Former beauty queen and CEO of Elizabeth R, a high-profile, events planning company, Ibidunni Ighodalo, has organised what could pass as the biggest free baby shower ever, as her Ibidunni Ighodalo Foundation (IFF) invited parents with babies aged from one day-old to one year-old to a marketplace of free shopping. Held at the Millennium Housing Estate open field, Ibeshe-Ikorodu on Friday December 22, The Baby’s Day Out is another novelty that brings to manifestation the slogan of the IIF, ‘Touching Lives and Fulfilling Dreams’. The Baby’s Day Out at Ikorodu was the apparent next logical step in the IIF’s sustained effort to bring fulfillment and happiness to couples. The Baby’s Day Out has been conceived as a platform to celebrate the birth of children from one day-old to one year-old by presenting gifts to mothers and babies at a party. As event planning is Ibidunni Ighodalo’s most visible occupation, the foundation created a perfect baby shower including themes, ideas, games and foods; which merged seamlessly into the Christmas festivity. Perhaps, the foundation followed the biblical tradition of wise men from the east who brought gifts to Jesus Christ whose birth is being commemorated at Christmas. Since there was no restriction, tens of hundreds of babies and mothers thronged the venue between midday and 6.00pm to benefit from the IIF largesse, which included mini furniture such as play table or rocking chair, toys, dolls, stuffed animals, picture books, keepsake boxes and cute clothing. The cost of these items and the logistics of taking them to Ikorodu ran into tens of millions of Naira, which officials of the foundation refused to disclose. The IIF statement did not discriminate on the basis of the social status of babies and mothers who attended the event, suggesting that everyone was welcome. The estate where the event held is occupied largely by lower middle class families.
Ibidunni is the wife of accountant and clergyman, Ituah Ighodalo, whose search for a child has been widely publicized. The compassionate Ibidunni, whose interest in issues around pregnancy and childbirth is becoming legendary, is known to fund assisted reproductive procedure for infertile couples, costing, at least, N1.3 million per couple. Earlier in the year, the foundation held a hugely attended first Parent-in-Waiting Conference that accommodated heartrending testimonies from couples who surmounted the hurdle of childlessness. Different experts were also on hand to discuss matters relating to infertility; while medical teams offered free screening.