My Father Made Me Marry Day I Left For UK – Owaooye Of Imesi Ile, Oba Enoch Ademola

Published 2 years ago by: Mister Jay Wonder
at 10:55 AM, 3/12/2016 (2 years ago)

(22236 | Addicted Hero) (m)


The Owaooye of Imesi Ile, Oba Enoch Ademola, tells FEMI MAKINDE in this interview his experience as a scholar in the UK and how he became an oba

Can you tell me when you were born?
I was born in Lagos in 1942. I had my primary education in Lagos at Yaba Methodist School, I started from normal class 1 up to Standard V. In those days, we had up to standard VI but when I finished my Standard V,  I took my exams and went to secondary school from Standard  V. If you are talking about a primary school leaving certificate, I don’t have one because I went to secondary school from Standard V.

Was there any circumstance around your birth or anything that suggested  that you would become a king?
I probably would not like to go into that.  However, I have this suspicion that few people were aware that I was a future ‘kabiyesi’ but I was not told. That was a secret between my father, my mother and a few old people in the town.

Did you grow up in the palace?
No. I was not raised in the palace. My great grandfather was an Oba, my grandfather and my father were not, so  I was not raised in the palace.

What year did you start your primary school education?
That is a very good question. I can’t tell you exactly when I started but I remember I went through it normally. No repetition,  I was outstanding and very good and at the end of Standard V, rather than going to Standard VI, I went straight to secondary school. I can only tell you when I started secondary school.

What did you dream of becoming when you were in secondary school?
When I was in secondary school, I had this dream of becoming an engineer, but the funny thing then was that, we were not offering science subjects and you cannot be an engineer without the knowledge of good science, especially physics.

So, how did you later become an engineer?
You must have heard of physics by Nelkon. That book was my tutor and I later went to an emergency science school. That was while I was working after I finished secondary school. I worked at the Ministry of External Affairs. We worked from 8am to 2pm, while emergency classes started from 4pm to 10pm.

How did you cope?
If you are determined to do something and you want to do it, nothing can stop you. It is only five days in a week because I am sure you are wondering why all this stress? If you know what you want and you want to get it; you have to put in the required effort.

After your secondary education, you started work with the Ministry of External Affairs. What year was that?
That was 1962. I was in the secondary school when Nigeria got independence and in the rural areas, you would not see much trace but there was an atmosphere of goodwill and happiness. Everyone was happy, thinking the future would be bright.

After your emergency science school, which university did you go to?
I studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Middlesex University, United Kingdom. When I graduated, I got a job, I was lucky I had three appointments so I had to choose one. I picked the one which I thought I got a better future with. I also got my Master’s degree from the Lancaster University.

I worked as a development engineer for two years. Before then, when I got a job in Britain, the condition that my father gave to allow me to take up the job was that I should be coming home at least, once in a year. It was not difficult, I thought within myself. I could afford it if I was working so, I started work with them. Eventually I left the company as a senior development engineer. I later joined the London underground, where I started as the technical support manager and after some years, I was promoted to the position of the technical manager. From there, I worked in several other places. It was when I became the senior project manager that I got snatched away.

What type of bachelor were you, before you got married?
I would say a serious bachelor. I was a bit serious, having a focus that this is where I wanted to go so, no time to play around.

When did it dawn on you to settle down for marriage and how did you meet your wife?
When I was in the secondary school, I met the lady who became my wife. We were friends but there was no question of marrying each other. We were just friends.

When I decided to go abroad, I think my father was instrumental to this, probably he thought if this man should go there, he would marry a white woman. He wanted me to get married, so, I got married. I was too obedient then that if he said jump, I would only ask him how high he wanted me to jump. It would not be a question of why should I jump. In summary, I got married when I was working after secondary school. In fact, I got married the day I wanted to leave this country. I got married in the morning and travelled in the evening.

So, you didn’t have honeymoon?
There was nothing like that. I left Nigeria in the evening and my wife stayed back in Nigeria and was working as a nurse at a general hospital.

While growing up, did you plan to become a ‘kabiyesi?
No. Mind you, it is a plain fact that my ancestors were from the royal family. You must have heard of Ooyelagbo in Ife, those are my ancestors. I knew that but thinking of becoming a kabiyesi, forget it!

