Her Royal Majesty, Oloori Wuraola Zynab Otiti Ogunwusi, the wife of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi spoke to City People a few months ago
At that time she was neck deep in preparations for her concert for the less privileged tagged GIVE BACK Concert, an initiative of her compassion for helping the less privileged.
Her Giveback Concert held on the 24th of February, 2017 at the Eko Hotels Lagos, with performances from top Nigerian artists, Cobhams Asuquo, 2face, Darey Art Alade and many others. In this exclusive interview with City People, the ever gorgeous and beautiful Olori spoke about her pet project, life as the queen of Ife, her love for white and lots more. It’s her first major interview.
How has the experience been for you in the last 10 months as the queen of the great Ife Kingdom?
Being a queen comes with a lot of expectations and a lot of responsibilities. It is a duty to meet the expectations and to manage the privileges for maximum positive impact on the lives of those around me. It is a chance to be selfless and to give a good account of what I have been given. It helps a lot to think of what I can do for others rather than what others can do for me.
It’s barely a year since you assumed your role as the queen but you have made a great impact within that short time, what would you attribute that to?
Like I said, it is a sense of duty and responsibility. There are things that no one would query you for not doing, yet history will record that you didn’t do what you could have done. History is written not in books, but in the lives of people. That is why it is not every one that has ever lived that you read about after they are gone. Also considering the amount of need in so many places, especially the rural areas, it is very difficult to fold one’s hands and watch.
What is your official role as the queen?
Fundamentally being the wife of the Ooni of course. But then one naturally assumes the position of being the voice of the voiceless and a source of softer considerations for issues and cases that need a more humane approach. In my personal efforts, I try to assist with women and children.
What is your typical day like?
My typical day is busy. There is no day that is not pre-planned ahead, and then you also get surprises in between, But every day starts with waking up, saying my prayers, taking care of my family and then get the day started.
You have been saddled with an enormous responsibility as the mother of a great kingdom and you are doing a tremendous job of it, where do you draw your strength?
Well, thanks for the compliment but I am sure I am not trying to win medals or to exceed any records. Like I said, a lot can be done and I am trying my best. My strength comes from first of all knowing my limitations and trying to maximize all that is available within my means. If it qualifies as a ‘tremendous job’ as you said, I thank God.
Despite your new dress code of strictly white, you have remained stylish with your regalia, what informs your fashion style?
First wearing white for me was before the role so I was already used to it prior to becoming the queen.
Then when you become a reference point, and you want to inspire those that can be inspired, you make the extra efforts to balance everything. My policy is moderation and modesty in everything, including what I wear and truly, it is not difficult.
How does it feel having to wear all white all the time?
It feels great and wearing white isn’t simply about fashion for me there is a strong significance to it. But one must fit into it like a habit. If you ask a banker, “how does it feel to have to look corporate all the time?” he may say “what other way is there to look?”
Can you give us a detailed profile of Her Majesty Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi?
I was born in Benin and grew up between Nigeria and every other part of the world that I lived at different times in my life, no matter how brief it was I learnt a lot from them all. From Europe to the Middle East, am a child of the world and that truly helped my soul to grow. I have always been interested in the whole business of buying and selling. There was some satisfaction to the idea of being able to turn money around. And I also have a certain love for visual merchandising. I love the whole idea of a beautiful store.
I remember having one of the best lingerie boutiques in Abuja because I had seen a lingerie boutique in Rotterdam and I wanted to replicate same here. But real estate was more my area from the days of buying and selling homes in Dubai prior to the real estate meltdown that crippled most people at the time, to developing and selling, I went ahead to study Interior Designing because I love the whole idea of bringing an empty space alive, there was something fulfilling about moving furniture and seeing the facelift little additions can give to a space. And I further went to study architecture and not long after I started practicing was when I got married to the king.
What are your hobbies?
I love reading and writing. I used to enjoy traveling a lot too I don’t know if I should call that a hobby but it was definitely great seeing exotic places as part of leisure.