Life And Legacy Of Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria (1999 - 2005)

Life And Legacy Of Stella Obasanjo, the First Lady of Nigeria (1999 – 2005)

Today, we will take a look at the history of the irresistible, outstanding national mother who made the country of Nigeria appreciate the need for a first lady and a mother, even until this present day. Join our Content Creation Academy

Who is Stella Obasanjo?

Her Excellency, Chief (Mrs.) Stella OBASANJO is known as the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (of blessed memories). She is regarded as a quintessential political activist and considered a woman of virtue, integrity, honor, strength, and valor.

She was born into a Christian family on November 14th, 1945, in Delta State, Nigeria.  She became a prominent role model for women who aspired to be great, by supporting them and bringing about women`s liberation and Nigeria`s Rehabilitation.

Stella was a vibrant individual woman known to have a flair for expensive attires and jewelry that signified elegance and fit perfectly.

Stella Obasanjo`s Education

Stella Obasanjo was a native of Nigeria’s Edo State, specifically Esan West, Iruekpen. From 1955 to 1959, Stella attended Our Lady of Apostles Primary School in Yaba, Lagos, and in 1960, she graduated from St. Theresa College in Ibadan with a West African School Certificate (1964).

Stella completed her higher education at the University of Ife before attending Obafemi Awolowo University from 1967 to 1969, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. She departed for the UK a few months later (Pitman Institute London) to continue her insurance studies from 1969 to 1974, where she trained as a confidential secretary. She later returned to Nigeria in 1976.

Who are Stella Obasanjo`s Parents?

Stella`s father is Dr. Abebe Christopher, the first indigenous chairman of UAC Nigeria.  Her mother`s name is Abebe Theresa. She graduated from Pitman`s College, London. Stella was the oldest of seven children.

Relationship

In 1978, Stella got married to the person of Olusegun Obasanjo (former Nigeria President). During their marriage, they had a son named Olumuyiwa Obasanjo.

How old is Stella Obasanjo?

Stella was 59 years of age when she passed on to be with the Lord. (1945-2005).

Some noble qualities Stella Obasanjo possessed

Stella was an artwork of inspiration that cherished God and showed a particular affinity for disabled and orphaned children. Stella is regarded as an exceptional mother in the country; she never missed an opportunity to advocate for the health and welfare of her people.

She was known as a paragon, an epitome of beauty, courage, and greatness, a source of strength to her husband, an angel to humanity, a supporter of women, a kindhearted person, an irreplaceable gem, elegant lady.

She recognized that everyone deserves to be loved and valued, and her encouragement has helped many people live fulfilling lives.

Stella was renowned for leading an opulent and extravagant lifestyle. She adored designer clothes and anything that adorned the body and gave her an exquisite appearance.

Stella was a giver and left us with the instruction to always assist our less fortunate neighbors. In a nutshell, Stella is valued by a lot of people.

Although nobody is flawless, Stella had some weaknesses.

Challenges

As we all know, life isn’t all rosy. Every person experiences problems at some point in their lives. How you face and respond to it determines what makes the difference. Even though Stella was wealthy and well-connected, she still had to deal with a number of difficulties.

Despite Stella`s good deeds, so many bad articles about corruption are published against Stella almost every day. It was an issue she had to deal with because nobody wanted a bad name and everyone would rather clear themselves.

She also had to deal with the 1995 treason charge brought against her husband, Olusegun Obasanjo, by the late General Sani Abacha. She had to run numerous campaigns to get local support for her husband during this trying time so he could be released. She also took the campaign for his release to the United Nations in New York.

Persuading people takes a lot of time. Therefore, campaigning for the presidential election was also a significant challenge, but Stella handled it admirably.

She may have experienced many more obstacles than those listed, but they serve as a reminder that obstacles do not define a person.

It’s comforting to know that despite all of these difficulties, Stella triumphed and made a significant impression.

Stella Obasanjo Achievements

When her husband was elected president of Nigeria in 1999, Stella Obasanjo was named the country’s first lady. Since then, Stella has shown her family, friends, and country what it means to be a mother, friend, and supporter.

  • The Child Care Trust was started by Stella in May 2003, shortly after she assumed office, with the primary goal of providing care for underprivileged and disabled children.
  • Stella declared February 6 to be the international day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation in 2003. She also joined the campaign against female genital mutilation.
  • Stella worked hard to make life easier, especially for individuals with deteriorating health, and she staged a fundraising event when over 20 million were raised at once. A few months later, she presented the first Endo-cardiograph machine at University College Hospital, Ibadan. The machine cost about 17 million.
  • Stella received a number of awards that demonstrated her value for humanity, including Woman of the Year, which she received directly from the Women of the Year organization.
  • She was a prominent and active member of the Miss World competition. Even though it was never held in Nigeria, Stella made sure the black women were seen as great achievers in the event.
  • Through her focus and vision, Stella has been able to positively affect women in society; she has encouraged them to set greater goals. For women who are driven and self-assured to succeed, she introduced vocational training programs and women’s emancipation in politics and the economy. Her clinic also included numerous other therapies, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physiotherapy.
  • Stella also made a complete commitment to sporting events, with the 15th biennial sports fiesta in Ogun state being the most well-known and significant. Otunba Gbenga Daniel bestowed upon her the title of Patroness of the Gateway Games in 2006. She sadly never came back to take part in the event, but her support was very much appreciated.
  • Stella bagged the African Civic Responsibility Award in 2000 based on her work.

Her Death

Stella was pronounced dead on October 23rd, 2005, a few days before her 60th birthday, as a result of a failed elective liposuction (cosmetic surgery) procedure performed in Puerto Banus, Marbella, Spain.

Stella died two days after her surgery. Rumors have it that a liposuction tube designed to go into the abdominal cavity was not properly placed, causing her to sustain injuries to a lacerated liver and a punctured colon.

After noticing pains in her body, relatives tried to reach out to the surgeon who conducted the surgery to update him about the situation, but the surgeon didn’t pick up his calls, nor did he return their calls for many days.

People have claimed up to this point that she might have survived and won over the operation if she had been hospitalized, treated properly, or attended to on time.

The surgeon who operated on her was charged in court and sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for his negligence and ordered to compensate Olumuyiwa`s Obasanjo (stella`s son) with a sum of US $176,000. Sadly, the money can never bring his mother back to life or account for the years he has to live without a mother.

After her death, Stella`s parents erected a church (Stella-Maris Catholic Church) which was built in memory of her (late First Lady, Chief (Mrs.) Stella Obasanjo). This implies that her impact and influence were felt even after her death.

Heartfelt words were put in for Stella on the day of her burial

We have lost a member of the family, nation, and a true friend. The country has lost a gem with Stella`s death.

Even if she might not have lived long enough, her legacy and true passion for humanity will forever speak for her, even in death.

Her husband described her as a “sage and watch” He said he’d continue to miss her till eternity.

Conclusion

If you want to know much more about the life and legacy of the late Chief (Mrs.) Stella Obasanjo, go read Antoinette-Rita`s book on “STELLA-HER JOURNEY AND HER LEGACY. Antionette is a gifted individual who has used the beauty of literature to capture the hearts of many. It is an interesting read, I tell you.

Written by Yusuf Ayomide Victoria For African Docs Project

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