Did your wife show any fear or ask you not to accept the proposal of becoming a king?
If you asked her today, she would tell you that she was not aware that I would accept to be an Oba. I knew of the late kabiyesi’s death while there in the UK. I got the news that the kabiyesi died inside the church. Someone I knew told me. The person said, ‘Baba Peju, did you know that kabiyesi died?’ And immediately I stood up for a minute and she looked at me, asking me if anything was wrong. I told her nothing was wrong. But she knew that my countenance changed although for a moment.

Prior to that time, there had been rumours during my last visit to Nigeria. My father said something crucial. He said the kabiyesi was old and if he passed on and the people of the town asked me that they wanted to make me the king, that I should not turn them down. He said, ‘God will be with you and I will be with you’. I was just looking at him and I thought within myself, ‘What is he talking about?’

I didn’t like arguing with him because I had  so much respect for him and I  learnt so much from him so, I said okay.

At what point were you contacted to come and ascend the throne?
I got a letter from the family asking me to come, that they wanted to see me. At that time, I was a project supervisor. I told them that I could not come, that I was monitoring a project. I requested that they should give me two or three months then we would have completed the project review and all that was needed to be done. They accepted my excuse and I was not quite sure what was about to happen. My wife was not aware at all.

After I completed my project, I came home and then the family unit came to my house for a meeting and that was when they told me that it was our turn to ascend the throne and they wanted me to ascend. I thought within myself, how would this be possible? This was something I was not interested in. Then, I asked one big question that “you are looking for an Oba and you think I will be your Oba?” they said yes and then I told them that there were conditions. ‘If you want an Oba for the family, forget about me but if it is for the whole of the town, I may consider that.’  I had my reasons for saying that because if you are there for those people, you will want to do their bidding. I was only prepared to serve my conscience and do what is right, people will benefit from it. If you say you are my brother and you come around to meet me over an offence, if other people are getting 10 punishments, yours could be 12 or 15 because you should know better. I became the king of Imesi Ile.

When did you ascend the throne ?
That was in the year 2005. I was over 60 years old then. In life, don’t think of what people can do for you; think of what you can do for the people to improve their lives. I was having a very good time; a very good job. I enjoyed what I was doing but I thought that I could do something to improve the lives of the people here. You are put in a condition to uplift the people and not just to benefit yourself.

Being a Christian and someone who lived in the UK for many years, did you find anything strange in the rituals performed by the people before you became kabiyesi?
When you accept a responsibility, you ought to have weighed the pros and cons. One thing this kabiyesi will never do is to take human being for rituals. This Owaooye will never do such. Even if you follow them to the ‘Igbo igbale’ ( place where rituals are performed),  you will discover that all they do is to pray and at the end of it all, they say in Jesus name. This is from my own personal experience. They will not ask you to come and be doing some immorality that is not conducive to the world.

Would you wish any of the rituals is discarded?
I haven’t seen one and I am not aware of any. But do you want to tell me that people doing Ifa is wrong? No, our mind is our own Christianity.

If you compare life in the  UK with Imesi, do you wish to go back to the UK?
The problems in this country are there. You may not have electricity supply for three days, which is bad. No tap water, it is not good enough. Those are the things and we would still get over the problems. If my parents did not give me that education, will I be able to work with the white people? Now it is a question of coming back to pay back a little bit of what they have given me. That is the way I look at it.

Did any of your children discourage you then?
My first son is somebody who has got the attitude of, ‘if this is what you want, go on. If this is what you think is right, go on.’ The second son is also the same. All they are saying to me is that, ‘dad, we are going to miss you because of your experience.’ Most time when my first son, who is a manager at a company, is having a problem, he would come to me and I would ask him how he wants to solve it and after his explanation, I would then advise him. And sometimes I would tell him not to go on with what he must have told me; that the consequence of such decision might  be this or that. Then I would give recommendations but they seem to have missed such opportunity and at times, they will just pick up their phones to have a few words with me. They will tell me, ‘dad, you are getting old and stop running around like a headless chicken’ and I will tell them I will handle it. Apart from that, they feel it is a duty. One in particular would say: ‘I know your dad wants you to be there so, you are listening to him.’

Would you wish any of your sons ascend the throne?
If they are asked to and they want to, why not? You see, you cannot tell somebody to go and do this and that. As long as they are not doing anything horrible, it is up to them and their conscience.

Which of your ancestors would you love to emulate and why?
I did not have the opportunity to know my grandfather. How unlucky I was! The only man I knew was my father, who was very close to me. He knew right from my youthful age that I would say whatever I have in mind straight and he respected me for that. As much as I have my respect for him, he respected me for that.

