FirstMonie! Yaba to Yobe

FirstMonie! Yaba to Yobe
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Ode To Dr. Julia Fortune-Johnson @64

Today March 29th 2019 is the birthday of lifelong scholar, educator, philanthropist, entrepreneur, business leader, author, wife, mother, Chief, pastor and Dr. Julia Fortune-Johnson (Nee Fagbenro).

One could wax poetic regarding all that this Godly and virtuous woman born on the 29th of March, 1955 has achieved.

Born and raised in Lagos to a Christian family her early education was completed at Mount Carmel Convent School, Lagos; Babalola Memorial Girls Grammar School (Boarding School), Ilesha; and Lagos Anglican Girls Grammar School, Lagos. From there Julia attended Federal Government College, Odogbolu; then completed her Nigerian education at the University of Ibadan graduating with honors for Bachelor of Arts degrees in Education and Theater Arts.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to continue her education abroad Julia traveled to US in 1980 to attend San Jose State University graduating with a Masters in Educational Administration. Later in 2012, she graduated from University of Maryland’s University College with a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Administration.

Always the entrepreneur, Julia started and helmed two companies, one multinational, to financial success. Having Christ centered in her life, her heart went out to African immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area who were brilliant but underemployed. After witnessing this situation she began employing these African immigrants to work in her companies allowing them better, more satisfied work and financial success as well.

In 2007 Julia suffered a major setback when she was diagnosed with an advanced breast cancer that later metastasized to other parts of her body. She no longer calls herself a survivor but a “conqueror” - completely made whole with the blood of Jesus.
Relying on Christ and the prayers of friends and family she endured a major operation and several reconstructive surgeries and more operations.

Having survived this ordeal she was determined to find the root source of her cancer and not only change her life for the better but to educate others giving them the opportunity to change their lives and to prevent this disease from attacking them. This episode of her life not only drew her closer to God it motivated her to start down the road of giving back to her community. This journey included regularly preparing meals to feed the homeless, becoming an advocate and global ambassador with the American Cancer Society, and after extensive research, authored “Chronicles of a Cancer Survivor: If I only knew then what I know now”.

In 2017 Julia and her husband were installed as Chiefs for the Eti-Oni community in Osun State. Her official title is Yeye Aare Soboluju of Eti-Oni and her husband, Aare Soboluju of Eti-Oni. They were installed in the Anglican Church in Eti-Oni, the same church that the King - Oba Dokun Thompson, the Olooni of Eti-Oni was coronated as Oba. This makes the Oba the first king in Nigeria to be coronated in a Christian Church.

On the 28th of February 2019, Julia was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree from WACOMBS Theological Seminary (a duly registered, recognized body, that has been accredited by relevant accrediting institutions, also affiliated with the Dept of Religious Studies of a government approved and recognized institution, Joseph Ayo Babalola University).

Julia is happily married to her very supportive Christian husband, Chief Babawale Jay Johnson, and blessed with six very accomplished children including a life coach entrepreneur, a medical doctor, a family therapist and counselor, a communications specialist, and a Biological Engineer. She has two grandsons.

Her son Samuel Gbadebo is a certified professional coach, motivational speaker and entrepreneur with a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences. As CEO of Evolve Your Success Transformational Programs his coaching and training company is focused on supporting individual pharmaceutical sales representatives and pharmaceutical organizations.

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