Fare thee well Prince Olagbegi

Babá re’lé o

Ilé lo lo t’ààrà rà

Ilé ooo, ilé ooo….

A o padè  l’etí óódo t’ese Áñgéélì ti tèè  éé…


God be with you till we meet again

By His counsels guide ,uphold you;

God be with you till we meet again 

È rùn rèn o Bàmi!

Prince Olagbegi in his flowing gown with beads

.……My father was my best friend –Dr.Láyí  Olágbègí

……Owo community lost a Griot- Olunaun of Unaun

The above are some of the farewell songs to be rendered next week during service of songs and when the beautiful casket is being lowered into the grave .No matter his age some will shed tears!

By this time next week the ancient town of Owo will receive visitors from all over the world .  From Church  members, politicians, Religious leaders, academic, traditional rulers and what have you.

Well -wishers from St. Louis, Missouri, Atlanta, Texas Maryland ,New York,New Jersey New ,America will  show their faces . Those from Europe Australia,West Indies and India will not be exempted as they would paint the town red to honour the  octogenarian.


On May 22  , the traditional rites of passage starts as the family members and well- wishers  will start the traditional dance of   Àjàbúè  round the  town  announcing the glorious passage of the Prince. He was a Religious leader, community leader, political juggernaut and a Griot and great Historian who had stories of politics and the Community on his fingertip .

On that Wednesday males who are the Omo olóòkú ( Children of the deceased) will dance with the Owo traditional sword (Agada) and    the female children would  ‘armed’  themselves with yààsin (fly whisk) as they will all  decorate their necks,wrists and ankles  with ìlèkè ( coral beads)  exhibiting  their culture . Infact it’s a time to display the town’s tradition and culture of it’s burial ceremony. Lághálogho   ( metal gong ) and special drums specifically meant for a highly powered son of the soil who was also a Prince in  Owo will be competing with one another when the traditional musicians would exhibit their skills to outwit one another!

Cows will be slaughtered, musicians would be on stage and entertainment would flow yànfù yànfù .Assorted food and  drinks would be served and gift items / souvenirs would be distributed. Yes! visitors will be entertained lavishly .

Reason: Bàbá is going  home . Bàbá will be joining his ancestors. Bàbá will be given his final rite of passage and as a prince from a very important and popular royal house cows would be donated to various groups from family, Chiefs, age group, etc. in fact celebrating a person of this high calibre gives you the  inkling that the deceased was rich, educated and blessed.

Prince Olagbegi was a respecter of Tradition, he was a Chief

While the Christian   would sing ” ..  God will be with you till we meet again. A o pade l’etí óódo, t’ese Áñgéélì ti tèè éé…

Prince Olagbegi was humility personified

Wàláítàlàì nobody will cry . Nobody will grind their  teeth. Nobody will stamp his foot on the ground while placing his hands on his head. Why? because Bàbá was old. Bàbá was fulfilled. Bàbá finished his race with  honour and dignity and has gone home to rest! We will all bid him fare thee well .

Then as a chapter is closed  another chapter is open.

Solomon Olagbegi goes home @ 87
…survived by wives
…..16 Children
…..40 Grandchildren
…… 1 Grandchild

Prince Solomon Olusegun Mowasola Olagbegi was born October 2, 1936 to the late Prince Iyiolase Olagbegi and late Mrs Ajibike Iyiolase-Olagbegi in Benin City.
He was a grandson of Olagbegi 1.
He attended Government Primary School, Owo from 1945 to 1952 and then proceeded to Imade College, Owo from 1953 to 1957 where he was the Senior Prefect.
He then proceeded to Federal Emergency Science School in Lagos from 1961 to 1962 and then University of Ibadan, Ibadan from 1963 to 1970.
He also had Higher Education at Paddington College, London 1973 to 1974 and Bristol Polytechnic, Bristol, United Kingdom, 1985 to 1986.
Working experience included
Premier Grammar School, Abeokuta and Egbado College, Ilaro from 1959 to 1968.
Laboratory Technologist
Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan from 1972 to 1976.
Chemistry Department, University of Ilorin, Ilorin as Academic Chief Technologist from 1976 until he retired from public service on February 1, 1997 for mandatory age related reason.

Prince Olagbegi in his Aladura robe

He was Chairman, Senior staff Association of Universities (Ilorin Branch)1979-1983
Sectorial Chairman All Nigeria Universities of SSAUTHRIAI (1984-1986)
National President, Association of University Technologists of Nigeria (ASUTON) (1992-1993)
He was a member of the Holy Church of Cherubim and Seraphim at Ikirun, Ehinogbe, and Akure District Council.
Chairman, Owo circuit of the Movement Churches,
Co-founder and Leader of the Holy Church of Cherubim and Seraphim, Ilorin (1993 to 1997)
Member, Owo Community Advisory and Economic Development Committee (2010 to 2012).

Chief Iyiolase of Owo Kingdom
He was involved as Chairman, Member, Executive Committee, Member of Board of Directors, of Schools and Associations, including
Fountain International Secondary school,
Imade College Old Student Association,
Government School,Owo PTA,
Imade College Owo Board of Governors,
Owo High School Board of Governors.
Life, Patron, The Boys Brigade, Nigeria, Owo Battalion, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Chapter.
Life Patron, The Boys Brigade Nigeria, Owo Battalion (Owo/Ose LGA.
He was PDP Chairman, Igboroko ward, Owo (2015-2017)
The late Olagbegi has been to Great Britain/Israel/Geneva/USA

According to the family spokesman and one of the children Dr. Olayiwola Olagbegi, on May 22 there will be Ajabue traditional dance round the town. Family and well wishes will take off from the deceased’s residence at 3,Obasekaiye St,Ehin-Ogbe Quarters ,Owo ,Ondo State at 10am to 4pm.
On Thursday,May 23 at 10 am the body leaves Federal Medical Center ( FMC),Owo for lying in-state at his residence. There will be wake keep same day at 4pm at Olateru -Olagbegi Event Center, Fajuyi ,Road,Owo.
There will be funeral service on Friday 24,at 10 am at Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church ,1, Farm Centre ,Ehin- Ogbe Quarters Off Idasen Road,Owo.Interment follows immediately .There will be Thanksgiving immediately after service while reception takes place at Best Western Plus Mydas Hotel ,Klm 1,Owo/ Ikare Road.
On Saturday 25 May there will be Mowasola Olagbegi Memorial Football match ( Maiden Edition) at Ipm at Owo township Stadium.

He is survived by his wives, 16 children, 40 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Prince Olagbegi was a man of the people

Family members will fulfill all righteousness by following the tradition and   supplying the compulsory sacrificial fowl  ( adìye ìrànà)  for Bàbá’s smooth  passage  and warm reception in the land of the spirit .

Wàláítàlàì nobody will cry . Nobody will grind their teeth because Bàbá was old. Baba was fulfilled. Bàbá finished his race with dignity and has gone home to rest! We will all bid him fare thee well .

Prince Olagbegi in suit

Fare thee well Bàbá

Ó dìgbà o dìgbóse

Ma j’òkùn, ma j’ekòló

Ohun ti won ba ñje ni ki o ba won je o

Bá mi ki Bàmi ati iyè mi OOOOOOO diiiiiigba!!!!

Then eulogy ( oríkì) follows


10 years after Sheila Solarin’s demise




This morning I am wearing Black. This morning I am mourning .This morning I am in a sober mood so nobody should talk to me. This morning I am grieving  so nobody should call my phone . I am crying not only for myself but I am crying for the entire nation for not appreciating this woman . Come, sebi they gave out   Nigeria National Merit Awards  and gave   Post humous awards?. Why did we forget the couple: the late Tai Solarin and his wife, Sheila? .Are we ingrates or have we  forgotten the couple? .What a country! . So we have forgotten her kiakia niyen?. Nigeria we hail thee. So they did not deserve national honours or is it an act of  omission or commission ? . Next year they should be awarded , and if they are not honoured , I  along with Mayflower students both ex and present will protest. We will march from Ikenne to  the National House of  Assembly in Abuja .

She was a library. She was a  Griot.  She was rich in stories infact she was an encyclopedia of stories. She was never tired of me. A phone call will put you through. She would not tell you the time to come . No scheduled time .Unlike those so called  arrogant  millionaires who would be flaunting    their illegal or ill-gotten wealth and pacing up and down in their living rooms to show you how wealthy they are , no!, not for Mama . Mama Sheila as she  was fondly called would invite you into her sparsely decorated  living room .Her dressing was simple .She was modest in everything .


I vividly remember the late Abayomi Ogundeji who was the Editor of Sunday Desk  in the days of  The Comet Newspaper  who asked me to go to Ikenne to do a story on the late Tai Solarin’s anniversary . It was my first time to visit Ikenne and Mama welcomed me  to the fullest and answered all the questions I asked .First impression last longer , they say. Since then I have been their family member . And when The Nation newspaper  was launched  in 2007  the  then Sunday  Editor Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin would  say ” Babalawo Of the Nation  let’s have your Tai Solarin story, you have become their family member”. That was how I  covered the Solarins’ story till when God said  e don do for me at The Nation newspaper.   Mama was ready to give me all stories .   Ask her any question she was ready to answer.


