The ancient and serene town of Odogbolu (Ogun State) and its environs came alive as Oba Adedeji Olusegun Onagoruwa joined the septuagenarians club. The 3-day event started with early morning praise and worship on Thursday, May 14, 2015, with relations and well wishers in attendance.
As if that was all, the event took an amazing dimension when a pavilion built by Chief (Mrs.) Clara Adebutu, the wife of Chief Adebutu Keshington to commemorate the 70th birthday of Oba Onagoruwa was commissioned by Hon. Ladi Adebutu and his entourage. The grand finale was on Saturday, May 16, with a thanksgiving at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Odogbolu. Reception held at the Oba’s palace. Encomium Weekly had a chat with the Kabiyesi, Oba Adedeji Onagoruwa, his only Olori Ekundayo Onagoruwa, Chief (Mrs.) Ireti Asemota and Hon. Ladi Adebutu…
I feel my normal self.
You are looking younger than your age, what is the secret?
It’s confidence in God. I give all the glory and honour to Almighty God. I am my true self.
At 70, what would you say life has taught your highness?
I have gone through thick and thin, but I thank God that I was able to wade through. You cannot succeed without having confidence in Almighty God because with confidence in God, all will be well with you.
What is your philosophy of life?
My philosophy of life is love your God, trust in Him and do good to humanity.
How would you describe your childhood?
My childhood was so beautiful. I lost my father when I was 45. I was brought up in Ile-Ife. Everybody around me has been good to me since childhood and that was why I decided to do good to people.
If you are given the opportunity to rewind the hand of time, what would you like to do better?
I would live the same life without regret because it has been so beautiful, but I would have tried not to hurt anyone.
Can you describe your youthful days?
I was a rascal while growing up, but a rascal with a sense of duty. We were brought up to respect other people and to keep the name of our family clean.
When was the happiest day of your life?
The happiest day of my life could be the day the family chose me as a candidate for the vacancy of Ilisi and the day I was announced the Alaye of Odogbolu.
Can you describe the day you were very sad?
I lost my mother at 70. I saw her two days to the day she passed on and she told me all was well. That was the day I can describe as sad in my life.
-OLORI EKUNDAYO ONAGORUWA
How would you describe your husband?
Kabiyesi Adedeji Olusegun Onagoruwa is my husband, my friend, my confidant, my adviser. We have been married for 45 years. We got married in 1970 and we have been like brother and sister. Although like all other marriages, there were ups and downs, but we give God the glory. We thank God.
Can you please tell us how you met him?
We met in the United States through his brother, Dr. Olu Onagoruwa. Brother Olu Onagoruwa’s wife took me like a sister. I went to visit her then, and Oba Adedeji Onagoruwa just arrived from Nigeria in 1968 and as soon as we saw, the rest is history.
What attracted you to him?
The way he smiled, talked. When we met, he told me that he knew me in Ebute-Metta, but I didn’t know him. He also told me things in me that I didn’t realize. He swept me off my feet.
How do you feel as the Olori of Alaye of Odogbolu?
Olori’s work is good. All we need to do is to support our king. Olori’s function is primarily to be there for the king because he has a lot to do. So, I have to give him my support, to love him always. We don’t advice them, but we listen to them.
It is believed in Yoruba land that Kabiyesi should have more than one wife, but it’s different in this case. How come you appear a million in the Kabiyesi’s eye?
The attraction he saw when he married me is still there, because I try not to slack as far as Kabiyesi is concerned. It’s not that Kabiyesi can not marry another wife, but I would not be the one to tell him. I am happy that I am the only wife.
What is the secret behind the love Kabiyesi has for you?
You have just said that it’s a secret, so it should continue to be a secret. If you tell all other people, it will no longer be a secret.
What is your wish for Kabiyesi?
I wish him many happy returns of the day, long life, prosperity and good health. And I wish him to mark 80, 90, after that whatever the Lord wishes do to, my good Lord can do.