Where I was last Sunday


……………Ha!  See  where I was last Sunday

 ………….Festival of Nations  in St. Louis , Missouri 

………..Looking  for my effigy , Ere Ibeji 

At the Festival of Nations


    Festival of Nations celebrating

Spectators at the event




Looking for Ere Ibeji  (Twins Effigy) 


WATCHING from  afar off one could see a sea of heads at the Park. On the stage were dancers and drummers doing what they know best. The Drummers who were in green ,red and yellow color costume  exhibited their skills as they  beat traditional   drums like Djembe,  Conga  ,  Bata,  BougarabouNgoma, and the Ashiko. The   Conga drummer  displayed his dexterity while the  Djembe  drummer  too  used all his energy to do justice to the drum. The  female dancers were the cynosure of all  eyes as they danced their hearts out while the audience was electrified  by their powerful performance .  A  Rastafarian  was  prancing around while another woman was  dancing and mimicking one 0f the dancers  as  her  dreadlocks were dangling like pendulum . This was  last Sunday at  one of the activities lined up for  FESTIVAL of  NATIONS . Festival of Nations is an annual food and entertainment festival hosted by the International Institute non-profit organization in St. Louis, Missouri.

Drummers doing their job  

Visitors  were   mooching around where antiques, artefacts ,woven cloths and  crafts  were displayed  for sale.  Those who were hungry went  to where assorted Continental foods were being sold . Some   were  walking  up and down feeding their eyes . Couples   held  themselves tightly as if   kidnappers   were after   their partners .Some  were seen munching ,some dancing to the music blaring from the  speakers  that were strategically positioned  at the venue. Some  went into  a frenzy    jumping  and wriggling their waists while some sat on the bare floor watching the dancers on the stage  and while  some  of course  were busy selling or  purchasing products of all kinds.  As a matter of fact no one stood still as they were all busy doing one thing or the other .While some  came for window shopping .

Some of the Chinese  art works

Before you say Jack Robinson  I had  buried myself in the midst of the crowd  and joined both  the professional and amateur  Camera men  leaving Ronnie at a Hawaiian Cuisine place   .Cameras of  different types   were  sighted as both professionals and amateurs were busy doing the job;  Selfitis  were not left out as    they were  taking shots and  posting them  on  social media. the annual Festival Of Nations  united them  at Tower Grove  Park, St. Louis , Missouri.

Drummers at work


Different Sculptures, statues, carvings  were  displayed for sale. Some of these are  as old as the creation. Some   had  seen ages while some  are as old as the hills. Many had decayed and  become  fragile . Some  of these artworks   have seen ages while some too have become Methusela.

Abiodun at  …..

All kinds of foods  in the continent were displayed from  local food to continental food .  Chinese, Indian, American, African, Hawaiian food, American  were all available. The more you looked at them  the more you are  salivating as the aroma would not let you  be.

Abiodun inspecting some of the artworks 



Different cars  were parked  at  various locations at the venue  .Rules of parking were  not violated to my  surprise ,anyway violators would be issued tickets. The roads were jammed packed . It was the day I knew Arts and Culture is a Universal language. It was another day I knew  Lovers of Arts are allover the world  as the venue of the Festival of Nations  was jampacked by different nationalities.

Our journey to Festival of all Nations started when  Ronnie’s phone rang and her younger sister, Renata Macintosh  told her there was a festival going on at the  Park in St. Louis . Oh my God , what were we waiting for?

I refused to bath. Walaitalai I  didn’t  bath for I didn’t want to waste time. . Church ? Walaitalai , I shelved church for I would still meet  Church next time. But this festival is an annual one . All festivals were aborted last year because of COVID. Ronnie knew how crazy I am about Culture. She dressed up and that was how we forfeited our breakfast  and lunch that Sunday.

Armed with my camera and other gadgets we drove to the park. At first Ronnie was  upset when  she could not find where to park .

  get Infact there was no place to park as she  was burning the  gas  going forth and back looking for  space. I begged her to exercise patient  that last year  nothing happened due to COVID .Luckily we got a place to park and lo and behold a truck was leaving and we quickly  pullover and parked .

Suddenly my stomach was  producing rumbling sound .I was hungry. It was  then  I knew I had not eaten . Ronnie now remembered she had not had her breakfast as we were both hungry.

Taiwo Abiodun looking for what to  eat


The place  could be compared   to  the cemetery where one would meet fresh and dried bones. When I sighted all these arts and crafts , and seeing ‘heads’ I started looking for twins’ effigy. I saw most of the artworks I saw in Nigeria . I asked  the Gallerist about his materials . The young man  gave us the price. He said ” this one is 200 dollars , it is an antique”, I was shocked for the said antique was old and already decaying . I believe it must have seen ages. When I tried to touch it , Ronnie warned ” please don’t let it break ”.

I frantically searched for ” Ere Ibeji” Twins effigy .But I was not   sure of what they  were. Ha!  I asked myself where all these African artworks come from. Africans are rich in Culture , this I am proud to say.

We left the art market and went round looking for where we can see Nigeria food but what we were seeing were Togolese, Liberian, Hawaiian, Kenya etc food.

Ronnie had wanted to eat pounded yam ( Iyan ) with egunsi  soup and  vegetable (efo riro) or  okra (ila asepo)  but none of these were seen. And we settled  for snacks .


It was fun as we went round  and saw all races at the venue. The festival united them all.

Back home in the evening I started ruminating over what I saw in the morning . I  was happy and satisfied that I got all these pictures and stories.

Next Sunday I will go to church . The church will not run away but   next year is another time for the festival. I know they will say all the arts and crafts are idols. I know they will look down on all these artworks saying they are not for Christian but have forgotten that there is a big different between Religion and Culture.


Meet the most popular and powerful man in Oshogbo


Taiwo Abiodun with Esuleke 

…….Politicians should swear with god of iron

…….As a Councilor  I didn’t steal money 

…….. I finished reading Bible and Koran in 1955

………Why they call me The Boy


In Oshogbo , Osun State, he is one of the most popular Community leaders .He is loved, feared and respected because of his faithfulness, truthfulness, humility and sincerity .To liars and dishonest people the  Community leader is not loved after all the Yoruba proverb says Olooto eniyan ko n’leni. He is fearless, blunt and speaks the truth , according to him, Esu Deity  does not love a liar and unfaithful person. He care less  about  worldly materials .He assists the needy and in his own way a Philanthropist .That is the life of a six footer  Pa Omokayode Idowu Esuleke  .Esuleke who worships Esu in Oshogbo. He is the Baale of Esu . He professes Esu as his religion. He worships Esu as a god  .His mien and his manners continually expresses    him as an important personage.

Esuleke lives in a  bungalow with his family. On his table are various  books he has published . In some corners of  his house are oil lamps burning , and these lamps  must not quench!.

Going round the the compound is a botanical garden where he planted  shrubs, herbs and roots meant for his profession . There are some    clay pots  on fire where he  produces some of his traditional medicine because he heals as a Traditional doctor .

As he was strolling around on that day  with this reporter the  shouts of The Boy! The Boy!! rent the air, as both the young and the old greeted him. In response, the  highly respected septuagenarian  responded by waving  back. In Oshogbo Community he is loved, respected and honored.  He is   versatile in his field and     the academic  community  had  honoured  him  with the titles of Professor and Doctor. He is and loved by his community. He is  popular and humble .He is kind and a man with large heart. He does not  believe  in lying  or deceit no wonder he is feared by unscrupulous  and people with shady character and loved by honest and sincere people. That is the man, the Baale of Esu in Oshogbo, Pa Omokayode Idowu Esuleke who is the Baale Esu Agbojeniyi of Oshogbo land. He  is the head of all Esu and Egungun worshippers , and   Chairman Board of Traditional Council in Oshogbo. He is well respected and revered .   While everybody was swearing an oath with Holy Bible and Koran Esuleke who was to be sworn in as a Councillor sworn with Ogun , the Yoruba god of Iron .

Esuleke showing his Clay pots and shrubs ,  discussing with Taiwo Abiodun  


Pa Esuleke said his father  had 23 wives while his mother was the last wife , however Esuleke whose mother was the last wife (23rd) emerged to be the first and only surviving child of the large family.
Esuleke said  his parents were traditional  worshipers , he said ” my father was  powerful  physically and spiritually .He too was the Baale Esuleke , he worshiped Esu . He  married 23 wives and my mother was the last wife. While I am the first and only  surviving child .My late father was so powerful that if  he sent  any of his wives  on errands to fetch water and the woman  felt reluctant  she would have a miscarriage .Or when my father was   angry and only say  ‘Ha! me?’ to any of his wives the woman would suffer miscarriage. But when my mother conceived , a powerful Juju man was consulted and he revealed to them who and the manner of human being I would be. The man asked  my  parents to  give me the name , Esuleke .I inherited the worshiping Esu from my father , he was the (Spiritual head)  Baale Esu , and  Esu worshiper”.

Taiwo Abiodun with Esuleke


Some years back , the old man , Esuleke caused a stir ; when he was to be sworn- in as a Counsellor  in Oshogbo, while other political officers – to – be demanded for the Holy Bible and Holy Koran to swear an oath with but Mr. Omokayode Idowu Esuleke’s case  was different as he shocked everybody when he demanded for cutlass which symbolizes Ogun , the Yoruba god of iron , this was at the swearing -in ceremony of  public officers  when he was among the Councilors  to be sworn -in , in Oshogbo , Osun State few years back .Esuleke rejected the  Holy Bible and  Holy Koran when he was asked to pick , he then opted for  a cutlass .He told this reporter  ” I believe in the Yoruba gods that are effective unlike Holy Books that are slow to react , punish or easily forgive  so  when we were asked to swear an oath I demanded for Ogun the Yoruba  god of Iron , and I was given a cutlass to swear with to the amazement of others .Throughout my tenure in the Council in Oshogbo I  did not steal a kobo while my action forced others to be  loyal, and money was not missed or  reportedly got lost .The record is there  , you can ask”, these were the words of a Septuagenarian who also bears a fearful name , Esuleke ( from Esu) as he said he worships Esu and he is the Baale Esu in Oshogbo.