I missed her if you don’t miss her. I know her worth and value . She was witty,  she was  an egghead and was full of wisdom. She taught me many things before she left. I was one of her students .  The education she gave me for the 10 years I covered her story from the defunct The Comet  newspaper to  the biggest and thriving Nigeria media House – The Nation newspaper was great.  She taught me what others can never have. She taught me what University education cannot teach you. She  was to me like    Socrates and his followers or disciples.  During my  journey in life I came across her and she was super. If you go to a rich man’s house he would feed you with food and wine but go to Mama Sheila she would feed you with knowledge and wisdom. She was  one of the few greatest Nigerians I  ever met.

I am in Black  dress, mourning


I remember that day . It was  Black Sunday . I repeat that that day was a Black Sunday . Today it  echoes, the messages ,  the telephone calls , my actions  .Yes I can recall all . It was a nasty Sunday . Yes , I didn’t go to church  that day .I remember it was around 2 O’clock , yes 2 O’clock in the afternoon . I could recall the time, date and all what happened .Today I recalled  that  day, the sun was shining and  the temperature was  very high. I was drinking my black coffee , yes I could remember . Then I was laughing hysterically   when I remembered something , Yes  it was  … no don’t let me tell you,  when suddenly my phone rang. gran gran gran , and then started  dishing out  my favourite Bob Marley Music. I allowed the music  to go on. It stopped.  Again the phone  Nokia 3310 rang  and I picked it  . Who could that be? . A voice came through  ,”Babalawo , do  you have Tai Solarin’s children’s cell number? I heard that Mama Sheila is dead , please help us to confirm’’, that was the voice of  Kofo  Osagie, a colleague from education desk  from  the office .  Immediately   I heard the name Babalawo  I knew it was from the office, for that is what they call me. I suddenly became cold. I stopped sipping my coffee. I became cold . Tears went down my cheeks . It was a day that my heart was punctured .It was the  day I missed one of my favourite family members I was never related to by blood. Yes , I sank into my sofa chair and screamed ”Oh my God”. Then I was a full staff  at  The Nation newspaper , then I was already the family member of the Tai Solarins. They all knew me ,my face was not unknown to the household except    Tunde  whom  I never met till date. Mama said  Tunde is a private person. But I was very close to Corin, who is a younger sister to Tunde.

I   was   shivering like Christmas goat and unstable like a floated leaf on waters. My   cell phone   almost dropped from my hand as if I was suffering from Parkinson syndrome. I   called Corin’s   line   the first child of the Solarins. ”Confirmed ”, she replied in a text message  and I wept like a baby. This was  the second time I  would weep in my life .The first  time  was when my mother died at 79 .

Few hours later   I started receiving   calls from  home and abroad asking me the full details and her last hours  as if I was there when she breathed her last.  .

I used to ask her many questions from sense to non sense , civilized to  uncouth,  foolish or wise yet she would  not turn me down. I have asked about   her  romantic life when she was young,  the medical problem she ever faced and she told me it was cervical cancer. I told her that I am a friend to her parrot as I sighted the parrot in her house,  she too told me that we were the same thing. I asked  her why she did not use walking stick , she replied ‘’ I don’t  need it’’. I have asked  her  why she kept  Ghanaians ,Togolese in her house , and she replied   ‘’ what is wrong in that  Taiwo? . They are okay’’.

I remember she asked me to bring my twin brother if truly I am a twin , and  I told him that my twin brother, Kehinde  is still alive but    far away in Canada but  she said  ”that is what Yoruba will say when they have no twin brother or sister again, anyway let us meet one day or do you want me to come to Owo? ”, she jocularly   asked , and I promised to bring my twin brother ,Kehinde to know her .Unfortunately the woman never lived up to see him!.

Anytime I mentioned   the former Head of state General Babangida  she would say ”I cannot forgive him, he contributed to my husband’s death. Babangida   incarcerated my husband for months  just because  he was fighting for a just cause. Where are the leaders of yesteryears? But has he come here to tender apology?’’, she  asked.

I asked her why she did not go to Church on one Sunday morning   when I went to interview her, she responded  ”And why did you come  here on Sunday morning when you know I should be in church. Church? I don’t go to Church. I am an Atheist .I am always busy ’’. And when I told her it has been long since I went to church she was excited and   gave me a parting gift  , a book titled  Humanism By Barbara Smoker. Apart from this I have  other  eight  books she always gave me anytime I went  there for an interview ,these books are in my library.


Mama Sheila was one of the greatest Nigerians I ever met during my sojourn in journalism. She was a millionaire but chose to live a simple life. She fought for the Nigerian masses. She had wanted everything to be better  but today things are getting worse. Her voice was powerful. She was listened to . She criticized the government both the Military the Civilian. She admonished the greedy politicians who increased poverty in Nigeria.

She could have wished to go back to England and live  but chose to  live and die  in Nigeria. Can we have another Sheila again? . She had wanted History Subject to be brought back into the School’s curriculum. To  Mama , the military only came to destroy the country     while our politicians are just selfish and amassing wealth and impoverished the Nigerian masses.

Mama Sheila knew we would  all die and not go with   wealth. She knew that life is ephemeral. She was modest in everything . Her life was simple . While our millionaires wear expensive rags they called clothes , my Mama , our Mama would wear clothe full of wisdom , put on the cap of  knowledge . All these and many more will be in my Book to be published soon.

Goodnight Gboyega Aruwajoye

…….Buried like a King

…….Don’t mourn my father

……..Tears as he was lowered into the grave

………His last words


Chief waving: Goodbye to you all

The church was as silent as a graveyard  while  the music  written by  Jeremiah   Rankin  in 1882 was in mezzo forte  form

God be with you till we meet again;

By His counsels guide uphold you

With His sheep securely  fold you,

God be with you till we meet again…..

Till we meet,till we meet,

Till we meet at Jesus’ feet……


                    Born in  Owo and laid to rest in St.Louis, Missouri, America

         The funeral service  started at 12 noon at The Redeemed Christian Church of God ( RCCG), City Of God , St. Louis Brentwood, 8614 Manchester Rd, Brentwood,  MO 63144 Missouri , USA. Those  who could not attend the programe  were watching (and participating ) from   live stream programe .Outside the Church premises too were over 100 people from families and friends who ‘defied’ the  stay at home order courtesy of Corona virus pandemic as they all wore their masks  and sat in their cars to avoid the airborne disease.  That was  on Friday ,April 3  when sympathizers, close friends and family members    came out to pay the Chief their last respect while those who could not turn up were glued to  their phone on live stream  to participate in the funeral  service , thanks to technology  . In fact over 500 viewers  were sighted within 30minutes  while  on live  stream .

Many were shedding tears .Some were groaning and shaking their heads   

Pastor Jegede delivering the sermon

intermittently as tears  was streaming  down  their cheeks .Some  were biting their  lips.  Some wore long faces .The voice of  a female was heard as she showered the  family’s panegyrics  (oriki) on him. Gboyega’s  glorious exit  was colourful  but  emotional and painful .But here psychologically  and philosophically everyone was not only weeping   for Gboyega but  weeping for themselves  for the thought of who next (?) filled their minds. It reminds one  of the  Yoruba’s sayings  that  Oku nsunkun oku ,akaso lori nskun ara won.

Chief Oloja’s Final resting place  in America

    Outside the Church premises  were different types of vehicles. Members of Egbe Omo Owo Association in Missouri  all came to give their  active  member  the last respect and a heroic last honour . Some  called him Adegboyega, some also  called him  after his chieftaincy title Oloja, others too  simply called him Chief. He was installed as Chief Obagbemisugha of Owo Kingdom by His Imperial Majesty Olowo of Owo Oba Gbadegesin Ajibade  Ogunoye III some months ago.Yes, he was popular in St Louis.

                       CHURCH SERVICE

       Only  few people were allowed  in the church with a little distance to one another.Two officiating pastors, Pastors Yomi Jegede  and Niyi Aruwajoye preached .Jegede delivered  a thought-provoking  sermon quoting  some  Bible passages. He made references to the parables of the Rich man in Matthew .He quoted  Psalm 39:6, Matthew 16:24-27. He narrated the story of the Ten Virgins  and how we can build our treasures in Heaven.The Pastor implored every living man to serve God and desist from sins such as fornication,adultery, lies, bribes,masturbation among others in order to gain eternal life.

Pastor Femi Omiye spoke about Chief Aruwajoye

        Pastor   Niyi Aruwajoye  in his sermon described the deceased as a very good  man , he added that  he was happy that the deceased  who was his brother gave his life to Christ before he died .Aruwajoye assured the mourners that heaven is real and  that  Gboyega’s  believing in  God and accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord  and his   Saviour will surely make him to  go to heaven.The Pastor advised everybody to get prepared for one could be called home at any time”


     While giving a vote of  thanks , one of the children of the deceased, Tobi Aruwajoye thanked whose who stood by this father and the family during their trying period.He described his father’s life as an open book, his words ” His life is an open book, I will not call this mourning , please don’t mourn our father  but let us celebrate him. He was always happy even when things were not going on well.”

Tobi went down memory lane and  gave reasons  why his father loved colour white, ” When I asked my father why he loved wearing white, he  said he loved white colour because his late father Chief S.B.Aruwajoye loved  white colour and he always wore white clothes  during his lifetime. Aside that my father used to say that  his  heart was clean and white represents  clean and pure heart. He was never afraid of death”.  Tobi acknowledged his sisters and brother (in Dallas) at home ,infact he mentioned Bolu his father’s adopted child and the last wife of his father who all could not  come all the way from Nigeria to attend the ceremony to  pay their last respect.


