A widow’s mite to Mama Rafatu Akanni, Iya-Alaro Ibile, an assurance of hope for the helpless

Rafat Akanke Akanni, a renowned dye maker was born to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Fadahusi Akanni of Ile-Aka in Osogbo, the now Osun State capital. Her mother took her pregnancy to Kosoko compound at Ile-Oba in Eko, present-day Lagos State, where she gave birth to Rafatu Akanke Akanni. After some years, she proceeded to Ghana for survival.

The young Rafatu Akanke practiced tie and dye in Ghana and later returned to Oshogbo with her mother to continue dyeing the fabrics known as Traditional Indigo (Aro Ibile). In her youthful days, Madam Rafatu was a successful and diligent woman who loved to dye clothes. She was popularly known as Iya Ile-Aka, this was not unconnected to the fact that her tie and dye works were done in Aka compound.

As a renowned dyer and dye producer, Mama Rafatu worked with the late Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Samuel Adenle, a businessman who as at then dealt in the sale of local adire fabrics as far as the Eastern part of Nigeria, Aba in Abia State in particular.

The now 88-year-old dyer, Mama Rafatu has done well in the production of dye and has made tremendous contributions in the area of training people in tie and dye in Osogbo.

She has contributed positively to the Adire industry in Osun State, re-echoing the general belief that Osogbo is Ilu Aro, just as she has trained many youths and adults in the making of Aro Ibile and production of adire Ibile in Nigeria.

As the last woman standing in dye making in Oshogbo today, her contributions so far require that she is celebrated and supported. She has received many awards in recognition of her contributions and love for dye-making in Osogbo. She has featured in many radio interviews and programs, including, the Oke Agba program on Fresh FM, which can be found on Fresh FM facebook (Fresh Fm Osogbo dated 01/08/2022).

Rafatu Akanke Akanni has left indelible marks in the promotion of adire Ibile but is now in dire need of medical and financial assistance. On medical assistance, she needs urgent attention concerning her eye problem coupled with financial respite for her upkeep. Her current condition of living is far below the poverty line. Her age and present health condition require the support of well-meaning Nigerians. A widow’s mite from individuals, group(s), or corporate bodies will give hope and reassurance to the frail and aged Rafatu Akanke Akanni.

The group of dye makers in Osun State and Aji-to African World and Adire Eleko Osun Association are urging the people to support a fundraising project for Mama Rafatu Akenke Akanni to assuage her medical challenges and give her a new lease on life.

In the light of this, a bank account has been opened to raise funds for Mama Rafatu Akenke Akanni, details are below:

Account Name: Rafatu Ile Aka Family
Bank Account Number: 2249067318
Bank Name: United Bank for Africa (UBA).

Thank you for reading this article and for your anticipated support to the 88 years old woman whose contributions in assuaging their conditions would go a long way in giving hope to the hopeless and helpless.

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