Hope you are enjoying your birthday so far; I miss you and I love you and can’t wait to see you again soon.
It’s my mom’s birthday y’all! To understand the kind of woman she is, you only have to spend a few minutes with her. Yesterday, I messaged her saying, it's your birthday tomorrow, are you excited she responded by saying, “I am not so much excited as I am grateful” and then she started to rat off the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren. I then asked her, are you doing anything for your birthday? And she goes no oh, but anyone who stops by will get Akara and fish! For those who are not Nigerian, Akara is like a Nigerian breakfast snack made of beans, it's delicious; anyways back to it. This response alone should tell you a few things, my mother loves and cares deeply for her family, our wins are her wins and she is incredibly generous, sometimes to a fault (I've seen the woman literarily give the jacket, hat, shirt off her back for others).
Every time it’s someone’s birthday in my family, my mom writes a “birth story”, she describes in detail what exactly was going on that day she went into labor, she describes her feelings, and then says a prayer for us! Every year it’s almost like she reveals a new part of who each of us is. She doesn’t just do this for her kids but for her kids by marriage so my sister in laws and brother-in-law also get “origin stories”. She is SOOO good at this, that in her friend groups on WhatsApp she is often called upon to write these elaborate birthday messages. That’s just who she is, she cares about the details and she ALWAYS wants to make people feel seen and heard. So when I was contemplating what to do for her birthday, I decided to write up an elaborate birthday message, a little bit of an origin story, and what she means to me, my siblings, and everyone in between.
My mother's name is Olamide Modupe Balogun and here is her origin story
Olamide Balogun was born in Lagos into the Lamikanra family as the youngest of 4 children and comes from a LONG line of strong women and men!
Olamide Balogun grew up in Ikoyi Lagos and lived a very boujee lifestyle, as the youngest everyone treated her like royalty and her family was tight-knit.
Olamide Balogun went to the best schools Lagos could offer and then got on a plane at 16/17 left her family and went to the UK for her A-levels all by herself….and remember this would have been the 70s, so NO cellphones, heck NO phones really. She wrote letters to her parents when she would want to communicate with them 🤯.
Olamide Balogun then moved back to Nigeria and studied English in Unilag and in one of her first few weeks she met “Sambo” aka my dad at a party and have been together ever since. They would tell you, they gravitated to each other because they were the “BEST dancers” at the party.
Olamide Balogun always wanted to be a dancer, but she settled for English Literature and then did a degree in Law and ultimately became an HR professional.
After 6 years of dating, since she would have been 19 when she met my dad, Olamide Lamikanra became Olamide Balogun.
Olamide Balogun, went on to have 8 children, 5 children she birthed and 3 extras from marriage, as well as 4 grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, cousins, etc.
Olamide Balogun is the center of my world; right after Jesus of course, she has shaped who I am today; If you see me online or in person and think “what an accomplished, self-aware young woman” then you can see my mom! Growing up, I always wanted to be JUST like her! I studied HR because she was in HR, I became an entrepreneur because she was one, and I am generous, kind and christ centered BECAUSE of her.
Olamide Balogun is the MATRIARCH of our family, she is the “convener” she is the one that brings us all together. I learned how to rally for my friends and family because I had the best example. If anyone is hurt, potentially hurting, celebrating, mildly annoyed, or anything, mummy is on the phone championing a prayer meeting for us to join in!
Olamide Balogun has a GIFT for people! Every single friend of mine that has met my mom, always says oh wow, your mom really saw me, pointed out all the hard stuff, and encouraged me to go for more. She is the master encourager, and she is the coach in so many people’s lives.
I could go on and on and on but you hopefully get the gist; my mother is Olamide Balogun to you all but she is mummy to me. She is all these things and more but most importantly she is my best friend. We get on calls all the time and just ki ki (laugh) for hours; we talk about work because we are in relatively similar industries, we talk about health, we talk about the family, we talk about boys (this woman, has already picked out the aso for my wedding hahah), she is one of my favorite people. We obviously don’t agree on everything because you know “mother/daughter” relationship dynamics are always intense but having her in my life is everything and more!
So here’s to another trip around the SUN! I love you mummy and I think I speak for the entire Balogun clan when I say we appreciate you for everything that you do, including the 12-15 course meals at Christmas lol.
Here are some photos of me and my best friend aka my mom!
If you know my mom, please leave a lovely message in the comments for her on her 62nd birthday!
In true mummy fashion “ Shalom, Shalom”.