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 "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

       People meet; we come across one another, one way or the other: through others, at events, congregational meetings and other places and avenues. We bumped into ourselves. We become close friends thereby. Love affairs, loose and even siamese-like relationships develop therefrom. And on the negative side, enmity also develops as an aftermath of initial meetings.

You get to meet some and get magnetized by their charm, vivacity or intelligence etc. There are others you encounter and you are left with no impression whatsoever. They are just as any other person, out there. These ones have deeper inner qualities of character, discipline, integrity and commitment, as well as understanding of life. It takes getting closer to discover all these traits.

   Adunola Aderonke Asaolu belongs to the latter group. I, as most of her husband's family members, knew her after their wedding. How she managed to win the heart of the man, Mr. Kunle Asaolu, was somehow confusing. The man was not in short supply of ladies in those days. And I must confess it that the woman she settled for was not among our best choices, according to most of us. Another is that, both possessed incompatible characteristics. 

The man is gregarious, lively, friendly, outspoken and a very good mixer. On the other hand, Aderonke is receptive, cool, calm and collected. When we talk of a quinttessential cool as cucumber example, she fits the bill perfectly. Nothing seems to bother her. She would rather look at issues and dissect them to herself. She prefers working behind the scene. 

 Their wedding, a society one, done with, we saw the woman in her true colours. Personally and for most of other younger brothers' of the man, she was aloof. Her parents, a school administrator father and business woman mother were well to do. Adunola Aderonke does not belong in our way of life and was not in our class. Having been raised in Lagos and with the Lagosian accent accompanying every word she uttered, she appeared arrogant. But then, as usual, I kept an open mind, studied to dissect her, properly. 

  The first attribute I observed was the way and manner she accorded and still accords everyone she knew as her husband's brother/sister. Regardless of educational attainment, position or relevance, you are "uncle." To the ladies, you are "anti." When I was intimated with the background she came from, I knew she had been well brought up.

    Being a good wife goes beyond making a fuss over mundane things. An issue occured at the popular Onitsha Main Market, when I was selling clothes. I had gone there along with Welfast, who was there to purchase drugs. Egbon Kunle said, "I am buying this and that for my wife. She deserves it as she has never troubled me for such things, other women can die for." Their marriage was over two years old then. Good women give their husbands peace of mind.

   People, who are not close to her are oblivious of her accommodating and good nature traits. One of the government drivers attached to her husband while serving as a Commissioner corroborated this.

"Oga Press, that woman is different from all the wives of the Commissioners I have worked with. She gives me same breakfast the family takes every morning. It's not an occasional thing but everyday. I am surprised." This is same woman many see as being selfish and unfriendly.

   Our numerous discussions exposed the core, main principles of her. Let me share one or two of them. This is her submission on men and infidelity.

"That a married man has girlfriends is not new. No woman can stop the man, if he is favourably disposed to it. It should not be the wife's headache. A sensible woman should focus on her children and work. However, if the man goes out of his way to impregnate or bring home a strange woman, the wife has a right to leave."

   This woman, who retired from the Public Service as a Matron in the State General Hospital, has never, at anytime, stopped hustling. When I got closer to them, she was into buying and selling of clothes. Later, she established D4 satchet water factory. After leaving Public Service, she became a full-time dealer in beverages and soft drinks. When I asked her the motive for her relentlessness, she replied, "my mother used to say, any woman that is mine, who relies on her husband for her daily bred is not from my womb. Being a female is not an excuse for idleness and being a burden on someone else."

Bi a bini, Koto ka tun ara eni bi. 

   On many occasions when her husband get agitated and start talking tough, she will keep calm and quiet. At times, i felt for her and asked the reason for her non response. "There is no need; the two of us cannot be in same battle mood at same time. Things might get out of hand." That ability to douse fire with calmness must be one of the reasons Bros Kunle settled for her out of the whole caboodle of ladies at his disposal back in those days. A temperamental man must not marry an irascible tempered lady.

