Monday, 21 August 2017

How celebrities graced Madam Grace Orisafele’s 70th birthday bash in Lagos

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Mama, Grace Orisafele with daughters, Nneka, Obiagheli and son, Mr. Chucks Orisafele

The Holy Bible says “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away”…’So, teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom”…”Oh, satisfy us early with your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! (Psalm 90: 9, 10, 12 & 14)

The aforementioned Biblical supplication must have been granted to Umunede, Delta State (Southern Nigeria) born Madam Grace Orisafele as she clocked the divine age of 70 on Saturday August 12, 2017.  Her children led by the eldest daughter, Madam Nneka Christy Orisafele (Formerly Ijaola), CEO, La Base International Fashion Store, Lagos rolled the drum out as they invited dignitaries from far and near to celebrate their mother’s landmark age with much glitter, grandeur and glamour.
Mama with her daughter and others
The MC with Madam Nneka Orisafele
The Celebrant with her daughter and her friends
Chief Mike Umeh, Mama Grace Orisafele and Madam Nneka Orisafele
Princess Ada Aman with Mrs. Annie Achiekwelu
Mama Grace Orisafele with first daughter, Madam Nneka Christy Orisafele
The Mabifas with Mama & her daughter, Madam Nneka Orisafele
Mr. Sunday Obisesan on stage
Lovely Ladies
The Ladies and Mr. Awala Obateru
Party Time
Some big Madams
The event which took place at M.A.N Center events place inside Wemabod Estate, Ikeja—Lagos had the attendance of top-notch celebrities on Lagos and Abuja social scene with former Nigerian Football Federation Vice President, Chief Mike Umeh leading the train of high profile guests to the event.
Mama and her daughters...
The reason for the thanksgiving tending birthday celebration is not far fetched; 5 years ago, Mama was ill and the illness nearly took her life but God’s mercy prevailed as both the prayers of her children, great men of God and loving well-wishers saved mama’s life from the snare of death. She came back to life prettier, graceful and happy. And for this reason, her children decided to give a ‘thankful celebration’ as they count it a blessing from God for Mama to have survived her most challenging moments through uncanny will to reach the Biblical pegged age 70 thereby earning herself a medal into the club of septuagenarians.
Mr. Timi Kayode (L), Mr. Chucks Orisafele with Mr Timi Jnr
Lovely ladies with Madam Nneka Orisafele with Princess Ada Aman
Madam Nneka Orisafele with Princess Ada Aman
Madam Orisafele in a jolly mood with friends
A Guest
A Lagos celebrity on stage...
Madam Nneka Orisafele with friends
Madam Nneka Orisafele on the dance stage
Madam Nneka Orisafele with friends
The Mabifa boys and girls
Madam Nneka Orisafele welcomes guests
Mama in a social mood
Mama in traditional dance step
Mama and one of her daughters on the dance stage
Mr. Awala Obateru with Madam Nneka Orisafele
Her children organized the shindig to celebrate her life as noted in the book of Ecclesiastes 3 verse 1 ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven….a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time dance’ (Verse 4) for Mama’s children, God’s mercy in her life cannot be reversed. So, dance, dance, dance; click, click, click and merry, merry, merry.
Mama with a female admirer
Mama's first daughter, Madam Nneka Orisafele on stage
Mr. Timi Kayode & Mama
Mama & her kin from Umunede
Zeenat Mabifa and her brother Marizeek
Mama's Children & Grand Children & In-laws
Mama Grace Orisafele
Mama Grace Orisafele
Mama shares a dance step with an admirer
Mama...A mother to all...
Mama, Grace Orisafele
Lovely Abuja big madams at the event
Mr. Timi Kayode, son with Mama & her second son, Mr. Chucks Orisafele
Surrounded by the sumptuousness of her children, grand children, great grand children, close knit friends and well-wishers, Mama Grace Orisafele arrived for her birthday celebration at 1pm in company of her first daughter, Mrs. Nneka Christy Orisafele, one hour away into the event. She spent the earlier part of the day in the house with some selected men of God who came to offer prayers of thanksgiving for the day. Mama being a prayer vessel herself cherishes such moments than all the merriment in the world.
Mama Grace Orisafele arrives for her birthday celebration
Mama checking her steps...
