Dresssense CEO, Omolara Sonoiki Goes Home In A Blaze of Glory

imageIt is said that when good people die, even the heavens shed tears. That explains the downpour in the city of Lagos on Tuesday evening, June 29th, 2015, as a Christian Wake-Keep was held in memory of amiable businesswoman, CEO of Dress Sense Clothings, Noik Energy Limited and philantropist, Omolara Edith Olaide Sonoiki.
Everywhere one turned at the Grandeur Hall venue of the wake-keep, people wore glum looks, and it was evident that this was a death that was too hard to deal with; the pain was heartfelt and real.
With hymns such as ‘Nearer My God to Thee,’ ‘I’ve Found a Friend in Jesus,’ ‘Rock of Ages,’ ‘Pleasant are the Courts Above,’ and others, the solemnity of the event whichwas co-ordinated by the Cherubuim and Seraphim Ore Ofe (C&S) Church, Ijeshatedo, Surulere, Lagos, was brought to bear on all the guests in attendance.
As if echoing the thoughts of many that were seated, the chaplain who took the first prayer ministration said, “She has left a vaccum that no one can fill. She has also left a legacy that we can’t forget.”
Lady Leader Bisi Oshilaja took the third Bible reading from Rev. 7:9-17, while Apostle Samson Dairo led the second prayer ministration.
When it was time for testimonies, a lot of guests had pleasant things to say about the deceased.
A business associate, Godfrey from Turkey had this to say, “We represent the company where she gets her clothes, and I have known her for over seven years. I received a call from some of our staff in Turkey and they were all crying when they heard the news of her death. The person that used to take her around Turkey told me that the last time she came around, she gave him some money and told her to use it to take care of all the staff, and himself as well. Everybody in the office was always happy whenever she was in Turkey because they always went home smiling.”
Another associate, Vivian Okosisi said,”I have a shop opposite her father-in-law’s house. She was not a member of our church, but she was always bringing suitcases of unused suits for our welfare programmes. People were always wondering the kind of person she was. She was good, both inside and outside. The testimonies people have been sharing about her are powerful.”
A friend, Kehinde Hassan said, “Nobody introduced her to me. I just walked into Alade Market and met her. I was looking for a suit and I had gone to different shops checking for the right one. Meanwhile, people had told me that Alade Market was very expensive so I was wary of the kind of shop to go into. When I met her, she was very kind and respectful to me. I had money for just a suit, but I eventually saw two that I liked. She told me to take it that I wasn’t a stranger. She was very loving and kind. She was a good person. Infact any adjective you want to use for a good person; that, she was.”
Olufunto Ipaye of Mutual Benefits Assurance also shared these words, “We handle her insurance. I met her three years ago through a friend of mine, Linda who also died three months ago. While we were mourning Linda, she kept telling me not to cry. She even volounteered the cloth that we buried Linda in and she didn’t collect a dime. She said she sold clothes to Linda in her lifetime, and also clothed her in death.”
Another friend, Folake Kupoluyi, CEO of Radek Enterprises said, “What can I say? She was my friend, sister and confidant. There was nothing she didn’t share with me. She was ever so helpful and truthful. She never left anyone in their times of need. She was such a fantastic human being.”
Another close friend stated, “She was a wondeful person. I have seen a lot of people, but she was different. She was a good human being. She was humble, and you could never annoy her. She didn’t step on anybody’s toes, and she was very generous. I know she’s with the Lord now, and I pray that the Lord will comfort and keep her family.”
A friend of the deceased and her husband also said, “I knew Lara for over ten years. I’m an Interior Designer, and she used to come to my office. I noticed that she was so sophisticated and pleasant. There was a time I did something to her husband and he was very upset, and when I heard that she had gone to be with the Lord, I just heard her voice calling her husband’s name. I know her husband will miss her greatly especially at times when he needs someone to be with him. I pray God will give him the grace and fortitude to bear the loss. I pray for all her family members. God bless Lara wherever she is.”
Of course, church members also had nice things to say about her. A member of her band said,”Lara wasn’t just a member of our church. She was a vessel of honour; beautiful in chracter and appearance. As a mamber of Dorcas Band, I always wondered how she managed all the elderly people in the band becasue she never got angry. She was a replica of the Dorcas in the Bible.”
Yet another lady stated,”I wasn’t really close to her but she did something for me which I can never forget. When I was about furthering my edication, and needed funds, I told her about it, and she gave it to me without a fuss. I initially asked her to borrow me the money, but she gave it to me without collecting it back.”
An elderly friend of the family also added his words,”I knew Lara inside out. I’m one of the closest to the family. As a matter of fact, her husband, Bidemi grew up under my tutelage. He introduced Lara then as his fiancée to me, and it’s been an awesome relationship since then. I have the privilege to let you know that her last public appearance was at my daughter’s wedding. She had just gone for a medical test but hadn’t gotten the result few days before the wedding. She flew back into the country specifically for my daughter’s wedding, and was very active with the planning and supervision of the ceremony. The last time she visited her daughter in school, she held her tight and was crying, saying goodbye. It’s unfortunate that she died less than a year after she started her foundation to help the less-privileged. Her husband never took a decision without talking to his wife.”
A childhood friend, Oyenike Ogunmuyiwa also added her voice, “I met her when I was 14. We were both in the choir at Methodist Church, Opebi, Lagos, and we were inseparable. Just before her death, she still gave me a lot of clothes. She told my husband that I was looking so beautiful and that he should take care of me; I never knew that was the last time I would see her.”
Omolara’s baby sister also spoke. In her words, “I’m the last born of the family; she was like a mother to me. I managed her business right from when she began, and she never doubted the way I kept the account. I always stayed in her house before I got married. I never bought underwear for myself; she always gave it to me. When I got pregnant, she sent me things from the UK. I have never bought clothes for my three year old daughter. She was the one always taking care of that for me.”
Kehinde Akinrinola, sister to the deceased’s husband spoke last, “She was more than a wife to us. She taught me a lot of things. She even put me through in my line of business. She was always buying things for everybody in the family. We will miss him greatly.”

Omolara is survived by her husband, Oluwagbenga Abidemi, and three children: Teniola, Foyinsolami and Nifemi.
Guests at the event include Mary Akpobome, other top management staff of Heritage Bank, as well as numerous family and friends.
Meanwhile, the funeral arrangements continued on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015, with a service at City Mall, Lagos Island, followed by the internment at the Vault and Gardens Cemetery, Ikoyi, Lagos.

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