We cannot remarry again- Funke Owomoyela


        She is in  second position  among  the three surviving wives of the late musician, Dr. Orlando Owoh.  A well-educated woman who  was a  secondary school teacher in Ekiti -State when Orlando met her. She  is sound and  sharp-witted  as she  speaks impeccable English  and Yoruba languages laced with proverbs and anecdotes  . Madam Funke   Owomoyela is a mother in a million and a woman a  man should be  proud of . She is a wife   who will not betray  or deny her husband even in death

………..Why we can’t remarry again

……….We don’t see Orlando’s friends  

…….Thanks to Tunde Oladunjoye 

…….We use to hear Orlando’s voice in his room


 The highly intelligent woman spoke  with modest and clarity. When asked to introduce herself,  she said  ”My name is Funke Owomoyela .You must have been hearing our names from the  records Orlando  Owoh waxed  where  he mentioned our names and   sang our (wives) praises “. She continued “among the surviving wives of Orlando  I am next to Muibatu and Shade is next to me” .


Contrary to what always happen in a polygamous family and in  an African set- up  where wives  fight  one another , keep malice, spread  rumour  and  where envy and strife reign   this is not so among these three  wives the late musician left behind. These women  all live under one roof  in their husband’s house at Agege  without any quarrel .

However, when asked to tell  the secret of their unity and togetherness , the woman said ”nobody  that has the  effrontery to   break that love and mutual understanding that exist within us. Even when our  husband  was  alive  he did not  succeed in knowing the secret or breaking  the bond  .The love  was   too much, and nobody can now come  to destroy it for  us”.


Funke tried to remember how she met Orlando  and those  who supported her in the family to marry Orlando. She  went down memory lane and narrated  how it all went ” I was a secondary school teacher   in Ekiti -State when we met. None of my family members supported our marriage  except my grandmother.  It was only my granny that supported our  union because she   loved Orlando’s music , and she said she wanted her daughter to  marry a musician so that when she dies she wanted  big and popular musicians to come and play at her funeral ceremony. Truly ,   Orlando fulfilled his promise when she died” ,she  said.

She   described the burial ceremony of her grandmother as ”one in town”, she said  ”It was a  fantastic burial. It was not only Orlando that  came  but  many great musicians  also came to play  and they supported me morally and financially ”.


Asked whether she sees    Orlando’s mother and her response is ”Yes, she is still alive  and she lives in Owo .We saw her when we went for the burial ceremony of Sade’s mother recently in Owo  last  February”.


The woman who said she is always sad anytime  she  hears Orlando’s music . On how she feels when listening to Orlando’s music being played , she shouted”Ah!, they are injecting  us where it hurts , we used to hear his music especially over  the radio everyday.  Infact  they cannot do without playing his music. They would even praise him, and say his death was a fatal blow on them , they will say Iku b’ola je and that if he were alive today he would have sang more  songs .We don’t want to be remembering this. We always  cry while watching him on  VCD  and video because Orlando was not an ordinary man”.


The spirit of  the dead don’t die according to  Yoruba belief and in African Philosophy  , Funke said Orlando’s voice is still being heard as his spirit still lives in the house . She said   ”I used to see him in my dream , even we  used hear his voice in his room and when  he  is   having his bath. Sade is the one that would miss him most because they were 24/7”.  Pressed  to speak further on the mysterious things that have been happening , she refused  and said ”No, don’t let us go there”, she pleaded. 


The retired teacher  is visibly angry and dissapointed that   after their benefactor and confidant had gone none of his friends bothered to know how they are faring , she said ”It was when he was alive that he had friends but immediately he died he had no friends again because nobody turned up, we did not see anybody. All their empty   promises are  tissues of lies. They left us alone, even…………. ( names withheld ) who was trained in Orlando’s house in Oshogbo did not pick our calls again. So Orlando has no friends again, it was when he was alive that he had thousands of friends who milled round him and   stay glued  here”


 Ganja, known  to be his Orlando’s  favourite smoke  for spiritualism and musical  inspiration ,She confirmed that her late husband did smoke it , ”Yes, he smoked ganja  but  with sense”, she added  ”Orlando had that sense of musical and poetic fitness .His brain    cannot be compared with  those  with Cambridge Certificates . Orlando was a genius , very brilliant and was gifted . Orlando would wax three records in the studio overnight. We would stay with him and he would come to ask us whether he did very well, and we would give him positive answer . We always  went with him to the studio. He would wax three records at a  sitting  , that   cannot be accomplished   by any living  musician. No musician can beat that .Waxing    three records one night and mixing  it was no easy feat .That  is why I said he was a legend. He was not an ordinary man.We really missed him. Now we need assistance from people , may be they can respond”.