Mama and her grand daughter, Caroline Eze

The Musical band
Mama, her son, daughter & daughter-in-law
Mama was welcomed into the hall by legion of cheery faces dressed in elegant dresses specially sewn for the occasion. She immediately ignited a cherry look on sighting those faces and increased her optimism when she sighted her grand kids and great grand kids who were equally present to receive her. It was indeed her day of joy as drums rang up and voices raised in praise by a musical band engaged for the occasion, to welcome her to her seat at the podium. Mama majestically took her seat with one of her great-grand daughters, Miss Caroline Eze.
Chief Ugo meets Mama in company of her first daughter
Mrs. Liza Odiri of The Conquerors Assembly Church opened the event with a soulful prayer session at 1:20pm.
The family had cream color lace and mixed colored Ankara as the official colors and the cream colored lace shorn like a million star on the bodies of guests who graced the event.
Some of the guests who attended the event are; Chief Mike Umeh, a former Vice President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), City lawyer, Barrister Mike Okorie,  Princess Ada Aman, founder of Adorable Women Foundation, Abuja, Mrs. Tani Said from Abuja, Mrs. Pelena Madaki from Abuja and Mrs. Jamila Makka from Kaduna.
Others are Mrs. Rosemary Osemwagie, a Housing manager who works with Tower Hamlet Council, London who attended with her daughter. We also have Chief Awala Obateru, the General Manager, Independent Television—Benin City (Edo Estate), Mrs. Belly Greg, Mrs. Victoria Uhanka and Awele Obienaba who led her group  the Dynamic Ladies of Delta State to the event.
An elderly guest at the event
The celebrant and her 70th birthday cake
Princess Adaeze Obi of Princess fashion House, Mrs. Annie Achiekwelu of Chelsea Saloon, Mrs. Rachael Adu, CEO, Anchor Cakes, Mrs. Susanne Cowan, CEO, Unique Ventures, Mr. Eugene Eze, CEO, Spec Industries limited and Mr. Sunday Obisesan, CEO, Sotob Global Integrated Nigeria Ltd and Mrs.  Glady Okponu.
Lagos Property merchant, Alhaji Tajudeen Mabifa, CEO Dean Homes & Properties came with his lovely children—Elias Mabifa, Zeenat Mabifa, Suliat Mabifa, Marthi Mabifa, Shade Oshileye, Qudus Hamzat, Akram Mabifa and Marizeek Mabifa.
Mama with her Grand & Great Grand children
A female singer raising Praise & Worship song for Mama
A singer on stage
Mama & her admirers
Mama & a Lady Admirer
Mama & the GDA
Mr. Awala Obateru of ITV with other celebrities
Mama in a show of happiness with admirers
Before the arrival of the first set of guests, the birthday cake crafted by the 18, Bode Thomas—Surulere Lagos based Cake Company, Yellow Velvet arrived. The only sad story from Yellow Velvet was the fact the CEO; Etowa Uzzi allegedly died six days to Mama’s birthday at age 36—she died August 6. She was allegedly ill and drove herself to the hospital to complain to the doctor of a heart challenge. But she was dead six hours later and nobody believed. But her good work lived after her as shown through the well crafted, jolly soft cake which had the insignia of 70 on it.
Mama & her first daughter, Madam Nneka Christy Orisafele, MD/CEO La Base International
The drinks list was carefully selected by Mama’s first daughter, Mrs. Nneka Christy Orisafele as she instructed Mrs. Dayaki Williams of Richbeth Drinks to make a line of fine vintage wines, champagne and upscale beverages for her over 1000 guests. Cocktail was served by Divine Cocktails.
The hall went abuzzed with activities as the event compere MC Maro (Adeoba Paul) kick started the event amidst music rendition from a Lagos music band. Choice Nigerian and Chinese meals were supplied by Shelet Catering Services and De Almighty Catering Services. Chicken Barque and Fish barbecue were in surplus supply as well.
Other side attraction like comedy, music, traditional dances etc spiced the event. As the music was playing and guests were enjoying the excellent 3-course meal and choice drinks, Mama’s children and grand children treated her to several exciting moments of photo-ops and other side attractions which drew attention from guests and well-wishers. It was indeed, a day to celebrate and merry.
Mama’s kit and kindred—the Osondu family from Umunede equally graced the occasion while a special traditional dancing group, Enuani Professional Dance Group  led by Eziashi Azuka took mama back to memory lane as the band made her to dance the dance of her youth with their special rendition which elicited a radiance look on Mama’s face.    
