Touching Story Of A Veteran – Taiwo Ajai-Lycet

She wowed us when she starred alongside an annoying character known as Frank Spencer in several episodes of the internationally acclaimed British comedy series, Some Mothers do Have Them. Being a successful actor, it’s only natural for us to assume that she’s living the dream life. Please, read Taiwo Ajai Lycett’s narrative about her struggles and triumph through the years…

“I have been through the fire, I have been through the furnace, I emerged fortified”.

“I have learnt a lot from the universe. Where you have to go, you would go. The universe pushes you in the direction of your thoughts. It helps you actualise what you are thinking in the inner recesses of your mind.”

“I was 15 years old when I had a child. I became a teenage mother. By 16, I was on my own.”

Her father insisted that the man who got her pregnant, Adebanji Adefolaju, must marry her and he agreed. But he (Adefolaju) perished in the Lalupon train disaster on September 29, 1957. He was among the 66 people who died out of 370 travellers in the rail accident.

“I am a “student of the universe.”

“I have been through the fire, I have been through the furnace, I emerged fortified,” she said, reiterating her knowledge of the universe. “I have learnt a lot from the universe. Where you have to go, you would go. The universe pushes you in the direction of your thoughts. It helps you actualise what you are thinking in the inner recesses of your mind.”

“I was 15 years old when I had a child. I became a teenage mother.

“I knew I was going to get a good education. I was going to be a lawyer. But I knew that I was on my own. My family disowned me.”

“It’s complicated. It’s not that they forgave me, I didn’t go away”. “This feisty spirit of mine saw me through. My father wanted me to abort the pregnancy at first. But my mother thought I was a young girl. I was a baby. So, she had to spirit me away. I had the baby somewhere in Yaba. But after delivery, my father got attached to the baby. The child became his playmate.”

“I was ignored. I went to Methodist Girls High School from where I had to drop out.”

Her father insisted that the man who got her pregnant, Adebanji Adefolaju, must marry her and he agreed. But he (Adefolaju) perished in the Lalupon train disaster on September 29, 1957. He was among the 66 people who died out of 370 travellers in the rail accident.

“My child, Adebowale Adefolaju, was one-year-old at the period. He is now 63 years old and father of Atinuke, 33, and Bolaji, 26. I have a son and two granddaughters.”

“All my siblings were in school but there I was, I was a maid in my father’s house. Everybody just ignored me. It’s a fascinating world. I think its a wonderful life.”

“I was the one doing all the cooking and house work. I kept my head down but I enrolled in evening school. There was no way anyone could stop me from learning.”

Subsequently, she secured a job as an assistant teacher at St. Paul’s Catholic School at Costain.

Then out of the blues, a letter came from the United Kingdom (UK) from a mutual friend she had with the father of her child, who was married and had resettled in the UK.

“We used to meet in his house. Then I got a letter from one David Akinduro in 1959, who told me that he was a friend to that friend of my husband. He said our mutual friend told him what happened to me and that if I didn’t mind, I could come to England and marry him.

“I dissected my situation noting that my father didn’t wish to educate me, and I stood the risk of getting pregnant for someone else, again, which was what everyone expected of me.

“I went to my mother and showed her the letter. She went to my father and showed him the letter and my father refused. I told them I wasn’t going to stay back and serve as a maid in my father’s house. I wrote back to my suitor that I would marry him and live with him in England. So, I processed my passport and travelled to meet him in the UK.”

In 2006, Ajai-Lycett was robbed and raped in her house in Egbe. The same compound hosted TAL House, her private school.

Then 65, “I ran TAL House, a private school I meant to do good with it but my staff orchestrated an attack on me. I was tied. I was beaten. I was brutalised. My health was ruined. I was blindfolded and raped. The man who raped me complained that he couldn’t gain easy entry into me because I wasn’t wet. I told him ‘widows don’t get wet.’ I kept talking to them and asked them repeatedly, ‘Are you doing this to your mother?’ Angrily, they taped my mouth but I remained fearless and prayed all through the attack.”

After the incident, she shut down the school and left Egbe.

“That was a hard decision because TAL House was doing so well. The business was flourishing but I was not in it for money. The police came. They expected me to pursue the case. I knew the masterminds. I could have gotten them incarcerated but I simply moved on.

Explaining the reason for the attack.

“They felt I was too strict. They were stealing from me and became openly hostile to me. They tried to take over my business. It felt like I didn’t own the place. When the robbery happened, I shut TAL House.

“Look at me today, I am over it. See, the mind is a beautiful thing. When you hold on to past hurt, you tie yourself down to grief. You get infected with its poison. Rather than wallow in grief and self-pity, I picked myself up and sought medical help, ensuring that they hadn’t infected me with any STD. Then I moved on. That same year, the Olusegun Obasanjo government got me the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) national honour.”

Few years after the sad incident, “One of them came to prostrate before me, pleading for my forgiveness. I told him to seek forgiveness from God. I told him that I had moved on.”

Published by chrisadelugba

Creative2concepts Incorporated is a Media Centre

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