Wednesday, December 6, 2023


PROFILE: Asiata, 90-year-old sickler who has 5 children and has gone to Mecca 13 times

PROFILE: Asiata, 90-year-old sickler who has 5 children and has gone to Mecca 13 times
December 04
19:03 2015

Asiata Onikoyi-Laguda, the woman believed to be the oldest sickle cell patient in the world, celebrated her 90th birthday on November 1, 2015 – a feat that is clearly in defiance of science.

Onikoyi was born in November 1925, at a time when the average life expectancy of people living with sickle cell disorder was just five years.

Onikoyi, who was born in the same year as Margaret Thatcher, first female British prime minister; Malcolm X, civil rights activist, and Idi Amin Dada, Ugandan dictator, older than ‘all’ known (documented) sickle cell patients in the world.

As recently as 1973, the average lifespan for people with sickle cell disease was only 14 years. Currently, life expectancy for these patients can reach 50 years and over, New York Times reports.


In 2013 alone, 176,000 people lost their lives to sickle cell disease, most of them aged 21 years old and under.

According to a special report by the Sickle Cell Journal, she is the second of four children born by her parents AbdulYekeen Ishola Onikoyi, a prince of the Onikoyi ruling house, and Aishat Alake Onikoyi from Kudeti, Ibadan.

Due to the level of illiteracy at the time of her birth, she was never diagnosed to have had sickle cell; she just had all the symptoms, including terrific pain, which hindered her from going to school till she was 12 years old.


She struggled through primary school, and enrolled at Queens College Lagos, where she met her husband Bolaji Alakija, who went on to become a doctor.

He treated her for sickle cell, but never really told her much about her condition, as it was the culture in their day. Alakija had 27 children, five of which were with Onikoyi and the rest for his nine other wives.

Onikoyi, a devout Muslim, has performed the holy pilgrimage to Mecca 13 times and gone for lesser hajj, better known as Umrah, six times.

She says moderation kept her going and urges other sickle cell patients around the world to toe the same line.


“I have always maintained a middle road in life. Moderation keeps you going, when those who indulge themselves have lost their balance,” she says.

At 90, Onikoyi is under no dietary restrictions whatsoever; she eats salt, eggs, meat, sugar, fried food, as it pleases her.

Her blood pressure is hovering around 160/90, and she says she observed the annual 30-day Ramadan fast until she was over 88, when her children pressured her into giving it up.

Onikoyi says she reads the Bible and Quran everyday, and takes public transport in this “super-chaotic Lagos”.


She lost one of her sons in August 2014, when he was 59 and accepted it as the “will of Allah”. “I prayed to Allah that the rest of my children should outlive me,” she says.

Every year in sub Saharan Africa, more than 300,000 children are born with the sickle cell  disease.


Click on the link below to join TheCable Channel on WhatsApp for your Breaking News, Business Analysis, Politics, Fact Check, Sports and Entertainment News!



  1. parker
    parker December 05, 07:44

    To God be the glory. Scientists where science ends,God starts.
    Mama You are highly and richly blessed.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sani
    Sani December 05, 17:16

    Masha Allah.May Allah countinue to grant her good health.Indeed this is an exeptional case.

    Reply to this comment
  3. ennybabe
    ennybabe December 06, 09:48

    Allahu Akbar!!!Mama you are highly favored and blessed.Keep shinning ma

    Reply to this comment
  4. Tt
    Tt December 07, 15:33

    I am a 60something years old sickler, living in Abuja Nigeria. I would like to get involved with an SS related NGO. Pls help. Thanks

    Reply to this comment
  5. shade
    shade December 07, 18:58

    God surely perfects

    Reply to this comment
  6. Rozzy
    Rozzy December 09, 05:41

    Your comment..Am a mother to a sickler and am always encouraged when I read testimony of all those who have gone beyond what doctors believe can’t be. Mama Asiata, you are blessed. To God be the glory.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Ninde
    Ninde December 10, 15:26

    .masha Allah. may Allah give such health and longlife to all the sicklers in the world. pls can u link me to any sickle cell organization .

    Reply to this comment
  8. Dynamic Dammie
    Dynamic Dammie April 20, 08:37

    Whao! Mama u are blessed. I am also a 32yr old lady living with sickle cell anemia but one thing I always assure myself is that I AM NOT A SICKLER according to God’s revelation to me. I am into one of the most challenging and toughest profession for 11yrs now and God sustained me. All we as sickle cell patient requires is love, care, patient, pampering, peace of mind, good spouse and every good things of life. We are just few existing special humans. Hallelujah. Jesus I love u.

    Reply to this comment
    • Nikki C.
      Nikki C. July 31, 16:41

      You took the words from my mouth: I AM NOT A SICKLER!! I AM A SICKLE CELL PATIENT. Thank you. I believe the term is offensive, reducing the importance of what we endure. You don’t hear individuals with cancer called “Cancies” or “Leuker.” Glad to see there are ppl who feel the same.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Arike
    Arike June 06, 03:58

    Am so grateful to GOD when I saw this article. My nephew is a sickle cell patient and it bothers me daily as I see and think about him. This Madam Onikoyi’s true life story has given me hope for my young nephew who is in his early twenties. I believe God will see him and all others through also. Thank you grandma for encouraging the world that there’s hope for sickle cell patients and that they can also live normal lives when they do things in moderation and observe all protocols. May you enjoy the rest of your days praise God for HIS goodness to you and your children. GOD strength you more and more.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Mack
    Mack July 23, 05:05

    People living with sickle cell anemia, God is good and God Bless

    Reply to this comment
  11. tracy
    tracy September 06, 14:18

    Thanks to God mama,im also sickler aged 30.

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment

error: Content is protected from copying.