           The beautiful white  coloured casket  was kept in the limousine  with a flower on top.The Limousine   was followed in a convoy  to Bellefontaine Cemetery, 4947 W Florssant Ave, St .Louis.MO 63115  with a  Condolence register. Engr. Samson Adekunle Obanigba, Gani Obanigba (President of Egbe Omo Owo Association, Missouri),Kofo Osun( MD of African Palace Restaurants, St.Louis, America and Akure in Ondo State, Nigeria) , Pastor Femi Omiye, Mrs Kike Osun, Pharmacist Bayo Ogunmolawa , Gboyega Lobo Agaun, Bode Fadeyi , among others were not left out to bid   Gboyega a final goodbye .

      The motorcade  was heavy, the limousine car where  the casket was placed had Gboyega’s  big poster in his immaculate white with his beads    on it. He was flamboyant in life so also in death. Pharmacist  Ogunmolawa tried to control the traffic as shown on live  stream. Mrs.Osun  was sighted as she said ”I will miss you Brother Gboyega who would come to African Palace and ask for his delicious food”.


    Only the immediate family members  were allowed to be  at  graveside to perform the dust- to- dust rite . Lobo Agaun who was  present  said ” Infact Brother Gboyega was buried  like a king. The honour given to him was like burying a King. People trooped out , the African-Americans trooped out to say a final goodbye to him.He was greater in death even if his remains  were  brought to Nigeria  for burial he couldn’t have been honoured more than this”

  Although only the immediate family could get closer to where he was buried as fleet of cars that were  there but sympathizers were  in their cars as the rule dictated due to the pandemic of Coronavirus . The white, the Blacks and African -Americans too  were present to bid him the final goodbye .After the dust-to-dust rite performed by  children; Tobi, his sisters and his African -American wife many burst into tears. Fadeyi a close pal to the deceased , said he broke down and could not continue with the recording again. Others in their vehicles said  immediately  they saw him lowered in the grave their  eyes turned red when it now dawned on  them that Gboyega has truly gone, gone for ever.He died at the age of 59.

  From the graveside everybody turned back leaving  Chief Oloja Gboyega Aruwajoye behind. That was the glorious end of a popular man in his own country and in St.Louis, Missouri , America.


How are the mighty fallen!


Tobi ,son of the the late Chief said his father’s last wish was  to  be buried here in America .

         While many called this reporter asking why the remains of the late Chief were not brought back to Owo,his hometown in Nigeria to sleep. Investigation reveals that it would be saddened to bring his remains back home because of his aged mother . Again another caller said money could have been the problem while this was punctured because the Aruwajoye family is rich and could afford  bringing his remains back home .

When asked why  the late Chief was buried in America, his son ,Tobi replied ” That was  my father’s wish.He said he should be buried here in St.Louis , that was what he  told me”, the handsome and brilliant son of the deceased said as American accent reflected from his speech. This view was supported by some friends who said ” he lived all his life here.He had his family here , so this place is his home and  it makes sense .All the children are here  so it is okay for him to be buried here”, his friend who begged for anonymity said .


Gboyega Aruwajoye was a man of the people both in Nigeria and in America, read what he told his people


The renowned Pharmacist said Gboyega was a jolly fellow human being . He took life simple and this I will continue to remember. According to Ogunmolawa              ” when I went to meet him at the hospital , he told me that he would feel bad if he dies  before his mother. He said he would have loved to bury his mother but not the reverse.But I told him that God owes our life.His wish is unchangeable. He was passionate about his mother”.


He said ” The last time I saw him was when he came back from the hospital and he was bubbling, he told me he was getting better. I was very close to him. I never knew that would be the end. We spoke last on phone, when I saw him he had no strength again.He was a nice man”.


The late Chief  was a half brother to Sanmi. Sanmi said ”I called him on phone while he was still at the hospital, he said ‘I am still here o, I am still alive o’. But I responded that ‘You are going nowhere my brother’ .Painfully , my younger sister called me on  Sunday evening to break the news to me.I was devastated, for I  prayed he should survive it. I am pained”, Sanmi  burst into tears on phone as he cut off the phone in tears.


The late Gboyega was half brother to Pastor Niyi . The Pastor   said  ” I am happy that he gave his life to Christ before he died.When he was in Hospice I was there to see him and the last  words he said to me  was ”All is well” .We spoke and spoke .I encouraged him and told him he should have faith in God .He passed on peacefully.I thank God that he accepted Christ before he passed to glory.”


       The respected Medical Doctor said ”We were classmate, we  attended  same Primary School  in the 60s, since then we have been very close. He was a jolly fellow. The last time we spoke was when I was on my way to South Carolina . I called him and he said ‘ Dr. hope you are doing well o, I am still here and I told him you will be okay in Jesus name’. He was a very, very nice guy .I am pained”.

GANI OBANIGBA spoke with him three days before his death

     The President of  Egbe Omo Owo  Association in St Louis , Gani Obanigba said ” He  (Gboyega) knew he was going , but  I  encouraged him that he should  not  give up. I said ‘Don’t give up, God will do miracle’ , that was three days before his death”.


We spoke last week , he said ‘he couldnt eat , the food is not going , and I told him I would call him back .When I heard about his death I was sad”



  The man of God Bode Fadeyi  was very  close to the late Chief, he said ” I  attended the burial and when I was in the car , and tried to do a video but when   he was being lowered into the grave,  I could not stand it. I was crying , I couldn’t stand it and I left, crying. He was my best friend and brother . So Chief is  gone?”, he lamented and continued crying .


O digba , o digbose


The late Chief Oloja was loved by many , infact he was called ”Man of the People” as Omoloja described him. Omoloja said ”I went to meet him at the hospital .I  never thought  he was going to die  for he was full of life. Whenever I called him he would say ‘I am still here o’.  Sometimes when I called and he  did not pick  , he would later send me text messages   and  replied  that  he was sleeping  when I called. When  I  saw his casket I was shivering .I couldn’t stand it when he was being  lowered into the  grave.I wept .The last time I wept was in 1992 when my father died. The painful aspect of it was that they did not open the casket for us  to let us say final goodbye to him. They just drove straight to the graveside while only his children were there .My daughter , Kehinde wept uncontrollably  and couldn’t eat for days .She wanted to attend the burial but  I didn’t allow her. Oloja’s death is painful,he was jovial. Who will make us laugh again?”, Omoloja burst into tears.

KOFO OSUN of African Palace

The Managing  Director of African Palace in St Louis who also has a branch in Akure, Nigeria spoke glowingly about the late Chief. He said ”I spoke with him before he died , he knew he was going , he called Rotimi my younger brother and told him  to take care of his wife. I  was there when he was rolled  down into the grave.I was touched. He was a good man , he was jovial and loved. I wept .This life is just ephemeral .Only  people like the pastors  and the children were allowed to be by the graveside .  His second born couldn’t come due to his duty. He is  a soldier in Dallas. Gboyega  was a  fun guy , he was jovial all the time , everybody  gona miss him”.


Pastor Femi Omiye  of Freedom Church, St.Louis , Missouri, described Chief’s death as painful and untimely .The Pastor  however produced a small video clip in his memory. Omiye said ”I  prayed  for  him and I always prayed for him .Before he died he called me and asked me to take him to the hospital and I did . But he was weak. Whenever I called I would pray for him and he too   would ask me to remember him in prayer’


The man who was his classmate at Government Technical College, Owo cried on phone, he said ”We were classmate when in Technical School. He was a very nice man. I want we his friends to organize a candle light for him and celebrate him here when this Coronavirus leaves.We should honour him here too .He deserved it ”, he said as he was crying on phone.


The Olunaun of Unaun., Prince Olanrewaju ABEGUNDE cried on phone . He said ” So when he came to Owo last time   was the last time I would see him? .This life  has no meaning at all.But we still thank God that he left behind children and grandchildren.I pray May God console his mother and  the  family he left behind”.


Hezekiah lamented on phone and said ” Imagine how wicked death is, he is still having a mother at home.I know Gboyega very well, he was a nice friend as we both went to Technical College together .Death where is thy sting?”, he broke down on phone and was weeping as his phone was running .

Those who attended the funeral ceremony are :Dipo Okunrinboye, Yomi Fajagba,Dodolewa, Pastor Akano,Mr. Adeniseun Greg, Mrs Haco Omoloja, Mrs. Aariola Olugboroko, Mrs Kehinde Olagbegi -Osinkoya   and Bola her husband  and many others.

Lobo Agaun said ” here was a man who was loved  from  Owo his country home to Canada, Russia, United Kingdom, Australia and America . The story of  Chief Oloja  who was popular home and abroad  makes the beat go on as his humility, simplicity, cheerfulness and social life continues to ring bell” .


