Monumental achievements and monumental beauty hardly go hand in hand, except you are Senator Florence Ita-Giwa who has both in abundance and in equal measure. Known for her dozens of achievements in Nigerian politics, especially on the disputed Bakassi peninsula, Ita-Giwa (OON), also renowned as an astute businesswoman, reached the milestone age of 75 years today.
Mama Bakassi as she is popularly known announced the epoch in an early morning birthday post. The septuagenarian, a former Senior Special Assistant to two presidents (OlusegunObasanjoand Shehu Musa Yar´Adua) on National Assembly Matters says: ¨75 [and] still standing tall, to God be the glory. Thanking God for divine health both, mental and physical. Giving God glory for soundness and peace of mind. Above all praising the Lord for manifold blessings. God has been exceptionally good to me. Thank the Almighty Father with me.”
A get-together for her 74th birthday last year at her restaurant, Echoes of Calabar, on Akin Olugbade, Victoria Island, Lagos, was attended by a crème de la crème of the society, and there she had delivered an evergreen speech: “When I celebrated 70 years birthday a few years ago, I told myself that every year, as far as I’m in this world, on this planet, I will celebrate my birthdays. We have to celebrate life and we have to thank God because things are happening every day, very, very bad things happen and I’m lucky to live up till this age without any serious outbreak. So, I have to thank God and thank those who are very supportive of me and my business.”
Of her ageless beauty and stately look, Ita-Giwa had said: ¨People say I look young; I say no, I’m not young, but old is not ugly. My desire is to age gracefully.¨