On June 14, 2020, it was a black Sunday in Nigeria with the sad news of the death of renowned events planner Ibidun Ighodalo who is also the wife of Pastor Ituah of the Trinity House Church, Lagos. It was reported that she died of cardiac arrest in her hotel room in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State that fateful day.
She was born Ibidun Ajayi on the 19th of July 1980 and was the fifth child of eight children. Her early childhood was in the city of Ibadan where she attended K-Kotun school and Federal Government Girls College Oyo state for her primary and secondary education. Ibidun later proceeded to the University of Lagos, where she graduated with a degree in Microbiology.
During her time as a student, 18 years old Ibudun Ajayi competed for the face of Lux beauty pageant organized by Unilever group of companies formerly known as Lever brothers.
She ended up winning the First ever Miss Lux in 1998 which brought her into the limelight. During her reign as a Beauty Queen, Ibidun was able to cut a niche for herself in the business sector. She received a business management training from the Lagos Business School and was a fellow of the National Institute of marketing in Nigeria.
With the acquired knowledge she went on to establish her own firm, Elizabeth R, which is a PR and events management company in 2003.
Ibidun eventually established herself successfully as a renowned event planner. As chief executive of Elizabeth R, Ibidun displayed an amazing passion for innovation and hard work.
She was painstaking and her company was highly sought after for high profile events by the rich and famous. By applying strategic positioning principles, Ibidun built an event planning firm that became number one in the country.
She was also known as the “Queen of Decoration” on account of the contract award to Elizabeth R from the Lagos state government when Babatunde Raji Fashola (now Minister of Works and Housing) was governor to decorate Lagos and give it a festive ambience for Christmas. Her brief was to beautify Lagos and she did well.
Ibidun always wanted the best for her clients and worried about little details; she usually went beyond her brief to do more. She also loved fashion and style. Her dress sense was creative and remarkable – this could be due to her background as a former beauty queen.
Through her journey in the rudiments of business she met her husband in 2007, Ituah Ighodalo at a wedding where she was a chief bridesmaid. He was a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The courtship lasted for four years and they tied the knot on the 26th of February 2007.
The union was greeted with lots of controversy, because her husband was a divorcee. The couple’s marriage had led to some controversy that we will briefly discuss.
Ituah Ighodalo had been a pastor at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and had been previously married to one Lucy-Ann Suinner.
However, he and Summer divorced, to the chagrin of the church, which summarily dismissed him from the church.
Following his dismissal from RCCG, Ituah Ighadalo and his bride went ahead to establish their own church named the Trinity House Church in Lagos state.
She launched her luxury 4000-capacity event center ‘The Dorchester’ in 2014. She also had a Bridal store ‘Avant Grade’ launched in 2016.
Ighodalo was particularly well-known for her work at the helm of the nonprofit Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation, which helps infertile couples have children:
She is a gracious helper and problem solver, anointed to bring emotional healing to hurting women and families through the teaching and preaching of God’s word. She is at the forefront of giving hope to families waiting on God for the fruit of the womb, with the belief that parenting doesn’t have to be only via natural conception. Through this organization, several families have been birthed and hope restored as the foundation has assisted in funding IVF cycles for them.
Ighodalo started the foundation after she struggled to have a child of her own, and underwent In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) 11 times before she adopted her daughter, Keke. She also has another baby boy with Pastor Ituah Ighodalo.