Tribute to Gboyega Aruwajoye

      As my   cell  phone  rang I picked  it and looked at the Calling Line Identification . It was very unusual for the caller to call  at that unholy hour.  The caller was not strange but the  voice was unusual for  he was not in high spirit as he used to be . He  now spoke in hushed  tone .His voice was cracking  and shaking , infact his voice was  hoarse and his words  were incoherent .  ”Babalawo of the Nation I called you last night  but you  switched  off your phone. Brother Gboyega  passed on last night”, the caller said. I responded  ”Repeat what you said Lobo  , and he repeated it as he now  spoke in Owo dialect ”i brother Gboyega Aruwajoye Chief  Oloja  ti ku o”, he then burst into tears . I screamed ”Whaaaaaaat?”.  I then switched off my phone.

        I was devastated . I was rattled. I was dumbfounded. I was shocked. I began to sweat ( in the cold weather) like Christmas goat who sighted  a kitchen  knife.

           I screamed  ”Ah! akuko ko l’ehin Omokunrin”. I broke down and wept. I could not sleep again. I   could not call Lobo Agaun my friend who passed the information to me   to ask him questions . I could not do anything . I was furious and within a second I  was temporarily insane. I visited the loo six times  thinking it was a bedroom. I  ran out looking for the car key . I dashed out calling Ronnie to open the garage having forgotten that  she has  gone to work and the car was not in the garage while the key I was holding was not a car key but door key. I thought of driving  to the family house at Owaluwa  to sympathize or commiserate with the family  but I later  discovered where I was .Haaa, this is not Owo , Owo is far  from here .Kai , this is America !.

        So Gboyega died in America here . Mo gbe! So we don’t know where death would meet us?. Gboyega who has just buried his older brother about eight months ago. Gboyega who became a Chief eight months ago. Gboyega the man we used to  call and hail as  Oloja  in Egbe Omo  Owo Association in St. Louis . Oloun Olodumare oo, Death you are wicked.

       I looked at the stupid Month of March .The March did not march  on very well. The March did not match our thoughts. The March  reminded me the Ides of March . The March reminded me how everybody was marched to  ‘prison’ in the month of March no thanks to the pandemic Coronavirus.  The March that that did not match any good thing. The March that used machete on everybody . No, this is one  death too many . Yes , ”your  turn is on the way is what death whistles into everybody’s ears”  (tire mbo , tire nbo n’iku nwi]. I wept  like a baby.

   John Donne  said it all that Death be not proud , though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful,for thou art not so,For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,Die not, poor death ,nor yet canst  thou kill me. One day , yes  one day the gragra of this monster called Death will  be put to death one day.


Ika ni iku , odaju si ni pelu

Iku a pe eni a npe

Iku a pe eni ti npe ni.

Ika ni iku , iku ni ika ninu jojo

A ni se , oloriburuku ni iku

Alejo oran  nla ni Iku

Alanitiju ni Iku

Iku a wo’le  wuye , igbe a ta

Iku a mu omo ikoko   lo

A mu Omo  lo, a fi  Baba ati Iya sile

Sugbon kini kan ni mo mo daju saka o

Lojo kan, ani lojo kan Owo a te iku

Iku paa paa yio   ku

    No, he did not die from this pandemic called Coronavirus as rumour began to spread and people were asking the nature of  his death. I know this very well. He has been sick for a while and anybody could fall sick. Infact sickness will not announce itself while death too will never tell you he’s  on the way.

   I remember when the late Chief sighted me the first time in St.Louis in an Hotel where the World Council Association of Owo Indigenes  held their Convention two years ago  , he  cried  ”Babalawo of the Nation ,Bobo T, T Bobo where is your opele, where is your Ifa?”he jokingly asked   and added  ”thank God you are here your talent will be rewarded here. Don’t worry you will enjoy your stay”  .When the story of Dele Udo’s  was published in Nigerian  and foreign newspapers;  Reunited after 37 years   of which World News Day  published and received loud ovation , Gboyega  and Agaun celebrated it alongside with my wife at African Palace for  they knew the lady, Angelle Udoh who patronizes African Palace Restaurant in St. Louis .That was when  I started adjusting to the environment

  Few months ago when  he arrived from Owo after the Olowo of Owo’s installation, he spoke glowingly about the royal father, he asked me to come have an interview with him, he  swore  and said ”Olowo did not collect a dime from  me , sincerely speaking  I appreciate him”. Gboyega was rich in manner, he was a man full of ideas.He was witty .He was a lover of people and he was loved too. He would never  talk ill of anybody instead he would say ”settle it, settle it” and that is all.


Agaun and Chief Oja

  He is now free , free from all struggle after all did a French proverb not say ”Life is like an onion that one peels crying ”, he is no longer peeling onion, crying . He has joined the Saints. All the struggle  has ended , he no longer struggle like us -the living , and who knows the next person to answer His call, so Marcus Aurelius was not wrong in his words that ”The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing”.

Gboyega is no more in debt , he has been freed while the living continue , he has transformed or metamorphosed to the spiritual world and  it is the living  who are still in debt as the Book of Common Prayer of Church of England is quoted ”In the midst of life, we are in debt”.

Gboyega, Agaun and Babalawo of the Nation

Did Samuel Johnson not say ” It matters  not how a man dies , but how he lives?” Chief Oloja lived well.No man has ever reported him of any fraudulent activities. His yes was ‘yes’ while his no was ‘no’.

”Babalawo of The Nation please tell Ronnie to let us  meet at African Palace or should I come and pick you up?”, he asked many times .And at African Palace he would ask me and Ronnie, my wife to eat, drink and be satisfied. One day he told us why he stopped taking alcohol . ”You see a Police officer  stopped me , and I stopped . Later I remember that if  I should  smell alcohol it will be a big trouble , since then I had stopped taking any alcoholic drink ”, he said and continued the story ,” You see when  I stopped the engine and when he was coming towards me  I  sped off. I was surprised that he did not run after me”.

The Olunaun of Unaun ,Prince Olanrewaju Abegunde burst into tears on phone , he said ” Gboyega was a star, a loving friend ,  kind, humble and full of simplicity, he   could not hurt a fly . He struggled   to make a living legally in America .He was a very successful man . He maintained his dignity and protected the Aruwajoye  family name. Yes , that is Gboyega for you”.

He was full of  stories .The last time we met was when I went to  see him at ‘Home’ where he was being treated, he summoned courage and said he would be okay .Infact he was bubbling but Aisan lo see wo , a ko ri t’Olojo se.

Ronnie loved him so much that  she always called him to African Palace to  dance , she said ” He knows how to dance our American dance , he could dance and  he dresses very well ”.Gboyega would tell me that ” this Ronnie your wife is a special woman , you are lucky to have met her type ”

And the question I am asking is ”So they will bury that handsome man with white beard? .So his glittering skin and white teeth will no more be seen?. The jokes are no more ? .Well, we are all going the same way but only at different time .

  Rest on Oloja , and keep on smiling after all  we will all return home whether we like it or not for the world is like a market place, where you purchase your goods and must compulsorily go back home no matter how late.

For Aruwajoye his smile would be dearly missed by all especially in St.Louis here in America where the words of George Burns come into action that ”Happiness is having a large  loving family in another city” .

  Bode Fadeyi wrote ” I have known him for over 50years right from Owo in Ondo state , he was always full of life , very lively as there was no dull moment.He was always ready to help.He would be greatly missed”.

 Pastor Omiye wrote ”Its with heavy heart and great sadness but with perfect submission to the will of  God  that we announce the sunset of Chief Adegboyega  Aruwajoye on Sunday March 29,2000, May his gentle soul rest in peace”.

Princess Kehinde Olagbegi Osinkoya wrote ” May his gentle  soul rest in peace” Adesoji Olateru Olagbegi  typed  ”Rest in peace Gboyega”. Pharmacist Bayo Ogunmolawa too  prayed ”May his soul rest in peace and may our Lord Jesus Christ comfort  his friends and  family”

Dr. Layi Olagbegi with heavy heart   wrote ”Rest in peace.”

For the family and friends let us give him a befitting burial, it is sure we shall all go one day ,after all Marcus Tullius Cicero says it all that ” the life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living , his memory lingers on in our minds”.

God giveth and He taketh.Yes , he  has an aged mother , but what do we do? .If he had become insane or in vegetable state we would be praying for him saying if …..and if he were still alive we would not be at ease seeing him groaning in pains. Let us take consolation in John 3:16 that says For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish , but have everlasting  life.

Adieu Chief Gboyega Aruwajoye we shall meet on the the resurrection day. Sleep on and rest well .

We cannot remarry again- Funke Owomoyela


        She is in  second position  among  the three surviving wives of the late musician, Dr. Orlando Owoh.  A well-educated woman who  was a  secondary school teacher in Ekiti -State when Orlando met her. She  is sound and  sharp-witted  as she  speaks impeccable English  and Yoruba languages laced with proverbs and anecdotes  . Madam Funke   Owomoyela is a mother in a million and a woman a  man should be  proud of . She is a wife   who will not betray  or deny her husband even in death

………..Why we can’t remarry again

……….We don’t see Orlando’s friends  

…….Thanks to Tunde Oladunjoye 

…….We use to hear Orlando’s voice in his room


 The highly intelligent woman spoke  with modest and clarity. When asked to introduce herself,  she said  ”My name is Funke Owomoyela .You must have been hearing our names from the  records Orlando  Owoh waxed  where  he mentioned our names and   sang our (wives) praises “. She continued “among the surviving wives of Orlando  I am next to Muibatu and Shade is next to me” .


