Tejumade Alakija

The Seed of Greatness is Sown: Early Years and Education:

From her earliest days, it was clear that Princess Tejumade Alakija was destined for greatness. Her academic journey began at Aiyetoro Primary and Central School, Ile-Ife, followed by Kudeti Girls School, where she exhibited precocious talent. Her brilliance shone brightly, earning her the titles of School Prefect, House Captain, and the School Prize for English Language. Her thirst for knowledge led her to the University of London, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History, followed by a postgraduate Diploma in Education from Oxford University. 

A Natural Leader: Carving a Path in Education and Civil Service:

Tejumade Alakija’s career journey was marked by a series of milestones that showcased her exceptional leadership skills. As an English Language and History Teacher at Queen’s School Ede, she effortlessly embodied the role of a ‘natural teacher’. Her devotion extended to the Anglican Girls Grammar School, Ijebu-Ode, where she orchestrated the establishment of a new boarding school against all odds.

Her foray into civil service was equally impactful. With remarkable proficiency, she contributed to the establishment of significant industrial ventures, including the Pulp & Paper Mill at Iwopin, the Niger-Grob Ceramic Industry in Abeokuta, and more. As Permanent Secretary, she orchestrated transformations in various ministries, streamlining admission systems and advancing education access.

The Pinnacle of Achievement: Head of Oyo State Civil Service:

A pivotal chapter in her journey unfolded when she was appointed Head of the Oyo State Civil Service. Her leadership redefined discipline, efficiency, and productivity within the service. Even after her voluntary retirement in 1983, her influence continued to flow, earning her the MFR award and notable appointments as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council at prestigious universities.

Col Kole Laoye, Princess Tejumade Aderemi and Ooni Adesoji Aderemi.

The Chapter of Love and Legacy: A Royal Union and Remarkable Motherhood:

In 1953, a grand chapter of love and tradition began as Princess Tejumade Alakija entered into matrimony with Dr. Abayomi Alakija. Their wedding was more than a union; it was an embodiment of Yoruba tradition and elegance. Distinguished figures, including Oba Adeniji Adele II of Lagos and Alake of Egbaland, graced the celebration, leaving an indelible mark on the era.

Despite the symphony of their union eventually finding its final note, Mama’s journey continued alongside Dr. Thomas Adeoye Lambo. This partnership bore the fruit of her cherished child, a testament to her unwavering spirit.

Princess Tejumade Alakija and her daughter Princess Toyin Lambo

A Legacy Beyond Measure: Honors, Contributions, and Faith

Princess Tejumade Alakija’s legacy extended far beyond professional achievements. As a devout Christian, she invested herself in church activities and supported church societies, leaving an indelible spiritual mark. Her recognition as a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Personnel Management and her contribution to public service reform stands as a testament to her immense impact.

Her life, a resplendent tapestry woven with threads of accomplishment, resilience, and faith, continues to inspire generations. As a beacon of strength, Princess Tejumade Alakija’s legacy radiates with an enduring brilliance, illuminating the path for those who follow.

Endnote: The enduring story of Princess Tejumade Alakija, daughter of the revered Ooni of ile- Ife, HRM, Oba Sir Adesoji Aderemi, and an icon of accomplishment, resilience, and faith, stands as a testament to the heights that can be achieved with determination and unwavering spirit.

Image Credit: All Images used in this post are supplied by the ADESOJI ADEREMI Royal Family of ile-ife. All rights reserved.