For Esuleke ,his hair had covered his facial marks which could not let him be easily recognized .Esuleke is popular   among his colleagues and among the youths In Oshogbo , he is known and called ‘ The Boy’, but in real sense of it he is a grandfather but  because he plays with everybody thus  his humility earns him the nickname ‘ The Boy‘, he is a man of the people and  like a drama  as he goes about one could see young men and women greeting him and calling him ‘ The Boy’ which did not annoy him but instead thrills him as he would wave his hands  in response .Asked why he called himself ‘The Boy’, Esuleke  said he does not believe he is old , ” whoever claims to be an old man will not enjoy the support of the people, and whoever is looking for his mate should go to the cemetery”, he stated with a laughter .

In his bungalow which is made of mud-bricks are burning oil lamps that will never quench as the flames go up in all the corners and rooms , he said , pointing ” This is one of the Shrines of Esu , we also have that of Masquerade .While we have other pots where we prepare our herbs too. My compound is full”, he said as he was showing this reporter his  Botanical garden .

To be continued ……

What happened to me in Owo, Lagos and Branson!


No bottled palm wine or gourd hung on the tree or displayed  on the table to advertise  her product ,  palm wine  .There was no signboard or any sign post to show the way to Mama Elemu’s place. By 10 am  on that Saturday her shop at Idashen  , Owo  had been jam packed  by   customers who wanted to eat  cornmeal (egidi) or pounded yam, bush meat  and to drink palm wine.

How did they know they sell locally brewed palm wine here for there is no  bottled palm wine  hung on the tree and no gourds (akemgbe ) of palm wine hung on the tree as some used to .Yes ,that is the practice – from distance one could see bottled palm wine or an empty gourd of palm wine hanging loosely advertising  that ‘palm wine is being sold here’!. No wonder , the Yoruba proverb that a good palm wine does not need an advertisement.


Chief Adewale, Mama Elemu and BoN during the interview

For the Owo natives who love palm wine  this place is their choice. For visitors this place is where they would enjoy their evening with full satisfaction. For Owo  natives in diaspora especially those  who   live in Chicago, Illinois, Texas, California,Las Vegas,Missouri , Carolina or Washington DC   the moment they landed in Owo ,they would all go straight to Mama Elemu’s place in Idashen. If you live in  the European countries   and come to Owo your  enjoyment is not complete if you have not been  here to  taste the undiluted palm wine called aroso.

BoN eating egidi with local soup

Emu abiwarapa  abito fun fun lenu ‘ emu lawa nmu , Ero ya wa me mu oo.

Elemu nget on Ka ma rise …

Se kan ko mi ko tun sekan kora re ka jo maa mu loo

When this reporter got there he burst into  Kegites songs , singing while eating the  cornmeal (egidi) wrapped in a leaf  with local soup (obe oogun) and egunsi soup .The  fresh bush meat ( grass cutter and antelope ) were cut into pieces and tied with strings to avoid falling off. Seeing how she displayed the bush meat in a special pot  could make a customer be salivating !

Chief  Niyi Adewale a popular radio presenter described the place thus”Mama’s palm wine is as sweet as honey.She does not  advertise her product but her product advertise  itself!.Her palm wine is original. It  is not diluted and if she does not have to sell she would not sell.!

She is  very neat and at her age, in her 80s   she  still possessed good retentive memory. She is jovial ,she  loves visitors and sell what you can hardly find in other places.Yes, she sells bush meat, fresh and undiluted palm wine.


As she alighted from the cab, the driver assisted her to offload two rubber kegs of palm wine , all  ‘foaming’ from the mouth. The aroma wafted in the air and immediately the customers stopped to drink the water they held in their hands  and rushed towards the octogenarian woman asking to be served .This is Mama Elemu.

She is a woman of few words , she said “My name is Bako Rachael, I am over 80years .I have been selling palm wine for the past 50 years.I am well known in OWO.I sell original palm wine .From the proceeds of the my business  I have trained my children in school and have a roof over my head” .She continued ” I sell bush meat and with local soup and use leaves to wrap my pounded yam or cornmeal and their  taste is different from the ones wrapped with a nylon and kept in a cooler.Big men come here to buy my Palm wine and food”, she said as she was cleaning the leaves to be used to wrap the cornmeal.

As she brought out the drums of palm wine  and one could see the palm wine ‘foaming’ from the mouth and the body  of the container ‘sweating ‘ too.

Ask her for a cup of palm wine, she will tell you ”My palm wine is a special one.I don’t dilute it .I also sell bush meat with native soup [obe oogun] that goes along with egidi (cornmeal). Yes, you are at home for she will not put the egidi in nylon but wrapped in a  green leaf  , as everything is local.


When I  got to Lagos in the evening and   brought out the five litres of  palm wine I  bought  along  with the bush meat  and I entertained my friends with it and we    started    dancing and singing . The evening gathering was turned to Tales by Moonlight as friends told  stories and the most interesting one was why  an empty palm wine  gourd should not be  placed sitting like  the full one . I  told them  the story behind it “One day Ogun was coming from the farm , and the sun was hot , very hot. Ogun was thirsty , very thirsty. Ogun  passed a palm wine joint ,passed a palm wine joint( repeat)   but was neither greeted nor invited for a drink by  these drinkards , and this was according to the instruction and rule that there should not be greetings at that Ajo Oriki Spot, and this was according to Ogun’s instruction too!.  While   Ogun moved on but suddenly  he heard them laughing hysterically. Ogun thought he was been mocked . In annoyance Ogun went back to these drinkards and beheaded all the nine .As he finished the  massacre he sat  down to drink from the ‘sitting’ palm wine gourds.But lo and behold , all were empty , but the deed has been done. Ogun lamented.He regretted his action. and since then he  instructed all palm wine drinkers to always place the empty gourd lying down”.

As I finished the story shouts of Babalawo  of the Nation (BoN), Bobo T, T Bobo, Babalawo of the World (BoW) , Babalawo of the Universe (BoU) rent the air .



My head in bandage

A I opened my eyes at the hospital bed  I discovered my head had been bandaged as well as my nose  and my  left eye. The surgeon said my skull had cracked .My left eye was to be replaced with artificial eye.My left hand was as heavy as lead  and  in   plaster of Paris ( POP) .Will I be able to move the hand again? Will I regain my eyes again?.I looked at the doctor and broke into tears.I am finished ,I soliloquized. I looked up and saw Intravenous Fluid (IV)  hanging loosely  .Haa! , my  right leg had been ‘decorated’ with Plaster of Paris (POP), and according to the doctor ,the right leg  has fracture  and it may  be amputated. My head is ringing like a church bell .I did not know when I said ‘Kai   my  enemies had eventually captured me’.

What happen? When and how did I get here?.All I could remember  was when I was in my  velvet suits and  at a gathering entertaining     my friends  who came from Texas and Chicago  to visit us   .  I  told them the   story of my Owo trip and how we ate delicious food  ; pounded yam, bush meat and egidi ;and how we all gulped it down with fresh palm wine. Then I started showering   panegyrics  on palm wine ”emu abirawarapa abito funfun lenu, Ogun Onire Oko mi, Ogun olomi nile f’eje we..” We  were dancing to the music of  Orlando Owoh’s music of Money  for hand …Ero ki yeye mi oo,E get as  E  Be …..Suddenly  a fight broke out  between two ladies .One of the ladies who was pregnant  traced her husband to the gathering , they exchanged hot words and this led to fisticuffs . The husband of the first one threw a broken bottle while the other  man drew  out  his pistol from his waist band leather  holster  .The whole place was  in  chaos. Mr. Ade brought his sword from its scabbard  while Mr. Ahmed in annoyance brought out a keg of petrol and wet the living room. Insanity took over  as everywhere became the Devil’s home! .Their eyes turned red, some were screaming , others were shouting that it was Devil’s work. A woman was seen kneeling down in a corner praying and speaking in tongue to let God take control.  Suddenly one of  the ladies  fighting  fell into labour , she was screaming as she held her waist. Before you say Jack Robinson we heard the blaring of siren from Police Cars ,  Fire service  vehicles and Ambulance .The noise of the siren buried our  noise as  the Fire fighters were trying to put out the fire as the whole building was in flame.

I called my neighbors for help but nobody turned up!.I called friends on phone  the phone was dead!. infact I called the Pastor of my church. 20 of us  were  arrested . The house was razed as the gas exploded and sparks from electricity did not help matter cum the lightening  that came with thunder . It was bad as 20 cars were burnt .

Many were arrested .It turned out to Court case. The woman who started the fracas  and    fell into labour later delivered twin babies but was fined. The man with sword was sentenced to two years imprisonment with  hard labour  while the man with gun had fled into the thin air and was never seen again.The  other man was on Watch list.

