Aart's Biography

                                 Unforgettable, Unstoppable Abioye Aronke Taiwo
 ‘Bioye, as she was fondly known, returned to Nigeria in December 2001, after ten years of studying and living in England. She graduated in 1998 with honors in Law and Literature from the University of Staffordshire. She completed her legal practitioner's course as a solicitor in 1999 and had been a practicing solicitor in the UK before her return.
Born  in Omaha,  Nebraska  U.S.A on December  3rd,  1977, she was very proud  of  her  American  passport . Bioye   was beautiful, sensitive, kind and compassionate. She was down to earth, humble and always, always herself. She was always on a quest to discover new ways of being and new creative possibilities. When she  got tired of what  she  perceived as the  shallow  and facile  style  of  new  movies from  Hollywood, she  took to watching black and white  avant-garde French  films! For her young years, her insightful understanding of the meaning and purpose of life was extraordinary.
‘Bioye was a talented singer and poet who loved to cook. From a very early age she would say ‘I am going to be a famous poet one day'. Bioye was also flirtatious, funny, sassy and ambitious. After years of studying and living in England, which she loved, she decided to broaden her British horizon by moving to New York in June 2001 to figure out the American ways. In the three months she spent in New York she came to love it and made many new friends, and decided that she would return to sit for the New York Bar Exams in January 2002.
Then   came 9/11...
Instead of the New York Bar Exams, home beckoned and she opted for the Nigerian Law School instead. Ten years after leaving Nigeria she returned home and we were all delighted to have her back with us. With her ability to get along with different kinds of people, ‘Bioye quickly adapted to Nigeria and made new friends.
She declined the opportunity of spending an extra week with friends and family during a short break in London   that Easter and instead came back to Lagos on 11th April 2002. Again she declined another opportunity of   accompanying me, her mother, her best friend and her great travelling companion on what was evidently going to  be an exciting study trip to Cairo. "I can't go gallivanting round the world with you mummy dearest" was how she put it. "I'm in Nigeria to attend Law School and pass, I have to make up for the notes I missed during the Easter break".
Catching  up  on  her  notes  was  exactly what  Bioye was  doing  that fateful Friday, April 19,2002,  having firmly declined all offers  to go out that evening.
But  then  two  of  her  friends  from  the  Nigerian  Law School  came calling at around  10:30 that  evening.  She was somehow convinced to get into the car. She left her  laptop  on,  her bottle  of  water, her notes, suggesting  she  had  no  intention   of  going  far. Two  minutes  later,  as they were about  to cross  the notorious  dark, unlit interjection  of  Sobo Arobiodu  Street, Mobolaji  Bank-Anthony  Way, a lorry crushed  the car in which she was a passenger.
Bioye was killed on the spot, being the only fatality in the accident. With it the incredible promise of her life appeared extinguished. We were stunned by her death. It unleashed a wave of grief amongst people all over Nigeria and friends from all over the world, many of whom had never met her. Bioye aged 24 had clearly touched so many people's lives.
One of  the most difficult aspects of  Bioye's sudden and premature departure for me, was the thought that  Bioye's 24 years in the world would be obliterated,  that in a couple of  years people might not remember her. They might wonder if she ever existed or if she was a phantom or a figment of their imagination. I simply could not live with that notion. I obsessed about this for a while. I did not want her memory to dissolve with the dust. I cannot and I will not forget Abiove Aronke Taiwo. With this I came up with the vision for the Aart of Life Foundation. The Abioye Aronke Taiwo way of life foundation, living for good to do good! I thank God that through  the foundation  and it's amazing ground breaking achievements of the last 12 years in road safety awareness, grief  and bereavement counseling, and youth development, I have watched Abioye Aronke Taiwo bloom and grow in this world. I have been her voice in the last 12 years and I am proud that the world has listened and heard, and continue to hear her.

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