As you read this, the House of Ooduwa is in a happy mood. This is because it’s the birthday of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi. Kabiyesi is 47 and it is a thing of joy because he is in good health and full of vibrancy.
In just 6 years, the Ooni has built that institution into a formidable one that commands respect all over the world. Not only is the stool of the Ooni revered here in Nigeria, it has global significance and reckoning.
City People has followed with keen interest the transformation of Kabiyeesi from the real estate guru that he was years back to the revered king that he has become today and it has been one of dignity and reverence.
The significance of his office is that the 51st Ooni of Ife (3rd dynasty), Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, is the supreme traditional and spiritual head of the entire Oduduwa Race worldwide.
He was born on 17th October 1974 to the family of Prince Oluropo and Madam Wuraola Ogunwusi of the Giesi Royal House, Agbedegbede Compound in the cradle city of Ile-Ife. His birth was predicted years before he was conceived, Hence, the name Enitan ‘child of history’ was given by his mother while his paternal grandfather named him Adeyeye, which means ‘the crown befits the throne’. He is the fifth child in a family of seven.
As a kid ripe enough for schooling, the young prince started his elementary education at Subuola Memorial Nursery and Primary School, Ibadan and ended at the Ibadan District Council Primary School, Akobo, Ibadan. For his secondary school education, he attended Loyola College, Ibadan and later to St. Peters Secondary School, Ile-Ife while he graduated as an accountant from the prestigious Polytechnic of Ibadan.
Ooni Ogunwusi is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. He is also an Associate Accounting Technician. Kabiyesi is a certified member of the Institute of Directors. He is also a member of the Global Real Estate Institute. He holds a number of honorary doctorate degrees: one in Public Administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and another in Law from Igbinedion University.
In accordance to the traditions of Ile-Ife strictly followed by the Ife kingmakers, the then Prince Adeyeye Ogunwusi, a real estate magnate was selected from the Giesi Ruling House of Ile-Ife, amongst several princes who were also eligible to the throne on 26 October 2015. He thereafter received his staff of office on 7th December 2015 presented to him by the then Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as required by the law.
Ooni Ogunwusi has since been saddled with the responsibility of making supplications to God and the Òrìcà on behalf of Kaaroojiire tribe, otherwise known as Yoruba and all other ethnic members of the entire Oduduwa family worldwide both privately and publicly especially during annual festivals such as Olojo (Festival of World’s creation), Aje (Festival of Wealth), Olokun (Sea and Ocean), Oranfe (God of Fire), Yemoja (goddess of fishes). Etc.
Ooni Ogunwusi during his coronation ceremony in 2015, presented an eleven-point development agenda for his reign not just as the ruler of Ile-Ife, but also as the Arole Oduduwa; Head of the Oduduwa race globally. Shortly after his coronation, Ooni Ogunwusi took a surprise visit to the Alaafin of Oyo and by so doing initiated a new era in the history of the Yoruba States. He effectively broke the jinx of institutionalised discord between the thrones that had plagued Ile-Ife and Oyo for decades. This he did in his conviction that unity is the foundation for peace while no development could be achieved in the absence of peace.
As an advocate for the empowerment and emancipation of women and young people. He has transformed Ile-Ife into a tourist zone, with changes including the beautification, redesign and reconstruction of the ancient city. Ooni Ogunwusi is also a renowned philanthropist who is committed to humanity and an advocate for the less privileged. He has granted support over the years through the House of Oduduwa Foundation and, recently, through his NGO, Hopes Alive Initiative (HAI).
Even though it is absolutely unachievable to herein list out all his achievements recorded in the last five and half years he has served as the Ooni of Ife, it is imperative to mention a few of his strides as follows: • Construction and rehabilitation of roads and Roundabouts in Ile-Ife • Illumination of more than 20 kilometres of road with street light facilities • Establishment of Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park in 2018 to drive the tourism potentials of Ile-Ife and Nigeria at large • Establishment ‘Adire Oodua’ an African fabric hub at Ile-Ife which is the biggest in Nigeria • Ooni Ogunwusi recently at Ile-Ife commissioned a 3000 seating capacity Meeting Incentives Conference and Event (MICE) Centre branded ‘Ojaja Arena’ • Superlative face-lift of the Ooni’s Palace • He put end to the agelong discord between The Ooni and Alaafin with his historic visit to Oyo in January 2015, barely a moment on the throne
• He has brought progressive dynamism to the monarchy, not only in Nigeria but also in Africa as he was called “New Face Of African Progress” by another African frontline monarch King Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II of Kumasi, Ghana in 2016 • Honoured by the black congressional caucus of House Of Representatives at the Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA in 2016 for promoting “peace and unity of the African people’’ • President John Mahama of Ghana Honoured him as the “African King of Peace and Unity” in Accra, 2016 • He ensured the proclamation of Ile-Ife town as the twin city of Salvador in Brazil, enacted into law by the Salvador City Parliament • The declaration of The State of Bahia in Brazil as the Yoruba Capital of the Americas • Honoured with Proclamation Day, Flag Exchange and presentation of city key by the Mayor of Brampton in Toronto, Patrick Brown in 2019 • Scholarship schemes for primary, secondary and tertiary education for thousands of students in Yorubaland and other parts of Nigeria • Various categories of Empowerment packages for women, widows, people with disabilities and less privileged children.
This foremost African monarch of unequalled humility is a great advocate of youth development who has executed numerous youth-oriented programs both within and outside Africa. He is the Chancellor of, University of Nigeria(UNN) Nsuka. Grand Royal Father, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN). Patron and Grand Patron of more than 200 governmental and non-governmental agencies home and abroad.
Co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN). President, Southern Nigeria Traditional Rulers Forum. Permanent Chairman, Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers. A bridge-builder per excellence. An exemplary leadership with great unusual benevolence.
Defender of truth, justice and fairness.
He is, Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife and overall father of all the descendants of Oduduwa worldwide.
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