…….I eloped with Orlando Owoh at age 13
…….I am number Two out of Seven wives
…….My only child died at 52
…. I can’t remarry again
Silifat in her shop
Madam Silifat Owomoyela’s home is austere .Her routines simple while her days very ordinary . She had dined and wined with the late popular Juju High-life African Kennery Maestro, Orlando Owoh in her heydays. Infact she had a child for him. Silifat who once lived in a commercial ganglion city where there was hustling and bustling has now relocated to a peaceful but less- economic buoyant town.
Now a grandmother, she maintains a low profile and daytime duties as she sells locally brewed alcoholic drinks and gins struggling to eke a living and takes care of the only grandchild her only late child left behind.
Yet with all these brutal life experiences she does not allow memories of pains and agony that traumatized her take-over her life as she buried her sorrow and wears smiling face all the time.
HOW I ELOPED WITH THE LATE ORLANDO OWOMOYELA
The woman who claimed that she was once a dancer in the late Musician Orlando Owoh’s Band started ”My name is Silifat Owomoyela , I am from Owo. I got married to the late Orlando Owoh the Musician about 52years ago. I met Orlando in Lagos .I was born in Mushin in Lagos”. She continued ”You see Orlando ”stole” me from Lagos” .She spoke in Yoruba language ”o ji mi gbe ni o. He is Ajinigbe ( she burst into laughter ). We were together .And we both went to Ibadan , that was when Mokola Roundabout was still called Elizabeth Road.We were together in Ibadan , about 52years ago”
ORLANDO STOPPED MY EDUCATION
The woman gave a shock to all Orlando’s fans, she said the late Musician used to play for his late father when alive , she said ”when I met Orlando in Lagos , he used to entertain my father during the Muslim Id El Fitri’s festival . In fact it was Orlando who stopped me from going to school .We both ran away from Lagos and went to Ibadan to live.But when I was pregnant we parted and that was all . .
The late Sunday Owomoyela
MY FATHER WAS A WEALTHY MAN
Beating her chest and without mincing words she boasted ”It was my late father who exposed Orlando to the world and made him come back to Lagos to settle down because he was living in Ibadan before” . Asked the reaction of her father when Orlando left her, she quickly responded ”My father did not do anything to him when he left me”. However she spoke highly of her late father and said her father was popular and wealthy in his heydays ”My father was very rich then, even Emperor Pick Peter sang his praise , My father’s nickname was ”Is A Goal”. If a ship sinks in the Atlantic Ocean he would find ways to clear the goods from the ship. He was a big Merchant and trading at Apapa Wharf then”, she told this reporter.
WHY I AM STILL SINGLE
Asked why she has not remarried since she parted with Orlando, but the woman screamed as if marriage is a taboo , ”Remarry? I did not remarry , and I did not marry anybody. I have chosen not to remarry .I finally parted with Orlando 40years ago”. When pressed further on the reason why they parted, she said she could not cope with a man with harem of wives , she said ” it is difficult to survive in a polygamous family , infact it was Mama …(names withheld) who pushed me out of the matrimonial home”.
ORLANDO AND GANJA
Asked whether she was aware of Orlando’s habit of smoking ganja, the woman declared ”Yes, he was smoking ganja , but I don’t even drink and I didnt’ buy ganja for him” . She described Orlando thus ” he was a nice and popular man but more popular as the time went by .Fans used to pay five naira ticket fee to watch his shows, later it came to ten naira. He used to play in Mayflower- Olorunsogo ,Lagos. He also used to go to Ibadan to play at places like Mokola Roundabout ,Anti Rose Hotel , and Sabo, in Ibadan”
The late Orlando
MY PARENTS RELUCTANTLY APPROVED OUR MARRIAGE
On whether the union between her and the late Musician receive the blessing of her parents, she replied ”My mummy did not support it at initial stage but in the end it was supported. They (my mother and the late Orlando) are from same area in Ifon, but my paternal grandfather was from Ute , he was called Agbaminoja .My mother was from the royal house of Ute , but her (my mother) mother is from Ifon. My father is from Owo, and did not support the union , and they warned me not to go to him but later it was approved”
I AM NUMBER TWO AMONG ORLANDO’S WIVES
The woman argued that she is number two among Orlando Owho’s seven wives. She added that she was a dancer as she used to dance for him while on stage while dating the late Musician .In her own words she said ”I used to dance for Orlando’s band . I was his dancer on stage in Ibadan, he trained me . It was Orlando who deflowered me” .She added ” Orlando took my virginity (deflowered) . I did not know any man before I met him. I was at age 13 when I met him .We were together in Ibadan ,that was when he was also going out with anti Muibat, who was older than me .It was towards the end he married Shade. I was with Orlando at Mokola, Ibadan but anti Muibat was working at Sketch Newspaper in Ibadan. We were all in Ibadan , anti Muibat used to come to us in Hotel in Ibadan. I was young and innocent then , very young and it was the (dis)virginity or my first sex that I had that resulted to having my first and only child (Sunday) ”.
