I miss my son, Orlando

All my friends have gone , Says Orlando Owoh’s mother

Orlando Owoh’s Mother

At 100years plus she is still agile as she  walks  briskly around and does not bend or use walking stick  . She weeps when she hears her son  , Orlando Owoh’s music  on radio  ,  taiwoabiodun.com reports

Carved on the wooden  door of the  bungalow is the   sculpture  of the late African Kennery, Owomoyela Oladipupo Olaore aka Orlando Owoh . Each time the centenarian  sees the   carved wooden  sculpture  of her son she feels sad  , ” I am always sad seeing this but I found solace in his  children and friends who are supporting me ” she said .

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

One thing that cannot be taken away from the old woman is cleanliness as 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

Considering her   good stature  many guess that the old woman cannot be less than a 100years 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”.

How  I met Orlando’s  father 

Asked how she met the late High Life musician’s father   and who gave the late musician the nickname “Orlando”  , the old woman said “His 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 named  him ‘Olaore’ , she said “because my late brother Omoyinbo whom I was living with in Owo  was a friend to Orlando’s father   And he betrothed me to Orlando’s father .I  I fell in love with him 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” .


Orlando’s friends did not desert me 

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  house who used to give me food and money .Die The Matter has just dropped me at home now .Same with Oba Francis  Apata, who is the Onipe of Ipe. Oba Apata used to come to me and that is the chair he sits  ( pointing ) whenever he comes here ,not minding his status. 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 .


How Orlando got his Songs 

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”.

Where are Orlando ‘s wives ?

Mama who lives 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”.


I miss him 

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”


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 by one of his  sisters, I felt like dying , up till now I am not myself”.


I Love his songs

“I used to listen to his music on the radio, yes, he had a good voice 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 yemi 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”.


No premonition about Orlando’s fame 

The late Musician’s mother said 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 said she did not support her son  smoking the substance , Indian hemp ( Igbo), she said “I used to advise him not to smoke Igbo  but he  too used to argue that if he didn’t smoke it he would not have the energy to play and sing .I even went extra mile to prepare  agbo (local herbs ) for him to make him stop it but he did not take the  concoction (agbo ).

Bury me at the cemetery 

Asked  where she would like to be buried  after her death, mama said she preferred her church’s cemetery , “though 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 .When I die I want to be buried at our cemetery in Owo but not to be carried to Ifon or anywhere”, she pleaded.



Author: Taiwo Abiodun

I am a blogger . taiwoabiodun.com and TAIWOABIODUN.BLOGSPOT.COM

9 thoughts on “I miss my son, Orlando”

  1. Iac to the late Keneri himself. Thank God I, as a child, inherited many remarkable old tunes from my dad–not the Shaku-Shaku kinds. Lolz

  2. Oops! I meant, “Iba (respect) to the late Keneri himself–as old ones used to call the late musician). Thank God I, as a child, inherited many remarkable old tunes from my dad–not the Shaku-Shaku kinds. Lolz”

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