My underwear was cold  and  ‘water’ was flowing from the mattress .Then I heard my name from a  female voice calling , ”Babalawo of the Nation  , get up its time to go and  catch our flight back home, its now 11 o’clock .I  realized  this was Ronnie’s voice. I remember we came to  the tourist town called  Branson  where we  visited  Silver Dollar City ,a big amusement Park where I rode  the roller coaster and  visited   the Cave of ‘No Return’ .  I had taken some oyinbo kain kain .I now remembered that  I ate bush meat, pounded yam, cornmeal , egunsi soup, in Owo about two years ago .Then I burst into tears and started another song

Oooh my home

Oooh my home 

When shall I see my home

When shall I see my native land 

I will never forget Mama Elemu , sorry , I will never forget Owo my home

Happy posthumous birthday Hubert Ogunde

Today , 10-07-2020 marks the posthumous birthday of the legend,Dr. Hubert Ogunde.  Taiwo Abiodun  writes about his museum


Poor Journalist, waiting for Soole


At exactly 7 a.m  I  stood   along  Owo/Benin express road  waiting for  a cheap transport fare  or free ride  to Ososa  along Benin -Lagos  express road. Since there was no enough money with me to travel  so  I had to go for Soole ( illegal  and unregistered vehicles). I waited for  about six   hours   while the Sun  beat a hell out of me, for I was  no longer  receiving the   Vitamin D  from the scorching sun that reared its ugly head .I was anxious to travel to Ososa  until   a commercial Bus  coming from Abuja stopped and the driver beckoned on me  . I told the driver that I was going to Ososa , we negotiated and I was allowed  in.

   When we arrived   Ore/Lagos express road   I asked one of the passengers ”Where is Ososa Village, how and what time  would I get  there today?” A passenger   yelled from the back seat  ”Please Mr. Man don’t call our town a Village.Where are you from? .Who the hell are you?.You must be  very ,very stupid . Idiot .Who are you and what business do you have there?”, he rained insults on me  . I responded ” Come Mr. Man I am from Owo , my town is popular , even it is in the Bible, it is  called the land of Honour , what do you mean?”. Another  passenger behind interjected ” Come if  the name of your town is in  the Bible  mine  is also in the Bible, we are Jebusites , for we are from Ijebu and Ijebu is in the Bible”. I thought of what to say again and I replied  ” mine is a combination of the two, I am from  Ijebu -Owo , they all burst into laughter . I won the debate.

I quickly turned the ugly scene into a joke . Although the  passengers felt offended for calling Ososa a village. I slept off . Suddenly I woke  up as one of the passengers tapped me  and told me   I had reached my destination. Lo and behold  I saw the big artwork of the man I  was looking for his Museum and  I screamed ” that is where I am going ”Hubert Ogunde’s Museum”. The passenger who insulted me earlier on  said ”There you are ,  I am going towards that place too ”.

We both alighted from the Bus and waited for okada .I opened the floor for discussion .Now I could now see how hefty he was.His teeth were  brown , his eyes were red and his voice   cracked as he spoke with me.I thanked my God that I did not fight him for he could have beaten a hell out of me.

Taiwo Abiodun slept off

During our discussion I told him I remembered that Ogunde  used to come to Owo in the 60s to 70s to stage plays.I told him how I fell in love with Culture and Tradition  .I spoke about how  esoteric  Ogunde was . I told him about his films that were never seen in  home videos , how he waged war on  the Witches in  his film like Jaiyesimi, his films and   Yoruba plays like Yoruba Ronu, Aiye,Jaiyesimi, his  plays like Towards Liberty, Nigeria, Mama Eko, Kehin Sokun,  Beggar’s Love Orisa Nla and many more.We became friends . He asked the media  I worked for and pitied the condition of  service of most Journalists and how they are badly treated.  He asked me to give him some money to buy a bottle of beer , I quickly gave him since I   needed his services and I was taking pictures of the giant artwork of the legend. I then started singing one of his  songs:

         YORUBA RONU 

Mo boju waiye o aiye samala mala,

Mo ma boju worun o , okunkun lo subole

Mo ni hee ye ,

Kini de si Yoruba o Omo araiye ,

Kini s’ele si Yoruba o Omo Oduduwa o

Yeeee yeeeeee, yeee yeeee

Awa ma se hun,oro nla mbe

Yoruba n’se ra won nitori owo, Yoruba nje ra won o l’ese nitori ipo

Won a gb’ebi f’alare, won a gb’are f’elebi

Won a p’ole ko wa ja won a tun p’oloko wa mu

Ogbon ti won gbon lo gbe won d’ele ola

Ogbon naa  lo pada wa de won mole o

Awon ti won ti ns’oga lat’ojo to ti pe

Won pada waa deni a nf’owo ti sehin o

Yo,Yo,Yo Yoruba yo yo bi ina ale

Yoruba ru ru bi omi okun

Yoruba  Baba ni Baba nse

Yooo ooo Yoruba ronu oo

Yoruba so ra won di b’oolu f’araiye gba 

Bi won ba gba won soke , won a tun gba won sisale …..


If you are driving towards Lagos /Benin express road you will see the giant artwork or painting of of the late Hubert Ogunde. Again if you are driving towards Benin /Lagos you will see another one facing your direction. The name Ogunde is synonymous with Ososa. He made the ancient town popular and known all over the world .Today is his posthumous birthday as the legend clocks 103.

The legend

Today marks his 103 posthumous birthday.Born on July 10, 1916 to the families of Jeremiah Deinbo and Eunice Owotunsan Ogunde.Ogunde died on April 4, 1990 in London.

When I saw the artwork  of Ogunde I was excited and I went to take his pictures and also mimicked him by folding my arms,  smiled  as he did but some things were missing – I  had no beads on my neck and wrists, I had no fly whisk with me and I had no loincloth wrapped  round my waist,above all  I have no gap tooth. I wish the great man were around I would have had an interview with him.

Happy posthumous birthday

Immediately I saw a commercial okada rider , I stopped him and left for the Museum.


The museum is on acres of land . It  is unique and master piece.It is the richest private  museum a man single handedly established.It has over 20,000 materials ,  infact the worth in value is unquantifiable  . Students, professors and researchers of Yoruba Culture,Arts and Historians must make it a duty to visit the place. Those who have not been here should make it compulsory to visit the beautiful and where one can see what it takes to be a good Yoruba artiste .

In his compound is Ogunde’s  giant human – size statue beating his drum depicting what he was doing while alive .Where this giant statue is erected is where the doyen of Yoruba theater man was buried. The compound is full of  sculptors, carvings and artworks in remembrance of his works .This is the house of the late Hubert Adedeji Ogunde lived and used as Film Village .For his contribution to the Nigeria theater he was  honored after his demise some years ago and was among the 100 Nigerians who positively contributed to this country .Today, the children of the late Ogunde  have converted  the house into a tourist  center by turning it into a museum where people have  been coming from all over the world to have a look of his works.

According to one of his children , Bayo Ogunde who was once interviewed by this reporter, many people have been coming to the museum to have a look at their father’s works.
Bayo during an interview with him said his father though was acting plays that are esoteric and mysterious but was not fetish and did not belong to any secret society . He said ”He was only acting mysterious stage plays  but  he was not fetish, and all was a stagecraft , my father was a dramatist, he captured what was going on in the society especially village ,the  good and bad . He knew all the Ifa incantations because his grandfather was a powerful Ifa priest and   he got it from  grandfather who was the head of oracle in Ijebuland”.

Bayo added ”All was just an act .He only used modern technology  , he got all his crew from England .He had a studio there and he used celluloid then, while everyone in Nigeria was using 16mm but he was using 35mm
Contrary to many people’s belief  that the legend could be a member of secret societies but Bayo  denied it and said ”he was never a member of Ogboni, he participated in Rosicruscian , Graile Message”. He added  ”We had a church in our compound , my father  was a member of Cherubim and   Seraphim. He was a devoted Christian ”. 

Adesewa’s statue


He described Ogunde’s days as tough as he criticized  the Colonialists. He said” In the early days he was jailed in the early 40s with Herbert Macaulay while he was agitating for freedom for Nigerians , and was  speaking out against the colonial masters then , the colonial masters were using the public as their nest, the colonialists  were not happy when my father said they should be paying more to the Nigerians .He did a  stage plays  and were called Bread and Bullet, strike and hunger and Tiger Empire , for they were paying them a penny.He was jailed because  they said he was instigating Nigerians against the colonialists.

During an interview with Mama Ibidun,one of Ogunde’s wives

Mama Ibidun who was among the living wives of Ogunde was able to say little due to her old age.This reporter met her some years ago and she  said ”I remember we used to act with Ogunde in those days.Then there were real stories,as we do research. Ogunde was a great man, he was a wonderful husband and great”, Mama was full of praise for her late husband 

Head dress

Bayo said ”All the items in  the museum  are what that he made .Do you also know that he was also a musician? He waxed many records , the fact is that everybody knew him as a dramatist not many knew he was a musician,he recorded more than 96songs .The small vinyl , and songs , and we are putting all his costumes , the items he used , we are putting them them there for the world to see”

 Adesewa’s statue

In the compound is a giant statue with names and dates, one of them is the statue of one of Ogunde’s wives who died in early 70s in an auto crash.She was going to a location, according to reports  when she was involved in an accident.