Why we celebrated our Mum @ 70…
Mama’s children spoke with your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika. Mr. Chucks Orisafele, her second son, a business man was first to speak “We are here to thank God for my mother’s life because if not for God, I don’t think she would be alive today. With His grace, God has given her the strength to remain for us and we will continue to thank and praise God so that God will extend her stay on earth”.
Some pretty Lagos Ladies at the party
A kiddies drama group entertaining Mama
Mr. Eliashi Azuka of Enuani Dance Group performing
Mr. Chucks, married to Ngozi with 4 grand children and three great grand children for the celebrant, described Mama further “She is a wonderful woman, caring woman, a loving woman and she is a mother of all in the sense that she accommodate both the ordinary and high profile people, Mama accommodates those who has and those who doesn’t have— I mean the have-alls and the have-nots, she believe we all are one. At times, when you look at Mama, you ask ‘who is this again, who is that again?’ but she will always have reasons to have everyone around her. So, I want to thank God for her wonderful life, you could see how healthy she is today, it is just the grace of God and by that grace is what we are celebrating today”
On how mama raised them as kids, Mr. Chucks revealed further “Yeah, when we were kids, Mama ensured we had Godliness as our behavioral trademark. We are just four, two boys, two girls. My father is late, he died in 1997 and since then she has been making sure she unites all of us together. That is why we are thanking God for her life; the humility God gave her is what she has been using to guide her children. I keep saying ‘you don’t celebrate people when they are down; you celebrate people when they are still living. That is my philosophy, you see a lot of people when their mothers are alive, they don’t take care of them but the funniest thing is that when they are dead, they buy cows and all that to celebrate their burial. For us, that is not it. We are appreciating her for who she is and for what she has done for this family. We lost our father in the last twenty years and today we are still one united family and that is one thing we are thanking her for”.
Guests enjoying their meal
Richbet Drink boss, Mrs. Williams (R) with friend
Another celebrity lady
Mrs. Rosemary Osemwagie with daughter, Chelsea
The musician
When Asabeafrika asked him to narrate the most challenging moment of his mother’s life, Mr. Orisafele breathed down before his reply “That was when she fell sick couple of years ago; and just of a sudden I was called and I decided to rush down and I found out that she was in the hospital, very close by here. But I won’t say it was the doctor’s effort that saved her. It was God, it was with God and I will keep saying ‘with God’ and she said one thing after the healing, that she will keep serving God till she passes away, because it is God that has strengthened her life till today, not a man or any doctor. Because if it was with the doctor’s dialysis and all that, today, we won’t be celebrating anything. But the grace of God has kept her alive and that is one thing I want to thank God for. There was a lot of challenges when she was down, she was hit by whatever name, I don’t want to call it but we want to thank God for her life and that is why we are celebrating her today”.
Mrs. Nneka Orisafele welcomes Mr. Timi Kayode to mum's birthday
Mr. Timi Kayode and Madam Nneka Orisafele
Mrs. Williams of Richbet Drinks with her staff
Mama''s first daughter, Madam Nneka Orisafele welcomes Alhaji Tajudeen Mabifa and his children
Mrs. Obiagheli Eze, Mama's second daughter
Madam Nneka Orisafele brings culture and lifestyle to mum's birthday with old wine gourd and Umunede dance steps
Princess Ada Aman (M), Madam Nneka Orisafele and another big girl

Does Mr. Chucks sees 70 as the ultimate age for his mother and what next after 70 since the psalmist says 70 is the appointed phase for man “That’s true but we human being give some age grade and all that but we have people in the Bible who have lived more than 70, 100 years and all that”.  He continued “Even in contemporary times, Nelson Mandela died at 95. Today, we still have Prince Charles in UK and the father is still alive at a hundred years plus. So, these are gifts of genes given by God not by man. The existence of man on earth is not by man but by God. So, I want to thank God for my mum’s life, despite the challenges, in life there must be challenges but the most important factor is God, with God, all things are possible. We are celebrating her because God has kept her alive and we are still hoping that God will give her many more years to live”.
