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.