When this reporter saw the statue, he burst into tears, remembering the song Ogunde recorded in her honour;

Eni ba magbe  ba ni daro aro,

Eni ba maluko ba mi daro osun

E ba mi daro agbe to fo

E ba mi daro okunkun ti o kun

E ba mi daro ina to joni jain jain denu ara 

E ba ni daro iri ti o se omo a fin yin yin  lori oko, Adesewa

Ahh o se , a ba le sokun titi koju ro ni ,omije wa iba le kun odo

A ba le ronu , ronu  o se , agbe to ti fo ko le tun r’odo

Ekun ko le di oro to dun ni 

Ekun ko le di oorun ti o wo

Oorun to dokunkun losan gangan

O digbeere, o di gbeere

E ba  ni daro eni re to lo ., Adesewa o


On his wives, Bayo said ”He had many , and I can count four  that are still living  , Alaba Jr, Ibidun, Ayepupa, Oludayo, Aira, Oludayo wives
About his Children , Bayo said ” he had 24 children ,most of us acted in his plays but now we are all involved in different business , some are in theatre arts”, but Bayo has this to say ” but dad left his shoes as he was , none of us or Nigerian artistes  can wear his shoe”

Head dress

What we need from the Ogun state is to assist us from Ogunstate hove , I must tell u that we have not got anything from the Ogun state to assist us in the museum .As at the last budget to get the film village we would need over 100 million Naira to have a film village .I believe the gove can do it if they want to do it

”Adesewa  was not buried here  , we have  it there  because she died early.She was 40 years old  , we never expected it , she died young , there is also Owotunsan our father’s mother whose sculptor is there too.

Idowu Ogunde who is the custodian of museum said ”I am always here to attend to visitors.We have a lot of stories here .My father was a legend.I was young when 

Calabashes  (igba)

Seeing my father’s statute I feel great. He was honest If you see a hard working man you feel great .He said to me ‘do what you want to do without expecting’.
When he waxed Yoruba Ronu , he was called to play for the opposition party and Fanikayode and Akintola , but he went ahead to stage a play on how Awolowo was betrayed , in the hall they started going out one after the other .The second day these people came with a box of money but he rejected the money and did not dance to their tune”

If Ogunde were around today , he would have waxed records to correct the ills in the country especially among the Yoruba leaders.

However he could have been maltreated or … in this time of political topsy turvy . He stuck  his neck out to fight for the Nigerian masses.He did this in the 40s , according to his son ”I know he was asked to pay a fine in Jos in the 40s, they say a beggar pay a fee , he was asked to pay the fee”.


Taiwo Abiodun posed with the royal staff and beaded crowns

How are the present stage plays today? , Bayo was asked and he responded ”It’s nothing to compare with .There is nothing left now.Nobody does any rehearsal or stage plays or research , nobody does that right now .So I can’t compare them , they are incomparable”
This reporter then asked him ”Who was Hubert Ogunde ?”, hear his response ” He was a great man. Like he used to say he was God -sent . He acted his part very well and left”, Bayo said  

When I was going back home to Owo  and the driver was  on high speed as he was on 130 kilometres per hour  and I played Ogunde’s track for him:

Onimooto oooooooooo

Onimoto rora s’are o, onimoto rora ni corner yen , onimoto rora gbese le , f’eso j’aiye o onimoto,

Asure tete ko ma ni k’oja ile , beeni aringbere ko ma ni sonu sona, orere  ko …….


I wept  seeing the statue of Adesewa


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 




why my late father dethroned some chiefs-Leke Olateru-Olagbegi

Start from the previous one

why I contested for Olowo of Owo’s throne -Leke Olateru -Olagbegi



Well, em.. em.. like I  was trying to express earlier, the Owo traditional stool   has a very democratic  way of  selecting a new Olowo , and  all the Omolowos except that of   Chief Aralepo  was the only one that   voted for  Prince Justice  Adesuyi Olateru -Olagbegi , all the other ones    voted for the incumbent  Kabiyesi Ajibade Ogunoye. Em.. em.. it is not about wining itself, If  I had  won  fine, but when I didn’t  it is also  fine  .  It is not a do or die affair,… after all we are all vying  to make sure we have  a better future  for the community  .Now that  Kabiyesi has emerged I am also  in  support now he is on seat I feel….         

I don’t have any ill feeling or bad feeling .


I think I should correct the notion here  about how most people that are not close to the traditional stool feel about most traditional institutions  ..the Yoruba traditional institution is not  necessarily a fetish institution, in every tribe , in every culture that you go in the universe you find all sorts of fetish issue in different skills  so people always  think that oh! to be a King in Yorubaland  that  person has to  be fetish,that is not correct .Yes, he faced some challenges ,there were windows where the fetish inclination has to come in and I remember my father used to say that he has no business in anything fetish because it is   against his own personal religion. Now in the Owo  Constitution the way it is written gives the Olowo the audacity to have his own private religion regardless of the general culture of the community .If we are to referred to some previous past Olowos when in the days of  Olowo Ogunoye the first, the Olagbegi the first  these were the time popular religions like Muslim  and Christians got into the region and they did not see it to be  anything that would necessarily interfere with normal religion , it gave them whole…infact it is in history that Olowo  Olateru Olagbegi actually converted to Islam so I don’t see anything special for my father to have embraced Christianity …in the 21st century.


Yes,he did .Whenever the Igogo festival was coming up there there were lots of arrangements to be done,  and  he did everything.The town’s priest was Ajana. My father will  always submit himself to make sure  everything that needed to be  done  were done  but you know  in a community where we faced challenges  where the divide has been prolong for so many years , it is expected that he would find  different parties with different inclinations but my father was wholeheartedly behind the promotion of the culture of   Owo .If he wasn’t he would   not have been  traveling  with different Owo traditional Costumes.He carried along with him different Owo traditional Musicians , he promoted Owo Culture so many times , so he was never against the culture neither was he against the Igogo festival.The Igogo festival is actually  the biggest festivals  we have in Owo for someone  not to be celebrating Sango , Ogun  does not  mean he did not love the festival, not everybody in Owo practices Sango or Islam  so  I  think the notion should be corrected . I think is only those of us that were close to him will knew that he a lover of Owo Tradition and  Culture


”One of those like  I said was   that people expected him to perform  certain  rituals that they believed  should be but he was not comfortable with that because being a legal luminary ,he knew that he could do whatever he wanted to do as long as he was comfortable with ….,or necessarily .Two , initially when he got to office  the problem of the government gave him a little concern, he  thought it would  have been a good opportunity  for the government to let him develop the community while he was still young and agile  but thank God he was able to  get over it as time progressed , you can see .His plan for Owo still manifested by and large with the things we have seen him done , with  the construction of roads, the construction of  the market, the new Banks , small scale business thrived ,the placement t of Owo citizens to  high ranking offices  in politics  these are the things.We have an Owo governor now and it was a dream come true for him as well.


When it comes to  the  chieftaincy titles  he was a bit shy of discussing the issue in the public because he was a private person, so he never wanted his words to be misconstrued.  I  believed that  those he  demoted must have really, really crossed his traditional line  and they must have insulted the throne for him to  have  taken some drastic decisions  and knowing him taking such a decision  it must have been good for that.


This particular incidence I was privy to by chance , I think the man in question who was a very close  person to Kabiyesi himself . We have a sacred place  in palace called Igbodi, Igbodi is an area  Olowo cherished  and  protected  jealously , infact you cannot go hunting in that area  except you are  a member of Olowo’s probably  immediate family , you cannot even be allowed to go to  Igbodi because it is sacred  . Now  can you imagine during his 17th coronation  anniversary of Kabiyesi , a chief (names withheld)   cut down 17trees , and what did that mean ?.  To a lay man it  speaks volume .It was reported to Kabiyesi ,I guess he  did not  have the clear picture of the  number of trees  they cut but  they  lied to him  that it  was  only three or four trees they fell  but  at last  it was discovered that they were 17 trees they  felled  and  it was  on the 17th  coronation anniversary of Kabiyesi! .  What is the  meaning?. So the chief needed to be disciplined that was what caused the particular scenario but the chief was lucky  for he was dear to my father , before the demise of my father he was restored back to his position.


The Akowaloja that you are referring to   was one of the senior  Omolowos that was dethroned.That scenario if can remember couple of years ago  it  was rumored that Olowo has passed  on and   it was unfortunate that that particular Akowa was party to it. They went as far as celebrating his death  and desecrating some areas within the palace indicating that the Olowo had died  without having first class information about the issue .  I guess they were so blinded in hate that they actually believed the Olowo had died   and went ahead performing sacrifices  and when my father got the evidence of such as  evidence of photographs and  videos from those that were involved he thought they had to be disciplined .I believed that was why  that particular chief was dismissed  which is a normal culture in Owo. If things like that happen in Owo the disciplinary action would be taken and he would be stripped of his tittle beads  we call it a ja akon re ( The chief’s chieftaincy beads had been stripped off)which was to demote that individual  .The  Constitution in Owo also gave the Olowo the audacity and to remove his beads  if it is necessary or give the position to someone else.



Aside from his resemblance I will not let his legacy be  erased . I am going to put all things in place to make his name and Owo community great and by God’s grace I  will definitely do it. If  you  look back into history about my family legacy from Olagbegi,  I will never ever let the family legacy erased , anything that I can do I will do it .If I have anything to make Owo progress I will be a party to it . If you look back at the family legacy  if you look a the days of Olagbegi they  were very active when it comes to the Owo development community  my grand father Sir Olateru Olagbegi II (KBE) , he was  able to convert a community as to speak,  archaic into a community to  become a first class in Nigeria ,  and even as we stand and speak today  it is still far away  as Owo as per its location still continues to be the darling of the entire Yoruba  race , as it is said in Yoruba parlance  ibi gbogbo ni ile Owo ( every place is the land of Honor).Ko si omo Owo ti ko lowo lowo, ko si omo Owo ti ko nilari(there is no native of Owo that is not successful), these are the kinds of virtues of Owo that  are  always   dear to my heart ,so I will always partake to what will be the progress of the entire lineage and to the community at large.


