By Bose Adelaja
At 80, one expects a person to be on marital holiday, to be enjoying the fruits of his labour but this is not the case with Isiaka Oladipupo, an octogenarian who for the first time in his life time got married to a 70 year- old woman Sunbo Olanrewaju. Isiaka met his heartthrob about two years ago and today, they are together in a matrimony though in an uncompleted building at Bayeku, Ikorodu.
The man engaged in menial jobs in his prime while the woman who became visually impaired about a decade ago begs for alms in Ikorodu town. It was while doing this that Isiaka stumbled onto her and sought her hand in marriage. Before their coming together, Isiaka had spent the most tangible part of his life seeking a life partner but none came his way until year 2014 when he went to Ikorodu town for an engagement and was attracted to the Sunbo who as at that time was living with her children after the demise of her first husband.
Sunbo, on discussing the relationship with her children brought Isiaka to her home but Sunbo’s family rejected the proposal and chased Isiaka out from their home. Their reason was that their mother was too old for such but Sunbo became adamant and followed her heartthrob saying she needed to come out of loneliness and as a result, she defied the decision of her children to follow Isiaka to take refuge in an uncompleted building.
Isiaka was said to have been taken to Ikorodu town by his relations when they saw that he was ageing for him to find succor, some resting place. But he also defied the proposal of his people as he believed that being idle at old age could affect his health.
In a chat with Sunbo, she told Saturday Vanguard of how she became visually impaired. According to her, she was a food vendour with six assistants under her employ when her father’s property was invaded by some land grabbers and she intervened, ‘’my ailment was a spiritual attack. I was in my shop one day when somebody came to extend a diabolical N50 note to me and I unknowingly collected it and that was the genesis of my problem as I gradually began to lose my sight,”
Asked if she had sought medical assistance, she said, ‘’I have been to the various hospitals within and outside Ikorodu all to no avail and I resolved to find solace in God almighty until I met baba,”
The couple goes out together and are well known in their area. Isiaka usually refers to Sunbo as ‘’Mama” while Sunbo reciprocate by calling him ‘’Baba”. But the big problem is that the couple have no steady accommodation as they sleep in an uncompleted building but as at the time Saturday vanguard met them, they were relocating to an unknown destination for fear of being harmed in the neighbourhood.
Isiaka, an indigene of Bayeku happens to be the only son of his parents and he started his life sojourn from Bayeku, living all along in his father’s house and eking a living until the death of his parents whose only house he lived all through his life. The building was later sold by his siblings but the buyer was kind enough to allocate a room to him in the said building because of his gentle nature.
As he was ageing, his relations saw him suffering and decided to take him away to Ikorodu town to give him succour and that was how he lost the room but on getting to Ikorodu, he felt uncomfortable as he could not exercise himself. He sneaked out of the place and went back to Bayeku where he felt would be more comfortable for him. On getting to Bayeku, his room had been occupied by another person and he became homeless.
Regardless of that situation, he intensified effort to get a life partner and this materialised in year 2014. Unfortunately for the couple, they have accommodation challenges and they roam the area for an abode, finding temporary measure in an uncompleted building. But last Sunday, they became homeless again as street urchins came to rob them of their meagre means if livelihood. They raised the alarm and fled for their lives.
When Saturday Vanguard saw the couple at about 9pm last Sunday, the Lagos Zone 2 Liason office Commander of Vigilante Group of Nigeria Mr Johnson Olaiya, out of pity, took care of them for a while before putting a call across to this reporter. In a chat with Isiaka, he said, “ I’m 80 now. I searched all my life to enjoy matrimony but nature denied me until when I clocked 78 years and met Mama who has given me happiness unlike before when life was lonely and fully of uncertainty. As at the time of filing this report, the couple was still roaming the area in question for a place to lay their heads.