Contrary to what always happen in a polygamous family and in  an African set- up  where wives  fight  one another , keep malice, spread  rumour  and  where envy and strife reign   this is not so among these three  wives the late musician left behind. These women  all live under one roof  in their husband’s house at Agege  without any quarrel .

However, when asked to tell  the secret of their unity and togetherness , the woman said ”nobody  that has the  effrontery to   break that love and mutual understanding that exist within us. Even when our  husband  was  alive  he did not  succeed in knowing the secret or breaking  the bond  .The love  was   too much, and nobody can now come  to destroy it for  us”.


Funke tried to remember how she met Orlando  and those  who supported her in the family to marry Orlando. She  went down memory lane and narrated  how it all went ” I was a secondary school teacher   in Ekiti -State when we met. None of my family members supported our marriage  except my grandmother.  It was only my granny that supported our  union because she   loved Orlando’s music , and she said she wanted her daughter to  marry a musician so that when she dies she wanted  big and popular musicians to come and play at her funeral ceremony. Truly ,   Orlando fulfilled his promise when she died” ,she  said.

She   described the burial ceremony of her grandmother as ”one in town”, she said  ”It was a  fantastic burial. It was not only Orlando that  came  but  many great musicians  also came to play  and they supported me morally and financially ”.


Asked whether she sees    Orlando’s mother and her response is ”Yes, she is still alive  and she lives in Owo .We saw her when we went for the burial ceremony of Sade’s mother recently in Owo  last  February”.


The woman who said she is always sad anytime  she  hears Orlando’s music . On how she feels when listening to Orlando’s music being played , she shouted”Ah!, they are injecting  us where it hurts , we used to hear his music especially over  the radio everyday.  Infact  they cannot do without playing his music. They would even praise him, and say his death was a fatal blow on them , they will say Iku b’ola je and that if he were alive today he would have sang more  songs .We don’t want to be remembering this. We always  cry while watching him on  VCD  and video because Orlando was not an ordinary man”.


The spirit of  the dead don’t die according to  Yoruba belief and in African Philosophy  , Funke said Orlando’s voice is still being heard as his spirit still lives in the house . She said   ”I used to see him in my dream , even we  used hear his voice in his room and when  he  is   having his bath. Sade is the one that would miss him most because they were 24/7”.  Pressed  to speak further on the mysterious things that have been happening , she refused  and said ”No, don’t let us go there”, she pleaded. 


The retired teacher  is visibly angry and dissapointed that   after their benefactor and confidant had gone none of his friends bothered to know how they are faring , she said ”It was when he was alive that he had friends but immediately he died he had no friends again because nobody turned up, we did not see anybody. All their empty   promises are  tissues of lies. They left us alone, even…………. ( names withheld ) who was trained in Orlando’s house in Oshogbo did not pick our calls again. So Orlando has no friends again, it was when he was alive that he had thousands of friends who milled round him and   stay glued  here”


 Ganja, known  to be his Orlando’s  favourite smoke  for spiritualism and musical  inspiration ,She confirmed that her late husband did smoke it , ”Yes, he smoked ganja  but  with sense”, she added  ”Orlando had that sense of musical and poetic fitness .His brain    cannot be compared with  those  with Cambridge Certificates . Orlando was a genius , very brilliant and was gifted . Orlando would wax three records in the studio overnight. We would stay with him and he would come to ask us whether he did very well, and we would give him positive answer . We always  went with him to the studio. He would wax three records at a  sitting  , that   cannot be accomplished   by any living  musician. No musician can beat that .Waxing    three records one night and mixing  it was no easy feat .That  is why I said he was a legend. He was not an ordinary man.We really missed him. Now we need assistance from people , may be they can respond”.


When the retired teacher said they  needed assistance, this reporter was forced to ask about the royalties from  Orlando’s albums  which should have  made them comfortable, but she screamed ”Royalties?, the ones he was entitled  to from the Nigeria Performing Musical Association of which  they bring every year before had stopped since!. I believe someone  must have been collecting it behind us ”, she said , and added that the painful aspect of it is that   ”at the end of  each year we would receive message that we have received royalties yet we did not see anything! .We are not novice , we are all educated”, she said with voice raised.

When asked whether  the family lodged complaints , she said ”both the PMAN  NAPCON and others who should be giving us royalties did not , someone must have been  collecting it and it is sad”. She however confessed that they had not gone to lodge complaint ,”We wanted to complain, but we were slow, we ought to have complained since”, she admitted.


The retired teacher   said none of  her children   sings, but was quick to add  ” some  of my stepchildren  like Daisi Orlando  and  Kunle Orlando sing  while  Orimipe Orlando  who lives in  the United States of America  also sing”.


Since Orlando’s death none of the wives  had remarried. Asked why she has not remarried since all these years , the woman screamed ”Remarry?, none of us dare tried it.  After all what that man (Orlando) did for us? . No, nobody can remarry among us. If we are talking of any man that loves his wife , Orlando was number one, and I have not seen any second person. I have not met any man that would behave like Orlando. Nobody has a cause to remarry because he  did his best for everybody, he trained our children .We cannot remarry , Who is that person?. Ki la fe fe?. What else do we want again?”.


She recounted the last minutes of   the late Musical maestro, ,she said  ”we  ( wives) were with him at the bedside at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH)   when he gave up the ghost.  He spoke with us but you don’t  tell everything. What is still strange to us up till this moment is how the news filtered out that he had given up the ghost when nobody was informed for while he was being packed , we heard the breaking news on the television that ‘Sir Orlando Owoh is dead‘, we didn’t know how they got the news”.

On Orlando’s death , she said if death could accept money some  governors would have donated as she said   ”about four governors  struggled to make sure he live, if they can buy life they would have bought it but that is it.”


Reminded that  Yoruba  believes   in  reincarnation ,asked whether  she would marry Orlando again in the next world if she meets  him again , she quickly  responded  ”God’s willing , if  per chance we meet again , all of us who married him would still marry him. He was a very loving man, very caring and loving . I have not seen another man like him. We feel it”.


Funke could not but speak  on how accomodating the African Kennery was when alive, she said  ”anytime  he came back from his outing/play   his fans and others  would immediately  thronged here shouting his name and we would be begging  them to allow him to rest for sometime that he had just arrived but  Orlando himself  would peep from the window and cry out that ‘I am at home!, I am at home!!’ to our consternation” .

She continued  ”Orlando   almost turned us  to liars so  we left him alone .When his death was announced many people came to sympathise with us and some  almost killed themselves here. Some said he was the one who footed their  bills  during their  babies’  naming ceremonies , some said he gave them dollars when he came back from America while some  too said  he gave them clothes and shoes when he arrived  from America .He was very nice to everybody and  very accommodating ,he welcomed everybody and housed  and fed them  irrespective of their status”.


Leopard will never change its skin, that is Orlando for you , he refused to change, he was genrous  to a fault. Funke said  ”his death  is what we cannot  forget easily  , remembering him makes us feel bad and sad.  He would advise  us to allow him to do what he was doing , that is assisting everybody for he would leave one day. Later we left him alone and  we would tell whoever came that he was at home , they should go and meet him. Whenever he came back from play he would not rest, for he would  be attending   and entertaining  visitors always , no rest. As we were pounding yam in the kitchen, we would also be smoothing amala.He would say ‘ pounded yam for six people , amala for four people , eba for eight people’  , our house would be full like a market place but since he had  died we did not see anybody!.There is no  human being again [no person again).Ko seeyan mo!


Funke gave this advise ”Please do whatever you can do to assist people , it is what one did that he  would be remembered  for .You cannot clothe yourself  in  another person’s character .Whatever God sent you to do it , just  do it for people would talk about it and remember you for it”.


The woman however exonerated one  Tunde Oladunjoye who was Orlando’s manager for a short period , she said ”Tunde Oladunjoye is from Ijebu- Remo in Ogun state, he was Orlando’s manager for a short period and when he became the Commissioner he always assist us and fulfilled his promises, he used to say ‘Orlando is my mentor, there is nothing I   would become  today that I would not give credit  to him’ ” . According to Funke, Oladunjoye is the only man that has been assisting them,  ”he is the only man that comes here to give us  money , he would come with foodstuff and other things. It is only this Tunde Oladunjoye we see, he (Orlando)  has no  friends again and that is for the wives. He even sent money to me when I was hospitalised recently” .

Behold the oldest Vendor in Akure

Pa Gabriel Ayodele Ajayi

…………Oldest Vendor in Akure

……….. His favourite song

……..Sold newspapers during Civil war

……..Honest and faithful man

As the old man got to the  Newspapers’ Distributing/ Agent’s office at Oyemekun Road, Akure    to  collect his papers for the day’s  sales ,   he firstly  glanced through all the newspapers   reading  the headlines  before he   packed his own allotted   newspapers for  sale  for the day .

      He  placed  some newspapers   on  the top bar  and others on the handlebars stem of  his Raleigh bicycle, mounted it and sat on the saddle , peddling  as he   rode  away . ”He would not return until  there is no single paper on his bike ”, one of the Vendors told this reporter on that Monday morning.

That is Pa Gabriel Ayodele  Ajayi who has been a newspaper vendor  for over 50 years.

        His dressing is unique, he wears simple but casual dress with a Bucket  Hat on his head   to  keep him away from the scorching sun. He gets to the Agent’s office as early as 6:30am.

