Happy post humous birthday Oba DVF Olateru -Olagbegi



Today the Olowo of Owo , HIM would have clocked 79.



I am only one ,

But still I am one.

I cannot do everything ,

But still I  can do something ;

And because I cannot do everything  I will not refuse to do  the something that I can do  . (Edward Everett Hale 1822-1909


KABIYESI , I am writing on your birthday because you clocked 79 today.  I can still do something for I cannot do everything as   Edward Everett Hale said.

I received a phone call from my older brother, Professor Rowland Abiodun from Massachusetts, America immediately after the     announcement that   Olowo  of Owo, Oba ( HIM) DVF Olateru -Olagbegi  III  had passed on . The professor asked me what I can say  about the late Olowo , and I described him thus   “He was gentle-spirited with a simple outlook but with a razor-sharp intellect . He was gifted with Solomonic  wisdom. He had the power of a lion but did not use it to revenge .  Though he was grossly misunderstood but whether they  like it or not he left his good  footprints​ behind. He was  quintessential . He had the opportunity to live and act arrogantly.  He had the opportunity to use and  abuse his power . Yet he had no Bodyguards!. He had the opportunity to live a flamboyant lifestyle but he declined it.  He had the power and opportunity to revenge on his  perceived enemies but he chose not to. He was humble that in Church he would remove his cap or crown, dance and kneel down to pray .Compared with some  other Obas  who would not remove their caps or  Crowns in Church giving reasons . But for HIM Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi III, he mixed  freely with people ,I repeat , no Bodyguards!.  He sat on a very powerful throne and was invested with the  royal  authority, academic and influence  yet did not use the power to influence  it  on his own children. With his infectious smile he would tell you  “exercise patient , God’s time is the best”. The professor of African Studies responded with a heavy sigh and  said “learn from that , it is a great opportunity to  have a close relationship with such a powerful , influential with International clout  and a man with robust testimonials  who was closer to God”.

Today as he clocks 79 , and for his posthumous birthday join me  to  shout 79 gbosas to Kabiyesi:Gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa.gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa, gbosa…….Let us celebrate him .Let us  give it to him .No, I  did not say he was super hero. He , when alive did not say he was perfect rather he would tell you that  he was still learning . He would ask you to go to school or learn a trade.

One of Goya’s etchings shows a decrepit old man ,and underneath  are these two words Aun aprendo, meaning  “I am still learning” , this is humility .  the late Olowo of Owo, His Imperial Majesty was humble.He was full of humility.

I remember an incident that happened few years ago at a function  when  a man (names withheld) dragged me, removed  his  shirt then bellowed   “this is my belly full of scars ,  it was ripped open , I was stabbed and almost died .My belly  was stitched  because of  your Monarch.  I will kill you  and nothing would happen. We put him  there and  we can remove him. Why are you defending him everywhere? “. It took the intervention of some people  before I was freed from the man’s iron hand as I was breathing like  Agiliti of the famous Igbo Irumole  of D.O. Fagunwa’s Yoruba novel .When the Monarch heard , he called me and pleaded to me ”exercise patient , just keep your cool and avoid him. Go and write it down this same man would one day repent and beg you”. Few years later the said man   met me  at the  Olowo’s  palace during Igogo festival and  I reminded him what he did .He tendered an apology, and I forgave him. Olowo did not ask  him to be arrested and did not even send for him to ask him but how and who told him I did not know, instead  he preached peace.

The late Olowo of Owo dancing during a thanksgiving service   in Church(no cap on his head)

In one of  my discussions with the late Monarch , he said  “Taiwo , I heard all what they call me but I don’t worry . I  forgive them .You see, many don’t know that I heard all these”.

At a time I was with  the late Olowo when a  young man came to  him to sign some documents for him, he signed all the documents  .The Monarch asked after the welfare of the young man’s father and the young man responded.When he left Kabiyesi said to me  “Taiwo  iba omade yi ee ki mi o’‘( meaning Taiwo , this guy’s father does not greet me o). But why are we troubling ourselves?. Who knows where we would meet or our children would meet in the future?”. What of the Chief who was accused of felling some trees? When I approached and begged  Kabiyesi on his behalf , the Monarch explained intoto. “If he somber and  remorseful I will reinstate him  but I must make sure he showed remorse, and mark you when he is reinstated he will not come to you again, he will even be boasting . Mark my word”. In the end the man’s chieftaincy title was restored and  I did not  hear from him again, while those who contributed to the return of his tittle told me same thing ”. The words of our elders are words of wisdom.

