Nigerian former beauty queen,late Ibidunni Ighodalo will be buried in a ceremony that is sure to witness heart-breaking tributes and tears from people across the country for a strong and beautiful woman that touched so many lives.
The night of hymns, psalms and candlelight held earlier in the week, had unending tears flowing in the small audience that gathered to honour and celebrate the life and times of the remarkable woman. But by the time her daughter, Zenan, took the stage to render a worship song, uncontrorable emotions ran very high, until she ended up in her father’s arms.
The beauty Ibidun passed away on Sunday, in her hotel room in Port Harcourt, where she had gone to set up a COVID-19 Isolation Centre for the state government. We is the Founder of Elizabeth R PR and Events Company, and Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation, which helps families to conceive through IVF. She would have been 40 on July 19, 2020.
She was Born in Ibadan, Oyo State, as the fifth child of eight children of late Olaleye Ajayi, the former beauty, attended K-Kotun Primary School in Surulere Lagos, before heading for the Federal Government Girls College, Oyo State for her secondary education. She studied Microbiology at the University of Lagos, Akoka acquiring further training in Business Management from the Lagos Business School. She was also a fellow of the National Institute Marketing, Nigeria (NIMN).
Her beautiful life’s journey started, while she was waiting to gain admission into the University of Lagos to study Medicine, which was her father’s choice. And because she loved and respected her father, she also fell in love with the medical sciences. But unknown to her, destiny had other plans for her. But when her admission letter suddenly got mixed up and sent to someone else, which left her heart broken, Ibidun was left with no choice than to study another course. This, in a way, paved a way for her on what career to pursue.
Yet again, her life took a new turn when she won the first-ever Miss Lux Beauty Pageant in 1999. She got into the limelight and seized the platform to boost her desired career in event management. Creating Elizabeth R, a PR and event Management Company in 2003 and leading as one of the leading events agencies in the country. Over the last 15 years, she has dominated the events management and decoration world in Nigeria, most especially in Lagos and Abuja.
She used her limelight and hard work to launched her luxury 4000-capacity event centre, The Dorchester, in 2014. By 2016, she launched a bridal store Avant-Garde
For the time being, tributes continue to pour in for the woman with a heart of gold. From President Muhammadu Buhari to Vice-President, Yemi Osibajo, Speaker of the house of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, former Vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, state governors, pastors, colleagues, media, family and friends and many more.
Meanwhile, close friend of Ibidun, TY Bello, shared a screenshot of a WhatsApp message the late former beauty queen shared with her; ”Sweetie, it’s my 40th birthday next month and I want to help 40 couples have their babies, what do you think? That’s all, no parties, no surprise; I just want to make 40 homes happy.”
Her close friend said, “This is who she was; this was what she had on her mind. She never forgot others going through the pain of waiting even at the very end.”
CEO, Brass and copper, Chioma Ikokwu, “God why? 2020 has already been bad enough, but to take away such a beautiful soul from us? A heart made of literal gold. She was so warm, kind, vibrant, positive, encouraging and full of joy. I don’t even understand how we’re talking in the past tense. Only God can give the entire family the fortitude to bear this untimely loss. We can only pray for them”
Tomike Adeoye, who was like an adopted daughter left a long a long note on her Ig saying: “Mama, how can you promise all this and leave me less than a month after? The last assignment you gave me was to give my family members foodstuff during the lockdown and I’m so grateful I did that. At the beginning of the lockdown, you chased me for my account number. Jumoke suddenly asked for my account and I suspected it was you, so, I refused! You had done too much for me during my wedding last year; you planned it for free! Wedding gown, free! Decoration, free! That goodness was enough to last me a lifetime but you never stopped. I did and you sent us 100,000, saying it’s for your baby and your son to buy foodstuff. Last night, I understood the meaning of heartbreak. Who will love me as you did? You see that shoe you gave me as a wedding present, I wore it to bed last night. I woke up with burning toes, but I felt comforted knowing I slept with you close to me. I also slept with that autographed devotion you gave me on January 1; it’s all I have left. I will be strong! Very strong! I will wipe my tears, go back to work and rejoice! Makes no sense but I will praise God regardless. I love you, my heaven-sent helper! With you, I understood this word! I love you, my mama.”
She lived a glorious life and will be forever missed.