Says: Many Don’t Know I Was Once Married With Kids
When Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi packed up his marriage with his Canadian born wife, Queen Channel few months ago, many thought it was just mere speculation which would fade away with time. Not many believed the story because of how close Oluwo of Iwo and his pretty Oloori were. Not only was their marriage the envy of other kings, their fashion statement also complemented one another.
How did the relationship go sour? What happened to the marriage? At what point did they decide to pack up the marriage? Has Olu Iwo ever been married before now?
What could have made them pack up the sweet marriage? What of their son, Oduduwa? Can Queen Channel raise the Prince away from the palace? What happens to the crown, which Queen Channel used to rock as a Princess? Why does Olu-Iwo call himself “Alase Lori Orisa”?
These were among the many questions City People Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE asked Oluwo of Iwoland in an exclusive phone interview which lasted over an hour. Enjoy it.
Why do you call yourself “Alase Lori Orisa”?
Yes, I call myself Alase Lori Orisa” because, Ori means head and God is the head. Even in Ifa, there is this popular saying that we should be praising our head and leave the idols. It is straight forward when Yoruba says “ori ni ki abo ki afi orisa sile”. You are “Orisa” because you are God’s chosen just like Dangote, Okoya, Billgates.
“Eni ti orisada” is what is called “Orisada. That is how God created us. God created us all specially. Even if you are a cleaner, you were created specially. You become a bigger “Orisa” with your impact in the society and your achievements.
Ogun and Sango, all have parents but we didn’t know their parents. Even Jesus and Muhammed. It was their impartation that made them big. That is why Yoruba will say “Aparo kan o ga ju kan lo a fi eyin ti o ba gun ori ebe” (one being is not greater than the other.
It is greatness that makes you become a bigger one). What do they call “Oba”? God is the real Oba (King). He is the “Kabioosi Eledumare”. If God is the king who are we the kings? We the kings are like his representatives. It is just like President Buhari sending representatives to an event.
The representative gets the honour of the President. I am not “Oluwo”. That throne will be there forever. Kings are representatives of God because we can’t see God in physical. When you move from priest to Oba, you become “Arole Eledumare”. In Yorubaland we sing one song” ki la fi Oba pe, Oba o, Oba Alase Oba” what do they call King, King is an authority). This means Oba is the authority because he is a being who is special “Orisada”.
Is it true that in Iwoland, you don’t worship deities like Sango, masquerade and all?
Well, after I emerged the Oluwo, I stopped all worshiping of deities. There is civilisation now. It is out of ignorance that people worship derties.
Does that mean you don’t get involved in masquerade worshipping?
Listen, when it comes to our culture and tradition, it must move with time. We now use our culture and tradition to be of benefit to our people and not to opress them. Do you know the powerful Sango was used to cursing? You hear “Sango a pa e”.
Have you ever heard “Sango a gbe e” (may Sango favour you). This is because they are idolised. How can Sango kill all his children? It is not even long that Sango came. It is not even more than 900 years ago. So before 900 years, was there anything like Sango? No. When Oduduwa was around, there was nothing like Sango. Sango was Oduduwa’s great grand child. Oduduwa brought the crown. That is why all the Obas in Yorubaland are not respected unless they are very rich.
There is no king in Yorubaland who is not rich that is respected. That is why all the Alfas will feel they are bigger than the king. The kings are seen as being fetish because they worship idols.
Why did you name your son, Oduduwa when your father named you Abdulrasheed Akanbi?
If your father named you Orisile and you decided to name your child Orisile, does that make him a basterd? No. Naming your child after your father or great grandfather doesn’t make you a demon. We have seen people naming their kids, Sangogbemi, Sangoseyi and nobody has ever named their child, Oduduwa till I came. Only a prodigal son will think Oduduwa is a bad name. It is the name of our great grandfather.
What does the name “Oduduwa mean?
It doesn’t mean anything other than “it came out black and we are the children of Oduduwa “Omo-Oduduwa” (children of it came out black). Yoruba is straight forward. We are black.
When you were growing up, have you always been like this, or is it a knowledge you acquired?
No. I didn’t live in the palace growing up. Let me tell you something, you can not find a good tree bringing out bad fruit. What yuu are seeing today is an inborn thing. You know your light switch. You know there is a chandelier. If you don’t turn the switch on, what would happen? There won’t be light. When you turn the switch on, everywhere gets lit up. So all this while I was not a king, I had the knowledge inside me but it was reserved till the moment. The day I became the king, I was told I am the Telu, the first, the child of “Luwo-Gbagida”. She was the first woman to become Oonirisa and the last female as Oonirisa.
She fought the war. She was the first person to tar road. She was the 16th Ruler of Ife. I am the 16th Oluwo of Iwoland. My coronation date which I gave them 2 days was rejected.