The above stories are true life stories showing the type of  person the late Monarch was.He was a forgiving Man.       

Kabiyesi told me a  case of a young man who took a case to Court , despite  pleading  to him to drop the case, he refused and was obstinate . The Monarch called him and begged him but the young man insisted going further .The Monarch said ” this man does  not know law at all. He is guilty of what he was talking about.He is ignorant about the law he was quoting  but he will fail in  Court , let him continue,  leave him”. Eventually the man failed in High Court , he went to Appeal Court and failed WOEFULLY. When I reminded him another case he tried to stop but the man  was as arrogant as  the Devil ,the Monarch said   “Don’t you read about Pharaoh in the Holy Bible? .God made sure Pharaoh remained  stubborn for him to perish. I knew where it will end from my personal experience and prayer . The more the man  goes further the more he would fail and be disgraced. I pray he goes to the Supreme Court and let me tell you , he will fail and the whole world would hear of  his disgrace. We should learn how to be humble and respect the Monarch no matter how old or young the Monarch is , their words are  powerful for they represent God on earth”, he said.

On Igogo Festival , the late Monarch was  accused that he was more of a Christian and  in God than Culture and this caused some disaffection in the community .When I challenged him on this , he said ” I respect Culture but Taiwo there is nothing like God. God is above all. We would die and leave all these . Jesus is the only Saviour I have  , nothing more!”. He was even ready to be 100 percent in Church …The late king acted like the story ( excerpts from a book) below :

St. Francis , who traveled quite extensively in his missionary work , in 1219 visited Egypt, where he hoped to convert the sultan, al- Malik al- Kamil.The sultan laid a trap for the saint, spreading a carpet decorated  with crosses in front of his divan.”If he treads on the crosses I will accuse him of insulting his God and if he refuses to tread  on the carpet , I will accuse him of insulting me ”. Saint Francis  walked straight onto the carpet , to the jeers of the sultan.”Our Lord was crucified between two thieves ”, said the saint , undisturbed .”We Christians have the True Cross.The crosses of the thieves we have left for you , and I am not ashamed to tread on those.”

When I missed a programme of which I would have traveled with him , the Monarch  said “God’s time is the best.Those who rushed things in their lives things rushed them too. You will be a great man in life. You are a good ambassador of Owo. I thank God for having a son like you”

Today as Kabiyesi clocks 79 , I guess what he would have said and done. I remember  his last Birthday , he called me on phone  and said he was marking his 20th Coronation anniversary, but I could not attend because I was not in the country. But I said “Kabiyesi , make it loud . Let the press cover it. Spending 20years on the throne is not a joke”, he responded ” Ha , Taiwo  there is no need for making it loud.”

But we still need to thank his wife,Yeyesa Ololade  her Queen who was always by his side. Yeyesa a lawyer and a Senior Lecturer at Adekunle Ajasin  University , Akungba. On  phone we relate , we talk . She reminded me yesterday  that Kabiyesi would have been 79 today.I screamed  “79?. How time flies”. She said  “I will light 79 Candles for him”. The Queen reminds me the words of Sir Walter Ralegh ( C 1552-1618) that says

But true love is a durable fire,

In the mind ever burning ,

Never sick,never old, never dead ,

From itself never turning  

For me who he always referred to as “My adopted Son” ,I will celebrate him today. I will light 79 candles for him. I  will pray for him. I will weep . I will pop  Champagne. I will pray for him that God should forgive him his sins. I will weep for those who did not understand him .I will drink Champagne to celebrate him for he clocked 79 and was a successful Monarch.  He has left the world .He has done his part and left the rest for us to continue.

For those who continue  to criticize him let me remind them John 8:7 where many people wanted to throw stones at a woman who was accused  of adultery but Jesus said ” He that is without sin among you let him first cast a stone at her ”.

Wherever you are Kabiyesi, I am shouting Happy birthday to you and many happy returns. I know one day your statue will be erected  as your name has been added to the ancestors ; Olowo Ojugbelu,Imade, Kodo, Agbologo , Odondon Omasan, Aladetohun, Ataneye , Ogunoye I, Olagbegi II …..to Olagbegi III.

Happy posthumous birthday.

