Memorial-Mrs Sekyen Niyang Ajao

Born to Reverend Dr Steven and Ruth Niyang on January 2, 1978 in Jos, Sekyen Lois was an exceptional child from infancy. As she grew, she took care of her siblings, friends and all around her.

Sekyen attended HillCrest and Plateau Private Schools in Jos, Girls’ High School, Gindiri, obtained a B.Sc. in Accounting from the University of Jos and a PgD in Monitoring and Evaluation Methods from University of Stellenbosch. Few people knew she was a Taekwondo black-belt holder and could make delicious burgers!

Although responsibility increased when Dad died aboard Kenya Airways Flight 431 in January 2000, Big Sister Sekyen could be looked up to once she recovered from the initial shock. She worked at Fantsuam Foundation and then as an Academy Administrator at the University of Jos Cisco Network Academy in 2005 before moving to the Nigeria ICT Forum of Partnership Institutions in 2006 as pioneer staff helping the Nigerian University community establish the Nigerian Network Operators Group (ngNOG) and other ICT capacity-building initiatives. From 2009 to 2010, she worked in Investment Banking at BGL Securities, Abuja.

In October 2006, she met 'Dewole Ajao who was then an instructor at the ngNOG Workshops. They became best friends, did the cat-and-mouse love chase for a while and eventually got married in 2009. Their union has resulted in a loving extended family and two delightful blessings named Oluwanifemi (6) and IbukunOluwa (3). Nifemi, despite her age, is a replica of her mother in caring and thoughtfulness and Ibukun is a delightful bundle of energy that is growing in like manner.

After leaving BGL, Sekyen joined Solina Group in 2011 as part of the pioneer team driving the Federal Government's highly successful YouWiN Business Plan Competition. In 2016, she moved from YouWiN to the Growth and Employment (GEM) Project at the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment.

Earlier on in the same year, she began a Masters in Business Administration at the prestigious University of Stellenbosch Business School, Cape Town where she had applied for admission before being diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2015. Despite going through surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy over several months, she did not let that hold her down as she combined taking care of her family with work, study and travelling every couple of weeks. At school, her intelligence, maturity and empathy earned her the position of class representative within a few days of arrival. Her classmates point out that she was respected by everyone.

Working in the Central Parish Children's Department on Sundays, she sacrificed the comfort of worshipping in the main auditorium to take care of the many little children. To many, regardless of age or stature, Sekyen was a mother, sister, mentor, friend, confidant and inspiration in many ways. Anyone who spent a few minutes with Sekyen would know that God put her on earth to be a blessing to everyone without exception. She would genuinely look out for the welfare of people around her and probe gently beyond what was on the surface even when she had her own burdens to bear.

She passed on in the early hours of Friday January 20, 2017 as a result of secondary cancer in the liver. We miss you, Sek, but we are happy because your life is proof that God does answer our daily family prayer in which we ask that He help us live our lives in a manner that gives glory to Him. You glorified God and that has made it easier for us to accept His choice.

Our sister, wife, mother, daughter and friend, we selfishly wish you could have been here with us longer but we realize now that you were an Angel on assignment and your next duty tour is in the Heavens. God helping us to live right, we will be reunited on that joyous day that God promises His saints. May The Grace of God be with us till then in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Sekyen Memorial Tributes