A Day in My Life in 2020: Ronke Alao

The following series of events HAPPENED on Wednesday, 25th of March, 2020.

It was 5a.m on Wednesday morning, 25th of March, 2020. I got out of bed and prayed with Ifemi, (my husband), who had been up earlier and working on his laptop as usual. He loved to work and I was so proud of all he had accomplished in the past few years. After giving him a hug and a kiss, I went to take a look at my to-do list to see if I needed to add anything. The tasks that lay ahead of me that day were by no means simple. I needed God’s help to get it all done well and on time. My to-do list had kept me up later than usual the previous night because I believe a to-do list gives so much clarity and helps declutter the mind. Even though I have my phone and tablet which I’m able to draft things to do on, I still prefer to do it the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper. Crossing off the tasks I am finished with makes me feel a sense of accomplishment.

Wondering if my six year-old twin daughters were up already, I went to their room and wasn’t so surprised at what I found; Ewaoluwa, my easy-going and introverted twin was already awake and staring at the ceiling while my playful,extroverted twin, Inioluwa was still fast asleep. "Ewa, you are up so early", I commented. "Good morning mom, I had to wake up because Ini was snoring", she said in a matter of factly manner; I couldn’t help but smile. "She isn’t snoring, she sounds that way because she’s congested." I said." Ini, wake up", I tapped gently and she opened her eyes for a moment. She looked like she was awake and then drifted off to sleep. I tapped her again but this time, not so gently. Then she woke up fully. "Good morning mom", she said with a yawn. "Good morning dear", I replied, giving her a hug.

After saying a short prayer with the girls, I told them to get set for school while I fixed breakfast. While leaving their room, I could hear them argue a little about who would use the bathroom first. It was going to be an interesting day no doubt. On entering the kitchen, I realised I forgot to buy bread at the supermarket the previous day but it wasn’t going to be a problem. There was still enough to make egg sandwich for the girls while I could fix yam and scrambled eggs for Ifemi just the way he loved it. Typically, I don’t eat anything special for breakfast, oatmeal serves me just fine.

At about 7am, everyone was at the table for breakfast. Ini kept chatting about the previous day at school while Ewa kept eating like she couldn’t be bothered. I smiled inwardly and marveled at these beautiful children God had blessed Ifemi and I with. Their personalities are so different that if not for the striking resemblance, one would have doubted if they were really twins. "Ewa, I would love to hear the rest of your story on the way to school but I need you to finish up your meal so we can get going" I said. "Okay mom", she replied with a mouthful of sandwich.

Ifemi left home first for the office right after the girls and I gave him a kiss each. Shortly after, I drove the girls to their school located at Ikeja. I was still able to make a quick stop at the supermarket, buy bread and some fruits and get to our Ogudu home around 9am. Driving within Lagos was becoming a pleasure for me. It’s hard to believe Lagos roads used to look and feel like battle grounds just seven years ago. The horrible traffic situation had become a thing of the past because people now had more options like the train and the waterways were now busy too.

On getting home, I took time to do some light cleaning around the kitchen and resumed at my table in the study at exactly 9.30am. I had been drafting the manuscript for my third book that would be titled, "Sex: A Handbook For Newly-Weds". I loved making use of the morning hours, when I’m home alone, to do my writing. The decision to write this particular book came after I realised that there were so many young couples, especially the ladies, who were clueless regarding the place and purpose of sex in marriage and had their expectations built on what Hollywood had taught them about the subject or what the church had failed to teach them.

Having spent about an hour and forty-five minutes writing, I set out and drove to Mrs Ajayi’s house. Mrs Ajayi is a client of mine who is about four months pregnant with her second child. I had an appointment for 12.15pm to meet her at her Victoria Island home. She had hired me three years ago for a maternity shoot when she had her first child, Samantha. Though she wasn’t expecting much, she only wanted a few pictures to remind her of that stage of life and what her body looked like; I was able to create stunning pictures that left her speechless – in a good way of course. She loved the pictures so much that she pretty much made me the family photographer. I’ve had so much fun documenting Samantha’s life in pictures and felt privileged to be a part of this family’s story as they await their second bundle of joy.

The meeting with Mrs Ajayi went well. She looked even more beautiful in my eyes than she did a few months ago before. I was glad she was doing well. After asking her questions on what she wanted the pictures to communicate, I came up with ideas on how to achieve what she had in mind. She was so excited. The date of the shoot was set for four weeks’ time and the locations would be her home, (possibly the patio since it had to be outdoors), and Oniru beach.

I left the Ajayi’s residence and headed for The Civic Centre, venue of the Africa Women Leadership Conference where I would be speaking. I was so encouraged at the large turn out. This was the second edition and I felt grateful for the opportunity to speak into women’s lives on that platform. I spoke on the topic, " Building The Nation: One Woman At A Time".

After the conference, I hurriedly went to the back of the hall where a table had been set up for me for a thirty-five minute book signing session. The queue formed pretty quickly; men and women staying in line to have their copy of my second book signed by me. It was quite fulfilling meeting people who tell me that my book has touched their lives in positive ways.

I left the venue of the conference right after the book signing. Before driving out of the parking lot, I checked my phone and saw a message from my husband telling me he had picked the girls from school like we planned earlier. Getting home from the Island was such a breeze. I was home in no time. On entering the living room, I was "attacked" with affectionate hugs from my daughters, accompanied with shouts of, "Mommy, mommy!". In the corner of my eye, I could see my husband grinning with satisfaction. I gave each of the girls a kiss on the cheek and said, "Let me go say hi to your dad". As I stepped forward to give him a kiss, I could hear our girls giggling behind me. Ini, in her fake male voice said, "I love you baby" ; Ewa replied, "I love you too". We all burst out laughing. Children! They both had studied us so much that they knew the words that would follow the kiss.

I took out a few minutes to relax and kick my legs up. It had been a busy day. Afterwards, I started doing the laundry and fixed dinner while the clothes were in the washing machine. Listening to music while I cook puts the fun in cooking for me so having a microwave oven that plays music was a no-brainer. I chose Isa’s music collection and enjoyed the quality of sound coming from the oven’s speakers. Ifemi had helped the girls with their home work and I was so grateful.

At about 6.30pm, dinner was served – Baked chicken with vegetables and a side dish of dodo. The girls loved it. After dinner, I loaded the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, emptied the dryer and started folding laundry with Ewa and Ini helping out. When I got done with all that, I asked the girls to go take a bath and get ready for bed. By 9pm, they were both in bed while Ifemi read them a story. I spent that time reading Sheila Gregoire’s new book.

My husband and I went to bed at 9.45pm and spent a few minutes chatting about how the day went. He finally drifted off to sleep around 10.04pm which is when I made this journal entry. I feel so blessed and grateful to God for the family I have and the work God is doing through me on earth. Here comes sleep…

Ronke Alao
CEO Everywoman’s Heart