When you are in Oke-ogun and you ask for recommendation with regards to a school called Sharon Rose Schools & College. It is a general, though not certified, agreed fact that it is the best school in the vicinity. On student performances, credibility and general grading, the school stands out of the crowd just as the school motto states: “lillies among thorns”. The motto doesn’t discriminate other schools but shows the drive of the school to stand out and blossom which they actually do. The school’s success story spreads wider than oke-ogun though. The school has been picked on multiple occasions automatically to represent Oyo state in competitions based on merit. Overlooking more largely branded schools in the states capital. The school has also represented the state in the famous MAN competition for secondary school students and also won the latest edition with Fasasi Muqtar winning the first prize in Nigeria.
Other accolades have been collected by the school and they have produced over 1,500 students in their relatively young 19-year history. The founders of the school are Dn&Mrs S.O Oluwasola. A couple respected tremendously in their vicinity. A couple that has touched numerous lives and are still doing so today. They celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary recently and I got the opportunity to interview them and get to know how they met and the secret to staying close together and how they have accomplished a lot as a couple.
How did you meet?
Mrs. Oluwasola : I was in Ede, working as a caterer under the Nigeria Baptist Convention, women wing. One day, precisely May 15, 1997. He (Dn. Oluwasola) came with a friend, Mrs. Oladoyinbo, and they said they were looking for a miss Akintola. I made myself available as the bearer of the name. He asked me if I knew a Rev. Mike Oye and I said yes. He told me how he knew him and right on the spot, he proposed. He made his mind known to me and was very confident and clear about what he wanted. I told him I would pray about it and he asked if he could cone visit again. I said he could. He came visiting 3 months later and I said yes.
Dn. Oluwasola : Rev. Mike Oye spoke about her with me while we were discussing the issue of me re-marrying. He said there is a sister he came across in the camp in Ede and that he will want me to visit her to see if i would consider establishing a relationship with her. He gave me the name Miss Akintola. I shared with Mrs Oladoyinbo and she said she wanted to go with me. Another friend of mine, Rev. Ajetumobi offered to go with me as well, so we picked him up in Ibadan. When i met her, I told her I understand the situation because we were meeting for the first time and that’s why I asked her to pray and if I could visit again.
How long did you court/date?
Mrs. Oluwasola : it wasnt long. We met in May, I said yes in August and we got married in December. So, 5 months. We were of age so there was no time to waste time.
How often did you write each other?
Mrs Oluwasola : It was regular. There was this cooperative bank. The Skye bank that you know now was once a cooperative bank. There was one in Ejigbo and i knew people there. So our letters were delivered easily. I think it was twice a month. I still have some samples with me.
How often did you visit each other?
Mrs. Oluwasola : I recollect him visiting about four or five times. I only visited when I came to meet his mother though. But you know the road was bad, the distance was far and I didn’t know Saki. I even had to ask for directions a lot to get to Saki. So probably the condition of transportation then limited how much he could visit.
How was he & she when he/she visited your parents?
Mrs. Oluwasola : He was calm actually. The thing is he already told me to prepare the mind of my parents that he is not the talking type to prevent any kind of misunderstanding when he came. I already told them that he won’t talk if they don’t ask him anything. I told them a gentleman is coming.
Dn. Oluwasola : She was okay. You know she was mature by then, so I barely had to tell her anything. She handled it well.
How do you remember your wedding day?
Dn. Oluwasola : It was okay I think. We had guests from Lagos, Abuja, Abidjan. It was okay.
Mrs. Oluwasola : There was a funny incident though when my nephews wanted to beat my brother’s wife and I on the day of my engagement. My older brother came there, cautioned them and took us away. I thank God that nothing happened after it all.
What three qualities do you treasure the most in him/her?
Dn. Oluwasola : The first I would like to say is her diligence. She’s diligent and passionate about what she does and I love that about her. Actually, i think diligence is the second. The first thing is her ability to take care of all the children as her own. Her ability to take Adeyemi and Imisi as her own is incredible. She did not just care for them, she nurtured them as you would expect a mother to nurture her own child. It was splendid and almost overwhelming in the sense that she’s able to take everyone along without any trace or hint of no direct relationship between them. The third thing is her honesty about how she feels. It’s clear when she’s excited about something and when she’s not.
Mrs. Oluwasola : (looks at her husband and smiles) Aremu. I have so many to pick from. The first thing i cherish about him is his care. He’s very caring and not to just me but my family as well. And there was a day that I really started to appreciate him so much. My mother was sick and we had to take her to a clinic. We had to climb a narrow staircase. He carried my mother like a baby and took her up the stairs. Whenever I feel a bit down or disturbed, I remeber that incident and my mind is put at peace and I feel secure. He stood in the position of 10 sons and carried my mother. I will always cherish that moment. The second is the security he gives me. Whenever I am in the midst of some married women and listen to what they go through, I thank God for giving him to me. The third is the fact that he accepts my weaknesses without using it against me. Permit me to mention one more thing. When he married me, I couldn’t speak English. He got me an English teacher and I learnt. I don’t like being idle and I remember me asking him to let me learn how to give injections so I can treat students but he refused because it was illegal(both laughing). Most of the things I do today is possible because of the efforts he made. He only has a Bsc. He sponsored my Bsc program and Masters programme. I was initially bothered and asked him why he would have a Bsc and pay for his wife to have a MSc degree and he said he wanted money not certificate(both laugh). He is a man that wants progress for his partner instead of being bothered of being on par or better.
When was your first kiss?
Dn. Oluwasola : (Mrs.Oluwasola laughing) it was on our wedding night.
What do you think has been the major key in making your marriage last?
Dn. Oluwasola : I think the major thing is that we agreed before we entered into it that it was for better and for worse. We were totally committed to making the relationship work. It prevented anyone from having second thoughts about the marriage. So when situations arise, we find a solution or we compromise. I do tell people that marriage is like acquiring a business, you acquire the assets and liabilities. You should be prepared for the bad times and be committed to sustaining your marriage. You never know some things about your partner until you get married, but once you know what you are getting into, it helps a lot. Another thing is that I have learnt that, in life you need to learn to accommodate others. It’s because someone else, either you know it or not is accommodating you as well. So you need to live like that.
Mrs. Oluwasola : Another point is that, in the relationship, there are some things you can’t change in your partner’s life. You should learn to accept your partner’s weaknesses.
What do you think has been your greatest accomplishment as a couple?
Dn. Oluwasola : I won’t say it’s the greatest accomplishment but I think the most evident of the products of our relationship or partnership is the school. We met a lot of schools on ground and when we look at how far we have come, we thank God. People have some ideas that the reason we have accomplished this is because of the capital we had, but we know it is because of God and a strong partnership between us. The school benefited immensely from the fact that we make a very good team.
What one advice would you give to people that are single or in a relationship?
Dn. Oluwasola : there is this thing that is taught that before you cross a road, look to the left, look to the right before you cross. My advice is that before you cross that road into marriage, look to the left, right, left, right, left, right before you cross, but once you do, don’t look back. When an approval is needed in government, the letter is passed through different authorities and at the end, the last signature is all that matters. Make sure you own that signature.
Mrs. Oluwasola : make sure that you have a personal conviction and not just approval from parents, pastors and so on. When you pray about it, be convinced before you share with people. They are only meant to confirm what you are convinced of.
Thank you for your time.