She is one of those celebs who have enjoyed the klieg lights right from her teenage years. As Miss Lux, the then 18-year-old Ibidun Ajayi, an undergraduate of the University of Lagos, graced fashion pages as the queen, who emerged without wearing a bikini.
Well, she made waves, which seemed not to have stopped 13 years after.
Now, as Mrs. Ibidun Ighodalo and head of Elizabeth R, her events outfit, the klieg lights focus more on her. Two questions popped up for the style enthusiast—What prompted her to marry a pastor? Why did she dump her Microbiology certificate for events planning?
“First, I didn’t set out to marry a pastor,” she said amidst laughter. Recalling how she met Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, flawless-complexioned Ibidun opened up:
“I was outside of an event venue and wanted to pick something inside the hall when I bumped into a man. ‘Oh, sorry,’ I said and went inside but something in my spirit told me that he was my husband! I didn’t believe the voice because that was the last thing on my mind. Later, we became friends, and I saw in him, a father and a confidant. P.I (she referred to him as that throughout the interview) fitted into my late father’s shoes and did (still does) all that my father did to me. I lost my father early but he adored me and I had a strong relationship with him. So, when I met P.I, I connected to him.”
“Did he know I contested in a beauty pageant? Yes, he did and understood what the Miss Lux pageant was all about—no indecent exposure. Before we got married, he asked me a lot of questions because it was important to him that I was spiritually fit and ripe for him.”
Wondering what her mother thought of her daughter marrying a popular pastor, who was quite older than her? “My mother had always told me that I was too mature for my age and would end up marrying an older guy. She was not surprised at my choice and seeing us living happily ever after is enough joy for her.”
Before you delve into her sojourn into the world of events planning, it is suitable Ibidun talked on how she fits into the shoes of a pastor’s wife.
“Truth be told,” she enthused, “It has not been easy but God can never give you what you can’t handle. To every responsibility God gives me, he empowers me for it. Fortunately, I have a husband who never puts me under pressure, he does not expect me to be who I am not, neither does he force me to behave in certain ways. He makes me do what I am meant to do.”
If you think she is lucky to be married to her P.I, you would go green with envy when she said: “My husband is too amazing and I want the best for him. He has never been upset with me since we got married and I humorously tell him to ‘please get upset so that we can quarrel like other couples.’ We are both quiet but we have our conversations in our silence.”
Now, let’s talk about Elizabeth R. The birthday party of Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija had out-of-this-world decorations. The invites would remain as a souvenir with guests.
Ibidun has succeeded in bringing a classy touch to events planning. “When I was younger and there was any event in our house, I would be the one running around for things to be right,” she reminisced.
“It is something I love doing and I could be up all night decorating. With events, I work with the mind of my clients and they know they would get the best from me. There are times I wonder how we got some arrangements but God is my inspiration. He gives the gifts and puts pictures of what to do on my mind.”
But she is elitist with her clientele, isn’t she? “Well, it depends on what you mean by that. It is like buying an item from an exclusive store-it is not common. It is unique. The company is not elitist but there is the need to carve a niche for yourself and get away from the crowd in matters of creativity,” she replied.
There is no gainsaying the fact that she is elegant and knows what time it is in the world of fashion.
“I am just a simple person, who wears what makes her comfortable,” said Ibidun, who is an Odion Momuet label freak.
“Style is about your carriage. It is about how you bear your body in what you are wearing. I could go in an Ankara which is worth N1, 500 and everyone would think it costs much more. I could wake up and say, ‘I want a Gucci dress, teamed with a cardy on it and still look elegant. I always consider comfort in fashion and not the vogue.”
The make-up you find on her in these pictures was for a photo shoot. Ibidun would tell you that she is not a cosmetics person.
“Immediately I apply my lip gloss, I am set. My flawless skin? “It’s amazing because I don’t like taking water and I don’t have any special beauty regime. I just make sure my face is washed before I go to bed,” she explained.
Before she dashed off to attend to a client, she wrapped up this interview with what has been a nudge in her.
“I am planning to have another 50th birthday party for my husband,” she enthused. “I was not too comfortable with the decoration and arrangement at the last party we had for him. I was too busy and allowed others to do the job, which didn’t make me happy throughout the occasion. I am thinking of doing it the Elizabeth R’s way. If I have done it beautifully for others, I should be able to do it for the man I love.”