+What Her Husband, The Ojomu Of Ajiranland Said About Her
Olori Olubunmi Taibat Akinloye, the pretty wife of HRM Oba Tijani Akinloye, the Ojomu of Ajiranland in Lagos, is in a happy mood right now. She is set to mark her 60th birthday in grand style, with a Thanksgiving party.
One striking thing about her is that she does not look 60. She looks refreshingly young. She is also a very stylish woman.
A few weeks back, City People asked her how she feels at 60. “I feel great. I feel fulfilled and I am happy”, she said. What are the things that come to mind as she looks back at her 60 years. “To be sincere, when I look back, and since I started the preparations for my 60th, I kept asking myself, the question: Is it true? Am I actually 60? We give God the Glory. I am 60, in good health and happiness.
Looking back, I can recollect so many things, like growing up, there are plenty ups and downs, but here, we give God the glory”.
How does she plan to celebrate her birthday, we asked. “I plan to celebrate it big”, she responded. “If I have the money, I plan to even celebrate it bigger than what I am even planning. But whichever way it comes, we thank God. We give God all the glory”.
We also asked her to tell us the secret of her refreshingly young and beautiful look at 60. She smiled and said, “I don’t do anything. Truth be told, I am just me and myself. People that know me know me, I am just who I am. I am what you see. I am very contented. No worries. I don’t disturb myself unnecessarily. I don’t go for what is beyond my reach. Whatever I can do, I do. Whatever I can’t, I leave. That is just me. I think that is what has been helping me to look the way I look”.
Where was she born, we asked. Where did she grow up?
“Those are my parents over there, on the wall. My mum and my dad are both late now. I was born in Ikeere, somewhere in Oyo State. That was where my dad was then, working with the Baloguns. From there, I moved to my maternal Uncle in Kaduna. I grew up in Kaduna. I came back, went to St. Michaels Nursery and Primary School, Ilorin. I moved to Kaduna. My mother moved to Ilorin. My dad moved to Lagos. So from St. Michaels, I went to C&S College, Ilorin. I didn’t finish at C&S College. I finished at a Girls’ Grammar School, in Ota. From there, I went to Kwara State Polytechnic. From there, I went to the University of Ilorin and then I started working at the bank. I did my youth service there in UBA, Kaduna.
From there, I got employment in Trade Bank still in Ilorin, Kwara State. Then, I was posted to Lagos. I started working in Lagos. After I worked for about 10 to 12 years, I went into Poultry Farming. I was in Poultry Farming for about 20 years. It was while I was in Poultry Farming that I had all my children.
From there, here I am today. I retired from farming. Now, I am a businesswoman”.
What are the lessons that life has taught her as she turns 60? “It has taught me to be myself. Don’t rely on anybody. Don’t put your trust in anybody. Trust in God, not in any friend. There is no friend like Jesus”.
How about her fashion style? How did she develop her style as an Olori? How long ago did she start being stylish? “I have always been very stylish even before I became an Olori, from my youth. People that know me will tell you. In those days, they used to call me, To Match. When I wear purple, everything I will wear will be purple jewellery. It’s not gold ooo in those days. But everything has to match. I have been stylish from my youth. And as for the reason for my youthful look, it is Contentment. I don’t disturb myself. In this life, there is nothing like do or die. Whatever I can do, I do”.
We asked her to tell us the love story of herself and Kabiyesi. How did they meet?
What was the attraction? “Haaa! Me and Kabiyesi, That is a long story. It is plenty story. It’s a very interesting love story. I met Kabiyesi about 17 to 19 years ago as a farmer. Kabiyesi is a farmer. And I was a farmer. Right now, I am no longer a farmer.
I met him through his Manager. His farm Manager. I was about starting a farm at Lakone. I was staying in Isolo. One day, I was just passing I now saw a structure of what I had in mind to use in my new farm. I alighted from the bus, I went into the farm.
I went into the compound. Unfortunately, that day, I did not meet the Manager, I met one guy, Moruf. I explained to him what I wanted to do, that I am a farmer. I wanted to take a measurement of what I saw there. He said he will have loved me to meet the Manager but he is not around now. He said I have to come back to meet the Manager. So, I went back the 2nd time, the Manager was not around then, he now said okay, I can take it. But that I should find time to come back and see the Manager.
So, I took the measurement and I went away. Then the following week, on one Thursday, I went back and I met the Manager. I spoke to the Manager, then we became friends. We were always talking, until one day when he said have I even met his oga. He once told me that the owner of the farm is a traditional ruler. That day, I came, he said his boss is around. Do I want to meet his boss? I said why not, let me greet him. There is no harm in greeting. So I went. I greeted him. And we got talking. I was talking to him about my farm. He was asking me questions. He now invited me to the commissioning of his new project on the farm. He now said do I mind coming. I said why not, I will come. He said the Manager should invite me. And that was it. I went for the commissioning. The rest is history”.
What are the things she saw in Kabiyesi at that time, that got her attracted to him? “I like the fact that he is an elderly person. At a stage, I began to realise that this our relationship might go beyond this poultry thing that we were always talking about. So, I started studying him. So from there, I discovered that he was a calm man, very honest, very kind and nice”.
How has it been, being an Olori? “It has been glorious. No regrets. I am okay. I am fine. I am happy. We are coping as one big family. Our royal family is fine. We thank God. Our family is not a very large family. Although Kabiyesi is a father of all, his own biological children are not many. He is one man that does not joke with his children at all. All of us are close. It is one closely-knit family”.
At the end of the day, what sort of a person is Olori Olubunmi Akinloye? “Me? One thing I don’t like about myself, is that I am too gullible. And it is affecting me a lot. What I mean is, when I see somebody, instead of me to calm down and study the person, know the person well, I won’t do that. From that moment that I meet the person, you have become my friend. I am open, too open. I am too accessible to people and I don’t like it. I wish I can just take that out of me. But I am finding it difficult to do that. It is affecting me.
But thank God it has not gone out of hand.
My gullibility is affecting me and I think I have to check that. But I am 60. Can I still change? I don’t think so”.
What side of her does she like? “The fact that I am friendly. I am very, very friendly, very, very accommodating”.
So what should her friends expect at her party? “I have so many surprises for guests which I don’t want to reveal now. I have so many things I have been planning for a long time. They will see me come alive that day. The event is being planned by my lovely daughter, Tega. She is an events planner. She is wonderful. She is the one in charge and she is handling it well”.
How did she celebrate her 40th and 50th birthday? “My 40th birthday was a Jeans party. All my friends came in Jeans. It was really nice. Then my 50th was great. It was King Sunny Ade that was on bandstand.”
“I had all my friends and family members around to support me. Kabiyesi was wonderful, with all the kings he invited. Then, this coming one will be great. The dress code is Black & Gold for women. Then, White for the men.”
Her husband also spoke to City People about her. He was asked to speak about Olori Olubunmi Akinloye and what he wishes her. “I am happy she is 60. I wish her all the best. I wish her good luck. I wish her what I wish everybody. She is a nice woman. She is open. She likes to speak her mind as she sees it. She is a good Olori. We have been coping and managing ourselves since we got married in 2002. That is about 20 years now”.
What did Kabiyeesi see in her that made him marry Olori Olubunmi? “She is open”, he explained. “She came as a businesswoman and it was business that brought us together.”
– Seye Kehinde