Why Americans love African food-Kofo Osun

African Palace 

Parked at the frontage  of the Restaurant  are fleet of  exotic cars . On the facing board of the  building  is a  big   signboard  and boldly  written on it is    AFRICAN PALACE   RESTAURANT &  BAR . While the artworks of  Caribbean   Cuisine  artistically displayed  on the door  could make one  salivate as one glances at the  artwork .

Assorted wine glasses  , Wines and Whiskies at the Bar Section

A quick glimpse of the restaurant  welcomes you to the well -designed and well- arranged banquet hall .The Restaurant furniture  in the Banquet Hall are well -crafted   wooden chairs. The beautiful sparkling lightnings brightens the Palace  coupled  with different  disco colors that would  remind you the Children’s rhythms of Twinkle , Twinkle Little Star…... The lights are all sparkling and producing  different  colors with  effects .The sittings are  well arranged  and  colorful  while the aroma of their food wafted in  the air as the sliding door to the kitchen was slightly opened.

Looking around one could see people of different nationalities , of different colors  and races asking for African food!.African food?, Yes! with  affordable prices. No wonder  African -Americans are yearning to go to Africa their fatherland  from where their ancestors came from.What makes African Palace Restaurant   tick is a four letter word : L…..O….V …..E  for African Food .

BoN during an interview with Osun


At the  Bar section  are assorted drinks (not Ogogoro) , in fact the  bottles are of  different shapes and colors  while the contents are of different colors and taste.  A self- professed Born Again Christian who claims

Bayo Ogunmolawa, Gboyega Agaun, Kofo Osun, Chief Gboyega Aruwajoye (late) and Mrs. Kike Osun at African Palace during an engagement

he does  not take  alcohol  could be tempted  if he glances at these well –   designed  bottles or could be  attracted by the  beautiful colored contents calling his  attention to  gulp a  pint. Not only this the Wines also could make  one  ask for more with the way the  well- crafted bottles  with different designs  are displayed .

On the shelves are  Vodka,Gin, Rum, Tequila, Whiskey,Brandy, Beer, Vermouth,Mezcal,Irish Whiskey,Pisco, Canadian Whiskey,Schnapps among others. What of the glass cups ? A set of over 150 wine glasses  are beautifully  arranged upside down under cabinet   and the  setting  could make you beg  to be arranged along with it! .Yes, they are  on top hanging , shining., but no, they will not fall off!…That is African Palace for you, where everything is enticing or attractive.

Prince Agaun at African Palace

According to Prince  Gboyega Agaun ( aka LOBO)  who describes the beauty of  the Bar  and said the setting of the wine glasses alone  could make one ‘commit’ if one is a non -drinker , he added ” In African Palace you have different types of Glass wine like Cabernet, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Zinfandel Pinort Noir , Rose and Chardonnay  which are meant for different types of wines like White, Red , Sparkling and Rose wines.You see, I love hearing the clinking of these wine glasses which thrills me” , Agaun said as he was counting them on his finger tips .  The Prince  who has been patronizing the restaurant for years is from Owo  in Ondo State , Nigeria . He said  ” this is where we entertain visitors from Nigeria, United Kingdom and all over the world , it is a super and good place to be , and I mean it because you would be satisfied with all what you need ”

Engineer Samson Adekunle  Obanigba who has spent over 30 years  in America  and now in St.Louis said he  does not bring visitors here to entertain only  but also  sees  African Palace as a place for   business meetings.He said ”apart from eating here this place is also used for  Club meetings ,  engagements ,ceremonies   and parties.  My  sister In-law used this Hall to   to celebrate   her birthday , so also my mother in law .


This  place is a good place to be  with their neatness and high standard of good quality food , it is super excellent “.

The Engineer continued ”Here at  African palace  you will smell local soup ( Obe  Oogun, Obe Koowu, Obe itogho, Obe Efo, efo riro, pepper soup with Owo ingredients ). Here you see Amala, fufu, eba, iyan, rice, beans, dodo, among others and different types of fish. African Palace is like a good palm wine for  customers who visits   .After all a good palm wine needs no advertisement!”.