An educated oba with illiterate chiefs, how do you cope with this?
Whether you are educated or not educated, we all have our values. It may be different but you see, those people who are not educated need to be listened to and I learn  from them. My second in command is not educated but there are ways I tap from his knowledge and there are times he speaks and you will have to caution him for his utterances and also back it up with reasons why things should not happen the way he says.  They are not stupid! When you tell them, at times they reason with you. The only thing is that you don’t make it appear as if you are the boss and you do what you want. There is one aspect that I see which is general in this country and that is the idea of me, me, and me. People don’t think of others. Things are changing now and people are now beginning to realise that it is better to think on the generality of others so that there could be improvement. We have fairness, truth, better prospect for the people. You see, there is something in life, don’t praise yourself; let other people talk about you.

What plan do you have to use the Kiriji War site into becoming a must visit for tourists?
It is something that the state and the country can benefit from. Tourism is a money spinner, except if or when we all agree; no individual can do it. Imesi cannot do it alone, unless we are kidding ourselves. If we don’t sit down and agree that okay we want to develop this thing, it is not possible. I don’t know if you have been to Osun grove, you will realise the state is generating a lot of revenue from it. There are so many things we can learn, especially the Yoruba people; the site is not for Imesi alone but for the entire Yoruba race. Kiriji War was the last war of the Yorubas and the longest civil war in Yorubaland where we lost so many souls. The beauty of it today is that when you talk of ‘fejeboju’ you will still find it there; ‘faragbota’ you can still see it there; the agreement reached then that was buried is still there. When you talk of Fabunmi and Oke Imesi, they are there; talk about ‘Aga Ogedengbe,’ it is there. It is obvious, we can make money from all these but the unfortunate thing is that we are not harnessing this potential. We are not using the opportunity we have and I hope by God’s grace, that when we finally meet to map out how to do it, we can get something from it.

What role did Gbado masquerade play in the Kiriji War?
Gbado was on the battlefield and not only him but also ‘alagbo’ and there is another one. This Gbado actually fought with his own people, cutting enemies’ heads and all that. When the fighters were wounded, Alagbo applied herbs on the wounds and they miraculously healed. Gbado played a crucial part in the war. He fought in the war.

What was the cause of the war?
Do you know about the ‘Ajele’? ( Latosa’s representatives). In those days, the Ibadan people were sending Ajele not only to Ijeshas or Ekitis but to other places. Others  too were victims. You have heard about Fabunmi but let us start from here, we have Imesi Ipole and in case you don’t know, Imesi Ile is also Imesi Ipole. You have heard of Oke Imesi. The Oke Imesi people left from Imesi Ipole for greener pastures. People from Imesi Ile would go to Imesi Oke to make mortars. Sometimes they were called Imesi Igbo-odo. Those people left from here for greener pastures and Fabunmi, who was one of them, had his grandfather here.

The Ajeles’ usual trade was that whenever they were short of food in their store, they would send their men to go and raid the market and carry their goods into a court. Coincidentally, Fabunmi wanted to celebrate and in those days, if you wanted to do such a thing, it was usual that your wife or fiancé would plait her hair to make her look beautiful and acceptable to people and get some other things in place. On that fateful day, the Ajeles were sent to the same market where Fabunmi’s fiancee had gone to get some palm wine for the celebration.

The  Ajeles came to the market as usual to raid, they had asked people to carry their goods into the court they brought, when they took the palm wine from her and as notorious as they were, they saw the beauty in Fabunmi’s wife-to-be with her newly plaited hair and they couldn’t ignore her face, so, they took her into the house and committed rape. The story got to Fabunmi and you know that Ijesa  people don’t take nonsense.  He went in to get his cutlass and headed straight to the Ajeles. He cut off the head of the Ajeles.  So, they saw him when he came out of the Ajeles’ court and there was blood dripping from the cutlass.

