•60th Birthday Interview
Olu Itoriland, Oba Dr Abdulfatai Akorede Akamo is 60! The Ogun Stylish King joined the Diamond Club (60th) on October 1st and he didn’t let the day go by. He ensured the celebration of the birthday took place on that same day. His town, Itori in Ewekoro was a beehive of activity as kabiyesi fondly called “Ilufemiloye” treated prominent Nigerians to a grand reception at his event centre called Kings Court in Itoriland.
Oba Fatai Akamo who is the only King in Nigeria born on Independence Day, 1960 in an exclusive interview with City People Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE, reveals many shocking things about his life. He spoke on how his mum was fondly called “Iya Omira”, why he is married to only one wife, how his relationship with OBJ started, plus why his wife is so special. Enjoy the interview.
Where were you born 60 years ago?
My mother was living with my grandmother in Ikire then. So when she was in labour, they tried what they could do because I was told she laboured for nine days. Apart from that, she had to travel all the way down to Ibadan because most hospitals rejected her. Fortunately, it was UCH that accepted her and I came into the world, glory be to God. We were in the UCH for almost a year.
That’s my destiny. That’s what God has written about my birth.
You are a king that’s not just loved by the people in Ogun but everywhere. You are even close to other kings in other states. Was it a relationship that started before you were a king or was it after you became a king?
Well in life, all things are well known to God and don’t forget you cannot give what you don’t have. You only give what you have to people. What do I have? Mainly I’ve realised that before when I was a teenager that what I have is service to humanity, good relationships with people. I never thought I’d be king in my life but when Providence now came in and I became the king, the only thing I can do is to be very close to God because it’s only God that knows what man doesn’t know. And God has been so kind and merciful to us. And my upbringing was not as easy people see me, but I just give thanks to God because God has a way of doing His things.
The instinct I have in me is to God, is service to humanity, is to make people happy, and God has been so faithful. There’s nothing I have asked God to do for me that He hasn’t done. When I came on board as the Olu Itori almost seventeen years ago, Itori wasn’t like this. The only person I called on was God. So the first thing God did for me was that when we were young, after primary school, there was only one primary school in Itori, All Saints Anglican Primary School. After that primary school, you have to go to Ibadan, Abeokuta or Lagos. But Providence has it, today when I became Oba, we now have countless primary schools, secondary schools and to grace it all, God gave us a tertiary institution.
How is Kabiyesi’s journey like your business? What was the first thing you did?
That’s a very good question. When God is involved, all things are possible and things look like a miracle. And don’t forget that if spider does not die, it continues to make webs. I made my first money when I was in secondary school.
How did it happen?
We were about to do inter-house sports, I’m a sports person. Then our game master said we should invite our parents. My parents did not have money, how do I invite them. I went home and told them that I was involved in the sports in school that I was participating in all the games then.
Along the line, my mother bursted into tears because my mother supplied food to my secondary school then, courtesy of Obasanjo. Along the line, when we were talking, one of our neighbours walked through and asked what the problem was. I told him that my parents’ attention were needed in the school, they cannot go because they were not too buoyant. So the man said that we should let someone who can do what they want go and that was in 1976.
Who is the person? Baba Majekodun, King of boys. He was the only one that rides Land Rover in Abeokuta then. Baba Majekodun took me in his vehicle to school and he gave me hundred pounds. It’s like the school has never witnessed such a thing before. Despite that, God has been so kind. When I returned back from the UK, I floated my agency in 1996, Nigeria was supposed to play in Atlanta. We airlifted about 5000 contingency to Atlanta in 1996 and that was the turning point in my Life. This changed my story and i have been able to divert into many businesses after that and God has been so kind to us. We return the glory to Him.
You are one of the most stylish kings and your wife is one of the most stylish Oloris. Would you say that you’ve been stylish from when you were young? Have you always been this stylish?
Let’s give glory to God. An adage says, bird of the same feathers fly together, so whatever you see in me, you are going to see in my wife. Moreover, when we were running Glitz Expectation Travels, we had a fashion outfit. I told you earlier, you can’t give what you don’t have. Part of what I have is color and fashion.
You know in Yoruba land if you work and you dress, they’d tell you this is your character. So fashion is part of our culture in Yoruba land. Then if you are born the way I came into the world as an independent boy, you know I would have come with all that would endow me to be in life. Where we are today was not like this, it was a swampy area but God turned it into a house. We have also done lots to reposition our territory and town among many cities and towns in Ogun State.