At that time fortunately for me I was not around, I was still  abroad  at  the time the crisis occurred .God has a way of doing things ,when my father   escaped with his life  .. we thank God  he was able to escape from there  and  went to America.Thank God  he was able to stay with his family members and his children , and the time went by and  fortunately when the new governor Olusegun Agagu came on board , we received the phone call that he should come back home  and he came .


The Olowo’s Palace  fortunately  for us  we have that palace almost  700 years during the  reign of Olowo Rengenjen ,it is  from Oke Mapo.If you look at the landmass …. compared with the present location , include the new palace, I  don’t know how  any single individual  had projected a landmass having much as that so we give it to Olowo Rengenjen who had  the foresight, yes  we give it to Olowo Rengenjen for having that foresight.We  heard that my great grandfather had over 200wives so you could imagine to have such  wives and the amount of areas that would be needed for such a family to live on.I  am also very proud of the palace, the edifice  that my grandfather built  in that place till today still stand it also the best palaces, it is   a pride that Owo has that till today not only in Yorubaland but anywhere in African region .It is also a pride to Owo.We thank God we still have it till today .


There is no  particular secret , like my  grandfather always say  ‘I keep no grudges’ ,this is one of the virtues I learnt from my grandfather , if you keep no grudges  with  anyone ,  have no ill feelings against anyone God will  continue to bless and guide you. I don’t keep grudges in my mind .I don’t have grudges against anybody . I  grew up within the Palace when I was seven years old  .I knew Kabiyesi Ogunoye , I grew up with the majority of his children , if you look at my wedding picture and videos  you will see Adegoke Ogunoye who was my best man at my wedding , some of  them like the Olu Ajike we vied  the throne together , and we are very close  , right now he is in Dubai. Virtually I see all the Olagbegis, Ajikes and Ogunoyes as one  . I see us all as Elewuokun. I see Olagbegi as  Olagbegi  Elewuokun,as I see  Ogunoye  as Ogunoye Elewuokun, I see Ajike as Ajike   Elewuokun and I am Leke Elewuokun, I see no reason why I should have ill feelings against anyone.


”Anytime I heard that name, Sir Olateru Olagbegi II, KBE , he  was one of most  reigned  kings in Owo , he had the opportunity to build Owo to the current status, he reigned   at the time when Nigeria was  still in the dark ages and   he ruled when Nigeria was coming into the new era, and if you look at the things that happened during his reign ,he was able to accomplish every dream that he had., all his dream he was able to accomplish  and for that alone I thank God and when  I had the  opportunity  to live with him as a young  boy he used to tell me that by God’s grace when he returned to the palace he would be able to explain things that happened to me .When I   asked him in one occasion that ‘Papa  how are you sure that you would return to your throne?’,  he responded with great enthusiasm that he  was he sure he would be returned   back to his throne . It is written that definitely he would go back to his throne , and lo and behold  27years after he returned to his throne . He was sent away in 1966 and Kabiyesi  Ogunoye came back in 1968, so the two years (1966 and 1968) most people always omit it but I  always add it , because it is still two years being away from the throne , by 1968 to 1993 is now  the 25years Ogunoye reigned , as far as Sir Olateru Olagbegi is concerned it took 27years before he could regain his throne, and for him to have left the throne 27 years and regained it I think it is  the work of God .He developed Owo to its contemporary era  , you can see that all  the development he brought to Owo  still stand  today . I  pray in the nearest future and the  incumbent Olowo  tries to bring back the lost glory ,   if not all,and I continue to pray for him that God would help him  , and  with the support of all the entire community.


”Emmmmm, Very much so, I am a Prince and also a chief of Otu Arala   which is Otu Agba Omalogho, and we normally hold a session once in month.  I also come to Igboroko Quarters under the leadership of Chief Ojumu  there is nothing happening  within the chiefs that  I don’t participate in . I know a lot of chiefs by name , they know me , I have no grudges against anyone of then .We celebrate together , now we have  our father  Olowo Ogunoye I was there to celebrate with him.  I was also a chief  there as Otu Alara . I  will forever have my allegiance to the Olowo, I will forever have my allegiance to Owo .Anything that  promotes the unity  and  culture, anything s that promotes the development of    Owo community     you can always count  that I will be there.


From my experience , I still enjoy all what  I enjoyed while my father was here .Every person that I knew when my father was around I still meet them. This is still the same me, I still relate with them, I still do what I was doing when he was around . I  still have access to the palace .I still enjoy the privileges , anywhere  I appear in town  I am still greeted and I thank God .I still have access to the palace , anywhere I appeared in town I am still greeted and welcome , and I really  thank God for that.


There were many things that happened over ten years ago  , it resulted to a lot of crisis in his life but  we thank God that he was able to survive it that time , unfortunately  that some people took it to themselves that he was dead.He read from different write ups ,he laughed over it  and thank God that  while some people thought he was dead he was not dead .


Whenever a new Olowo comes in there is a tendency for  a new structure to be erected. During the reign of my father there were structures  he erected in the back called Ugha Oluwa gbemileke, Ugha Eduma which is addition to  the building . I pray for the current Olowo   to do more  that is the prayer .


They are my grandfather’s vehicles.They are still in the palace. The late Sir Olateru Olagbegi II ( KBE) was a flamboyant Monarch .He was ranked among  the great Yoruba kings like  the late Sir Adesoji Aderemi, the Ooni of Ife who was   another great Yoruba Monarch .Yes,  the vehicles ;Rose Royce  and Mercedes Benz cars’ relics  are still there in the palace. If you look at the vehicles very well you will know they are antique. There was a plan by my late father to refurbish them and  put them in good condition  .He told me that he wanted to buy engines and fix them . All these plans were in the offing before he died. My father travelled wide, he saw how in  the Western world  people appreciate all these vehicles .It was part of his plan before he died. You know we still have the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Mercedez Benz he used  for campaign and toured Nigeria , it is today in the  family’s museum .For me I pray we have a museum where we would keep all these. I know the family  will one day do something. These vehicles belong to   the Olateru  Olagbegis  which is a  large family   and  are planning to have a mini museum  which  would be announced later.


Yes, in Yoruba Culture when a King dies you don’t immediately announce it.Well, I think in this modern time,  in this high technology and communication  period many things filter out. And out of that is typical outplay of the time we are living now with  the advent of social media , skype, whattshapp , facebook,,information fly around  I know the news was  leaked from  the palace or someone  who was privy to the news or who   must have known   somebody in the palace or somebody who is in the know of what was happening or what has happened .I am very sorry to say I doubt its one of the traditional chiefs.


He died three times, he was a king  like a cat with nine lives.I cannot say or  tell exactly what caused all those  rumours  but he always told me it was the imagination of his enemies that people said he was sick, he was this and that .However when it was time to go he was called by his Creator and he joined his ancestors .



”Right from my childhood I  always find information about our History and Culture , I  found it very interesting wherever I go in the community I mingle with people wherever I go,  I tried to get facts its a life long I always have  I tried to get facts rather than speaking on tautology. I ask the elders, i ask the families ., I go as far as entertaining people that I believe can give me  vital information that I would need .I want to know all the traditions in Owo , I want to be more versed in Owo History because Owo is rich , very rich in Culture in Yoruba land . Owo is rich in History that is why I have been begging the State Government to bring back History where we would study the story of the past , about our heroes like Olowo Ajaka, Olowo Ajagbusiekun, Olowo Alubolokun, Olowo Adekola Ogunoye, Olowo Olateru -Olagbegi I, Olowo Ajike,among others .

To be continued



why I contested for Olowo of Owo’s throne -Leke Olateru -Olagbegi


……..I am missing my father

……..Oba Ajibade Ogunoye III  is ordained by God

….. My father’s crisis was caused by the then governor

……..They did not cut my father’s head


             The  beads on his neck  and wrists  were  dangling   like pendulum as he  was responding cheerfully  to  the barrage of questions thrown to him. He    exhibited a   high level  of maturity with  sense of humour. He still enjoys  the royal dignity, respect and honour  from his kinsmen wherever he goes.  Despite the fact that his father is no longer the  traditional ruler of  the ancient town, Owo, Prince Leke as he is popularly called is respected and loved by Owo people as his  relationship cuts across all  social  status: rich or poor,young or old and above  all the Olowo lineages:  Ogunoye , Ajike and Olagbegi .He is called a bridge- builder ,  a very straight forward man and Man of the People.                


  As the smooth -faced Prince wiped his brow with handkerchief , adjusted his embroidery Yoruba traditional agbada  and cap he answered all the questions thrown at him without bitterness.


    During the  impromptu interview the Prince who  is a Senior Lecturer at Rufus Giwa Polytechnic  in the department of Public Administration  brilliantly, meticulously   and technically   delved into history and archive  thus  challenging   researchers and lovers  of History . .Infact Prince Leke Olateru- Olagbegi is rich in Owo history.

   Taiwo  Abiodun spoke with him , a year after his father’s death.



  Leke  with his late father during Igogo festival


   “In Owo tradition technically  the Olowo is always on the throne (Oba kii ku) that is king don’t die”. He continued “on daily basis , whenever I remember my father who   was a very, very good father  and  was a quintessential man. He was  too good  even to a fault .He was very nice and generous .He was  a disciplinarian .I am proud that he was my father and I  give glory to the  almighty God, so celebrating him is just like looking into mirror and flashing back to my daily routine  and activities  and memories of him , these are the ways I will remember him.

“But in respect to tradition , you know after the royal tussle for  the throne we now have my father Oba Gbadegesin Ajibade Ogunoye  III so I am also celebrating him.  He  is also a perfect gentleman and  a great father  to look up to and the entire community is looking up to him .So that  how the position  is  if I can submit  that way.

