•Details Of His 1-Hour Interview With City People
As you read this, the celebration has started. Among the super big boys in Lagos, the talk of the town right now is the birthday of Chief Adebola Alabi Dosunmu, the Akinsiku of Lagos. Today, Monday, 21st March 2022, is his birthday. So, as you read this, the Olori Eyo of Lagos is in a celebration mood.
He will be going to his base in Isale Eko to celebrate at his family house and a few days after, he will be hosting a big party that will be attended by the creme-de-la-creme of Lagos. That is to be expected. This is because Akinsiku is a super big boy whom everyone loves. He is easy going, friendly and very, very accommodating. He is one successful Lagosian who has touched so many lives. And he is always there for everybody. He rolls with all the celebrities. He also rolls with ordinary Nigerians. He is a man of the people.
When the news broke a few weeks back that he was going to clock 50, it came as a pleasant surprise because he does not look that far gone in age. Many still see him as a 40-year-old dude. They just can’t believe that this tall and handsome Lagos businessman will be hitting the Golden age.
Perhaps, why many do not know that he is 50 is because of his physique and looks. He has a great athletic figure. He is tall. He is 6 feet 5. And, he has managed to maintain the ruggedly handsome look that has endeared him to many people.
Last week Thursday, the City People Magazine crew, led by Publisher, Seye Kehinde spent quality time with him at his Lekki home where he told us the story of his life @ 50. By the time the 1-hour interview ended, we realised how richly blessed the Akinsiku of Lagos is. He is also blessed with an extremely beautiful wife and adorable children. Below are excerpts of the interview.
How do you feel turning 50?
Hmmm…I feel anxious! Feel so great, my birthday is here. I give God all the glory.
When you look back on life and what you have achieved, how do you feel?
Well, in everything in life we have to give thanks to God, looking at where I am coming from and who I am today, it’s God’s doing, looking at life from a tender age up till now that I am a full-grown man, Ope ni fun Olorun.
You have been able to raise your name to a big brand and you’ve touched many people’s lives. How do you do that?
That is my lifestyle, I like helping people, bringing people up. It’s my thing, I don’t look down on people because no one knows tomorrow. You can never say what will happen, so, we are all equal in the presence of God, so it’s what I enjoy doing.
How did you adjust to your role as Akinsiku being a young man?
The title of Akinsiku of Lagos has been in existence for over 200-and-something-years and the people that have been on the throne have always been older people. Like the last predecessor at the age of 70. My grandfather was on the throne for around 70 to 72 years. So, it’s been like that. Then I came on board at the age of 39. That was in 2017. At that age, I was the first young person to ascend that throne at that young age, so you know with my connection and the kind of person I am. A lot of people do not know the title ‘Akinsiku’ I was able to lift it up with my connection. Everyone now came to know this title ‘Akinsiku’ is the arrowhead of Eyo. The Olori of Eyo of Lagos.
At what stage is the Eyo Festival right now. When is the next one? Are you planning one soon? Is it an annual event?
No, Eyo is not something that is done annually. When Eyo is ready to come up, the Adamo Orisa play will come up. The last one, we had was in 2017 for the late Oba Yekini Elegushi and that was the last one and we haven’t had anyone till now. We never can tell, we might have another one at any time. It might happen this year or next year. So, it’s not like the Egungun festival or Igunu festival which is an annual thing that happens all the time but Eyo doesn’t have time.
How have you been able to adjust as a young man taking that kind of big title of Akinsiku?
I organise myself. And well, you know when you have a good wife, good family, I separate everything from my family, when it is time for family, I do what I have to do, and when it’s time to do my duty as the Akinsiku, I do it. So, I try to manage the whole thing. God has been faithful.
Tell us a bit about your upbringing? Were you born in Lagos? Did you grow up in Lagos? What is the story?
I was born on the Island of Lagos Island (Oko Awo). I went to St. Johns School for a couple of years, I travelled to the U.S to study Criminal Justice. Then after so many years in America, I moved back to Lagos in 2009 and I had my own business. First, I started doing the Oil business and after that, things started getting better. Now I am into real estate. I have a beautiful family. I have 6 children and a beautiful wife.
Let’s talk about social life? You are a socialite. You love good parties. And you attend the parties of all your friends. How do you cope?
