SOUL-INSPIRING singer, Sabina Umoren (aka Praise Machine) rolled out the drums to celebrate her birthday at the Old People’s Home, Sabo Yaba Lagos recently. The festivity was marked with excitement.
The on-air personality on Lagos-based pidgin radio station Naija FM sees it as a way of giving back to the society that has given her so much. Sabina donated several gifts items to the home. On the train was her husband, stand-up comedian Helen Paul, MTN Project Fame Voice Coach Mrs. Dupe Ige Kachi, popularly called Ige, gospel artiste, Gbenga Oke, Godwin Aruwayo of Naija FM, and other Naija FM crew, and her Perfect Realm band. With the gesture Sabina has proved that she has soft spot for the elderly who could not cater for themselves any longer.
No doubt that old people in the society face a myriad of problems including health problems, lack of financial succor to keep body and soul together, hunger but the singer came to their rescue on her birthday with lots of gift items. Some of the aged people in the home were full of praises while others prayed to God to strengthen her in all her endavours.
In one of the rooms an aged man simply identified as Pa Adeniran was full of smiles seeing Sabina and her friends. With a gentle voice he said “May God be with you, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit will continue to be with you all,” and they all chorus amen in response to the pray Pa Adeniran’s prayer. But the aged man did not allow them to leave as he asked ‘what did you bring for me’? The other section of the home which house aged women was sort of drama like event.
On sighting Sabina and her friends, one of the aged woman who is popularly called Iya Adura started dancing only if she knew the aim of the visit. Iya Adura what could probably be in her 80’s danced like is a child. When she is fully aware of the visit, she prayed that God will continue to provide for Sabina and see her through. “You will all excel in whatsoever you lay your hands on,” she prayed. Again she started singing and dancing and the visitors joined her in the song as she sing ewa jo (lets dance).
It amazed the visitors that Iya Adura could danced that much given her age, and wondering how she was during her youth. Iya Adura is really homely. According to one of the officers in the home ‘Iya Adura knows almost everybody that comes here’. Instantly she gave Sabina a new name ‘Ronke’, it was later gathered that no one that comes to the home that leaves without Iya Adura giving the person another name. If the fun that Sabina and her friends where treated to by Iya Adura and others was something spectacular than another await them when they met another aged woman who is visually challenge but understand that she had some visitors.
Even while she was eating ‘eba’ and ‘egusi’ soup she still find time to communicate to her visitors as she speaks in queens English. From her communication it clearly shows that she one’s lived in the United Kingdom. Her diction was perfect with English assent. The reception was all the same throughout the entire visit to the home.
Sabina who co-host Morning Runs and host of Sunday Beat on Naija FM said she has been used to aged people right from the days of her father. She noted that she is usually with her father who died at 80 years-old. “I spent much time with him, that put some great amount of love for the aged in my heart apart from the fact that I believe if you honour the aged it means one desire to live long.”
Sabina reiterate that the decision to celebrate with the aged is bore out of the fact that she did not want to make noise, partying on her birthday “I just do not feel like partying, and I thought about what I can do to mark my birthday and Old People’s Home came at once without much thinking. I know what they can be like if one meet them in a good mood, it can be fun – they just make you feel what life is all about. Lots of them must have lived a very active life you now see them jesting, doing all sort of things... I felt really special that God gave me the grace and the energy to come and celebrate with them today.”
Having gone round the home Sabina said she is impressed with what the Lagos State government has done. She said what she saw is far beyond what she imagine when she set out to come to the home. “The place is homely. It has the kind of serenity one would want to spend the later day of ones life.” She revealed that a lot more can be done, but she noted that she is happy with what she has seen so far.
Ige commended Sabina for creating time to celebrate with the aged parents. She described Sabina as a Christian, God fearing, someone with a large heart. “She is a strict person. For her to think of coming here you can really know how her heart is. I am honoured to be apart of what she doing today. It is a fantastic thing that she has done.”
For her colleague Mr. Aruwayo of Naija FM the story is the same. Aruwayo said that if one is sad and Sabina comes around such person will be happy. According to him Sabina is one person that if one look at her “she makes you to move forward, she do no want to settle for less, she is always inspiring people. I am proud to be associated with her. I am proud to have her as a colleague on air hosting the Morning Runs.” He described her as a fantastic presenter, singer, motivational speaker, compere.
Mr. Aruwayo said he is inspired to be among the aged. He disclosed that he has heard of old people’s home but he did not know it comes with such fun. “Look at the way they were praying, talking, interacting with us. I do not feel like leaving. I feel like staying here playing some more with them. It is a good idea coming here to spend time with them.
There are lots of people that are ignored in the society, old people and the rest of them. I commend Sabina’s effort by giving back to the society, she is being blessed as a singer, on-air personality, and she is giving back to the society.”
Stand-up comedian, Helen Paul also described the celebrant as a wonderful woman, respectful, humble and has integrity. “She is a wonderful woman in all, I respect and love her so much,” she said, adding that it is a good idea for Sabina to visit the Old People’s Home on her birthday. “What where you thinking? But serious it is a good thinking.”
Helen Paul prayed: “As you have come to sow seed into their lives, you will grow in good health, wealth, happiness in Jesus name. I wish you the best, long life and property Sabina”