The governor gave us 16th of January, 1st 2016. When Oloori was pregnant, I told her you are pregnant today and he will be a boy who will be named “Oduduwa”. The boy was born November 16, 2016. So if my coronation is 1/1/2016 and my son came 16/11/2016, 1 and 1 is 2 and 16 itself doesn’t mean anything more than 7. It is a powerful message and I came with a message. They may not like me now but they will still come to agree on what God said about the king. No king must worship idol.
Don’t you think you won’t be liked for saying this?
They don’t like me at all. They always love to block me anywhere I go. They spoil me around but I know I came with the truth. Even Oduduwa who brought the crown didn’t come with deities and didn’t give you deities.
You had a very strong relationship with your wife, Queen Channel, why did you pack your marriage up?
Well, that is very personal. I won’t want to talk about it.
You spoke about it on Startimes few days ago, didn’t you?
No I didn’t. I only said it is personal and it is my life. If a king says he married a wife and later said he is no longer interested, he knows what he sees. You don’t need to research the reason.
There was a rumour that you mentioned “Baba Ogundokun” and that must have brought about the fight?
I have said it. I don’t have anything to say about the fight anymore. That is a forgone issue. I am living the best of my life right now. I haven’t been this happy in my life. This is the best time of my life. I have never missed anything. This is the best time of my life.
Before Oduduwa, did you have any child?
Yes, I have children. I have many children. Life has been so good to me. I have traveled to over 50 countries with good money. God has prepared me for the throne to know about races and people. To be able to mingle with different races, tribes and ethnicity in Africa and the world. Asia, America, Europe. I have traveled far and wide and I have gained lots of knowledge.
Do you see yourself taking a shot at marriage again seeing that you are very likeable?
Of course, I am going to remarry (Oba yi o fe Iyawo). But what matters to me is the love of my people and town. You can’t change the life of the good people of Iwoland. God has been doing it with wisdom. When I got on the throne, I didn’t do it with a woman, I thank God for what he has used me to do in Iwoland. God will choose my wife for me. “Olodumare gan gan ni o yan fun mi”. It maybe 3,4, or 1. But it is God who will choose for me (he laughs).
What really matters is that, am I making the town look better than I met it? You need to ask my people. Those who critise me have persnal issues with me. Kingship is always funny. My own enemies are my friends. They are my helpers and my supporters.
I love my enemies. I need my enemies to make me strong. Even Jesus said we should pray for our enemies. Why did Jesus say that, we don’t know. We need enemies to grow and become great. If you have 1 million enemies, you have double of million because they will discuss you. You need to step on your enemies to stand firm. They are the pillars of your success when you have faith in God.
Pray to have enemies and have people to criticise you. Look at Asiwaju Tinubu, he is powerful because you critise him. It makes him popular and his pillar is strong. I want to have plenty enemies, so my pillar will be strong. Who created satan, it is God. So when I see a war, I always thank God saying, this is to test my faith and I will overcome. Always pray for your enemy.
There is this believe that you can’t raise a Prince outside the palace and Queen Channel left with Oduduwa, how do you intend to resolve this?
Who told you they don’t raise a Prince outside the palace? They are mere superstitions. So when they said they can’t take deities away from the palace, didn’t I take it away from the palace? God is king and if he is the king, who owns the palace? It is the palace of God. Of course the Prince can be raised away from the palace.
How is life after separation, how do you eat, who takes care of your needs?
You want to know how I cope after she left? (Laughs) well, we all have different eating habits. Like I always say, I have never been this happy in my life. I have never felt this good in my life. I mean my entire life. It is the best time of my life.
Like I said, the development in my town alone is a big relief for me. I have got accolades from my people. Only those who are against me go down.
Is there pressure on you from all your chiefs for you to take a wife or are they giving you a wife?
Let me tell you, they know it is God that will direct me. They know my style. I remember when I became the king and was feeding the less priviledge 3 times a week, some people felt how is this possible?. To feed a magnitude 3 times a week? (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Aside this, I also visit old women and men to support them.
It is just to show love. I am the first Oba to visit the prison and help prisoners to pay their fines. I also support entrepreneurs. So they are used to seeing me do my things in my own way. I give 100k to the tune of 2 million frequently. I have never sold a land.
Our land have mineral resources like gold, diamonds and all. We can’t give it out. We have oil. We are going to go into minning. We can build a mega city with it. They will buy land for 100k per acres. 100k that won’t buy my glasses. I take my daughters and sons C.V out and get them jobs.
The love I get from my people is massive. The Sultan saw the love and was surprised. My people love me and they run out to pay homage. We have strong love here. So they are happy when I am happy. My town will be turned to mega city. Iwo is fast growing into one. Iwo is an ancient city but now we are changing it.
We just built“Ark of Triumph” like the one in France. They call it “Apoti Aseyori”. It is modern sacrifice.