(Laughing) I’m very active on that one (Laughing) Yes, I am a socialite, no doubt about that and my social life is very active. When it comes for me to socialise with people, I do that. It’s what I love doing, I like attending parties if I am involved. I don’t look down on people to say no this party or that party is not for me. If I have the chance to go, I will attend your party. I like going out, it’s very simple for me. I like socialising.
A lot of elders like you are also close to all the royal fathers. How do you manage all these?
I plan myself, when the time comes to have meetings or have anything, I do it and move on, so it’s very simple for me, very simple.
Let’s talk about your fashion style. You are very stylish. How did you develop and cultivate your style?
Maybe because of my height 6 feet 5. I love dressing, no doubt about that, I am a fashionista (smiles). So, I love dressing up and getting into a party or an event, definitely, I will be recognised, that who is this person? About the dressing thing, I think I took that from my daddy because my dad loved dressing well too. May his soul rest in peace. His name is Herbert Olaribigbe Dosunmu. He loved dressing well. When I was young, I used to look at him dressing up and stuff like that, I saw one of his pictures when my Senior brother was born. That was in 1965, you know all these caps that used to have a special design. That was what my dad was putting on. I was like wow, this is over 50-something-years ago, so I bought a lot of that. I bought like 14 different colours because I was like wow, for this man to be able to have all these back then, I saw how he dressed. So, I started my own also.
How have you also been able to retain your slim look over the years, how do you do it?
I don’t joke with my exercise. I work out a lot. Yes, at least in a week, I do workouts, maybe 5 or 6 times or I do the whole week. Once I get up in the morning, I have to at least work out for 1hr 40 mins. That keeps me going because Health is Wealth. If you have all this money, and you don’t have good health, you are doing it yourself. And it’s better for me to do it now than when I get older. And then paying a lot of money to get your health back, so it’s my thing, that I do all the time. I love working out, I motivate a lot of people because I receive a lot of DMs talking about my age. Some people say I don’t look my age. They say I don’t look 50. Well, that’s a compliment, some say I look like 42. You look this and that. You see, you have to take care of your body, no doubt about that. Health is wealth like I said. I don’t eat a lot of junk food. I don’t drink all this Coke, Fanta or whatever. I only drink water, Green tea. No sugar or milk. Anything I eat, I must take Green Tea and I take my Vitamins and I work out. That is the secret.
Who is your best friend? I know you are close to so many Big Boys. So you must have a best friend?
Of course, I have a lot of friends, like his Royal Majesty, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi. He is my friend. We have been together for 35 years. I have a couple of friends (pauses). Like me, I associate with everybody. So, like him Elegushi, we are very very close. Of course, I have a lot of friends that we do things together.
So, what kind of person is Akinsiku?
Akinsiku is a free boy (smiles) Yeah. I don’t keep malice. I am a very, very temperamental person. But I manage that. I am very very focused and straightforward. If I have arguments, I talk about it and it ends there. I am just free with everybody, male, female, whatever, whoever you are.
What is your best colour?
White. That is not because of my title, I think white commands respect. So, I love wearing white. I want my things to be white, like my party. The colour code is Black and White. And the symbol of my Ademorisa House is Black and White. So, I am trying to pass a message across.
When you were planning your party, what were the things that came to your mind as to what to do to mark it?
It’s not easy. I am telling you (laughing). I like going to parties but I don’t like planning or hosting parties. But this one is a milestone. So, I just said okay, let me at least celebrate myself and I just started planning gradually and friends have been coming to support and everything. My birthday is March 21st. This Monday. I just want to do some little thing in the house, in Isale Eko. I want to be around, with my family, extended family and everybody. But now, I think the whole thing has turned to a big carnival. I am just hearing this and that. Some people are planning parties. I just wanted to have something little on Monday and then the big party on Thursday. But now, I think everything has just been turned into a big party.
What will you say life has taught you at 50?
Well, life has taught me a lot of things, taking things easy, accepting everything that comes your way because life is too short, just take things easy and go by the day.
How were you able to win the confidence of the older ones?
I treat them with respect. Respect and Endurance is the key. I am not rude to people, even to the younger ones. I have a lot of younger ones that go on to say “you are my role model” because I carry so many people along. I give them respect. I don’t feel big. So, the older people, love me. They want me to come around. Some older people even come for advice and I give them. So, I give them a lot of respect.
What is your message to your friends as you celebrate your 50th birthday?
Well, my message is very simple. Let’s be truthful, faithful and be open-minded. I don’t like people that are not straightforward. That’s all.