A Resplendently Resonating Refrain
For Our Mother, Grandmother
Chief ‘Folake Solanke, SAN
The Quintessential First Female
Senior Advocate of Nigeria
As the anniversary of the fourth decade of the stellar accomplishment, one of an assemblage in an astral panoply of accolades steadily amassed by you, specifically the status of the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria dawns, in revered acclamation, we in joyful commemoration and with humble and everlasting obeisance to God, earnestly cognizant of the solemnity and immensity of the moment, in unreserved commendation, proclaim:
Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! All ye in good fellowship drawn nigh and bear witness to the transcription of history:
Emblazoned with the unwavering and incisive brand of determined decisiveness, further attended to with the perseverance of transcendental import is the spectacularly stellar life of our mother, Chief Folake Solanke, SAN. Most assuredly, a charmed life, surpassing in incredible degree the ardent supplications and sanguine aspirations of her parents, Chief Jacob Sogboyega Odulate, alias “The Blessed Jacob”, the proprietor of the “Alabukun” brand and Madam Sekumade Odulate, for their infant born in the historic land holding exclusive boast to the majestically imposing “Olumo” rock, that she would be bequeathed with a healthy, blessed and successful life. Little did they envisage that their daughter would ascend the outstanding rungs of the exemplary into an extraordinary realm of reverberating success, unparalleled in many dimensions. Neither did they foretell that their offspring had been apportioned a destiny of fame and unbeknownst to them, such was the alignment of stars, in perfect order forecasting her legendary stature.
The explication of the enormous import of her unique life’s trajectory requires juxtaposing in unvarnished appraisal the achievements in her life with the prospects of a baby of the female gender born in Abeokuta in 1932. At this point, permit me to pray for absolution from my Ladies and Lords temporal of my beloved “Egba” land and my kin should it be construed that by those expressions I seek not to extol the noble and distinguished heritage of our forebears. To the contrary, long live the magnificence and heritage of “Egba” land. To illuminate further, the considered intent of the representations is to extinguish the vacuous notions that the breadth of one’s destiny is conclusively circumscribed by the geographic coordinates of one’s birth, or the full prospect of the female child is abjectly confined by the inheritance of her gender, and furthermore, that existence in Africa is so patently manacled by unabating constrictions that any triumph in life is completely and haplessly emasculated for aye. Such fallacies have been utterly annihilated by the luminous trajectory of our mother’s trailblazing. An unconquerable pioneer who not only dared to reach for celestial territories, but irrefutably assumed the stunning essence of stardom through her inexorable and superlative pursuit of exceptional enterprise.
From the environs surrounding her illustrious father’s towering home in Abeokuta to the astounding sequences of her indelibly etched successes, a recital of the congregation of her celebrated laurels, pointedly highlight the noteworthy dividend resulting from her scrupulous incarnation of grit and grace. Every task, irrespective of scope, accorded the same intensity of purpose and precision to assure the uncompromising success of the outcome. And, in extraordinary personification of an archetypal singular focus on the diligent prosecution of her abilities, towards conquering the pinnacle, an avalanche of achievements dutifully ensued. Such emblematic persistence of competence combined with intrepid prowess systematically eroded any misconceptions of diminutive prospects being conjoined to her simply by virtue of her gender, race or continent. Rather, our mother soared, in defiance of stereotypical confinements, with meteoric ascent into, and asserted full and permanent residence with, the galaxy of stars. In characteristic fashion, accentuating that landscape of innumerable accomplishments and illustrative of the preeminent array of recurring commendations attending her existence, and further, as irrefutable evidence, is the distinction as the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Yet, such astronomical achievement four decades ago, is symbolic of our mother’s outstanding expedition, for she meticulously pursued her talents according to the tenets of the holy scriptures in Saint Matthew in the parable addressing the mandate attached to talents. And therefrom, such faithful industry yielded a steady deluge of accolades, which in roaring and recurring pattern became her designated trademark. A phenomenon of galactic proportions indeed.
Epic is her stalwart commitment to the absolute fulfillment of the maximum potential of her astounding aptitude, that despite the persistence of the whirlwinds of a sustained turbulence and the malignant vituperation seeking to unsuccessfully enervate, as an avowed survivor, our mother elevated herself above the inauspicious frothing bile, by charmingly impeaching the venomous rendition of a malevolent tempest. Instead of retracting as vanquished by life’s tribulations, she adroitly opted for steeled fortitude and embraced the rewarding challenge of rigorous enterprise and the triumphant allure of victory, to ascend into dimensions now rendered into chronicles and irrefutable manifestos of incandescent inspiration. Thus, the consummate life blueprint of our mother’s celebrated pilgrimage serves as irrevocable navigational compass for us and hosts to emulate.