Mama & her children
Madam Nneka Orisafele welcomes Alhaji Tajudeen Mabifa to her mum's 70th birthday
Mama arrives with her second daughter, Mrs. Obiagheli Eze
And Mama danced
Madam Nneka Orisafele (R) with a friend
Mama’s last daughter Mrs. Joy Onyebuchi Eze was the next person who spoke with Asabeafrika “I am the last born of the family. Mama has been a great mother; we thank God that she is 70 today. She has always been there for me; you know I am the last child, so she has always been there for me right from the scratch. She is a mother to everybody; she is a mother to both male and female. She is an icon, ever since my father died; she has always been there for us and we are grateful to God that she is 70”
Mrs. Eze also shared Mama’s near death experience with AsabeafrikaYes, this is about 5 years ago. It was so painful, Mama fell sick, she had stroke and we thought we were going to lose her but with God, all things are possible. That Mama is alive today is not by her power but by the spirit of the living God. We thank God for mama’s life that we are celebrating her today. There are lots of challenges because during the time she fell sick, we nearly lost her. But even we the children lost hope but Mama did not. She kept fighting and fighting and fighting for her life but by God’s grace, she is still alive today, I have seen a lot of people that had that kind of sickness for less than one or two years and they are gone. But today, we are celebrating her, we give God all the glory, we thank God for her life”.
Mama on the dancing floor
Mama enjoying herself
Mama dances with one of her 'sons'
Some Lagos & Abuja big Gals
On how Mama raised her, she said “Mama is a very hardworking woman, I could remember then, when she gave birth to me my mother was doing a lot of trades at the same time. Before then, she had been into several businesses. She sold fire wood to train us before she went into food stuff. When you get to Iponri shopping complex in Lagos and you ask of Mama Oris (her first son based in the United Kingdom) she used to operate a restaurant there, about three or four restaurants in those days. She trained us so very well, in a Godly way. Mama went through a lot after my father died but she strived hard to bring us up. Like me, today, I can tell you that I am a virtuous woman, because of the kind of training Mama gave me, she taught me how to manage my home and how to become a self confident woman. I thank God for mama, I am short of words. I don’t know what to say because a lot of people do come to her. She counsels people, everybody wants to be like my mum, and everybody wants to be mama’s child. But I thank God today that we are celebrating her; I give God all the glory”.
The Celebrant with young admirers
What does 70 means to Mrs. Eze? “Yes, I won’t lie to you because Mama has really dedicated her life to God. Being 70, I don’t know. Mama is 70 years today by the grace of God and she has so much faith in God. She has so much faith in God that she preaches, even if she is counseling you, she will give you some quotes in the Bible; she will preach a lot of things to you. She will go any mile to make sure that every marriage works out. She doesn’t believe in divorce; that she is 70 today, I know that God will add more years for her because she is a very good woman”.
Chief Mike Umeh sharing a dance with a fan
Obiagheli Rachael Chinasa is mama’s first granddaughter and this is what the mother of three told Asabeafrika “My name is Obiagheli Rachael Chinasa, I am married and I am the first grandchild of my grand ma, I am a mother of three. I will say my grand mum is a loving woman, she is nice, and she is hardworking. I learnt being hardworking from her because she doesn’t sit around doing nothing, she is always doing something. So that’s one good thing about her. She gets angry easily but maybe that’s what we like about her. That is all I know I can say about my grand ma, she is a loving woman, and she loves her grand children”.  “I wish her long live, more prosperity, God’s protection, peace of mind and happiness”.
Ex-NFA Chief, Mike Umeh storm the event
Ex-NFA Scribe Chief Mike Umeh serenade the celebrant with wads of Naira notes
Lidia Eze another granddaughter gave her words for the celebrant “My grand mum is someone special, she is good natured, one can’t express how wonderful she is—I will say she is great. I really don’t know what to say about her because on this special day, I don’t have words for her. All I can say is ‘God bless her’.
On weather her grand ma used to spank or pamper her, she reacted thus “A lot of time, sure, she spanks us a lot but everything she does is for our good. So, we love the discipline she gives to us”.
On funny things Mama says to them, she opened up with a laughter before saying “be sure, I am, you do check up’ that’s what she says, that is how she is, she is jovial, she is nice, she is fun”.
Another granddaughter, Andria has this to say “My name is Andria Orisafele, I love my grandma because she is a very amazing personality. I don’t really have much to say, she is jovial, she cracks us up every time. She says things that we always laugh off. So she is very, very amazing. She is great, I am very, very happy to be present here to make her 70th birthday. I am hoping she sees many more years, even pressing down to 100 if possible, I am hoping to be here by the grace of God. Yeah, if possible, who doesn’t want that, she is amazing”.
