Ibidunni Olajumoke Elizabeth Ituah-ighodalo, was born on the 19th of July, 1980 in Kaduna City to the family of Chief Olaleye Ajayi and Mrs. Monilola Ajayi. She died on the 14th of June 2020.
A spitting image of her father who fondly called her KoKoye, Ibidunni was daddy’s little girl. Surrounded by brothers, she was as tough as nails and very much a tomboy during her early childhood.
Before her formal education, the family returned to Ibadan where she began her primary school education ad command children school.
She completed her primary school education at K-Kotun memorial school and went on to attent government girls college Oyo.
At the age of 16, her father passed away, which affected her profoundly and triggered her fierce independence and determination to succeed.
In 1998, shortly after she began university, two of her brothers enrolled her for Miss Lux beauty pageant. They challenged her to participate and she won. This was what threw her into public eyes for the very first time.
Ibidunni, studied Microbiology at the University of Lagos, Akoka. However, her venture into sciences was short-lived.
Immediately after university, she established her first company, Elizabeth R Event Management Company Limited. The name was chosen after her middle name and the initial of her father’s name Rufus, in order to honor him.
Her Father late Olaleye Ajayi was the Student Union Government (SUG) President of the University of Ibadan in the 1967-68 session.
Elizabeth R Event Management Company became one of the pioneers in the event planning industry of Nigeria.
No event was too big for her, as her hard work and the ability to manage her team set her apart in the industry. Consequently, she became an icon in the event planning industry.
Over the years, she successfully grew her company into an empire that encompassed event hosting, bridal wear, and outdoor décor. She even went as far as brightening up cities up with her light during Christmas.
She got married to the love of her life Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, in February 2007. They are blessed with two beautiful children, Keke and Zenan.
With her support, the Trinity House was birthed and established.
Behind her smile, she had her challenges. She was unable to conceive after many years of marriage. She even tried IVF which, however, turned out unsuccessful.
The Ibidunni Ighodalo foundation
Those challenges inspired her to work on bringing smile to the lives of others.
Consequently, she founded the Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation
“Like any newly married couple, my husband, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, and I looked forward to starting our family and holding our children in our arms,” she wrote the about us section of her foundation.
“You can imagine our dismay, when after getting married in 2007, we watched the years roll by without a child of our own. After several doctors’ appointments, we were told that we wouldn’t have children unless we sought treatment through assisted reproduction.”
“This was the doctor’s report we received, but we choose to believe God’s own report, unshaken in our faith as we firmly believe that that we will have our children.”
“This period of delay also came with pressure and a lot of insensitivity from people to our situation. I also had to deal with the emotions, pain and the roller-coaster hormonal imbalance that comes with all sorts of treatments.”
“Thankfully, I am married to an amazing man who has been there for me through all the procedures; unflinching in his support.”
“Along the journey, I have met women who only needed one round of a treatment I had done nine times.
“The only thing holding them back was either the lack of finance or the psychological support needed to get through it.
“It was at that point I decided to stop thinking about myself and start trusting God to help these couples fulfill their dreams of having their children.
“On the morning of my last birthday, I thought about not having had children long and hard while praying. There and then, I made a covenant with God and told Him that I would leave it completely in His hands.
“In the interim, as we wait for our miracle, I would help couples going through the same challenges by providing spiritual, financial and psychological support. I was ready to do my part to get rid of the stigma attached to childlessness.
“I wanted people to instead see couples-in-waiting as blessed mothers and fathers of nations! Upon thinking about the weight of this dream, I started out feeling a little reluctant especially when I thought about the privacy we might lose.
“However, when I thought about the unending joy it would bring to people’s lives, it seemed to me that it would be worth the sacrifice.
“I made up my mind to stop worrying over childbearing and to just keep trusting God while helping other couples through their own fertility journey. As I prayed and mulled over the idea, I felt peace and that was how the IBIDUNNI IGHODALO FOUNDATION was born!
Her foundation has helped several couples to turn the dream of having children for various families into realities.
Her biggest wish for her 40th birthday was that God will bring joy into the homes of 40 families through the gift of children brought by the work of her foundation.
Saldy, Ibidunni Ighodalo passed away on June 14, 2020, after surfering a heart attack in her hotel room in Port Harcourt, where she was on duty.
She spent the final moments of her life helping the nation in the fight against COVID-19. She helped setup covid-19 isolation wards around several states in the country.
Her death attracted tributes from several dignitaries and everyone she’s had an impact on their lives.
Three days before her death, she described how she went to visit her father’s grave and how much she missed him.
Ibidunni’s funeral service was attended by family and friends along with several dignitaries, including Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, Former Emir of Kano Sanusi Muhammad II, to name a few.
Her body was subsequently taken to Vaults and Gardens cemetery in Lagos state where she was laid to rest.