Writing a few words of tribute in honor of my amazing friend Debora Ronke Apampa (aka DR Apampa) at this time, is for me irresistible and an honor. If there’s anyone who has seen the Lord’s goodness, mercy, love and compassion, that one person is DR Apampa.
What attracted me to DR isn’t just her personality. Of course everyone that knows her, is aware she is absolutely gorgeous. A decent brand. A stunning beauty and brain all rolled into one person. Standing at a great height of 6ft, she is elegant and beautiful with dreamy eyes. A joy to behold. Smart, humble, cerebral and enterprising.
She is a lady with unique interests, many positive sides but most importantly, a Holy Spirit filled-vessel and a believer. She loves God, loves God’s work and lives by His words. Ronke is awesome to look at as she is divine. With all her modern looks, she works hard, prays hard, loves gospel music, chants in tongues and reads Holy Books. That’s her way of life.
Away from the chaos of this mundane world, she loves to sit and work quietly from home. She loves to write and does write at least one interesting story of her life changing experience every day, including stories of her dark days. Her true-life stories which she regularly shares on her Facebook wall is a testimony of God’s love and compassion.
Her stories are always on point and soul winning. Her life, her testimonies and passion for details is an inspiration to me and I believe a source of inspiration to so many others. She is doing amazing things in the world and would be doing her mentors very proud just like I am very proud of her.
It’s amazing the job her charity outreach programs are doing. Opening doors for young people in all areas including touching the lives of the underprivileged especially the children she pampers every Christmas.
Dear DR, 04/2 has become a special day in my life too and there’s no better time, more perfect than this for me to tell you just how amazing, how meaningful and how touching your friendship is to me. I want you to know that to me, you are so much more than just a friend. More special than I’ll ever be able to put into words.
I will always be grateful that I am blessed with someone as special as you in my life. I am wishing you the happiest birthday ever, with all the love in my heart. You are the most inspiring friend I could ask for. Thank you for all the good work you put into this world every day. As you add another year to your age, I join your family, your friends, fans and millions of others to wish you more good health and more of God’s grace and blessings. I pray that you will continue to smile through your life’s journey. God bless your new age, my own dear.
In 2007, when you were just barely above 20 years, David Ajiboye wrote an interesting opinion about you titled: “Ronke’s Journey from Catwalk Model to Screen Idol”. That piece by Ajiboye described you as a force to reckon with in the arts, entertainment and fashion industry. Even though you have since moved on to other greater things, most of the opinions expressed in that brief article, remain relevant today. I will therefore copiously redact some of them in this short tribute.
‘DR Apampa was the presenter and co-producer of the popular Black Variety Show on OBE TV (Sky Channel 159) in the United Kingdom. The show is the favorite television programme for Nigerian and African lifestyle, fashion and arts outside Africa. The Channel broadcasts to over two million homes across Europe.
DR was born in Ibadan Nigeria, to a father who is a practicing lawyer and writer and a mother who was a registered nurse. The mother though late, was also a writer. Guess she took her creative writing skill from both parents. Ronke is the second of four children. A mother to a gifted daughter.
A brilliant student from her Primary school days, Ronke finished High school at the age of 14. Her career started in Nigeria as a young catwalk model and later as a co-host on a teen-oriented television programme on Lagos Television. She also had her own column in some Lagos newspapers like Tempo, Prime People and PM News, while studying journalism.
Ronke’s modelling took her to Paris for the Nigerian Fashion Show and on her return decided to try television presenting as a career. She soon began featuring in a number of high-profile fashion shows such as the St Moritz Style collection showcase in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, and the Nigeria Fashion Show which took her from Lagos to Abuja, and later on to Paris, France.
Her elegance, poise and professionalism on the runway has earned her, over the years, numerous call-ups by such prominent designers in Nigeria, the rest of Africa and the United Kingdom, including household names, such as Mon Ami, Frank Oshodi, Zizi Cardow, Nobel, Jimi Delaja, Adebayo Jones, Yemi Osunkoya and Gureje New York.
DR is a front page girl any day. She has also been featured in, and on the cover of, magazines such as Aspire, Mimi, Guardian Newspaper supplement, Leadership & Lifestyle, Deeply and True Love West Africa.
She travelled to London as a presenter on a show about Nigerians living in London and later got signed on to the production and management company, R70 World, as presenter of the programme “Out and About” on BEN TV. Because of her warmth and charm on the show, and the unmistakable realness in her unique interview approach, she soon became a not-to-be-missed feature every Saturday afternoon, as the presenter of the “Black Variety Show”, a laid back entertainment programme for people of all ages, broadcast live from the heart of London.
The Black Variety Show gave Ronke the exposure that has now taken her to new heights, appearing on many magazine covers and well sought after, for hosting events and photo shoots by African designers. She has interviewed some of the world’s biggest stars in America and has become a recognizable face at Fashion Weeks around the world.
A graduate of Law and a constant traveler to high profile events to record special features for her show, Ronke took her career to another level, when she staged a fashion show in Nigeria called “Stars On The Runway” aimed at raising funds for charity. Like many things she touches, the show became an instant success.
I conclude this tribute by wishing you many more years to come. Age with grace.
For all the good you embody, I will always adore you. You will always be there in my heart and my prayers . Deborah will always be written in the table of my heart as the good Lord watches over you!!
By Clem Aguiyi