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By Segun Adebayo

My sister and friend; the one I could fight with so many times, but still could not do without.
My business partner and the brother I never had. You were the only one with my appetite for risk in the family. Who will back me up now?!

I have tried to understand why God would let this happen to us but can’t wrap my head around it.
You had big dreams, so grand sometimes I had to beg you to tone it down. You never gave up or took no for an answer and were always ready to force a door open. Your resilience had no boundaries.

My sister, I miss you so much already, but only God knows why this happened. You touched so many lives and always wanted to achieve so much in such little time. Could this be because you knew you weren’t going to be with us for much longer?

Olatanwa you fought for me when I needed the support, you gave when I didn’t have and most often sacrificed for me. You were selfless.

You are gone and it’s hard to believe, but the impact you have had on me will never die. Rest in the Lord my dear sister. You’ll always be in my heart.

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By Dotun Ajayi

In the passing of Diekolola Osa Avielele (Nee Adebayo) 44, on Thursday 16th July 2020 in Fairfax, Virginia, USA, the world has lost a very special gift to mankind. A lady with a beautiful mind, a benevolent soul and a warm personality, Diekolola lived a life of courage and faith – great faith in the Almighty God. In her, the Cornelius Adebayo and Osa Avielele families have lost a daughter, wife, sister, mother and more importantly, a friend! Truly, men- and women- rise and fall like the winter wheat, so Diekolola left without giving any sign of an early departure, perhaps we would have kept her like a rare golden coin, which she is…. but then, as humans, such powers exist only on imaginary trees.

My Diekolola, or “Aunty Koko” as her nieces and nephews are fond to call her, was so full of life, full of energy and bubbly with a boundless optimism, which is infectious. Diekolola was industrious, always busy – a lady in constant motion- but was never too busy to share her love, energy, warmth, and kindness with those around her. Fiercely loyal to family, friends and her beliefs, she was always ready to solve the problem of others.

I normally joked that Diekolola is blessed with a charm that could melt a polar ice cap, an attribute she often deploys to engage others, even complete strangers. Her personality was warm and bright so much that she could lighten up even the darkest room. Always expanding her capacity for knowledge as well as expanding the frontiers of opportunities – This is reserved only for family and close friends o!.

Truly, she was a gift to the world.

In my association with her over the years, you always know where you are with Diekolola on any issue; always clear, unambiguous and unequivocal. She gives you a piece of her mind and she moves on. Diekolola valued character, integrity, industry, and oh, she’s got lots of guts and courage! … and she’s got prescence! The lessons of Diekolola’s life are instructive: dignity, integrity, kindness, courage as well as a strong and fearless faith in the Almighty.

That Diekolola will choose to leave us at this point, and in the manner she did, is the bit I don’t get. It is puzzling as it is curious. But as a Christian, I’m convinced and fully persuaded that she is in a better place with Jesus. So, through our tears, let us see the blessing of knowing Diekolola, and be thankful to God for the gift of her – a generous and giving soul – in today’s cruel, tempestuous and uncertain world.

Goodbye my sister.

Goodbye my friend.

I love you.

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By Stanley Jegede

Dear Diekolola, I have just been reminded for the umpteenth time to send in my tribute.

Really! Tribute to Diekolola! How! So this is actually not a dream? So you are truly no more here.I had received a call from Mosunmola at about 3pm on the 16th of July and all she said was Emmanuel just called that Dieko is gone and that she will be heading back home from where she was. I confirmed that I would leave work immediately and meet her at home in a few minutes.

It was difficult to bear and as I headed home, a lot ran through my mind, including the last conversation we had in April. I had missed your call that evening , so I called you back immediately and we spoke for such a long time. Recall Diekolola, it was such a lovely conversation, filled with laughter and jokes and we talked about a number of things. The lock down, the economy and family etc.I then asked that you speak with your nephew Oluwalani, not sure what you both spoke about but I heard him laugh a few times. After the call , I saw your message below. “Happy Easter to you all. Stanley, May the reason for the season our Lord and savior Jesus Christ continually protect us with his blood. Hope it’s not too boring at home. I just called to say hello. Love to my people.” I responded.. .”Diekolola dear. Just seeing your message. It was lovely speaking with you. Warm regards to Emmanuel.” So Diekolola that was your special way of saying goodbye… Had I known, I would have thanked you for being you. I would have thanked you for your care and told you how special a person you were.

