- 2 Hrs With Oba ADEYEMI ADEKEYE @ 60
- Speaks On 15 Yrs On The Throne
Alayeluwa Oba Adeyemi Olanrewaju Adekeye, the Abepa of Jogaland, Joga-Orile, Yewa North, Ogun State, Nigeria will be 60 in a few days time and he will be celebrating it big for a week, from Wednesday 17th January 2018 to Saturday 20th January, 2018. The event will also mark his 15th Coronation anniversary, to be held at his Olumilade country home, Joga Orile. It promises to be a big event as all the celebrities across the South-West are preparing to storm Joga Orile to celebrate this handsome king who every one says is very nice and generous. He is there for everyone and he travels far and near to attend major events of all his friends. A few weeks back, City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, who is an Otunba of Joga Orile, spent a day with Oba Adekeye at his palace and for 2 hours they spoke about his life and thoughts as King of this historic town. Below are excerpts of the interview.
In a few days time, you will be turning 60. How does it make you feel?
I feel normal. I don’t 60 because I am still a get up and go guy. Right now I don’t feel 60.
How do you plan to celebrate it?
As usual, I start my celebrations with God. So on 18th of January 2018 which is my actual birthday. I am going to church by 11 0’clock. After the service we are going to come back to Olumilade country home and entertain our people. My friend Wasiu K1 is going to be on the bandstand. As usual, we will make sure we enjoy ourselves.
What are the landmarks that you can share with us at 50?
One of the landmarks is my God give grace for me because its by grace that I have been able to achieve a lot of things its through him. When I was called to come and be the Abepa of Joga Orile, I was running helter and skelter, all around that, haa! what will I eat, I would I survive but I found out that God is the one that made you. He will provide for you. He will ensure that as he crowned you, he will do everything for you, nothing is impossible with God. And he will surprise you as he is surprising me everyday, because I don’t regret coming to be an Oba, because he is always there for me every second. God didn’t promise that there won’t be problem but he said every problem, you will overcome it all the end. That is what he told me.
Let me take you back to your childhood years. Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
I was born at the General Hospital, in Ilaro. My father and mother were civil servants. They kept moving them from here to there, so we changed placed eveytime. It was nice growing up. I was a bit troublesome whilst growing up. I was like typical young boy and everybody used to tease me then that, oh Yemi, you are too troublesome. So, even when my dad does shakara, it is still my mum tha will pamper me and take me all around. I changed schools all the time. My parents wanted me close to them all the time, so that they can keep an eye on me. But God was always with me.
At the time you were growing up did you have any premonition that someday you will be king one day?
Yes. You are very right. If you look at my name, it is Adeyemi. That is what yorubas call Ajosejaiye. They will give you the name that will align with what will happen with you. I am not the only one in my family but they gave me Adeyemi. Atimes they do call me Obalola. But I don’t lookat it as some thing to take serious because in 1993, my predecessor gave me a chieftaincy title then. I asked him: why do you want to give me chieftancy title? I am a prince now, so why? He said Noo, its not like that. Hold on to this now. The bigger one is coming I am giving you this because I want you in Joga everytime. He gave me the title Bashorun of Joga Orile. Since then, everybody in Joga knew I was going to be king someday. Since then I have been every where my predecessor died in 1997. He is Oba Adesina. I left Nigeria 1998 back to the US. In late 1996, Gen. Abacha closed down my finance house so I had to go back to the U.S to just hustle again. And then they started calling on me to come and be the king, that its my time to be the king, that its my time to be the king. They kept calling me to come back and in 2002 I made up my mind to come. Dele Momodu the OVATION Publisher was one of the people who pushed me down. He said Bashorun we are coming to meet you in Houston to come and do the sendforth for you.
Go back home. Then, I came. It was at that time I found out that its God that provides for you. No matter how big you, if God does not do the spade work for you, you won’t be able to achieve anything. No matter how big you are, if God does not do the spade work for you, you won’t be able to achieve it. When I got here everything was ready for me. Everybody knew I was coming. Everybody was just helping, helping, supporting me. I found it very easy to get whatever I wanted to get. Here I am today. I give glory to him. I am 15 years on the throne just like that. I became 15 years on December 21, 2017. I became Abepa in 2002.
What are the major things you’ve been able to do to affect your community?
With the support of the government we have done a lot of things. When I came in I decided to develop and expand our community from the turning off the highway into town. In my bid to do that they took me to court, but with Gods grace I won the case after 8 years. When God is with you nobody can do anything to oppose you. Right now we have every xxxxxxx that you are suppose to have in the town from light, water, school, halls I am building a new and befitting Joga Orile Palace. Where we are is my home. It is my house. You will see it outside that it is Olumilade Country Home. That is my fathers name. The Joga Palace is in the town now. We have bought 4 acres of land now to built. We are working on it now. Since I came things have been improving. Everybody knews how we met Joga. It used to be totally rural and ancient but we have been able to modernise so many things.
Tell us the significance of Joga Orile in Yoruba history?
Joga Orile is a litle town and we have so many scholars here. People like the Afonjas, the Ajiboyes, the Adekeyes, a lot. Our people are all over and they are well recognised in Nigerian society. Going into Yoruba history, if you are not from Oyo, you are from Ile-Ife. We are from Oyo. That is why I always wear Abeti Aja cap, like Alaafin, Oba Adeyemi. 4 or 5 of them came together from Oyo-the Oronna (which is Ilaro), the Adokun (which is Igan Ikoto), the Abepa (which is Joga Orile) here, and Ibese (which is Asakanran). They all came from Oyo the same day. They first stopped in Joga Orile before everybody scattered around the town again, to go to other places.
Abepa was the only one that brought a crown from Oyo at that time because he was a very great hunter, that even the Alaafin will call anytime he has problems or there is a war to fight, like the Dahomey War. He will call Abepa to come and defend them. That is why most of our men scattered all over. They don’t stay in Joga, because as soon as you have a baby boy, Abepa will take the baby boy from you and will join the Army, he will become one of the warriors to go and fight.