All my friends have gone , Says 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 “.
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.