   The old man sells for the high and the low in Akure the capital of Ondo State. He knows many streets, many big men in Akure here , and also   all the nooks and crannies here too. Speaking  with the old man proved a little bit difficult for he was in haste to go out and sell his newspapers. In addition, the man is a man of few words as  he managed to respond to this reporter’s questions  . Asked when he has been selling newspapers , he responded  ” I have been selling newspapers for over 50 years. I sold newspapers  during the Nigerian Civil War when  the war  was hot. I have lived for many years in this town   (Akure)”. Asked whether it is true that he was once a photographer , he smiled  but did not give an answer. When asked  about his family, he declined to answer. Asked the time he would come back from selling his papers, he replied  ” when I finished selling ”.

     Asked another question again, he refused to answer , as he  put on his Bucket’s Hat , he adjusted himself , pushed his bicycle , mounted it and left.

”Although his hearing is  partially impaired yet he could  understand and get what he want.  He is a disciplinarian and does not tolerate nonsense , he time conscious and   always the first vendor to come here and pick his newspapers to sale. He goes out early and closes by 3:30pm ”, said a Vendor. Baba  celebrated his 75 birthday two years ago, the Vendor added.

        One of the vendors  at the  Distribution Centre said ” this man is popular and known  all over Akure here and  he  sells to  the high and the low. I met him doing the job. I believe he has old customers and supplies to individuals”.


       Looking at his  Raleigh   bicycle one would know that it has seen ages!. Chief Alade Adewale ( a one- time  Newspaper Agent )  spoke  about the  septuagenarian Vendor and his  bicycle, he  said ” Baba’s  bicycle  is over 17 years old and he  bought it brand new.  He used to collect newspapers from me. The man is a mystery . He does not cheat, if he is paid in excess by mistake he would refund the money.  Nobody knows about his family ,nobody knows his wife or kid”.

      Adewale continued  ” the old man  is also a photographer , we don’t know much about him  but all we know is that he is from Ikogosi. The   man is ever  neat, always at alert , well  kitted , well dressed  as he wears apron to show his  professionalism”.

     The old Vendor’s motto is   ” We should look  for peace not war ”. His  common saying  is “Keep Nigeria one is a task to be done ” and this is what he has been shouting when he came , another Vendor stated.

        John Kolawole said  Pa Ajayi  always tell them the stories about the   Nigeria’s Civil War , ” he  told us about  the Civil war  of 1966/67 and June 12 1993 and the 1983 Governorship crisis  of  Ondo  State where he  went out  selling his papers . He would sing  Laarin ota ibon, yiyan le mi o yan ,  (I will march on in the middle of hail of bullets ) .

     Tayo Ade a Vendor said ” Baba always sing songs of encouragement and tells us  stories of how he used to sell newspapers during the Nigerian  Civil War. He is ever neat and straightforward”

   Another Vendor said the old man plays  with everybody.  If he dies today they will call all  vendors to come and attend his burial and pay homage to him  because he is faithful to the organization , he does not miss any meeting”.

What  a hardworking, dutiful and honest Vendor!

This was the last  interview  conducted  with him.


The old man passed on four months ago. He has since been buried in his home town,  Ogotun-Ekiti



Goodnight Olufunke Olakunri

Congregants singing a Hymn


…She survived cancer 20years ago

She was my mentor and mother –Gani Obanigba

Yesterday, a Memorial Service of Songs and Celebration of Life was held  for Mrs. Olufunke Oyeyemi Olakunri at  The Redeemed Church of God (RCCG) City of God at 8614 Manchester Rd, St.Louis , MO 63144, America .

The  programme which was organized  by Gani Obanigba who was a brother in-law to the deceased was attended by many people from family members to friends and acquaintances.Pastor Niyi Aruwajoye the officiating Pastor implored everyone present to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, he said  ” we came with nothing and will surely go empty handed ”, he counseled.Pastor Akin Aruwajoye also added that ”since no one knows when he is going it is better now to repent because we will all die one day”.Pastor Omiye consoled the family and friends and implored everybody to be strong.

The service  which started at 2pm did not close until after 5pm as everybody  was discussing about how nice the  the   woman was. A member of the family described how she survived cancer of the breast 20 years ago but fell cheaply and painfully into the hands of suspected herdsmen or killers, no one is safe again, she concluded.

Some songs were rendered as many used handkerchief  to clean their misty eyes . Among the songs are   On the resurrection morning , Soul and body meet again , No more sorrow, no more weeping , No more pains …. A woman could not sing along as she kept on looking at the pictures in the program and weeping profusely.


Mr.Gani Obanigba who is a brother –inlaw to the late woman described the woman as a nice, humble and a great philanthropist  who will not allow anybody to suffer.

According to Gani, ‘’ I called her my mother , mentor and God-sent. She facilitated my coming to America  and I shall for ever be grateful to her”., he said .



Pastor Idowu  ,described the woman as a rare gift to humanity whose life was brutally cut down.  He said ”She used to call me Uncle, Uncle and I too would call her Auntie , Auntie. She was a wonderful individual , woman of  accomplishment. She worked hard , blessed people and was a  strong pillar of the family”’

When Seun Obanigba held the microphone and was   about to speak about her , she broke down as hot tears cascaded on her cheeks, she could not talk.,

 Born on June 11, 1961 in Akure to the families of Chief Reuben Famuyide  Fasoranti  and Frances Oladiwura Fasoranti who were both teachers .

Olufunke attended St. Stephen’s Primary School in Iju -Itaogbolu , Ondo state , She also attended St Louis secondary school , Ondo for her secondary school where she spent two years but due to transfer of her father again she went with him to Olivet Baptist High School , Oyo where she completed her secondary school .She proceeded to Federal School of Arts and Science Ondo for her Advanced level .

She went to Ondo state Polytechnic where she obtained her HND in Accounting in 1983.

After her National Youth Service Corps in Omega Bank now Spring Bank . She later went to Lagos University to read Law, she was a pioneer student at Nigeria Law School, Abuja

Olufunke attended many courses and programes home and abroad inccluding Havard University , USA.

As a seasoned Banker she worked with Citi Express Bank, Great Nigeria Insurance  and rose to the positions of Secretary in these companies .

She was generous to a fault,

She married Mr. Idowu Olakunri of the Elerewe Dynasty of Owo on February 15, 1985, and the union was blessed with two daughters ; Oyindamola  Weider, Oluwafeyisike  Omosehin  and grandchildren . Olufunke was survived by her husband, children sister  and many family members

May her soul rest in peace.

Those who were present at the event are ; Dr. Layi Olagbegi, Pastor Omiye, Pastor Niyi Aruwajoye, Chief Gboyega Aruwajoye, Dipo Okunrinboye,Mr and Mrs Kofo  Osun, and many others ,

However the remains of the Lawyer cum Banker will be buried today at Akure .

I cry everyday-Father of the late Olori Bola


Pa Adepoju  (speaking in Yoruba language)lamenting the death of his daughter

Olodumare oooo!! Haa! this is our royal father , traditional ruler, our Oba ,our Monarch ,our King . Look at his agbada, torn!.

      Look ,look,  as he is  struggling  and fighting his Olori  in the public.Ooo my God,  Ah, where are his beads? [Ileke/akun]- they are dangling on his neck . Abomination, Eeewo, a a ti gbo?. Yegede! odindi Oba!. This is desecration of  the throne.Oh my God!.

      How come? What happen?.Kilo sele? kilo de? In the end , nothing happened, no justice . It was a bad story .Nothing is heard about the case again.It all happened  nine  years ago in Akure, Ondo State.

      Human Rights Activists, Women groups were upset while the  king makers  removed him for bringing shame to Yoruba culture and tradition. They  took up the case. From Owo, Akure , Lagos, United Kingdom  and to America the cries went up to high heavens that the  wife of a  first Class Yoruba Monarch  was   dehumanized.

        Haaa! whaaat?. She was  beaten and substances suspected to be acid was poured on her at her residence , 141 Hospital Road , Akure .


Interview (in Owo dialect), says it was the strange woman the King brought home that caused all the problem

It was controversial .It became a Police case,  and Court case . She was taken to the hospital  for treatment and later died!.

Dead?.Ku ke?. Yes she died and on  that 12th of July 2011 and her remains were brought from Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Lagos (LASUTH) to her  residence in Akure where she was buried. May her soul rest in peace.Shout a big Amen!.

 Ah! the first Class monarch was banished from the throne   and hometown , Akure  to GRA , Owo,  his in-law’s town. Oloun oo, o gbele ooo! itiju nla!.

Chei ! Osanobua !!!. Disgrace. A first class Monarch, the Deji of Akure  fighting in the public?. Ahhh, look at his agbada, torn! .Look , he is struggling  and fighting in the public. Ah, with beads on his neck and wrists? [Ileke/akun]. Abomination, Eeewo, a a ti gbo?. Yegede! odindi  Oba. Haa odindi Kaabiyesiii. This is desecration to the throne. 

How come? What happened?. In the end , nothing happened. It was a bad story. Nothing is heard about the case again.Haaa where is justice? Nigeria!Nigeria!! Nigeria!!!. It all happened eight years ago in Akure.

That was the story behind the banishment,  deposition and dethronement of  the Deji of Akure , Oluwadare Adesina Adepoju who allegedly accused his wife on of adultery , accusation

Taiwo Abiodun visited  the  father of the late Olori Bolanle in Owo.