People always say Kabiesi is blunt and you can not take that out of him. Would you say that’s part of your upbringing?
Yes, that’s part of it. Most especially in secondary school, I went to. At Saints Anglican Secondary School, we don’t compromise for quality, it’s a Christian school and I’m a Muslim. What we were taught is self-discipline and self-independence and be blunt and don’t compromise. I don’t lie, I don’t believe in lying.
What can you say about your Great Grand Mother who was once the Iyalode of Itori-Land?
She brought me up. One funny thing is that, from my paternal side, the first Iyalode of Egba-Land was my great grandmother and from the maternal angle, the first Iyalode of Itori was my great grandmother. I was surrounded by the people that matter but God has a way of doing things. She was a very humble and very powerful woman who talked authoritatively during her reign as the Iyalode of Itori-Land and I thank God for her life. You see, if a woman is good she will give birth to good children. So, my great-grandmother gave birth to very successful children including myself.
Do you feel 60?
On a very good day you just have to give thanks to God. They say a fool at 40 is a fool forever.
Why do they say that?
Whatever you do at 40 and you don’t excel, it only takes the grace of God. So I give God the glory for age 60 and I pray God continues to enlarge our Coast and be our strength.
Do you still see some of your friends that you went to school together?
They were here on the 28th of this month. I had two or three from my primary school. They came here by themselves. They even showed me the picture.
I see how God has brought you. You are a child of God. What would you say to that?
My advice to the people is that we all know what happened yesterday, we can talk about what is happening at the moment, only God knows what will happen tomorrow. But if our yesterday is good, definitely our today will be fine and whatever that makes today happy, tomorrow will definitely be okay. My advice to people is to learn to be very obedient, humble, whatever you cannot take, don’t do it to people. We have two types of tress, the one with fruit and the one without fruit.
No human being will go to the one without fruit but the prayer is God will continue to prosper the fruitful trees. If you look at the mirror with your right hand, the mirror will change it to your left hand. Whatever you throw at the palm tree is what it will throw back at you. And that is the mystery of life. My prayer is that we should all think outside the box to appreciate our God.
How long have you been friends with the Borokini of Lagos and Otunba Wale Saranda?
Like I said earlier, God has been so good to us. I met those people differently but I brought them together when I became the Oba. We bless God and we pray that God continues to bless all of us.
What is that thing that the Olori Faderera has been able to do that made you to stick to her even as you turned sixty?
In our time, when we got married, our people go out to consult. I remember the man we went to consult asked how the Olori and I met. He said in the spiritual world that we were both the head and it was not easy to come by. The man said I need to be closer to God because Olori had a very shining star and I also had a shining star. That two shining stars can not go together and God has done it. I thank GOD today that my Wife has been a blessing to me. My wife is everything I want in a woman. My wife has always been contented. I appreciate her a lot
Has she always been that gentle?
There is no woman that is gentle. When I was a kid, my father had about five wives and they all lived together. Every day was drama. So I asked him why he married so many wives and he said Omo to ni Baba oun osun, enu e lo wa yen. And I said I won’t help him do that. Whatever makes you to have a wife, you have to understand her. When you buy things, it comes with a manual that you have to study so that you can operate it. So in marriage, there are manuals, and that’s security to God. The only manual is God.
What has brought you this far in life? Is it honesty or integrity?
It is grace of God. There are people that are more honest and they don’t go far. It’s just the grace of God.
What has life taught you at sixty?
Life has taught me to give back to society. God created us to assist each other. Whoever you have should be shared with those that don’t have. Giving to people is one of the greatest assets. The more you give the more God gives you back.
What should we expect from Kabiesi on his birthday? Who are the guests? Who should we expect?
Like i said earlier, up to this moment you can still talk but only God knows tomorrow. But a quote for the scouts that says be prepared so we are preparing. We are preparing and God will take all our preparation to reality.
How do you rest Kabiyesi?
I’m feeling sleepy but I still have to oversee all that’s happening. But God is my strength. I ask God to take control.
People say that Kabiyesi looks like 40 at 60, do you exercise?
I have about seven machines in the palace. When God created us, He made us as vegetarians but there are a lot of foods we eat now that are not good to the body. If you can keep to the diet and things will be Normal. So I take care of what I eat because I don’t want to lose my shape.
Your love for Wasiu Ayinde?
We have all been together for years. We thank God that God answered all of us. Sunny Ade has been one of my Fav too on Music and Marshal has come a long way. I just believe that whatever we are doing we should just pray for God’s grace and it is the grace of God that will propel you to the world.