The Biography of Mama Janet Ajoke Akinbola

Early childhood

The Late Mrs. Janet Ajoke Akinbola was born to Dorcas Omowamide and Daniel Afun on Tuesday, June 21, 1932, in Ode-Ekiti, Ekiti State. She was named Adewole Adejoke at birth but was later baptized as Janet. Mama had many siblings but only two of them survived.

Mama Janet was rooted in the Methodist tradition from childhood, despite the prevalence of traditional worship in her environment. Her mother ensured she was grounded in the Christian faith identity by taking her to church and singing hymns to her, which was the foundation that shaped her life’s journey and ministry.


Mama Janet lost her father, who was a big time Cocoa farmer, when she was in Standard 5 in 1949, however, she was brought up by her mother who was her pillar of strength until her passing in 1989 at an estimated age of 102.

Educational Journey, Work, and Training

Mama Janet’s educational journey commenced in 1941. She progressed from Standard 1 to 4 in her hometown, Ode-Ekiti, and continued Standards 5 and 6 in Itapa-Ekiti. She was posted back to her hometown for 4 years before proceeding to a two-year teacher training program in Iperu, Ogun State. There she was selected as the Food Prefect. Her commitment to learning and leadership skills were evident in her impactful career as an educator.

Mama Janet seamlessly transitioned into teaching. She started her teaching career at Ishara-Remo, Ogun State, by focusing on teaching the lower classes of Standards 1-3. Later, during her training expedition at Lagos State Government Teacher Training College at Surulere, Lagos State, she emerged as the Female President.


She taught in several other places namely All Saints School Yaba, Lagos, to Local Authority School Ikeja, Lagos, Western College of Commerce (Wesco) Iwaya, Lagos, Rowe Park Ebute-Metta, Lagos and Morocco Military Primary School Lagos, where she served as a Headmistress. Marriage Mama Janet married the Revd. Clement Agboola Akinbola (later Bishop) on January 3, 1963. Despite many suitors and with a list of names to choose from, Mama was guided by the advice of Bishop Titus Akintayo—the husband of Mama Janet’s sister; Mrs. Florence Rodiya Akintayo, who was her confidant. Funny enough, her would-be husband had previously dreamt of her at Ido Train Station. Their marriage was solemnized at Saint John’s Church Aroloya, Lagos, and is blessed with five children all of whom are priests and pastors in the vineyard of God: Pastor Temitope and Pastor Mrs. Temitope Akinbola The Ven (Barrister) Femi and Dr Mrs Olusade Akin-JohnsonThe Ven Prof Foluso and Mrs Boladale Owotade Pastor Oluwasijibomi and Mrs. Omolara AkinbolaThe Ven Dr Olugbenga and Mrs. Bukola Akinbola Mama Janet also had 12 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews.Mama as a Church worker, Clergy-wife, and Bishop’s wife. After marriage, Papa and Mama Akinbola embarked on a shared journey of service, devotion, and family.

Their path led them through All Saints’ Church Yaba, Lagos, where they served in three consecutive periods for almost 17 years combined. In 1973, their priestly journey took them to Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Ikeja, Lagos, and later to Saints Paul’s Church Breadfruit, Lagos in 1982 where they served in the prestigious position of Archdeacon of Lagos.

In 1986, their commitment and contributions to the church later took them to Ekiti Diocese where they served as Bishop of Ekiti Diocese and President of the Ekiti Diocesan Women’s Organization from 1986 to 1997. Mama Janet helped to build the Girls Guild in the old Diocese of Lagos engaging in various vocational skills development, cultural display, and training of the next generation of leaders. She was also very instrumental in the building of the Mothers Union and Women’s Guild in the Diocese of Lagos and across Nigeria. Many of the girls she trained then and the women she helped mentor, have become clergy wives while some have become bishop’s wives today. Mama’s love for young people led her to mobilize the Women’s Organization of the Diocese of Ekiti to build a set of hostel buildings for students at the then-Ondo State University Ado-Ekiti. The hostel was later named “Clem-Janet Hostel”. She also started the Vocational School at Ekiti Diocese where young people studied and received diploma certificates in secretarial studies, typing, and sewing to mention a few.

Through her encouragement, many clergy and clergy-wives went for more educational training and development. As a result of her service, together with her husband at All Saints’ Church Yaba Lagos, mama Janet was made the life matron of some church societies like Busy Bees, Morning Star, and YWCF as well as being a member of the Elderly Society of Christ Church Alapere, Ketu Lagos. In Mama Janet’s role as a Bishop’s wife and mother, she discovered a rhythm that made her responsibilities more manageable. Mama learned profound truths about the influence of a wife shaping the home front.

Her household became a hub for friends and family, with Mama Janet extending hospitality to all. Her generosity knew no bounds, welcoming job-seeking individuals into her home until they secured employment. She also helped counsel many clergy-wives and young people in marriage.

Mama Janet’s later years After the death of her husband in 2006, Mama Janet immersed herself in church and humanitarian work. Living in the Ketu Alapere area of Lagos, she served as a member of Christ Church Alapere attending Sunday and weekly services together with activities of the Elderly Helpline while still making sure her impact was felt at All Saints Church Yaba. She also gave periodic monetary assistance to some less privileged people around where she lived.

Additionally, Mama Janet will attend many of the diocesan services held at the Dioceses of Lagos, Lagos-West, and Lagos Mainland, and even some held in other parts of the country. Having learned the use of the mobile phone in her old age, she became a better user than many young people as she was a prolific caller. She will check on her children and spouses, her children’s friends and anyone closely associated with them. Many were surprised by this. Funny enough, Mama Janet urged her children to open Facebook and Instagram accounts for her which they did. In the last few years, Mama Janet survived some health scares which earned her the title “a woman with nine lives” but she later died peacefully on her bed on Friday, November 24, 2023, at a ripe old age of 91 years.

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