The old man narrated the story as in this two video clips [in Yoruba language and Owo dilalect]

Today , nothing is heard about the case again!

 The deposed Monarch

Pa Fadeyi said ”my late daughter and the deposed monarch, Deji of Akure, Oba Oluwadare Adesina Adepoju courted for six years and did engagement in my house here in Owo .The husband came to demand her hand in marriage in the year 2001 while he became the Oba of Akure in 2005.

 When I was told that my daughter had been hospitalized I went to see her at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC ) Owo, before she was transferred to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital ( LASUTH) Lagos where she later died .She didn’t know she would die.  .

”I was told that they poured some things on her that …..

 ”I can’t forget her, She was buried in her house in Akure .I am sad, sad and sad.It is very painful.


”During the fracas , I went to the monarch in Akure to beg the king and to reconsider his wife but he refused to take his wife back .I knew when he was at the District Officers’ ( D.O) quarters in my town , Owo where he was banished to “.

”Each time I look at her pictures I feel sad , these are her photographs from her spinsterhood till when she got married.

Pa Fadeyi said the quarrel between his late daughter and the deposed Oba (husband ) was more than ordinary , he said ” It was the woman he (the monarch) brought to the palace that caused everything .It was a big error , when the monarch was telling me he said he didn’t know what came over him. The devil really used him.

”You can see that I am old now , and can no longer work . The late Olori’s younger ones are the one assisting me now since my daughter has gone , it is very , very sad.


Pa Fadeyi going through some pics of  his late daughter

Haa, o ma se o! now the Olori’s  father is at home weeping for the loss of his daughter while the mother was somewhere taking care of the two kids the woman left behind.

And the questions  are  ” What will the deposed Monarch tell his kids in the future? Where is the woman that was said to have caused all these problems?”.


Let’s rebury Orlando Owoh



                    BoN during an interview with the late Musician




           Last week at the St. Louis  Lewis and Clark Library Missouri, America  I sighted   two CDs of  two Nigeria’s great Musicians on the shelf: Fela Anikulapo Kuti and King  Sunny Ade. I felt great. I showed the two CDs to many there . I want to  donate some of Orlando’s CDs to them.

       Its a pity   that a  prophet does  not have  honor in his own town.When Orlando’s music is being played it throws many into frenzy. Last year a  young  man suddenly stopped and started dancing to the track, Ojo  (Ojo onitemi o Ojo o, Ojo a b’adiye s’aba l’ori eyin Ojo , Ojo o si ni’le Omo adiye d’agba …..Ojo ooooooo,ooooo… ) the young man who coincidentally bears Ojo danced his heart out .He said ” that is my favorite music that is my name Orlando is singing its  praises , then the others followed him dancing when they were convinced of his sanity.

It  happened last year at Agege Pen Cinema area , infact I joined in the dance.The young man  told everybody that he bears Ojo, the  name Orlando sang its  praise. That is Orlando’s music for you.

His music suits any occasion , highly philosophical, full of wisdom, poetry, folklores, traditional stories .

  When he released the  Ganja album , he sold millions and was hailed to high heavens  despite being banned , yet it sold like hot cake. But how can we pay honor to this great man?

 During an interview with the mother of Orlando Owoh, she  was not happy that her son was not buried in his country home , Ifon. Now , it is exactly 10 years Orlando has been dead,while his remains were buried in Lagos.Yes, mistake has been made but let all his friends, fans and family members gather and put their heads together and have his bones  exhumed and be buried in Ifon while his statue be placed at the center of the town while a museum be built and all his materials be kept in his memory. Up till this moment no street not even a local government Park or Center is named after this legend.

        That Orlando’s  mother is still alive is not an excuse. Bob Marley’s mother , Cedella Booker was still alive when her son died at 36.She died  27 years  later  ( 2008).


  The Holy Bible tells us how  Joseph’s bones  were exhumed from the land of Egypt and  brought to Shechem  and  buried according to the instructions he [Joseph] gave to the Israelites before he died.

Moses Orimolade  Tunolase the leader and founder of Cherubim and Seraphim died on October 19, 1933 ,and was buried at Ojokoro Church , along Lagos /Abeokuta express way , but 42 years later  his bones  were exhumed and taken to his hometown , Ikare, Ondo State for burial on October 19, 1975.

Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia had his bones exhumed    25 years after his death and was given a befitting burial.

Others who had their remains exhumed and reburied are  Eva Peron, Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth, Zachary Taylor, Christopher Columbus, Oliver Cromwell, Lee Harvey Oswald, Simon Bolivar,

     Orlando’s sculptor carved on his mother’s door

Daniel Boone, Santa Claus (Saint Nicholas) and many more.

                                    APPEAL FUND NEEDED

     We need an appeal fund, if need be, and the money realized from his royalties coupled with all his  friends , fans and family members of the late Orlando Owoh should endeavor  give him last respect and honor and bring his bones down to Ifon, his hometown and be reburied. It is then we will be proud of having a son from Ifon who took us beyond the native town.

     Here was a man who has over 70 albums to his credit.Let us appeal to his childhood friends , Die The Matter, HRH Apata, and some of his friends to come together and if need be launch an appeal fund and exhume Orlando’s remains and take it back home.

          BoN with Orlando’s mother

      If the late African Kennery were here today he would have recorded many albums. He  would have sang on religion, politics, killings by Boko Haram and Corruption. The great musician  would have sang about elections, against Cultism, inflation, increment of school fees and workers’ hardship.

Yes! if Orlando were here today he would have used his songs to fight social injustice  and social ills in the society.He was a multi -talented musician, poet, composer ,guitarist and  folklorist.

 But the High-life musician  is not here. The African Kennery  joined his ancestors 10 years ago .The Ganja preacher has gone to the land of no return. His remains were buried at his Lagos residence. May his soul rest in peace.

For him truth was his watchword, he would boldly tell you he smoked Indian hemp and so what? .He was a friend of the masses. He was  humble to a fault.

          Apart from the late Orlando and Fela Anikulapo  Kuti who publicly smoked ganja no musician in Nigeria ever confessed smoking it. Infact, he is ranked among  likes of  Bob Marley , Peter Tosh and  Fela. He preached the gospel of ganja .In one of his elpees he sings  that the Police and other law makers smoke the weed.If he were here he would have waxed another record for its legalization. He was gifted. He was the voice of the masses, voice for  the Voiceless and he truly identified himself with them.

                       NEED ORLANDO’S MUSEUM

         Bob Marley died at the age of 36 in 1981, today  there is  a museum where all his personal effects and his history are being kept for viewing . It is now a tourist center.While many Parks and other things are named after him.

There is James Brown’s museum, there is Michael Jackson’s museum.We need Orlando Owoh’s museum. Infact there is no book yet written about Orlando , although I met a man five years ago in Ogbomoso  who is a die-hard fan of Orlando compiling information on the late Musician.Up till now no book known to me that had been published about him.

   And the question  is  “when can we have this type of Musician  again? .”

                          ORLANDO’S ALBUMS

       A man whose wife nags him always  last week  played   IYAWO OLELE  for her but when his wife knew he was indirectly referring to him, she changed the CD and played  KO SEE MA NI  (Woman is indispensable). They  looked at each other and stopped their quarrel.

The reason why people are migrating is because of  ITAN OWO (THE STORY OF MONEY ).  Oh my God how do we call it when Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller Killer, Michael Jackson , James Brown, Haruna Ishola, Ogunde Hubert,Baba Sala,  Orlando Owoh are gone? BELERE BA LO NILE YI, no music again  for  ASOTITO AYE have all gone . ADAJO ERE but the Musicians are nowhere to be found to play for us.

A young boy whose boss accused him of stealing his money  played  MA WO MI RORO, to stop suspecting him. For the past one week till the end of this year it is THANKSGIVING for God has spared our lives .

If you smoke  GANJA [I] and  arrested by the law enforcement agent just tell them that the Police, Judges smoke it while in  some states in America GANJA [II] has been legalized.

For those who are away from home they should console themselves and play the  track ERO KI YEYE MI for their mother. Above all don’t underrate your siblings because OMIYE LALA.

Are you oppressed by one stupid rich man?, then sing the song    LOGBA LOGBA    for him,  and he would calm his frayed nerves but don’t forget to , remind him that AYE NYI, while we would continue to pray until when OLORUN OBA DA WA LOHUN then we will sing  MODUPE  , infact ORO MI JU OPE LO.

Whenever I remember  THE LATE  DELE GIWA I used to tell others that OMO BERU AIYE -AIYE LE .I also advise  that MA SIKA, because of the EXPERIENCE I have in life.

We shall soon sing ORIN TUNTUN  and  give IBA EDUMARE  in the new year  because OKAN MI YIN OBA ORUN  and I SAY NO to any YELLOW SISI  for  E GET AS E BE even though SISI SALEWA will not understand .

If your husband is angry just play ORIKI  OJO for him since he is aba diye saba lori eyin and say IRE LONI for you have  to say  AGBA MO JUBA,  to show respect for him..


 The monster called  APARTHEID  still reigns in South Africa, but  WHO NO KNOW GO KNOW as they treat us like   CAIN AND ABEL.