Chief Mike Umeh (M) with Madam Nneka Orisafele (R) and a friend
Madam Nneka Orisafele & friends
The Mabifas with Madam Nneka Orisafele
The GDA, Alhaji Mabifa with Madam Nneka Orisafele
Madam Nneka Christy Orisafele with Alhaji Tajudeen Mabifa of Dean Homes & Properties
On fond memory, Andria like Lidia has many but can’t remember any “I really cannot remember (Laughing) but she has said a lot that if I think about it, I just laugh but now, I cannot remember any one”.
Andria gave her wish “I wish her many more years, good life, prosperity. She can’t even ask for more because she has everything, we are here, she has grand children, great grand children and by the grace of God, if God permits, she will see her great grand, no problem. I am grateful and I am thankful, that is all I can say”.
Mr. Timi Kayode is a family friend of over 4 decades told Asabeafrika more about the OrisafelesMy name is Timi Kayode, Mama has been a wonderful mother to us. In fact she is my mother; maybe I should call her a mother from another source. The son is a very good confidant, Peter Azuka Orisafele but he is not in town. About three weeks ago when he told me I said ‘well, I am going to represent him here. It is very, very unfortunate, I traveled and came back yesterday, I should have been in the same uniform”.
Mr. Timi Kayode speaks with the GDA
So who is mama to Timi Kayode? “Mama has been a very nice woman. I remember far back then when she had a canteen at Iponri, we will walk in there, eat and we just move on. And Daddy too (Justin Orisafele), may his gentle soul rest in peace old as he is, he never passes through my street without coming into my house, he will say ‘Timi, have you seen Azuka today?’ and I will say ‘No sir’. And he will go ‘It is like he has fever o’ and I will have to rush down. So, they have been a wonderful family. I wish Mama many, many prosperous years and she will see her children’s children in the mighty name of Jesus. I mean, it is nice knowing her”. “We have been family friend for about 40 straight years of friendship—uninterrupted”
A service boy at Mama's party
Mama’s first daughter, Madam Nneka Christy Orisafele spoke last and she told Asabeafrika more about her mum “Yes I am so very happy, I am overwhelmed. I don’t even know how to explain it. I am so happy, I thank God that God made it possible that everybody is here and they enjoyed themselves so well. I am so happy”.
What does she thinks of her mother @ 70? “I thank God for her life, four years ago we were challenged, it was something else. But I thank God for her life and that’s why we are celebrating her today. She was ill and we nearly lost hope but God gave us a reason for praise. We thank God for that rare grace and mercy. That is why we are celebrating her today”.
Enough meal for all guests
Ice cream & cake served for all
On how Mama raised her, Madam Nneka Orisafele said her mum always inspired her as a child “She will always tell me ‘my daughter, you are a great girl and you will continue to be a great girl’.
Does Madam Nneka want more after 70, and what exactly?  “Yes, I wish her more years to come but I don’t want her to die now; more healthy years that is what I am wishing her. 80, 90, from 90, I think err….(laughs) because she will trouble me more” 100? We asked and she replied “Maybe 95”.
Mama speaking with the GDA
Chicken barbecue for all
Smoked fish for guests
The beverage bar
A section of the hall before the arrival of guests
Mama's State before her arrival
The celebrant spoke to Asabeafrika on how she feels at 70 “I feel very good, I feel well because He who makes me 70 will make me 80. So, God will continue to strengthen me in the name of Jesus because as I am seeing my children gather people around me, my children, my grandchildren gather people around me for my birthday, I feel excited” Mama showered prayers on her children “God will bless them in the mighty name of Jesus. As they move out to go home, now, Almighty God will guide them on the road in the name of Jesus, nothing will happen to anyone of them and their guests; the blessing will be upon them in Jesus name”.
Enough Food for all to eat
Mama remembered her late husband, a police chief, Justin Orisafele and prayed for him, “Orokobi is the real name they gave to him that anywhere he goes; God Almighty will place him in a better place. He was a great man and the father of my children. Till we meet again, in Jesus name.

Mama thanked all the guests for showing up and equally wished them a save trip home “I wish them good luck and blessing of God will go with them in the name of Jesus. They will never see any go down in life. The blessing of God will be upon them; as they return to their respective homes, Almighty God will be with them in JESUS name”.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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