No wonder the name African Palace Restaurant is popular in St.Louis , State of Missouri in America.The name African Palace is synonymous with Kofo Osun. When you mention African Palace then they will mention Kofo or Koffi. The moment you enter African Palace you have  arrived your native land  or  home!. If you are from any tribe in Africa then walk in and ask for your menu. A man from Osun state  in Nigeria who begs for anonymity said ” I come here every Wednesday to take home  Oka  with Obe gbegiri also called abula. I am from Ogbomoso in Nigeria. The food here is fantastic and I no longer  miss home again”. Julius (surname withheld) is another  customer that patronizes the restaurant, he is  from Benin in Nigeria .Julius said ” I eat ogha, ogbonno , along with periwinkles and pounded yam here infact this  place is a -must for lovers of African food,this place is home away from home. A South African man who visits African Palace said ” I fall in love with their suya, the way Koffi ( Kofo) prepares it  is spicy , it is delicious. ”

The moment  you step into African Palace you have ‘arrived’ African soil as you would meet all tribes in Africa, like Yoruba, Hausa, Ibo , South, East and North  Africans , but the reason is not far fetched for you would  see  African food such as Eba, Iyan , Amala and other African food. What of soup? They have all kinds from okra soup, vegetable, Egunsi, ogbonno, Ogha, Ugba, and other African soups cum  ponmo, bush meat, snail, assorted fish and the orisirisi  ( assorted meat) .

Bob Marley’s portrait


Yes the restaurant is always   full and busy from Tuesday to Sunday. On Friday night the workers are as busy as bees . Why? the answer is it is Reggae Night. On Friday you are welcome to the DJ lightnings as  one could see the disco ball  or mirror ball or glitter ball which reflects lights  in many directions. The   Dee Jay is ever  ready to give you all  types of Reggae music(Roots, Rock , Makkosa, Punky)  with his electronic base speakers  booming from all corners of the dancing Hall. African Palace  have the latest Reggae Music in the world.Here Jamaican and Reggae Music  lovers are seen with their dreadlocks swinging on their shoulders  or descending  down their backs while you heard  them speaking their patois .They greet you shouting  One love with their clenched fists , or give knuckles touches as a greeting while others would scream Jah Rastafari . Attend  a  Friday Reggae  night and you would beg the Dee Jay not to stop the  music.

While Waiters, Waitresses go  around with smile asking customers what they would like to order from the menu , carry out is also available.

Ronnie Jones describes African Palace thus “I love African Palace . I had never  tasted  African food  before now.  One of my co-workers suggested I tried  it out for he  always bring African food in for himself. Not only this , their Suya  is a specially prepared meat is quite good. Taste their food and you will come back again”, I must have it at least twice a week the African -American who married a Nigerian boasted, and added ”  I enjoy the Friday Reggae Night, this is a place I always go to defuse my tension and relax by dancing to several Reggae music”


A  visitor  from Nigeria  came  looking for one Kofo Osun for a  private discussion . One of  the Servers   asked him  to exercise patience .The visitor was shocked when  he was introduced to the man who had been serving   customers and  pacing ups and downs, the visitor could not believe.Why? He expected  the manager to be in his office, shouting and  commanding .’That is the  Koffi  you are looking for , the owner of the African Palace.”

The visitor was shocked to his bone marrow seeing the Managing Director serving .Unlike in Nigeria where the owner would cross his legs wining and  be ordering and supervising his workers , but for Kofo, he along  with his co-workers worked side by side and crack jokes.

Kofo is a man of few words. While some call him Brother, others call him Uncle ,but he is called ”Koffi” by Americans, African-Americans , Indians, Mexicans and other nationalities,  who pronounce his name Kofo as Koffi , a Ghanaian name. But whether you call him Koffi or Kofo he does not blink an eye , he would only tell you that ”that is how they can pronounce it ”. Kofo is from Owo, Ondo State , Nigeria.

Kofo  is about five foot 10 inches tall. He is handsome and with an oval face .He is  charming and loving .He smiles always  like a man who wins millions of dollars from Casino always .Yes, some call him a Philanthropist , others call him a role model.He is approachable as many testified and gave testimonies of his generosity  .


When approached , he with full smile started his story “I have  spent 32 years  here in America and I thank  God for His mercies on me”.He continued as he gave reasons why he established the Restaurant, Why he named it African Palace, his love for his home town and why he established a sister African Palace in Akure , Ondo State , Nigeria.The  reason behind his Friday Reggae Night , .Listen to him in this video.

Moremi was from Offa- Biodun Duro- Ladipo

Reporter’s Diary

My journey to Moremi’s place

Taiwo Abiodun recounts his efforts to interview  Chief ( Mrs) Biodun Duro – Ladipo ( aka Moremi) wife of the late Chief Duro Ladipo in Ibadan  that lasted four months .