From left :Funke, Shade and Muibat
Still on the argument whether she was the second wife, she declared ”I did not meet any wife in his house , but I met a male child in the house .That child then is in America today and he is the one paying for my grandchild’s school fees.”
MY ONLY CHILD DIED at 52!
But the woman is sad , as her voice changed , and in a sad and low tone said the only child she had for Orlando and her only child, a son, Sunday Owomoyela died five years ago . She added ”that was why they brought me back home. My son, a soldier died five years ago. He had a set of twins, but only one, Taiye survived ,and he is with me here .If you see Orlando’s grandchild don’t look for Orlando again, the boy is 10 years old , he could beat the drum very well. His twin brother Kehinde has died , he returned to where he came from”.
After spending many years in Lagos , Silifat who should be in her mid 60s relocated to her family house in Owo to continue her life. According to her , her family advised her to come back home after spending most of her lifetime in Lagos. The family members now set up a small scale business for her where she is selling hard drinks , and shots for her customers.”I am in my father’s house in Owo now”, she told this reporter.
During the time Orlando had problem on the drug saga , Silifat said she was not around then but ran back to Lagos to sympathize with the late Musical icon,”I traveled to the North but when I heard the news on radio I rushed back home . I heard that he was arrested for cocaine and I knew he was not selling cocaine”.
On the death of Orlando ,she said ”It was Folashade Lagundoye who had my cell phone number that called me to inform me that Baba had died .We ( wives) all observed the widowhood rituals together even two months after the outing I was still there in his house at Agege” . She spoke on her relationship with the other Orlando’s wives and said ” other wives love me ,myself, Auntie Muibat , Funke and Shade are the remaining four wives Orlando left behind ”
According to Silifat , seven women had children for the late Musician , and she is proud to say they all live peacefully , she said ”we have never had any quarrel in our lives , we were very close , no rift among us”
SHE IS NOT ORLANDO’S WIFE, SHE ONLY HAD A CHILD FOR ORLANDO—-Anonymous
After the last interviews with the late Orlando’s three surviving wives viz: Caroline Muibat ( the most senior wife), Funke (second wife) and Folashade Lagundoye (last wife) who are all living in their late husband’s house at Agege Lagos, a woman , Silifat who claimed to have been the original number two wife of Orlando’s seven wives came out to debunk the claim that someone is number two wife and said she was number two of Orlando’s wives. Silifat spoke with authority and boldness. She gave a graphic details of her relationship with the late musician dated over 50years and said she had a child for him who was 52years old before he died five years ago.
When this reporter contacted one of the family members of Orlando , a woman, she said ”though Silifat had a child for Orlando but she was not living with Orlando, and was married out of wedlock as the late Orlando wedded all his wives”.
Another person, a man who claimed to have known the late Orlando very well said Orlando was known to be a polygamist but this woman should have been living with other wives if she was truly engaged with Orlando.But in African Culture the moment a woman has a child for you she has become your wife”, he added ” this woman called Silifat was one of Orlando’s dancers , and if she married Orlando out of wedlock we can say she is one of his wives” .
An old man who is in his 80s begged for anonymity defended Silifat and said ”one does not necessarily need to live with a husband before she is called his wife. Remember that Silifat once lived with Orlando and she could have been the first wife to me but when she could not cope with the politics in the polygamous home she left. Aside that she observed all the necessary roles and rituals a wife must perform during and after the death of Orlando . So she is number two as she said , no jupiter can change that. Is it compulsory to live with other wives in the same house?”, he queried.
The last may not have been heard about the late Kennery Musician, Orlando Owoh’s harem of wives , who knows another woman would come out again to claim her rightful position?. Time will tell.