I’ve had the privilege of knowing the smiley Chemical Engineering lady Tolu Lawuyi for about 2 years I guess – In Uni. In Choir. It was in my final year that I got to know the stalwart part to Tolu which is quite evident from watching her talk either in front of other students or from notes scribbled at the back of her books. She is a nice principled person who stands up for she what believes in. When we were talking about possible titles she could write on here, I suggested this one because I wanted to know how she got to be so firm and expressive about her stand on any subject matter – a trait I believe is very needed in this morally decadent world of injustice and vices. Then again, she’s flexible in her opinions when confronted by higher arguments(mostly backed up by scriptures). So be blessed as you read on as Tolu is about to take you on a journey : a why you may not have expected. God bless Tolu!
The answer to that question is best expressed in two words: My Dad. He is ‘plenty’ shades of amazing. I have never seen someone who is so proud of being a teacher. I like to think of my family, the Lawuyis, as a teaching dynasty: late grandparents, uncles, aunts, some of the in-laws mumsy included were/are all in the teaching industry. If I teach, I would be the third generation to do so, but that! is a topic for another day. My dad is a strong influence in my life; let’s just say I tried to be a diplomat by taking my mum’s looks and my dad’s behaviour. That would very much explain my introverted nature, the over-thinking and the temper, yes the temper! Remember I didn’t say perfect, because ermm….if you didn’t notice, he is a human being.
Growing up for me was stereotyped differently: my dad helped with house chores around the house and was our holiday tutor. As we grew much older, our Saturdays were filled with discussions on politics and nation building and whoever came to visit us added spice to the discussions. There was the ritual of early morning talks whenever either my brother or I did something bad. The talks lasted between 5 and 30 mins depending on the gravity of your offence with you both trying to fight the remainder of your sleep and manage the pains of standing, yes! The talk was done with both parties standing.
Whenever he said, Tolu….. hmmm, at the dining table, I knew I was going to be the subject of that day’s breakfast discussion (Another of our rituals). More than one of the discussions went this way. Tolu, I want you to know you can be any of three kinds of women: a housewife, a career woman or both. Each came with its own responsibilities as well as sacrifice. He repeated it in my ears till it resounded in my heart. You know what else he said? Tolu, a child surpasses his parents, you have a greater height of achievement to beat. Those words ah!! They followed me, haunted me and finally settled in my heart, always giving a subtle remainder.
My passion for politics, nation building, speaking against injustice and defending my rights (a little too fiercely sometimes) was born of a loving father who wanted to give the world if he could. He is why I do what I do!
Tolu can be reached on her facebook page. When she’s not reading or watching movies, she’s probably thinking of better ways to pass across her stand. :).