In the Bus , on my way to Ibadan 

    For months a lot of phone calls were made to book an appointment for an  interview with Chief ( Mrs) Biodun Duro – Ladipo. Her son, Yomi Duro -Ladipo who was the link made effort too but the goddess was still in America when the calls were made.However, she promised to talk to this reporter whenever she is back.

A call came -in three months later that Mama was back. I was excited and  traveled from Owo to Ibadan to their residence at Bode Wasimi, behind NTA in Ibadan  . But lo and behold she was not there. According to the tenants , Mama  was no longer living there as she has relocated to her son’s house . I was disappointed .I was dispirited .When did she relocate? .I had been there to interview her few years ago. Another appointment was scheduled.

At the Oyo State’s Secretariat, Ibadan

Will my journey from Owo to the City of Seven Hills be in vain?. What would I write in my website taiwoabiodun.com everybody was anxiously waiting for? . What would I feed into my page everybody was salivating for?. Why did I do the promo?.  Many thoughts  ran through my mind. Well, to kill boredom I went round the ancient city to  feed my eyes. I went to the University of Ibadan Bookshop to purchase some of the late Oladejo Okediji’s Yoruba novels. I  also visited  the University of  Ibadan Zoological garden to feed my eyes ,there I saw animals like Lions , hyenas, snakes and where the popular Gorilla’s  ( Aruna ) body  was mummified.

At Agodi Gardens , BoN feeding a Baboon

When Aruna died many were sad because the animal used to entertain visitors , years later it was mummified with a short story . I went to have a look at the historical Bower’s Tower constructed by a British , Captain Lister Bower who came to oversee and control the affairs of Yorubaland  in the 1800s. From the Tower   one could see the whole Ibadan from their rustic iron roofings , yes , this story is for another day. I visited the dreaded  Agala  Forest where people were killed and bodies dumped in the 60s .The Forest  was known for ritual killings and criminal activities in the 60s. My adventure took me to Ogunpa Market which was popular for its flood ( Omiyale ) in the 80s that destroyed houses and swept away goods worth millions of naira, in fact many musicians waxed a record about   it. I was at Oke Mapo ( Mapo Hall) to see the historic buildings built by the Colonial masters . I visited the State’s Secretariat. I went to the popular Oje Market which is over 500 years in existence  and known for selling Yoruba local fabrics and where a mysterious crocodile is being kept . I spoke with many market women  and an old man who claimed he saw dead people  or spirits (?). I visited the popular Yoruba  Poet Pa Olatunbosun Oladapo of Aroye Akewi whose Books were used by secondary school students in the 70s to date at the popular Shopping complex along Ibadan/ Lagos expressway .

A Lioness at the University of Ibadan Zoological garden

I was at the University  College  Hospital ( UCH) Ibadan …I was told the Teaching  Hospital  has lost its  past glory . I wanted to interview some of the doctors but there was no time again .I was at Orita Mefa , Agbowo Shopping Complex. I saw the statue of the dreaded woman , Efunsetan Aniwura the Iyalode of Ibadan who was not favored by history , she was said to be wicked . I went closer to her and wanted to ask why they  now honoured her  since she was alleged to be wicked . Hypocrisy , in my mind . I soliloquized,   her own people forgot her good deeds but for a singular sin  she committed she was hated. I wanted to ask her why she  killed Adetutu and Itawuyi -two of her slaves , that caused the public uproar in her days and made   her  to commit suicide .I went to Efunsetan where she was standing and  touched the mystical juju gourds  tied on her biceps and the powerful scepter she was holding,but when I remembered it was a statue I was disappointed .I had wanted to  ask the officers at the  Cultural Centre why her statue was shifted from Orita Challenge its former place to Ring Road .

At  Agodi Gardens  I saw Baboons in their cages, I stretched out my hand to one of them and called him ‘my brother’.But I couldn’t stay long for when I heard the roaring  of a lion , I thought it was behind me and I quickly left not minding the gate fee I paid .The fact is that the place was not taken care of as many complained , and what if this  lion escape from the  cage ?. Infact when I remembered the Prophet who was ‘armed’ with his Bible  years back and went into the den of lions  and tried to lay his hands on the beast but met his Waterloo, I quickly turned back as when I heard a voice saying Babalawo Of the Nation pada sile ( Babalawo Of the Nation go back home ).Again I heard another voice in OWO dialect saying iyi wo gho’ran yi ti to, ya d’ehin s’uli( You have fed your eyes enough , go back home). I quickly went back home, after all a word is enough for the wise.