So as I arrived home, it was obvious from the gate. They had all heard! Everyone had their hands folded. Walked into the house and Mosunmola and all the children were on the floor crying uncontrollably.

Diekolola , did not know where to start from. We then all had to get on a scheduled call to have a conversation with the doctors at the hospital at 4pm. A heart breaking experience it was! We now had to figure out a way to break the news to dear dad… It was difficult and nothing anyone should ever have to do.Life without you can never be the same again for us that you left behind. You are and were unique in every sense of the word.

You loved and worshipped God wholeheartedly and prayed always with or without the few pastors that became mothers and fathers to you and part of our extended family. You were always positive, hard working, loving and confident.

Your adorable Son Samuel will be fine and is in safe hands. God sparing all our lives to see him grow, he will be told and will read all about his amazing Mum. Samuel will be great and will excel in everything he does by the Grace of God. God will comfort your husband Emmanuel and give him the strength he requires at this very difficult time.

Tomorrow and the day after, 30th and 31st of July 2020, we all shall gather together to pray, sing, worship, share a laugh and also a cry as we bade you farewell. You will be missed Diekolola.

I will miss you. As always, all my love.

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By Dayo Adewoye

Yes, She Lives On

Our hearts are still laden with sorrow as we struggle to understand these tragic events. It’s like yesterday we got word that Diekola Olatanwa Osa-Avielele my always full of life and colour sister-in-law had passed away. I don’t know where to start. There are so many beautiful things that I want to say but how could I conceivably communicate what a wonderful person Dieko was? How can I explain the kindness in her heart, the contagiousness of her joy, or the depth of her love for family? She was simply remarkable.

It’s my duty to tell you how much she meant to the Adewoye family. Josh and David cried their eye’s out with Josh refusing to accept that Jesus couldn’t raise his aunty from the dead, such was their love and attachment to her. She always made sure they stayed a few days with her and Emmanuel whenever they were in Lagos. I admired her love for family and the tenacity with which she lived life, there are few as brave and determined as she always was in life. She was one of the most giving and unselfish people that I knew.

I bless God for Lil Samuel who will be the centre of everyone’s universe with more love than he can imagine & Emmanuel who can be rest assured we’ve got his back. My darling sister I really thought we had more time to “do so many things” but am reassured because I know you’re resting with our heavenly father and looking down on us all saying “I fought the good fight”.

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By Demola Adebayo

IF WE HAD A CHOICE

Dieko if we had a choice it won’t be you
…..if we had a choice it won’t be now
and definitely, it won’t have come to this, if we had a choice

We spend our whole lives making choices, but this…
…this choice the almighty wields only for and by Himself

This we will never understand
It’s a deep mystery of God, the mystery of our God who lives in the realm of timelessness

So here and now
Instead of struggling to understand
We submit to you (God) with all our trust
…that you always know, and do the best for your children

We therefore chose joy over grief
Because this is the lot of the righteous redeemed
“Didun ni iku olododo” (sweet is the sleep of the righteous)

We love you Dieko
We will miss you
Tis’ the reason why we are sad
And if we but had the choice, we wouldn’t let you go

You, with all the saints have witnessed the end of all
And it’s beautiful for the righteous
Albeit too early (from our little understanding)

So again, we submit in trust and faith that our father never does wrong for his children
as He makes all things work together for good.

(Ever raced in a competition
Everything so intense
The anxiety is so much you can cut it with a knife because we are concerned of the outcome)

But today
Dieko you have won, and we are not anxious anymore
Although this is one anxiety we would have loved to have
……to see you run with us
through the uncertain certainties (as God has predestined us all for good in this world and in the next)

You’ve run well
Spreading love everywhere you go
And we’ll miss that

We never had a chance to say good bye before you set out on this journey of forever
wish you could just turn around to allow us.

We chose rejoicing today, as our father is rejoicing over you with singing

The memory of you has become a forever treasure
Till we meet again.

So we pray
The Lord bless and keep you
And make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you

The Lord turn his face towards you
And give you peace, eternal peace

May His favour be upon you, all that concerns you
To a thousand generations
Your children
Your family
Amen.

Good night my sister

‘Demola

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By Oluwalani Jegede

To me, aunty Dieko was a source of inspiration. The spirit of kindness and positivity that she radiated will remain with me forever.

Although I can not remember some of my most important memories with her, as I was too young. I’ve been told that when I was younger, Aunty Dieko was an amazing aunt to me, she helped to raise me along with my other aunties.