When the retired teacher said they  needed assistance, this reporter was forced to ask about the royalties from  Orlando’s albums  which should have  made them comfortable, but she screamed ”Royalties?, the ones he was entitled  to from the Nigeria Performing Musical Association of which  they bring every year before had stopped since!. I believe someone  must have been collecting it behind us ”, she said , and added that the painful aspect of it is that   ”at the end of  each year we would receive message that we have received royalties yet we did not see anything! .We are not novice , we are all educated”, she said with voice raised.

When asked whether  the family lodged complaints , she said ”both the PMAN  NAPCON and others who should be giving us royalties did not , someone must have been  collecting it and it is sad”. She however confessed that they had not gone to lodge complaint ,”We wanted to complain, but we were slow, we ought to have complained since”, she admitted.


The retired teacher   said none of  her children   sings, but was quick to add  ” some  of my stepchildren  like Daisi Orlando  and  Kunle Orlando sing  while  Orimipe Orlando  who lives in  the United States of America  also sing”.


Since Orlando’s death none of the wives  had remarried. Asked why she has not remarried since all these years , the woman screamed ”Remarry?, none of us dare tried it.  After all what that man (Orlando) did for us? . No, nobody can remarry among us. If we are talking of any man that loves his wife , Orlando was number one, and I have not seen any second person. I have not met any man that would behave like Orlando. Nobody has a cause to remarry because he  did his best for everybody, he trained our children .We cannot remarry , Who is that person?. Ki la fe fe?. What else do we want again?”.


She recounted the last minutes of   the late Musical maestro, ,she said  ”we  ( wives) were with him at the bedside at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH)   when he gave up the ghost.  He spoke with us but you don’t  tell everything. What is still strange to us up till this moment is how the news filtered out that he had given up the ghost when nobody was informed for while he was being packed , we heard the breaking news on the television that ‘Sir Orlando Owoh is dead‘, we didn’t know how they got the news”.

On Orlando’s death , she said if death could accept money some  governors would have donated as she said   ”about four governors  struggled to make sure he live, if they can buy life they would have bought it but that is it.”


Reminded that  Yoruba  believes   in  reincarnation ,asked whether  she would marry Orlando again in the next world if she meets  him again , she quickly  responded  ”God’s willing , if  per chance we meet again , all of us who married him would still marry him. He was a very loving man, very caring and loving . I have not seen another man like him. We feel it”.


Funke could not but speak  on how accomodating the African Kennery was when alive, she said  ”anytime  he came back from his outing/play   his fans and others  would immediately  thronged here shouting his name and we would be begging  them to allow him to rest for sometime that he had just arrived but  Orlando himself  would peep from the window and cry out that ‘I am at home!, I am at home!!’ to our consternation” .

She continued  ”Orlando   almost turned us  to liars so  we left him alone .When his death was announced many people came to sympathise with us and some  almost killed themselves here. Some said he was the one who footed their  bills  during their  babies’  naming ceremonies , some said he gave them dollars when he came back from America while some  too said  he gave them clothes and shoes when he arrived  from America .He was very nice to everybody and  very accommodating ,he welcomed everybody and housed  and fed them  irrespective of their status”.


Leopard will never change its skin, that is Orlando for you , he refused to change, he was genrous  to a fault. Funke said  ”his death  is what we cannot  forget easily  , remembering him makes us feel bad and sad.  He would advise  us to allow him to do what he was doing , that is assisting everybody for he would leave one day. Later we left him alone and  we would tell whoever came that he was at home , they should go and meet him. Whenever he came back from play he would not rest, for he would  be attending   and entertaining  visitors always , no rest. As we were pounding yam in the kitchen, we would also be smoothing amala.He would say ‘ pounded yam for six people , amala for four people , eba for eight people’  , our house would be full like a market place but since he had  died we did not see anybody!.There is no  human being again [no person again).Ko seeyan mo!


Funke gave this advise ”Please do whatever you can do to assist people , it is what one did that he  would be remembered  for .You cannot clothe yourself  in  another person’s character .Whatever God sent you to do it , just  do it for people would talk about it and remember you for it”.


The woman however exonerated one  Tunde Oladunjoye who was Orlando’s manager for a short period , she said ”Tunde Oladunjoye is from Ijebu- Remo in Ogun state, he was Orlando’s manager for a short period and when he became the Commissioner he always assist us and fulfilled his promises, he used to say ‘Orlando is my mentor, there is nothing I   would become  today that I would not give credit  to him’ ” . According to Funke, Oladunjoye is the only man that has been assisting them,  ”he is the only man that comes here to give us  money , he would come with foodstuff and other things. It is only this Tunde Oladunjoye we see, he (Orlando)  has no  friends again and that is for the wives. He even sent money to me when I was hospitalised recently” .

Author: Taiwo Abiodun

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

2 thoughts on “We cannot remarry again- Funke Owomoyela”

  1. This is fantastic . Olando Owoh is a legend that can never be forgotten, he will forever reign in the memories of those who knew his worth while on earth. You have done a very beautiful job Sir, ride on.

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