Undoubtedly, when the microscope of history dissects the inscription of the sedulous mettle bequeathed to her, and passionately employed, to excellently contend with the maze of life, incontrovertibly, it will unbiased verily render account, as an unassailable attestation that the female child of “Ake” born into the “Alabukun” Dynasty almost ninety years ago and who became motherless at the age of two, in enthralling manner:
- Ascended the peak of scholarship;
- Attained the pinnacle of her profession;
- Accumulated commendation in riveting fashion;
- Attracted applause echoing with admiration;
- Assumed the exceptional essence of propriety;
- Accomplished unbelievable and recurring feats;
- Achieved recognition beyond imagination;
- Advocated vociferously for social justice;
- Adorned a nation with international laurels; and
- Acquired faith of an impressive dimension.
All of which were embarked upon with that vintage quantum of grace and legendary onslaught of her formidable intellect that are the hallmark of her remarkable being. Transcending all, remaining a steadfast disciple of God’s faithfulness and an absolutely devoted mother without equivocation. Although, her mother was lost to her at a tender age, yet her older sister and our big mother, Chief S. O Odesanya, the matriarch of the “Alabukun” Dynasty has been present since that fateful night as a loving anchor to that heritage. And in the decades that would ensue, our father, Professor Emeritus Toriola F. Solanke, so aptly described by our mother, as constant as the Northern Star and an Officer and a Gentleman, became her steadfast companion through his life, encouraging her decades ago to establish her Alabukun Law Chambers, indeed as a beacon of spousal devotion and certainly magnitudes more.
And thus, was it the imposing nature of “Olumo” rock that she beheld as a child and speaks of with fond nostalgia or the illustriousness of her influential father, or the wonder of her father’s orchards or the tragedies of her life including the early and traumatic loss of their beloved older brother Dr. Olukoya Odulate or her inherent penchant to “Reach For The Stars” or the amalgamation of life, that galvanized her to pursue eminent heights, and catapulted her in perpetuity into a restricted but internationally famed orbit of profiles of excellence. As that debate continues, as it assuredly will, the indisputable fact is that our mother through the vestment of courage and application of her incredible acumen achieved astronomical dimensions, notwithstanding the insidious machinations of circumstance, and thereby established an enduring paradigm for victorious success worthy of sonnets resonating through time.
BALLAD: A Legacy of Indelible Fame – A Uniquely Recurring Phenomenon
The gravitas and magnitude of the elevation four decades ago to Learned Silk
And the significance of the prevailing longevity of the marvelous milestone,
Still reverberate with thunderous acclaim through the storied narratives
Of the Inner Bar, legal profession and a nation profoundly captivated by the
Dazzling persona of Chief ‘Folake Solanke, SAN, who affectionately heralded
As “Lady SAN” in a professional realm populated by gentlemen, resides compelling.
The momentous feat underscores not only the incontrovertible fact, that rare intellect, is
Not the exclusive province of one gender, as the expansiveness of her perspicacity, and
Expertise of her courtesies categorically projected her to an elevated status therein.
In similitude to her iconic father, whose innovative creation continues to span
A century and beyond, to the benefit of legions and thus cementing his permanence
In the global firmament, the First Lady SAN, likewise, through adeptly acquiring
An awesome constellation of laudable accomplishments was transfigured
Into an astoundingly immovable fixture in the landscape of humanity, as an
Inspirational lodestar of exemplary sagacity and dignified comportment, and also
Despite the tenacity of any tribulation, still soaring, and motivating generations to excel.
And thus, with the vestment of daring enterprise, she rendered full and humble homage
Consistent with the “Alabukun” legacy perpetuating that noble quest for preeminence.
With resolute approbation and eternal adulation,
We remain, devotedly and forever,
Your loving descendants “First in Time”
Dr. Yemisi Solanke Koya, Esq. Golden Poet © All rights received.
MBBS, LLB, BL, MPH, JD
This 4th day of March 2021, the eve of four decades as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
For and on behalf of:
Babatunde Solanke Dapo Odesanya & family
Olubusola Solanke Yetunde Cardoso & family
Dr. Ibikunle Koya Bimbola Wright & family
Oyinade Koya Yomi Adebo & family
Feyisope Koya Binuyo Adeyinka Binuyo
Moyosore Koya Ariyo Yemisi Binuyo