The late  HIM Oba  DVF  Olateru -Olagbegi III


    The prince gave a graphic detail of   the last days of his father , he said  “I saw him   last on Sunday and I think he passed away about  48hours later. Em, em after church service    he called me and in the presence of  one of his  Chiefs, precisely Chief  Osuporu  and  he asked us to go upstairs because the church service was downstairs and we went upstairs. He went as usual into discussions , he loved to discuss  issues to clear positions. I was very happy that I  had that opportunity, he continued to  teach me the normal  traditional ways , the normal ethical ways of life . And I was surprised when he mentioned that if ever the throne was vacant  that I  should definitely make sure that I  vie for it ,because whoever   is going   to be king  would first of all have to vie and then  if he had been ordained from heaven it would be his.  And I  was shocked to my bones as he discussed with me at the last minute and he also admonished that myself and my siblings ,my senior sister and  rest of my junior ones  should  hold ourselves together and continue to meet and hold in high esteem all  he has taught us throughout his life.



        When reminded that he lost in the election and how he felt, The Prince laughed ,  and went into  Owo History of electing  their monarchs , he  said “Well ,that itself is another story. In Owo we have a  democratic way of traditional installation ,so  it is not  like directly from father to son like my father  had inherited it. We have  precisely three Ruling Houses and anyone could have been chosen out of the Ruling Houses  so  I was very  ready  for whatever  the outcome could have been . I went into it with clear mind and  I was still  standing with a clear mind as my father had  always said  that  whoever would be king would definitely have  to have been ordained from heaven so I believe Kabiyesi Ajibade Ogunoye  III  had been ordained from heaven for him to be sitting on the throne in the palace”.


Reminded that his late  father and  grandfather were there before and now  and he  was coming to vie for it again,  …… In response , the Prince laughed  and said   “well for those who  don’t  sincerely understand our culture per se , yes ,may be  they can feel like that but if you  study Owo  ancestry  the throne had passed  down from father to son,from father to son(repeat)  and then at some point it even  became  from brother to brother  but we don’t necessarily have  a specific direction -it could be anywhere, it could be cousins to cousins, brother to brother , father to son. Like I mentioned earlier , my father inherited the throne   in 1999 from his own father , so I don’t think people from Owo would have had  any objections .Although yes , like you have rightly cited,  the other ruling families might also have some sentiments that ha! , how can it continue  in  that direction but as far as I am concerned it could have gone into any direction because  the Owo traditional stool is decided by  the Senior Omolowos and whoever is chosen is final”.


His response    “Haa , you are going into contemporary politics, when  it comes into  contemporary politics ,it seems we have to make it a rotational  affair or we have to satisfy this side of the family , that side of the family but  I just think take for instance in the olden days when the oracle  was the one to choose and if oracle says its that direction who is anybody  to go against the Oracle? .But in terms of satisfying the human nature , yes I can agree  that  may be after a particular lineage had been there for  a while .Yes, if   Ifa  Oracle chooses another lineage , it’s welcome .But  what I am stressing is that  if Ifa Oracle so  chooses  from that same lineage it is also welcome because we are all from Elewuokun Dynasty”.


“Personally I am excited about him.I have known him all my life , although he is older than me but we grew up together . I am very familiar with the Ogunoye lineage and I am also very close to  the Ajike lineage so I am not a novice to any of the lineage family . But he particularly​   is a very kind person , very soft-spoken person ,you can rarely found him  any place where there is violence , where there is any form of disgruntlement , no, he was a very private person ,very hard working and he is very honest .When he was chosen ,if you look at the video  if you play it back you will notice that I immediately embraced him when he won . And that was exactly my position .”



On the relationship ” I am very close to him .At any point in time when I need to see him because he is a father figure to me .Now he has inherited our father’s position,he has become the head of the Elewokun Dynasty.By and large he has also become my father .I relate to him the way I would relate to my father and discuss lot of issues that I normally would  discuss with my father, and with him now in that position and if there is any issues  that comes up as such I go to him and discuss it with him .Recently I was with him  and we always have  a good time  anytime we were together and I am very close to him as usual from time and would for ever be”.


The Prince responded “It is a good thing you cited that, because  if we go into the history of Owo from time immemorial most especially from the very first Olowo which was Olowo Ojugbelu , history tells us that Olowo Ojugbelu’s father gave him the name ,Omo Owo by the  virtue of his noble character : he was a  handsome prince , very soft spoken person, he was ahead among his peers, he has all the qualities that you will admire in the current Olowo and also in my father which will also seen in most of the Olowos .I agree with you that he has the peculiar  characters of a noble King of  Owo”.


What was the form of his burial , he was asked , the Senior lecturer responded ”I can tell  you categorically  because   I  was a party to it  and  everything that  the Adanigbo and the  entire Iloros requested was met and the duration of time in which it has to be preserved was met and during the time he has to be interred  and everything that has to be done traditionally was also done so throughout the Ogbigbo the whole process and procedures,the way its been done traditionally  was done so  I can categorically say yes  he was buried exactly how the tradition says.”


The prince screamed “No, no , no. that one is an old tradition, (laughed ). He died in 2019 ,so I doubt if there is anybody that can do  that and get away with it  .I  think  that is old tradition . There was a time in Owo when an Oba dies some individuals  would go along with him that was at one point in our tradition but I think  tradition has stopped that.


Leke shouted  “No, no,nobody was buried along with him(laughed)as  far as I know o”.


       The Prince intelligently answered ”  Well, you know for every Oba there  is always circumstances surrounding it , in the time  of my father , the history says the  incumbent  governor of the state( Governor Adebayo Adefarati) was actually against my father’s ascension to the throne ,that was the reason why there was a bit of disgruntlement​ and at that time  it wasn’t actually the people ,because  Owo kingmakers actually chose my father .Since Owo chose him , there was no cause for fighting but because of  outside influence . In the current Kabiyesi ‘s time remember we have an Owo man as a governor  in person of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu  and the senior Omolowos chose him and the Oracle has spoken and the  governor is not against them..”

To be continued next week





How Oshogboye saved Owo from Benin



Eee son e son ,

Ero Ado me ison tenrenren (2ice)

Ado gb’ogun w’Ogho

Ogho y’oo p’Ado ooo 

O mu’le Oba Ado s’ogun ja 

E e son , e son 

Ero Ado mee ison tenrenren (2ice)

Translation in English


They are weeping profusely 

The Ados are weeping profusely and  gnashing their teeth (2 times )

Ado invaded Owo 

But Owo conquered Ado

Ado  went back to fight their King  

They are weeping  profusely and gnashing their teeth


     Trenches were constructed  round the town. Poisoned bananas  were spread at the entrances leading to the ancient town of Owo. Tension was high . The natives’ hope was hanging in the air while they carried out the instruction to the letter  according to  how Oshogboye  commanded them . Yes! men and and women were battle -ready but without  instruments of war like spear, gun, sticks and what have you.Their weapons of war were the trenches dug round the  ancient town and the   poisoned bananas used as bait that  scattered  at the entrances of the town .What of their  Ado ( Benin) enemies?, they   were  well  equipped   with their instruments of war for their  mission  was  to plunder the ancient town of Owo and make them surrender as other neighbouring towns did  . As planned , in  the middle of the night the Ado warriors  invaded the ancient  town, Owo   unfortunately they all met their Waterloo.

According to stories, while  some of these invaders  ate the poisoned  bananas and died  hundreds of the soldiers  fell into the prepared moats and perished. Only few returned home to vent their anger on their Monarch .

When the  Owo people became victorious  and saw  how they defeated their enemies  by  their tricks , they danced  and sang songs of freedom from their enemy- Ado invaders.  Since then the song became a national anthem for Owo natives.


         The story though an oral tradition from one mouth to another , from one generation to another  as there were  no written documents to back it up but it was  real .The story though is over 500 years old   has iota of facts. It is not a myth as evidences to  prove  are still there!.

”My son, if you go round Owo communities you will still see the traces or remnants of these trenches there”, Oba  Okikiola Folagbade Adetifa III, the Alale of Ulale the 88-year old Monarch  said, as he sang  the song again., Ado gb’ogun w’Ogho….. ee son ee son ero Ado me ison tenrenren, the community leader’s treble voice  echoed in the Hall. 

      OSHOGBOYE 1600 AD 

  The song is the song of victory,  freedom  and emancipation from  their oppressor, Ado ( Benin) of which they  sang during the reign of Olowo of Owo Oba Oshogboye who rescued the town from their enemies .He reigned in 1600 AD . According to history, many towns were constantly  invaded and conquered by the Ado ( now Benin) . His Royal Highness Oba Adetifa III  narrated the story of how Owo had never been conquered by enemies , he said  the Alale has been here from time immemorial and not only versatile and authoritative in the story but also had these trenches   they dug in his area  during the said story. 

