Idowu Philips, the veteran Nigerian actress, who is popularly known as Iya Rainbow, has said she wishes to live up to 120 years as she celebrated her 79th birthday on Saturday.
Iya Rainbow also said she is undeniably strong, active and agile because she has been enjoying the grace of God.
Speaking with SUNDAY SCOOP, the excited celebrant said, “I’m celebrating my birthday today, I was born on October 16, 1942. It’s my 79th birthday, and I’m glad that the world is celebrating with me. I pray to God almighty to preserve my life up to 80, 90, and 120 years on earth. I wish to reach 120 years of age, especially due to the missionary work which has now been handed over to me by God. I have a church and I pray to live longer to fulfil my purpose.
“At 79 I’m still very agile. Going to locations, modelling and advertising as an ambassador are all part of exercising which has helped me to be smart. But like I always say, it is the grace of God, staying healthy at such an age is God’s gift. It’s by the grace of God that I am still relevant in the industry. When it’s God’s time and he has decided to help you, there’s nothing anyone else can do. While I was younger I never knew I could be this relevant. I realised my popularity when I was 50 years old, but I pray that the younger ones would never go through the kind of ordeal I experienced before making it to stardom. If God permits me to live longer, I would continue acting, advertising, and staying relevant in the industry.”
The ace actress who further noted that she celebrated her birthday by giving out relief materials to widows through ‘Mama Rainbow Foundation’ relived one of her most memorable moments thus far.
She said, “ Thus far, my most memorable moment was when my son Oluwafemi Alamu Phillips graduated, he was about seven years old when his father died, and his younger sibling was about four years old. But the day he (Femi) told me he is a graduate was my happiest moment. My saddest moment was the day my husband died, but I appreciate God who showed me the way to become a theatre practitioner, and I am grateful for my success in my field.
“What has kept me going over the years is the promise I made to my late husband to keep our name ‘Osumare’ which means ‘Rainbow’ in English. So, my motivation is because I do not want my husband’s name to ago into oblivion. For my special day, I empowered widows through my foundation with the help of partners who supports our work.”