Nine days later, Latosa was informed and in his powerful state, he sent emissaries with big calabash with an instruction to the then kabiyesi that Fabunmi’s head be sent over in that calabash. Mark you, Kabiyesi Oke Imesi was an uncle to Fabunmi and when he got the message, he summoned Fabunmi to come and listen to the message. The messenger who brought the message had his head cut and put inside the calabash instead. Fabunmi beheaded him and sent his head over to Latosa again. He ( Latosa) felt the insult was  beyond normal, so he felt the best thing to do was to arrange for war. Fabunmi realised that things had got so bad and he had got to get himself prepared. He went to Ogotun in Ekiti where his mother hailed from. He was accompanied by his uncle and his wife. After he left there, he felt he needed  to also visit Olojudo in Ido Ekiti.  He told Olojudo what happened and he decided that they would inform some other important Obas so, he followed Fabunmi to Oorelotun in Otun Ekiti. By that time, Oore was an old man and they also held meetings with other two Obas when they resolved that ‘enough was enough’ that no more messing about for the Ajeles. That was the beginning of the war and if you look at it, Orangun was involved; Aramoko was involved; Olojudo was involved; Ikole was involved; Ajero was involved and it was named ‘Ekitiparapo’ and they also named the war Kiriji.

The Ekitiparapo was going to say enough is enough. The war started at Oke Imesi but moved down to Imesi Ile and when you look at the topography of this place, you will see that it is a bit hidden. You see people well from the top of the hill and when they come around, you can defend yourself. It lasted for 16 years, which is the longest war in Yoruba land.

As an engineer, don’t you think the vast rocks around this town can be used to create some wealth for the town?
In life, it is not what your town can do for you that matters, it is what you can do for the town. We value things differently. Yes, definitely but anybody that puts his money in business will want a very good return and in the motif of having good return sometimes, the investors overplay the community. My own impression is that we have hills surrounding us but the poor people in the town should benefit from that. I don’t know whether you have an idea where I am going. I am thinking and I hope God willing, that when we eventually start making money out of these things, those poor people, who live here will benefit more from whatever we can get from it. Give it to investors now, they will exploit the whole thing and take away all the money.

With the economic crisis in the country, how are traditional rulers coping especially in a state like Osun?
With very little resources, traditional rulers are suffering. Take it this way; traditional rulers don’t rely on money from the government. It is nice to augment what you have.

How do you augment, do you have a farm?
I don’t farm. I only have a small vegetable in the garden for me to eat, I have got to remember that I have worked and I have reached a position where, if I was not drawn from where I was, I should have retired by now and provided for. I was not greedy and did not attempt to do what I should not do, I should be able to live a comfortable life.

How many wives do you have?
I have a wife. I don’t think it is wise to marry more than one wife at this age. I have four children already, three boys and one girl.

Are there taboos, dos and don’ts in Imesi?
One of the taboos is that you don’t parade corpse in this town and the Alarijo’(magicians) must not come into this town through the other road from Oke Imesi. If they should come in, they will have to go back.

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gogoman at 11:20 AM, 3/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(31872 | Addicted Hero) (m)

NICE ONE OBA
Reply
emytex74 at 12:15 PM, 3/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(4141 | Gistmaniac) (m)

 Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
Reply
diutopep at 12:33 PM, 3/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(6178 | Gistmaniac) (f)

It's God To Be An Obedient Child! Thumbs Up!!!
Reply
benosky4 at 12:58 PM, 3/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(4888 | Gistmaniac) (m)

Blah blah blah blah!!!
Ur life story, ur problem.

Reply
kison at 04:12 PM, 3/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(19581 | Hero) (m)

SO THIS IS NEWS TOO,,,ABI,, YEYE POSTER,,,,,,,,,,BE CAREFULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
Reply
EDDYPRINCE at 10:07 PM, 3/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(28663 | Addicted Hero) (m)

OK we hear Oba
Reply
EDDYPRINCE at 10:08 PM, 3/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(28663 | Addicted Hero) (m)

But plaster the writeup tok long,try they summarize ok
Reply
Trueyarn at 09:18 AM, 4/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(10155 | Hero) (m)

You marry when you like so wetin make i do?
Reply
kacylee at 01:55 PM, 4/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(22077 | Addicted Hero) (f)

HOPE U AINT REGRETTING THE MARRIAGE

Reply
1marviz at 02:04 PM, 4/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(1903 | Gistmaniac) (m)

ok
Reply
Hessehele at 02:14 PM, 4/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(603 | Upcoming) (f)

NICE ONE KABIYESI AND I SALUTE FABUNMI FOR SENDING THE MESSENGER'S HEAD TO LATOSA.
Reply
AmazingMarie at 10:21 AM, 5/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(12065 | Hero) (f)

enjoy kabiyesi
Reply
AmazingMarie at 10:22 AM, 5/12/2016 (2 years ago)
(12065 | Hero) (f)

this days your father cannot tell you to jump and you ask how high rather it will be why should I jump
Reply

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