The Monarch  continued ”Anytime the Ado  natives (Benin)  were  about to wage war against the people of Owo they always bring along an  object called   ogbiigbii   which was  heavy  and had  structure  like a car or caterpillar , and this object ogbiigbii   would destroy   any object it hit   to a pulp.  No matter how strong the material  is, the  ogbiigbii   would  destroy the object even if it is a earth -moving caterpillar it would destroy it. ”They said these Ado people  used juju to construct the mysterious  ogbiigbii”  .Oba Adetifa continued  ”When the news  filtered in that the Ados   were preparing to wage another war  again on Owo , the Alale consulted Ifa Oracle  and Ifa told him he would win the war.  Alale  then instructed his men to construct ditches round the town and when the said ogbiigbii was coming again to Owo ,it went down into the ditches and  perished. Later the  Ados  retreated  and went to bring  battalions of  their  soldiers to invade Owo , so when they came they were deceived by what they   saw -everywhere was shining, the roads, the sands, the trees and so on ,  then they hide somewhere  and planned  their invasion in the middle of  the night  , with the hope of destroying or plundering the town   while they met their doom as  they all  perished but those who survived  went back home  to tell Oba  Ado that Owo  was a sacred town they cannot be conquered .That was  where the war ended !. Nobody has ever waged war against Owo and won.Never in the history of Owo”,

To prove this   the monarch said   ”these ditches  are still present in the ancient town till date. If you go round Owo you can still see some of these trenches visible evidencing the over 500 years old story  .This is not a fiction but real as it has become a  blessing that Owo has never been conquered in war”,the Community leader boasted, beating  his chest with satisfaction.

     Corroborating this story , the community Head of Upo, Adewale Ojo  in one of the interviews granted said the trenches dug during the ancient wars are still visible in Upo to date, ”the trenches  dug in those days were  for protection and defence during the war between the Ado and Owo, No warrior  have the effrontery to invade this village, Upo despite its smallness .Then they were not respected due to their small number  and the town,they were feared because they fight in trenches”.

Prince Olanrewaju Abegunde the Olunaun of Unaun said ” from history no man born of a woman  has  ever waged war against Owo and won, not only  because  Owo is battle ready all the time but it has been there from the time of our forefathers.We are not boasting -it is real .The story of Ado (Benin ) is authentic”, Olunaun of Unaun added that ” when the warriors were massacred  those who escaped from Owo in annoyance went back to Benin to  wage war against their  own King  (Ado  mule B’are s’ogun ja).”, Olunaun stated with total confidence.



Omi kikon ino amo.

Ukere maa  soo dale

Ado gb’ogun w’Ogho 

Ogho yi pado 

O mu li iba’re s’ogun ja  ee

E ee son e son ero Ado mee i son tenren ren

Ado s’okun ogede wa ri je..

Mrs. Morenike Famulagun Olajide a retired teacher , an Historian and  a theatre artiste said ” if you watch the film of  Oshogboye you will see the whole story there .

she narrated the story thus:

” During the time of Oshogboye , Oba of Benin used to capture territories and Oshogboye was a Prince and had gone  to Benin to  be trained in the palace .While there Oshogboye  taught the king and his children the art of medicine .Later he (Oshogboye ) was  in care of the Oba of Benin’s  Military men. But when the Benin Monarch  saw how successful they were in capturing slaves as a result of  the training he gave his soldiers  and  the juju  Oshogboye possessed  and when it was time for Oshogboye to return to his home , Owo , Oba of Ado  refused  to release Oshogboye . While all efforts by Oshogboye to free himself from him failed , he one day  started  singing  for Oba Ado, but the king angrily asked him to go to his home , it was later Oshogboye’s eyes opened asking where  he came from. He then  made away with  the mysterious   ogbiigbii calabash [ a mysterious  object that warns when war is looming], its a Calabash that  gives sign by  groaning and making noise  like human being   when war is looming.    Oba Ado discovered that   the  mysterious calabash had disappeared and knew who took it. When  the king realised what happened he commanded the ground  to confuse and destabilise  Oshogboye’s  journey , and it happened while Oshogboye became confused and did not know the road leading to Owo again.  Oshogboye too, a powerful man then  turned his back to Owo and walked backward to Owo  facing Ado (Benin)  yet  holding  the strange calabash   with him, that is why  in Owo  panegyrics (oriki) we say Owo  oma a kohin si i bere, (Owo native  who will turn his back to where he is going ) .That is  ,he  faced Benin and used his back to walk down  to Owo. When he got to Owo , he told them his experience , and went to hide the ogbiigbii’‘ .


Famulagun Olajide continued ” when Oshogboye got home , he narrated the ordeal he went through and   told them that the Benin would be after him and wage war but they should prepare poisoned  bananas  and put them on the road for  it is Ado’s (Benin’s) delicacy .  He advised them further to dredge trenches round the town while the banana  should be spread on all the roads that led to the town. All was done and the real battle was prepared for. When the hungry warriors saw the banana they ate them and all died . The corpses of those  who consumed  the banana  were pushed into the trenches., some others fell into the trenches alive  and died there!.Those who managed to escape went back to Benin to revenge on their Monarch who sent them on the suicide mission”


Thus the Owo people came out rejoicing that they  had defeated their enemy  and they sang their song of freedom. 

 However  Robert Sydney Smith  in his book Kingdoms of the Yorubas-Kingdoms of the east ) wrote  ”Owo was attacked again by Benin Army ………..however,  that  Oshogboye , heir to Olowo Omaro was sent as a young Prince to Benin for his education at Oba’s Court and enrolled as a page to the Oba[emada , literally means ‘sword bearer’) when Omaro died  Oshogboye seems to have returned to Owo to claim the throne without first obtaining  the Oba’s permission to leave the palace, and when messengers were sent to him from Benin he feigned illness. As soon as his coronation had been performed , Oshogboye set about fortifying the town against an attack from Benin , causing a ditch to be dug     (and presumably also erecting a wall) .The History of Owo implies that an attack was made and repulsed”.

Dr. Oladipo Olugbadehan  an authority on Owo History described the history of Owo as very interesting and inspiring especially on Oshogboye who reigned and fortified the ancient town on his return from Benin.He said ” I extensively dwell on the political and administration of Oshogboye .Oshogboye left Benin for Owo and he ruled. Many stories and angles were used on the story but the main point is that they were able to win the war the Benin waged against them” 

Professor Rowland Abiodun , Art Historian corroborated the story and said  ”Oshogboye went to Ado ( Benin) for a purpose, he had a mission and the mission was to be a Spy in order to know all the secrets of Ado people. He was the confidant of Oba of  Benin, he prepared all the charms of the Monarch , he knew all their secrets .Now that he escaped they did not know how to deal with him .He had sworn that he would not betray them .But mark you the wisdom or idea the Olowo  of Owo Oba Maro  had  then was super as he   sent  his son, Oshogboye  to Benin    as a  spy .They had told Oshogboye to learn all what they were doing , he was a very smart young  man  and  he learnt all. All these made Owo to win Benin in the war”. 

Abiodun continued ” All the towns  like Akure, Ado Ekiti and some other towns were all paying  tribute (isakole) ,but Owo did not!”

Abiodun confirmed the invaders’ story , ” there are many things found in the trenches and if one goes to some of these trenches today one could still find weapons of war in those trenches ”

The Art History professor  also confirmed the story of how Oshogboye left Ado, he said ” When Oshogboye  was on his way to Owo , he faced Owo road  but his eyes became  cloudy and could not see  but when he faced Ado  ( Benin) road his eyes would be clear and visible. So he had to find a way to come back home and by facing where he was coming from (Benin) and walked backward to where he was going (Owo)”

According to Abiodun  it is only Owo that did not have an outsider or non native as their Monarch .Olowo  bears Olowo of Owo while others like Ewi of Ado -Ekiti , Deji of Akure, are from Benin names its only Olowo of Owo  that cannot be changed .No non- native ever ruled or become a King in Owo , never in history .Non native has never become Olowo of Owo .But all these towns like Ewi of Ado,Deji of Akure ,all of them changed their fathers’ names because of the pressure  of Benin. Olowo was not changed , they cannot change it. A Benin man has never become an Oba in Owo!. Non native has never become Olowo of Owo, never in  the history of Owo .As powerful as Benin was, with their artillery they have never become Olowo! .When Benin fought war , or all wars in all places but when they got to Owo , they gave Owo  honour and respect”.

When Owo was ”invaded” by some ”warriors” ( armed robbers ) in 2015 and many people were killed , the  late Olowo of Owo Oba DVF Olateru -Olagbegi III  said ” this is war against Owo and  nobody has ever waged war on Owo and win.These armed robbers would be caught”. Not less than two weeks the robbers were caught  while some were shot where they went to rob.This added to the age long history  and evidence that the ancient town of Owo can never be conquered.

Witchcraft is not evil-Rachael Mueller

TEMPLE OF WITCHCRAFT’s banner displayed at the event

BoN interviewing  a self -professed Witch  Rachael Mueller


The  environment was colourful.  It was during the PAGAN PICNIC at  St.Louis, Missouri, America. Taiwo Abiodun  (BoN) was at the event where he interviewed some of these Witches.

Mueller says Pentagram is for protection


BoN with the some of the Witches

They displayed different types of books of their profession. They  are books on  Witchcraft,Wizard, Palm Readers, Tarrot, Palm Readers, Magic Books like The Blessing Cord, THROUGH  THE FIRES,WITCH’S COIN,Wirhc Heart, Foundations  of The Temple,Living Years  of Witchcraft, The Three Rays of Witchcraft, The Plant Spirit Familiar , The Casting of Spells , The Green Lovers.Infact the event



Rachael  Mueller is a Witch,Occultist, Shaman and a teacher at the Temple of Witchcraft, St.Louis, Missouri , America.She spoke with taiwoabiodun.com


My name is Rachael Mueller . I am a Witch. Witchcraft is not a bad thing , it depends on the person who wants to practise it. Its really about tapping into. A lot of people in the temple are not not doing it because they want to harm people. They trying to work through emotional and blocks ..its really  a system trying to help people to grow, what a healthy and appropriate ways to respond to things.