I think the most heartbreaking part about losing aunty Dieko is the fact that she always seemed to be smiling. Whenever I think about her, I only ever see a smile.

I recently went through my messages with Aunty Dieko on Instagram, where she followed me and remained very active by commenting on all of my posts and checking up on me from time to time. This was a way I really connected with her. I think we all did. She never tried hard to be cool. She just was.

One of the last messages aunty sent to me was on the day after my birthday, reading: “I don’t even have your number so I couldn’t call to say a happy birthday yesterday. My baby still. Happy birthday dear, God bless and continue to make you a source of joy and blessing. Aunty Dieko loves you always😘❤”

Aunty Dieko, if there is one thing that I can promise you. It is that I will do anything I can to ensure that Samuel is loved and always has someone to talk to. As you have done for me.
Goodbye aunty Dieko. Thank you for bringing love, support and joy into our lives.
Oluwalani Jegede

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By Femi and Deola Olaojo

Diekolola , aburo wa atata. We thank God for your exemplary life, we celebrate your stedfastness over the years .Your simplicity, frankness and the grace God has bestowed on you.

The lives you touched and the radiance you exhibit as a shining light and a star, yes a star;that is who you are and will always be in our hearts…

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By Demola

IF WE HAD A CHOICE

Dieko if we had a choice it won’t be you
…..if we had a choice it won’t be now
and definitely, it won’t have come to this, if we had a choice

We spend our whole lives making choices, but this…
…this choice the almighty wields only for and by Himself

This we will never understand
It’s a deep mystery of God, the mystery of our God who lives in the realm of timelessness

So here and now
Instead of struggling to understand
We submit to you (God) with all our trust
…that you always know, and do the best for your children

We therefore chose joy over grief
Because this is the lot of the righteous redeemed
“Didun ni iku olododo” (sweet is the sleep of the righteous)

We love you Dieko
We will miss you
Tis’ the reason why we are sad
And if we but had the choice, we wouldn’t let you go

You, with all the saints have witnessed the end of all
And it’s beautiful for the righteous
Albeit too early (from our little understanding)

So again, we submit in trust and faith that our father never does wrong for his children
as He makes all things work together for good.

(Ever raced in a competition
Everything so intense
The anxiety is so much you can cut it with a knife because we are concerned of the outcome)

But today
Dieko you have won, and we are not anxious anymore
Although this is one anxiety we would have loved to have
……to see you run with us
through the uncertain certainties (as God has predestined us all for good in this world and in the next)

You’ve run well
Spreading love everywhere you go
And we’ll miss that

We never had a chance to say good bye before you set out on this journey of forever
wish you could just turn around to allow us.

We chose rejoicing today, as our father is rejoicing over you with singing

The memory of you has become a forever treasure
Till we meet again.

So we pray
The Lord bless and keep you
And make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you

The Lord turn his face towards you
And give you peace, eternal peace

May His favour be upon you, all that concerns you
To a thousand generations
Your children
Your family
Amen.

Good night my sister

‘Demola

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By Oluwole Oyedepo

I have been wondering how I will get to write a tribute here for my aburo, Diekola. It is hard for me to accept that you are gone and that the opportunity I was hoping would come for us to again talk over many things as we used to is now gone forever. I really liked your sincerity, passion and loyalty. I am short of words and as I write this, tears roll down my cheeks and I can’t really compose my words. I pray for you to rest in peace and that God will strengthen your husband, your son and the entire family to go through this period.
It is indeed very shocking and painful that this has happened but God knows best. Rest on Diekola.

Oluwole Oyedepo

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By The Sulyman’s

It’s so difficult to write this. Our childhood was richly subsumed in the loving hands of the Adebayo’s.
Reading through everyone’s comments about Dieko’s personality is just so apt. This is Dieko! This is the Dieko we all knew while growing up! Her piercing smiles and looks, her intriguing nature and ability to mother us all. We can’t forget these memories. This is so unbearable for us, too. This reality released floodgates of the things we took for granted. Dieko will surely live on. It’s just too painful. I pray her family be granted the grace to bear this huge loss. Like Mosun said, they are a puzzle, can’t imagine how they’d be able to forge ahead without one another! But we,the Sulyman’s know you would for Dieko’s sakes and for all she was and stood for,you’ll keep the embers of her flames glowing. Our heartfelt condolences to her son, her husband and the entire family.

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