   Most of her husband friends hold her in high regard as I. A prominent businessman family friend told me. "Welfast's wife is a woman among millions. She is highly focused and dedicated to any course she believes in." When Welfast was made a Commisdioner and needed an SA. People from every nook and crannies came up indicating interest. She told her husband: "Uncle Sunday is the only person I know. He has been there all along. Dont appoint any of these fairweather associates." And that settled it.

  This pleasant, easy-going, accommodating and focused woman might not appear as the ideal Nigerian christian woman. Yet, she has proper understanding of and implicit faith in God. When she had delay in producing fruit of the womb, the D4 proprietor remained resolute and said, "God will answer us." Their home was her prayer mountain, as she spurned entreaties to run helter skelter to all manners of solution providers. Her faith was put to further test when younger people who married after them were having children. 

Still on faith matters, the family joined a church in the mould of CAC. And as usual, they put in their resources, time and energy to nurture it. Later, the founder manifested his true colours turning them to financier of his personal responsibilities. They had to face the exit door. Welfast suggested another Pentecostal church. She replied, "for us to leave our former church for the one you suggested will be regression. We have to advance to a place we can pray more."

   Women are stronger than men. Strength goes beyond the physical. And Adunola Aderonke possesses this attribute in no small measure. One of the most difficult period of her adult life happened in the mid 90s. In pregnancy of about two months, a minor mishap occurred at home. To save the unborn child, she had to be bedridden for seven months. She was practically incapacitated: eating, bathing and performing every other activity recumbent, on bed. She had to be taken to Obafemi Awolowo University Hospital on a monthly basis for check up. What a trying time, that was! During my numerous visits, she never lost hope of a safe delivery, or blame an imaginary witch for her condition.

  To her, a businessman can be generous but not to the extent of using his company funds for such. Every investment the man ventured and crashed landed were done without her input. 

As a shrewd business-savvy investor, expenses must not outweigh income. Let me cite an instance. There was this friend of her husband, who regularly came to collect money from Welfast in those days. I am talking of huge sums of money in the range of 100-200k or even more. That Egbon Kunle gave him last week did not deter him from coming again the following. And surprisingly, he always gave him as if charmed. Their personal business was suffering; the family plans were being sacrificed. 

One day, the beneficiary came round again and got his largesse. After the man had left, a fed up Aderonke took up her husband.

She said, "my dear, do not be annoyed about this o. This man comes here or our shop to collect hundreds of thousands of naira from you, as he desires. Is he using charm or something on you? Remember that our shop is being financed through loans we obtained together. Here we are, the shop is not progressing as we planned it. If we have a pressing need for money and this man comes in with his request, you will do his bidding and abandon ours. Kilode? I have no problem with him. You are my husband and you are the one I have to face. Please, let him go elsewhere for solution to his perennial financial problems"

   Last year, she reflected on so many things particularly her husband's life and gave me her conclusion.  

"Uncle Sunday, I made a miscalculation in those days. I should not have allowed your brother to quit government job when he did. He would have risen to become a Permanent Secretary and been on pension now. That would have checked his father christmas lifestyle. I understand business and thought he did too. But money, business money is not meant to be given out freely. It always destroy business." 

In response, I said, "you know our man." I felt her inner pains, frustration and aborted dreams of her husband that very day. What a love!

 However, as she welcomed me with smiles to the new WELFAST Corporate Headquarters late November saying, "uncle Sunday, e maa bo. Ewa joko. Momo pe eewa. Ese adupe. Ewa jeun," her dreams had been fulfilled. She beamed with smile and I saw her more radiant than ever before. 

    The beauty she radiated was the type derived from inner peace, satisfaction and gratitude. Peace,  satisfaction and gratitude in that eventually God's will had come to pass with the edifice.

Truly, a man who finds a good wife obtains favour of the Lord. 

Adunola Aderonke Asaolu is among the very good few wives around.


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