No. It can be used for good or bad thing. Its like electricity , its neither good nor bad, positive or negative .You know electricity can be used for a good thing   and for a bad  thing . So I think people that have experience with ….for a bad thing will think witches are bad, that is not the case , they chose to use it in a certain way. Trees and stones have a spirit about them. Just like we have  people  who are good people , when you talk to them you can feel a good relationship.When you meet people  that are bad  people or challenging people so I think we try to do so we go to Mystery School of Witchcraft to teach people how to have a more appropriate relationship  in building those spirit. , steering people towed divine love , divine will, divine wisdom trying people understand witchcraft . We try to raise awareness , use the tools of witchcraft to being about ..

Books displayed at the event


No. I do believe in things like  you can project  your conscience to different areas .


There is upper world and there is a lower  world, I think the lower world you go to is exactly how you imagined;…..


No.When I met my husband , his parents and his grandparents  were never  raised in church .He never worked to concern himself in spirituality .So when he found out that I was interested in being a Witch , he asked a lot of questions.

Witches can heal . Witch is not always a bad thing it is how you do it..If you are trying to heal a disease they can heal  hex the disease.


I had to go into Seminary .I almost became a Professor .I was about to be a professor of Religious Studies while working at the University .So the papers  I was writing ……

When I think  about my  spirituality world does that really resonate the most  , I began to look around and came across Christopher Pens ,  that’s how the thought , and his books spoke to me .I started to explore and he really spoke to my soul , this is the part I was looking for (been what I wanted to do , as a Witch)


I am 55years of age.

Pentagram hanging loosely

If you take the word ”Witch” where were its roots, some people get the idea that to be in shape things , it actually  means ”Holy” so I see it been  WItchcraft  ”Holy craft”, can you  really find that spark  not just in me  or in you and responding …


It is a symbol  of protection and you find it in a  lot of different cultures  whenever you find looking for religious systems when a symbol keep showing up it means they are all using it for the same reason., you find it also in Hinduism .We have a school  where I teach people about Witchcraft.


We call them ”Witch”, but we like , some people are uncomfortable with the word ”Witch” , some call themselves Magic workers, Spiritualist , some call themselves Shaman,




 Today in Nigeria there have been arguements whether  the above programme should hold or not. Responses are expected on this topic and story  and your response will be published.


Healing power of Egungun Aje in Ijero -Ekiti

Are you looking for the fruits of the womb, seeking for job, wants healing or wants to solve your marital or any  problem?. Go to  Egungun Festival in Ijero Ekiti , submit yourselves to  flogging by the Egunguns, or Egungun Aje or Oko Egungun and you will give testimonies the following year!. It is real. taiwoabiodun.com reports

Masquerades  beating / thrashing spectators

 Ijero -Ekiti  ended their   seven days of their Ogun/Egungun festival where  people voluntarily submitted  themselves to be flogged by  Masquerades

It was exciting but painstaking .It was  fun  but a painful one. These masquerades of different ages , sizes  and status   flogged women and men , young men and ladies irrespective of  their  status and conditions  .

The Masquerades  flogged  those looking for the  fruits of the womb. They whipped   those looking for job, or having marital  problems and seeking   solutions to their problems .


No, the Masquerades did not use their power or  force . Those   flogged   willingly and happily submitted  themselves for flogging   , yes they  voluntarily released themselves for whipping or caning by these Masquerades. These ‘victims’  happily  received  their ”blessings” in  good faith and thanked their stars for  having the opportunity of being  flogged  as they  prayed along .


Yes, the following year those flogged would  come back to tell stories of joy , give testimonies of the blessings they received from the floggings from the Masquerades.Many said they had babies, got jobs, promoted at work among others. It is real , not  a story. That is how the Ijero- Ekiti in Ekiti State celebrate  their Egungun festival annually .


 Ajero of Ijero

Watching the  over 500 Masquerades  comprising the young  and middle- aged ones as they all trooped out in their number with their long canes. They were all ‘dressed’ in their palm-fronds and covered their faces with different types of well -carved wooden masks. It  was interesting .

On that day they   shook the town to its foundation as they were  everywhere , they danced round the town with their canes .They  ran  around like a spirit-possessed man,they  pursued their  spectators and  visitors     while the the metals on their ankles would be making sound .At a time they all gathered and said  loud prayers in their native language .This has become an annual ritual as individuals pray for the town.
For Ijero Ekiti, the Ogun/ Egungun festival  lasted for seven days  as the   townsmen or natives  irrespective of their religious  belief went into frenzy in their wild jubilation believing their  ancestors  have come from the world beyond to deliver them  and solve their problems . Visitors, natives from far and near were present to witness the historic festival which   had been in practice for over 1,000years.
   According to Joshua Oyewande  Olukolade , one of the community leaders  ” the festival lasts for seven days and it has been on for over 1,000 years.It brings the sons and daughters of the town together , people  come from United Kingdom ,  United States of America and from far and near to watch and especially for prayer which is efficacious .Now I came with some of my friends from Enugu to witness this historic festival”.



 Abiodun, Femi and Oyewande watching the activities

Narrating how it started, the town’s monarch and head of the community Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole the Ajero of Ijero stated ”This festival is called Ogun/ Egungun festival, we spent two weeks in preparation for it for the farmers would be at home to observe Ogun for they use Ogun’s implements like cutlass, hoes, and iron materials in their farm .That is why the Ijero sons and and daughters would come home  to celebrate and another means of  re-union of families. And our new calendar year starts when we ends the Ogun festival. Some communities only worshiped masquerades whereas we do  worship both Ogun and Masquerades together and it is only Ijero that observes that in Yoruba land!”, the monarch boasted .
On the Egungun festival the monarch said “For the Egungun festival we believed our forefathers came from heaven to stay with us for seven days and after the seven days they go back to heaven where they came from. And when sending them off all sons and daughters, visitors and friends would raise their voices to high heavens and  pray, ask for whatever they want   and for the progress of the town.The significance is to celebrate our ancestors and assess ourselves, improve on ourselves and move forward.”


Abiodun during the interview

Among over 500  masquerades is the most powerful one called ‘ Egungun Aje , or Ako Egungun  which is known to be very powerful and highly efficacious in prayer .According to the custodian of the Egungun Aje ,High Chief Samuel Obafemi the Aasan of Ijero  of Ijero Ekiti, ” I am the custodian of Ako Egungun  also known as Egungun  Aje , and in Yorubaland  it is only  the Ijeros that  have  this type of masquerade which is in Ijero Ekiti here .It has been existence  for over 1,000 years and ordinary person cannot wear it , whoever wears it has to be from the family of Egungun Aje or Ako Egungun and must be initiated into it .The Aje Masquerade (Ako Egungun) has and  holds a long spiritual cane he uses to cane people to receive  blessing”. According to Obafemi  , it is a blessing if one is caned by the Egungun for  it is believed the cane  has  both physical and spiritual healing thus many begged him to be flogged by Ako Egungun“.

Custodian of Egungun Aje

Corroborating Obafemi,  Oyewande said ” Yes ,it is true  , we call the cane Esisan and is being used , and the people holding them are families of Asosanyin .It is the biggest  masquerade and his cane is believed to be effective for any blessing so people even begged him to cane them.There is no bitterness in flogging people with it rather they offered themselves to be caned .It is believed that when one is caned by Egungun Aje this year  he would be praying to be caned next year .If it is a woman looking for the fruits  of the womb and she is being whipped by the masquerade that means her prayers has been answered for she would bring her baby next year , many can testify to this, go and do the research  ” , he boasted .


On how Egungun Aje came to be , the monarch explained ”in the days of yore when children were falling sick and  were dying our forefathers brought Egungun Aje out to come and rescue the town and it cured people and released  them from bondage. So those who  fell sick were healed while progress came to the town  and it waded off calamity from the land.That is why we have been celebrating and worshiping Egungun Aje , we also called it Ako Egungun ( husband of all the Egunguns ).
On that evening the arrival of Egungun Aje charged everywhere as there was huge cries of happiness of his arrival while many ran to him to be whipped with his cane. Many begged him to cane him. A young man , Yemi Olutayo said he offered himself to be caned to receive his ( Aje Egungun) blessing .” I am glad for having the opportunity to cane me , it is a physical and spiritual blessing .I know he has answered my prayers  and my life cannot be the same again as things will improve for me next year”.

VIP women in the town at the festival

Princess Iya Seyi ( aka Iya Sewooo) said ” I struggled to get to where Egungun Aje is but  the crowd was too much , but I have prayed with his name to let me grow old and let my business flourish “


They all waited patiently till 8pm for the arrival of Egungun Aje or Ako Egungun to remove his mask.They raised their voices and prayed .And immediately the Egungun Aje removed his mask, they all jubilated believing their prayers had been answered.

As if they were congregation in the church the over 20,000 people who thronged the place raised up their voices and started praying in the name of Egungun Aje , to the surprise of this reporter .
Dr.Femi  Ayo Ajai , who came from Aramoko Ekiti said ” it is a belief and I must confess to you all their prayers had been answered .That is why people come all the way from America, London and all places to receive blessings from Egungun Aje .I have never for once missed this festival ,It is interesting and adventurous”.
At 8 o’clock in the evening  ( Sunday ) over 20,000  spectators including the monarchs from the neighboring towns and  chiefs  waited to receive prayers from Egungun  Aje  and everywhere went wild .Prayers were offered and immediately the  Egungun Aje removed the wooden mask  from his face to be seen , it was all over .And while many dispersed others were glued to where they were standing, praying!.

Who knows Egungun Aje might answer your prayers , so make sure you do  not only witness the Festival next time but also allow the Masquerades to flog you and be free from your bondage.