At the University of Ibadan  Zoological Gardens

When I woke up in the middle of the  night   the panegyrics or praise of Ibadan came to mind

Ibadan Omo a je igbin yoo ,

Omo a fi ikarahun fori mu.

Ibadan maja-maja bii tojo kini ,

Eyi  too ja aladugbo gbogbo logun …..

Ibadan kii ba ni sore ai mu ni s’ogun…,

Ibadan beere ki o to woo,

Nibi Ole gbe njare Olohun,

Omo Ibadan ti ko jale roju ni

Bi Ibadan gbonile bee lo ngbalejo …..


I visited Oyo State Cutural Centre

Again,  in the morning  I made another phone call. Yomi Duro- Ladipo tendered an apology for not telling me where his mother was , and again booked an appointment and the place  is a new site in Ibadan.I started a long journey into the belly of the largest city in West Africa, the city of Ogunmola the Generalissimo of Ibadan . Ibadan where the thief is not guilty but the owner. My journey to Mama’s place took three hours , after taking many rides on Okada and Bus  I arrived  there .Immediately she sighted me  , she knew I came for her, but another bombshell as she humbly told me  she was not properly informed  of my mission  and another appointment was booked .


Moremi was from Offa- Biodun Duro- Ladipo 


Moremi’s Statue at Ooni of Ife Palace

Chief Biodun Duro -Ladipo is a very popular and respectable theatre Artiste in Yoruba land.She is also called Oya, Moremi .She spoke with taiwoabiodun.com

……The story behind Bode Wasimi 

….Duro Ladipo used to appear to me

….Moremi Ajasoro  was from Offa

……Duro Ladipo’s role during the Civil War



As the ivory -faced and silvery -haired with fair -skinned septuagenarian Artiste who with her velvet voice rendered two of her songs from her Plays : Moremi and Oya , her  complete set of whitening dentition showed as she rocked on the chair she sat upon .As she sang , the living room’s atmospheric condition   changed , the whole place suddenly became quiet as if we were at River Esinrinmi where Oluorogbo ( the only  child of Moremi ) was sacrificed in Ile -Ife .

One  could feel the chill breath of that day  blowing , this  reporter developed goose pimples as there was  an eerie stillness in the house. Again , there was crimson on the brows of this fair woman’s face as she rendered that thought -provoking and emotional song that could make the strong become jelly and lily -livered. Her song which was melodic and tuneful could make sympathizers shed tears  when the voice of Moremi whose only child, Oluorogbo was heard before the innocent boy was sacrificed to Esinrinmi River with tears rolling down from her mother’s cheeks .She sang:

Moremi Ajasoro (2times)

Omo o fun mi ma ma gba o,

ewure o fun mi ma ma gba o,

Moremi Ajasoro…


When she finished the song , she shook her head,  burst  into a prolonged laughter and said ” I acted the role of Moremi Ajasoro who was the wife of an Ife Monarch .The story of Moremi is the story of how Moremi gave herself away to be captured by the Igbo Monarch  and as a spy got the secrets of their  enemies ( the Igbo) and gained freedom for Ife .This is the story of a woman called Moremi Ajasoro who rescued Ife from being plundered by  the Igbo.She made a  vow  to sacrifice her only son to Esinrinimi river if Ife people conquered the  Igbo and she painfully  and dearly paid for it as she fulfilled her vow. In  those days there were actors and we did a lot of research  before ever going to stage any play .We  traveled  to many countries like Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, America .In actual fact  we toured the world, we toured , irin nbe ,l’ese alajo”.

Moremi ‘s Statue  at Ooni of Ife Palace


Chief Biodun  said her late husband , Duro Ladipo was a school teacher when he started his Mbari Mbayo Theatre Group , “he loved culture and tradition but that does not mean he was a traditional worshiper , there is a big difference between Culture and Religion, whatever you bowed to is what you worship but culture and tradition is a different thing entirely. God says you should worship Him .Duro’s father was a Catechist, Duro was conversant with the Bible, he knew Genesis to Revelation.

“Infact I have been acting for him in his Mbari Mbayo Theatre Group before we got married..I am happy to say God used him for me and it is vice versa”.


