Against All Odds, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Revamped Herself

Lycett opened up on her tumultuous past and how she was able to move on from several heartbreaking experiences she faced and didn't allow it to define her

Taiwo Ajai-Lycett /Photo file: Screengrab

Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Nollywood actress and life coach, has opened up on her life experiences during her recent interview as she recounted how she became a mother at the age of 15.

She also spoke about being widowed at the age of 52 and having to walk out on her second marriage which was abusive. The talented Nollywood actress and life coach is certainly living proof of what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

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In her recent interview, Lycett opened up on her tumultuous past and how she was able to move on from several heartbreaking experiences she faced and didn’t allow them to define her. She revealed how she became a mother at the tender age of 15 and had to drop out of school by the age of 16.

“I was 15 years old when I had a child. I became a teenage mother. By 16, I was on my own. My father wanted me to abort the pregnancy at first. But my mother thought I was a young girl. I was a baby. So, she had to spirit me away. I had the baby somewhere in Yaba. But after delivery, my father got attached to the baby. The child became his playmate”, she said.

She stated that despite being labeled a promiscuous girl and being ignored by her father, she never gave up on bettering herself. Her father insisted that she must get married to Adebanji Adefolaju, the man who impregnated her and she agreed.

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However, Adefolaju died in the Lalupon train disaster on September 29, 1957A, then she moved to the UK after a friend of a friend proposed to her, then she left for the UK and got married to the man, David Akinduro, the following morning.

But soon she found out that he was an abusive man who tried to prevent her from growing despite being the one financially responsible for his schooling. Immediately he finished and became an accountant, she divorced him and moved into her own apartment to start her life afresh. That’s when Ajai-Lycett’s life took an interesting turn afterward.

She met Thomas Lycett, who was with Shell, a petroleum company. “I met Lycett long after I divorced my first husband. By the time I met him, I was a big name in acting and business. By that time, I was studying to get a Law degree and my acting career was in full swing.”

“I was looking for an apartment and at the one I got, some people living in a big apartment, like a condominium, gave me a welcome party because I was a big name. They were all artistes too. For the party, they invited Lycett, who lived across the road and we got talking. We talked about books.”

“He was a bibliophile like me. He told me he wasn’t interested in a casual affair. He said he wanted to marry me. He was very quiet, very clever, very perceptive, very deep…I was studying to be an Accountant then. I was doing this and that. I was obsessed about studying”, she continued, “Eventually I married Thomas Lycett in between a stage production.”

“We had a blissful marriage. He died when I was 52-years-old. I remember him every day. He was the one that told me that I was better off being an actor. He advised me to return to Nigeria, to teach people and share my acting gift. I was married to an incredible man for 25 years. In 1971, the idea of coming back home was born. I came to rebuild, because I believe in the industry and how it should be structured.”

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“By the time I came back to Nigeria, I had become notable. I was known in the acting world and business”. And in 2006, unfortunately, Ajai-Lycett was robbed and raped in her house in Egbe. The very same space that hosted TAL House, her private school.”

Then 65, she said.“I ran TAL House, a private school I meant to do good with it but my staff orchestrated an attack on me. I was tied. I was beaten. I was brutalized. My health was ruined. I was blindfolded and raped. The man who raped me complained that he couldn’t gain easy entry into me because I wasn’t wet.”

“I said ‘widows don’t get wet.’ I kept talking to them and asked them repeatedly, ‘Are you doing this to your mother?’ Angrily, they taped my mouth but I remained fearless and prayed all through the attack.”

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She then closed down the school and left Egbe after the incident. She described it as one of the hardest decisions she had to make bearing in mind that the school was doing well at the time. However, she went through with it as she wasn’t in it for the money.

She also revealed that she didn’t want to pursue the case even though she knew the people who attacked her. Woman we really go through a lot and still remain warriors.

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