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30 September 2010

Professor Munzali Jibril Honours Dr. Tai Solarin Today.

It was a gathering of the young and old, men and women, poor and rich, power brokers and the not-so-powerful that remembered the 16th anniversary of the demise of Dr. Tai Solarin today as Nigeria is celebrating its golden anniversary as an independent nation in less than 24 hours.

Madam Sheila Solarin, Corin Solarin, Mrs. Fola Olumide, Professor Olumide, Senator Olabiyi Durojaye, and Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu were among the dignitaries who attended the 6th Tai Solarin Annual National Memorial Lecture delivered by Professor Muhammad Munzali Jibril, OFR, at the auditorium of the Bankers House, Adeola Hopewell Street, Victoria Island today under the chairmanship of Otunba Hope Harriman, the first president of The Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers of Nigeria.    

14 September 2010

Solarins' Marriage Is 59 Years Old Today

O n the 14th day of September 1951, Tai Solarin and Sheila Tuer started a matrimonial journey that lasted 43 years by the time the husband died on 27 July 1994 at the age of 78. Sheila is now 86.

There are a few lessons learnt from this unique union of the teaching titans both before and after their wedding as revealed by Tai himself.

"Sheila and I met during my second year in the university. We went to the dance and cinema together, but I did it with the casualness that had been the trait of my relationship with all other girls I met. We were all students with some time off duty for a spree. I never proposed to any girl that I disappointed in my life.

"Any time we were together, I was surprised by the versatility of Sheila’s mind. She was a competent electrician. She could darn perfectly. She was a first-class cook and any time I commended her cooking, she always said it was nothing as compared to her sister’s. Not once could I talk about a book in those days which she had not read, or a news item she had not picked up on her own before me. In every aspect, she was my better.

"When I went to Manchester where Sheila and I got married, the ceremony took about 3 minutes. I remember carefully checking over the passage that was to be read. My wife was to obey me. I told the registrar that sentence should be deleted. I did not want her to obey me. The family would lose lots of things, having to be led imperiously by a husband of lesser intelligence. The registrar accepted my wish and the portion was deleted.

"Sheila and I have so much in common. We do not hold secrets between ourselves. We remain honest and trustworthy in our relationship with each other. If I take money out of our joint account, Sheila never asks me why or what I use it for. Like me, she does not buy clothes or jewelleries. We have no need for them.

"I can safely assume she shares my stand on religion, though we have never discussed the issue. She allows me all the degree of freedom I ever can need. I don’t need to inform her beforehand of my social crusades or my public statements or roles and yet she’s ever so supportive. I don’t have to discuss the contents of my articles to her before publication, yet she shares the tribulations with me when they do occur.

"She’s a courageous woman, very brilliant too. I respect her. I’ve never shouted at her and I’ve never raised a finger against her in the forty-plus years of our marriage. Ours has been a happy and highly successful marriage and Sheila has been a strong positive influence in my life.

"In our 43 years of married life, we have never had a day of sorrow. Ask me why not. My guess is that we spend each day as our last. We fill each day with plenty of activities in the service of others – that of course is our religion."