Asked to describe her late husband , Moremi  as she is popularly known and called screamed  ” Ah , my husband ? , he  was a giant man, very tall .He was tall and handsome ,he did not bend .He was not a lazy man. Ha!, he was a very strong and powerful man. He  was a loving man. He loved helping people. He always wanted to assist people. I remember during the Nigeria Civil war , I remember this very well, then we used to play in Obisesan Hall, in the University of Ibadan .He would take the money realized from plays to the soldiers at the war front .  Yes , here I am  telling you ., then at home we would eat whatever we saw  .He has done many things to assist people , he assisted the disabled that is the kind of a person he was.He knew his job. He loved people , he was respectful, he respected all the Monarchs ,as young as he was he would sit at their feet and they were ready to assist him then”.


But does he see him in her dream or ….t he reporter asked this question which she quickly hijacked and responded “He used to come. I remember a woman came one day and said she is a prayer warrior ,  Aladura  and wanted to pray for me .I who used to pray for me .I then advised her and said ‘ Is your husband a pastor and she said no,I now told her to quickly go back home for only God that can assist human being . And she said my husband has come , but I  told her that my husband would deal with any humna being that would come here to harm me.Yes, he appears to me  and  defends me ”


Reminded that at her age, she still retains her beauty , the woman then burst  into laughter and said ” It is God’s beauty  and a gift from God .It is different from artificial one. It will not fade , may be that was what Duro saw in me  then.My husband was on my neck when he was dating me because I told him I could not marry him because  he was older than me . He  came to me   one afternoon, I was surprised because he was very old , very older than me . I was afraid . He used to say that I was born when he started teaching , and that means he was much older than me . He once said  ‘you this lady if you refused to marry me I would report you to God because you will not let me get to where God destined me to be’. I burst into tears and said I was not  his mother , but he knew why he married me.That was why it was difficult for me to marry another man, it was a vow, no man can be like him, none. No man can do it”.


For this goddess, she can never forget the fight she fought over their land before they could settle down at Bode Wasimi . According to her , the Duro Ladipo Group used the place which was a forest then as their location . It was this place we used as location , where we were acting. There was no road leading to the place , we  constructed the road , it was a forest then. The land where   Basorun High School is built or occupied today was  firstly sold to  us .When we learnt that they had resold the land and wanted to refund the money to us , I rejected it .You see , the land speculators had  sold our land to two people , they now returned our money and but we rejected it . I told them that we were not going to collect the money until they later allocated another place for us and that was where we had our building today. And the area is called Bode Wasimi . The story of Bode Wasimi was  based on the advent of Christianity , that is why we called the place Bode Waasimi , and this was a place where my husband decided to be a resting place for him.


While many would swear to high heavens that they would not marry their spouse again if they come back to this world , but it  is not the case with Biodun, when asked whether she would marry Duro Ladipo if they meet again, she declared “Yes” to the great Artiste in case they met in future , she without mincing words replied “Yes, I will marry him if there is reincarnation because he kept to his words and promises”.


Mama frowns against the misuse of the two words -Christianity and Culture, and  said “there are lots of differences , Culture is knowing one’s source, origin and the type of person one is and what we bow down for is God , they are not the same thing, though they look alike but not the same thing ”, she argued .She continued ” He who created us , we know , this is the Creator and we will bow down for him and whatever He asked us to do we should be ready to do it. But Culture is to know where we were born, how we act here is different from other places . that is the differences.


For Mama,  she is a Born Artiste  therefore  you cannot remove her symbol or signature from her which is her hairstyle. She said  “the type of hairstyle  on my head is called Moremi Ajasoro, while Oya style is different too. Moremi was a woman and a Queen , It is the story of Moremi , she was from Offa. Look at a woman’s journey . May God be with them.I acted the role of Moremi in the play when she went to rescue the Ife from the Igbo”


Asked to act one of her roles in  Moremi’s play she acted , she accepted and immediately her countenance changed as  she  transformed into the Moremi , she gazed straight into this  reporter’s eyes as  her eye balls rolled in their sockets,and strange voice came out from the goddess thus

N’wora o kete Ufe ,

Aije aimu ogede ibaje nse wi lee pon

Aye dori kodo

Se la mu le ponti , la f’ona rooka …..

Ka ‘kara see dehin akayin e si degungun bayi? Heen, e wa nkan se si..



We started the ANTP, Problems we encountered, my mother, When Duro  died etc