Economy is biting hard  no wonder our ladies have become  MONEY FOR HAND BACK FOR GROUND that is why we need to ask the State Governments who claim they cannot pay 30k minimum wage that  WHICH IS WHICH?

    The only way to reach your friends here and outside is to send a text MESSAGE.

 Last week I saw a   KANGAROO  in the Zoo at  St. Louis

   When you look up you see how be OSUPA RORO, Everyday we say , O BABY,to our ladies wanting to make her happy . I SAY   NO  to satan .When you remember your mum  sing this song  with message ERO KI YEYE MI. Are you in America, UK or other foreign country , remember that  AJO KO LE DUN, so East , West, South or North home is the best.

With the current political topsy turvy and hullabaloo we still have hope and we should believe that NIGERIA A DARA.It is good you have made it and no enemy can attack you so sing  AJANAKU DARABA. During the Muslim festival they kill Eran Ileya and  in  four months time is EASTER SPECIAL   for the Christians when we will be celebrating the crucifixion of  Jesus Christ .

 In two weeks time they will soon be selling KNOCK OUT  to herald Christmas and not now for AJUWA YEYE. Please remember that LAIKU EGIRI you don’t you don’t use its skin to make drum and we need to say MO DUPE always especially we  OMO YORUBA for giving us good leaders like Osinbajo.

Born as Stephen Oladipupo Owomoyela in Oshogbo, his father was from Ifon and mother from Owo

Thank God Orlando left behind his children who did not want his name to die as Kunle Orlando Owoh is making waves .

Unfortunately this great musician left his aged mother behind.

Orlando’s fans should be kind enough to see that  his mother is doing fine.

Born on  February 14 1932 , died on  November  4, 2008.


My son , Orlando was a great man



                      Orlando’s mother and BoN during the Interview

Madam Morenike is the mother of the late musician Dr. Orlando Owoh, she said she once prepared a concoction for the late Musician to discourage him from smoking Indian hemp but he rejected it.

           Carved on the wooden  door of the  bungalow is the    artwork   of the late African Kennery, Owomoyela Oladipupo Olaore [aka Orlando Owoh] . Each time the  centenarian mother of Orlando   sees the   carved wooden  artwork   of her son she feels sad  , ” I am always sad seeing the carved life size of Orlando on the door but what can I  do than to wipe and dust it to make it clean”, she told this reporter. She added”  but I found solace in his  children and friends who are supporting me ”  .

Seeing mama one would not believe she is over  100 years of age, as she walks , talks and still agile but she debunked this reporter’s observation and said she  has become old and no longer have that energy  or stamina again as she can no longer walk faster as she used to be. However, one fact remains , she does not use walking stick. ”I now walk slowly , and slowly and cannot go far ”, the old woman stated.


       Late Orlando

She went down memory lane to speak about her popular son who was a musician, but immediately she was asked how she feels hearing his music over the radio , she answered ” I weep , shed tears but would pray to God to let his children live long and bury me .

Mama Morenike lost her son, Orlando Owoh about 10 years   after a brief illness .

Mama is very neat

One thing that cannot be taken away from the old woman is her neatness. She is very neat and   her environment is clean so also the centenarian herself is very neat showing evidence of good living . She   walks slowly  and with dignity .Her  sparsely decorated living room with sofa chairs makes the place  beautiful. She said “My son , I am always neat and my  children and Orlando’s friends take  good care of me you should thank them on my behalf”.

Mama’s Age

If Orlando is alive today he would have been 84, and according to speculations mama is over 100 years of age. Considering her   good stature  many guess that the old woman cannot be less than 100 years of age  while some doubted it but she declared ” I don’t know my age but I know I am over 100 years of age. All  my friends have gone like Madam Eunice, Madam Adenike, , Mrs Asagba , Madam Caroline  Oladoyin    in fact all my friends have died ,I am the only one remaining. That is why I am saying I want to go , there is nothing I am still doing on earth”, she said with shaky voice.

How  I met Orlando’s  father 

When asked to tell her romance with Orlando’s father that produced the late musician , she laughed and said ” Haaa, you want to know? ”
She stated that she was living with her late brother Omoyinbo who was a friend to Owomoyela, Orlando’s father and that was the beginning of the production of the late musician.

Orlando’s real names

Mama said ”my son’s real names are   Oladipupo Olaore   Owomoyela   Orlando Owoh , his father christened him ‘Olaore’  but I called him ‘ Oladipupo’ ”.   Mama  gave the reason why Orlando’s  father gave him the name  ‘Olaore’ , she said “because my late brother, Omoyinbo whom I was living with in Owo  was a friend to Orlando’s father ,   and it was my that brother that  betrothed me to Orlando’s father .I  later  fell in love with him [Owomoyela]   because he was from Ifon so also Orlando’s father .So when he was born , Orlando’s father said he  benefited   from  the friendship and called him “Olaore”         ( Friend’s wealth). His friends called him ”Orlando” and it stuck on him till death” .

       Where are Orlando’s friends?

       When one dies most his  friends are no longer seen again but this is not so to Orlando. Mama has been very grateful to some of her late son’s friends who did not abandon her , she said ” Some of Orlando’s friends  did not desert  me. l just came from Die The Matter his childhood’s friend’s  house who used to give me food and money .Die The Matter has just dropped me at home now, he gives me money , food ,he used to store tubers of yam an gaarii here for me. Same with Oba Francis  Apata, who is the Onipe of Ipe. Oba Apata used to come to me , he drives here  , and that is the chair he sits  (pointing ) whenever he comes here ,not minding his status as a royal father, we would talk and talk, he would tell me that  he would take care of me that i should not die. I want you to pray for me for I  am old enough to die. I thank God that  Orlando’s friends did not abandon me , I am grateful and I hope and pray they will do same  during my burial when I’m gone”.

            Though she looks  hale and hearty but she denied her look and  said ” I can no longer walk as usual , I am not living “, she said sobbing .

         Orlando was talented

          The late musician was rumoured to have inherited his profession from his parents but according to Mama ,  the late musician did not inherit  the skill from his parents , she said ” I didn’t teach him how to sing , though  I was a  chorister  in a church but his own  was natural .And I remember that his father was a member of  ‘ ASINKO ‘ cultural music , and it is believed that may be that was where he also  got it from, but Orlando’s music is more that  of a ordinary  because his music is quite different and unique”, she added.

        Where are Orlando ‘s wives ?

       Mama who lives in Owo , her country home  with some of her children spoke about Orlando’s wives and said  ” Some have gone to remarry while  I am still seeing  some of them, and they have been very  nice  to me  while for those who remarried  have to move on”, she defended them.But her prayers according to her is for the whole children to rally round and come and bury her  when she is gone.

         Orlando’s vacuum

        Yes, Orlando left a big vacuum behind, his death was a fatal blow on the old woman. When does she feel her son’s absence?, the reporter wanted to know , and her response  ”I am always pained each time I remember him.I thought he was the one to bury me but it turned otherwise .It is painful No woman will pray to bury her child”, she said with pains.


     Will Mama pray to have Orlando  if she comes to this world again? ! her response ” I wish to give birth to him if the opportunity comes again. I wanted to die when his death was announced .Even ,I still feel like taking poison and die anytime I remember him. I remember how the bad news was broken to me  by one of his  sisters, I felt like dying , up till now I am not myself”.

        The song I love most

         From all the albums Orlando waxed the one her mother loved most is the one she sang to honour her , according to her “I used to listen to his music on the radio, yes, he had a good voice and while listening I would be crying .I love the song he  waxed for me in one of his records  that is “Ero ba mi ki y’emi Morenikeji ye  teja …”,(  greetings to my mother who is selling fish). I also love the  “Ojo” track, which is  among his most popular music he sang in  praise of “Ojo” , mama added  “He sang the song in praise of  Ojo who is a member of our  family .But I don’t know where he ( Ojo ) is now”.

     Orlando’s fame  is from God

      While many mothers whose children are successful and popular would say  it was predicted and and expected but  the late Musician’s mother said with humility that  it is a blessing for her son to be popular for she never expected such in the beginning .She looked  at the ceiling when asked whether she had any premonition that her son would be popular , she swore “nobody told me that Orlando will be a great man when I had his pregnancy and I thank God that I didn’t contemplate to  abort it”.

      I tried  to stop him from smoking hemp

        Mama is honest like her son , she said she was  aware that her  late son smoked Ganja  which  she did not supported.  ”What did she do then to stop him?”, she replied “I used to advise him  to stop smoking  Igbo, I even went extra mile to prepare  agbo (herbs/concotion ) for him to make him stop it but he did not take the  concoction”  he  too used  argued  that if he didn’t smoke it he would not have the energy to play and sing” .

Bury me at the cemetery 

Asked  where she would like to be buried  after her death, mama said she preferred her church’s cemetery , “I am not happy that my son , Orlando was buried in Lagos but I have told them all that when I am dead I should be buried at the  Church’s cemetery .I am the Iya Egbe of  St. Andrew’s Cathedral Church, Owo. My father , Jacob ‘slept’ at the cemetery and Mama  Julianah who took care of me was also buried there .their tombs are there. When I die I want to be buried at our cemetery in  Iselu, Owo but not to be taken  to Ifon or anywhere”, she pleaded, adding ”when my son was alive he  said  he  would like me to  be buried in Ifon  when Im gone but I  said no, unfortunately he died before me ,it is painful” , she sobbed.