Evangelist Ambassador Adekunbi Akin-Taylor Celebrates 66 Years with Gratitude and Love to many


Some dignitaries at the event with the celebrant Evang. Amb. AdekunbiAkin-Taylor (2nd night)

Birthdays are very unique moments for people and a special opportunity for expressing gratitude, acknowledging growth, and celebrating ones journey of life. For many folks, birthdays are a time to surround oneself with loved ones, build deeper connections with people, and experience the joy of human relationships.

For a sexagenarian at 66 years, a birthday offers perhaps a little more than mere celebrations. It is an opportunity for stock-taking and retrospection but with gratitude above all. This captures the person of Evangelist Adekunbi Akin-Taylor, a woman of many parts, when she recently celebrated her 66th birthday, albeit in a very unique and different way. Unlike the tradition of the “haves” throwing lavish parties and creating moods of ecstasy, luxury, and splendor, usually among the upper echelon of the society, Adekunbi rather opted to mark her 66th with a funfair of Birthday Games in the hinterlands and amongst the “commoners” whom she always refer to as her “special people”.

The day’s events featured several activities like athletics, basketball, darts competition, table tennis, football, scrabble, chess, draught, “ayo olopon”, choreography, novelty games, noodles feeding, cultural performances all of which attracted lots of gifts. There was plenty of food and drinks and other forms of refreshments for the over 300 capacity crowd consisting of rural school children, and adults in the locality. Charlie Marie School children, staff, parents and Charlie-Marie Academy athletes were akso among well wishers present to spice the day for the celebrant.

The setting was at the modest Charlie-Marie Sports Arena, a 3,000 capacity sporting facility which the celebrant built just about a year ago in the quiet outskirts of Eriyo-Ogijo, in the Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State.

Cross section of Athletes at the Chief Sir Gabriel Akinmade Taylor Pavilion of Charlie-Marie Sports Academy

Aside athletes from Charlie-Marie Sports Academy, in a bid to add colour and further ignite the true spirit of sportsmanship, Adekunbi’s Birthday Games featured participating schools from neighboring communities and its environs, namely Ogijo, Phoenix. Gbaga, Simawa, Likosi and Mosimi areas, all in the Sagamu Local Government Area. Evangelist Adekunbi was honoured with the presence of many friends and family members from Lagos. Notably was the 12 man delegation of Darters from the Nigeria Police Darts Association, who came to honour their Matron, Adekunbi.

Despite the friendly atmosphere of the games, the various competitions were stiff and keenly contested, especially in the schools’ invitational relays for the male and female categories. Winning athletes were rewarded with mouthwatering prizes, gift items and certificates to their delight while parents and other adults that took part in novelty events such as Penalty Kicks, Bluetooth Dance, Ball in A Hole were equally presented with exciting gifts.

Evang Adekunbi Akin-Taylor, who is the Proprietress of the Sports Academy and Charlie-Marie Group of Schools, explains that her decision to celebrate this year’s birthday essentially with the economically disadvantaged children was very instructive. “I consider myself very much privileged right from my childhood till date. My childhood was a mix of bitter-sweet tales, some of which exposed me to some near death experiences in life. My survival sometimes is still a sort of mystery that I owe to God” the celebrated educationist stated. “As a result, celebrating with this local communities of people, especially the children, is the only feeling that gives me that sense of joy, satisfaction, and fulfilment” she enthused.

The celebrant Adekunbi Akin-Taylor on the basketball court

Speaking further on her convictions and choice of commemorating her 2024 birthday with games and funfair, the celebrant opined that sports development and education, especially at the grass-root level, remains an integral part of community development and nation building. “I have come to discover that most young stars have huge sporting potentials and talents that become wasted if not harnessed largely due to lack of access to standard sporting facilities in their particular communities” she observed. “However, by way of celebrations like mine and the avenue provided for this sporting environment, future stars can be encouraged and propelled to greatness” Adekunbi noted.

As a person, Adekunbi feels for one to be just generous isn’t enough for anyone with a heart of gratitude, hence her birthday this year was centered on personal sense of gratefulness and a celebration that only children will appreciate the most. It afforded her a time of special reminder of life experiences, the highs, and the lows, as the birthday comes with its own unique mood given the circumstances. Adekunbi who is a passionate sports woman and currently Chairman of the of the Lagos Country Club Darts Section, says; “in today’s Nigeria and the prevailing social economic situation, the opportunity of another year to be alive is without doubt a milestone to mark a new age with laughter, tears, challenges and victories. This special moment of my personal celebration allows me to pause, reflect, and reassess my growth and goals” said the Princess of Ile Oluji kingdom, Ondo State.

Beyond the numbers, 66 symbolizes the power of unconditional love and harmony of overcoming numerous challenges and adversities. For Ambassador Evangelist Adekunbi who has authored six books including a compelling thematic biography “Standing on My Promises” her 2024 birthday underscores the importance of approaching life’s challenges with compassion and balance, ultimately allowing her to navigate difficulties with God’s grace and resilience.

The celebrant Evang. Amb. Adekunbi Akin-Taylor (middle) with some Athletes holding the Birthday Games Touch of Unity

The birthday occasion had some dignitaries who graced the event including; Oba Kazeem Gbadamosi, Okuselu 1, Ologijo of Ogijo who was the Royal father of the Day, and who attended the occasion and was accompanied bynthe Babaloja and Iyaloja of Ogijo. Otunba Joshua Aduola, was Chairman of the Day, Superintendent Martha Nwokol-Ayayi, Mother of the Day, and Alhaji Wumi Taiwo, Special Guest of Honour.

Adekunbi seized the occasion to dedicate the newly completed sports pavilion in the arena in memory of her late father, High Chief Sir Gabriel Akinmade Taylor and the newly completed multi purpose court in memory of her late mother, Chief Mrs Alice Edowaiye Taylor. Evang. Adekunbi announced to all attendees that the Birthday Games will be an annual event at the Sports Arena for years and years to come.

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