At the Palace of Alaafin of Oyo is this honourable and respected old man who has witnessed the reigns of three monarchs and whose age can not be ascertained. Some guess he should be close to 100 years which he did not dispute . He is popularly called Baba Kekere , he spoke with Taiwo Abiodun
He is called Baba Kekere possibly because of his stature .He should be about three feet tall.He wears his muslim praying cap. Call him Baba Kekere and he would reply you.He is funny and jovial as he relates with everybody without annoyance.
According to him , he has been living in the Alaafin Palace for several years, he said he once served AlaafinO ba Adeniran Adeyemi II who reigned between 1945 -1956, (the father of the current Alaafin) he also served Oba Ladigbolu who reigned between 1956-1968, and he is serving the present Alaafin Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, 1970-present ,thus he has served for 71 years and still counting.
When asked of his children, Baba Kekere said they are in the Northern area while his wife was at home at the time he was being interviewed.
INTERVIEW WITH BABA KEKERE
Baba Kekere and BoN
BoN: What is your name ?
Baba Kekere : My name is Morenikeji
BoN: Morenikeji what?
Baba Kekere: Morenikeji Laisi
BoN: What do you do at the Palace
Baba Kekere : I run errands for the King
BoN: Since when have you been in the Palace?
Baba Kekere: I have been here for a while
BoN: How many Kings have you worked for?
Baba Kekere: I have worked for three Kings
BoN: What is the name of the first one you worked with?
Baba Kekere: I have worked with the father of the current Alaafin, [Alaafin Oba Adeniran Adeyemi II] , Alaafin Ladigbolu, and the present Alaafin Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III
BoN: How old are you?
Baba Kekere: My date of birth was not recorded at the time I was born
BoN: Then you must be up to 100 years old
Baba Kekere: Yes, of course
BoN: We are informed that you are the tallest in this palace
Baba Kekere: [ laughs] Yes, I am the tallest
BoN: Where are your children?
Baba Kekere: They are in the Northern area
BoN: How many wives do you have?
Baba Kekere: I have only one wife
BoN: Where is she
Baba Kekere: She is at home
BoN: Is she taking good care of you very well or should I help you look for another one?
Baba Kekere:I don’t want another one , it’s money that I want now! [ laughter]
BoN: What did you call your name again?
Baba Kekere: Morenikeji
BoN: Thanks a lot, I am humbled
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