Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bishop Ajayi Crowther and the Iron of Liberty

Bishop Ajayi  Crowther  and the Iron of Liberty
By Taiwo Abiodun
Taiwo  Abiodun visited Lokoja , the confluence town and toured many memorable places among  them   is the Iron of Liberty  in Holy Trinity Church , Lokoja
We need not to be reminded of how the Portuguese took  our forefathers   into slavery and shipped them  like sardine  to the Western World where  they  worked in  their plantations. Yes,  we should not flash back to history again and remind ourselves  how the  powerful  callous  and illiterate  monarchs  exchanged and sold  our  parents [ the weaker ones]  for bottles of whisky , glass mirrors, shoes and gun powder. Oh , no!, we need not to talk about how the slave raiders dehumanised  and  humiliated our  forefathers  . Many   were pursued and    captured    like  wild animals .Their mouths were padlocked, shackles  were put round  their necks while their  legs and hands were chained .
For weeks they might not be given food or water  and sadly enough  dangerous animals devoured many on their way to the port s or  while making attempts to  escape . While in the ship , the sick , the dead ones  and the  stubborn  slaves  were thrown overboard, into the sea where they become food for the shark . Any   slave that attempted   to escape  would be shot .No mercy: Parents were forcefully separated from their children. Toddlers were snatched away from the back of their mothers while   nursing  mothers  were captured and chained leaving their  babies to cry  and starve   to death!. In the bush , human skeletons filled everywhere. It was more than horror. Whenever the   whites had sexual urge they forcefully picked any of the Black women  and  covered their faces and  had sex  them without their consent  and  irrespective of the environment: some in the bush  while whoever refused to cooperate  would be shot to death .It was  horrible! .It was the period  when Satan reigned and ruled African continent and Nigeria had a larger share!.
Many books have  been written about Slavery and one could remember Frederick  Douglass an American slave who later became a powerful  writer. Yes, the Rastafarians like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh reminded us in their songs   in   Catch A Fire,  Slave Driver ,and Stop That Train , 400 Years,
Another Reggae musician , Burning Spear sang on how they put chains round   our necks  in his track Slavery Days
In 1976 when the book Roots   written by Alex Haley was published, in which it  told the story  of Kunta  Kinte who was taken away from  Gambia in Africa to face the most terrible life torture  of  A a slave .The Book, Roots  was published in 37 languages .A film was produced from it and   the Blacks in America went mad and protested seeing how  cruel  slavery was!.
. The late M.K.O. Abiola  started his Reparation  campaign ,demanding Compensation  from  the Western world to  compensate  Africa  for  , but  he could not go far for he  was later killed by the military for demanding for his stolen mandate .
Today, Lokoja which served as the real port of Slavery centre has been forgotten , the place that could have been turned into   a museum on its own is unkempt .Yes, the place  that served as  Freedom square is neglected .If not for history no one would have remembered Bishop  Samuel Ajayi Crowther   a Yoruba man  who was once a slave and freed , he later became a Bishop ,and he  translated English Bible to Yoruba Bible.
In the 19th century, Lokoja was the most   lucrative town   for European merchants and missionaries , and when the British started waging war against slave trade the place became a hot zone  and the town became  a collection  for slaves seized from slaves merchants  to be consequently  set free.
Any slave that ran there and touched the iron pole is definitely set free and MUST NOT be captured again !.The spot  where such slaves were freed is marked with a piece of iron pole  now referred  to IRON OF LIBERTY, the spot is also where Crowther is buried .
Bishop Crowther was buried in Lagos but his bones were exhumed and taken to Lokoja where he was  eventually interred.
This  marble is presented to Holy Trinity Church , Lokoja by Jakura Marble Industry Limited.
Our children should visit these places, and  our history should not be forgotten .And the question is ‘’Are  we not still in slavery? And when are we going to  free ourselves ?’’

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Akin Ogungbe is dead

Akin  Ogungbe
Akin Ogungbe goes home
Akin Ogungbe 80,   popularly known as Baba Ibeji  his stage name ,bowed to penultimate  week. Our Correspondent ,Taiwo  Abiodun visited Abeokuta his country home to  report his life and times
Sympathizers from all walks of life besieged his  Iberekodo residence in Abeokuta   . While many wore long faces and in grief ,some  buried their chins in their palms. Others too  shook their heads intermittently  for ‘’Baba Ibeji’’.
This time around  Akin Ogungbe   the man who acted ‘’Baba Ibeji ‘’ had died and sympathisers thronged the house to pay condolence visit to the family. In the 70s , Akin Ogungbe  had acted  the role of ‘’Baba Ibeji’’in a Yoruba photo play  magazine Atoka    .The huge crowd was not there to  witness the arrest of Baba Ibeji who had used one of his twins for ritual to raise money for his pilgrimage to Mecca!.This time around  the crowd  had gathered to pay homage  to one of the last titans  of Nigeria’s Alarinjo travelling theatre Ogungbe had for long been  a household name  in the rank of  the late Hubert Ogunde, Moses Adejumo [Baba Sala], Duro Ladipo, Baba Ajimajasan, Baba Mero, Oyin Adejobi ,Ade Love,  among  others. He belonged to the pioneers of Nigerian  stage performance artistes   who branched to the celluloid  film  before the advent of  home videos.
One of the popular stage plays he acted was when he acted the notorious  ‘’Baba Ibeji ‘’ who  used one of his twins for money making ritual and used the proceeds to go to Mecca  to perform the  Lesser Hajj. After his departure ,   the unexpected happened   :  He forgot his key to the room  where the twin  was on his kneels with calabash on his head!. And the bubble burst ! .On his arrival from Mecca   he was nabbed. This story was carried in  the South West  and in series in the popular Yoruba magazine   Atoka   in the 70s . Since then Akin Ogungbe   became more popular and was known as Baba  Ibeji , that later became his stage name .
During an interview with one of his children, Taiwo  ,   denied that it was not a real life story  that her father did it  but  , she responded  ‘’ it is  true  that in real life  Ogungbe had twins  but he did not use any for juju or money making ritual. It was only  acted as a play , said  the living Taiwo, who does not have a twin sister Kehinde again.  Among the films he produced  are  Asiri Baba  Ibeji, Ologbo  Jigolo,  Ireke Onibudo, Lisabi,  Igba Funfun among others.

Among the earl callers  who went to his home to  pay tributes  are Yoruba artistes such as  Jimoh Aliu, Jide Kosko, ,Dele Odule, and the Ogun state government of Arts and  Tourism who sent representatives.From the Lagos State University came Dr.Akin Sofoluwe  a senior lecturer at the University .
 In his tribute Aliu  wrote :It was very painful when I heard  about the great man’s death . I thank God for a good life spent. We came from Him and to Him we shall go back. Rest   in peace Baba.
Opasanya  Kazeem  Oluwole   in the condolence register  has this to say , Baba Akin Ogungbe you are a gem during your life. You came , saw and conquered , May your soul rest in perfect peace ,Farewell
The Association of Nigeria Theatre Practitioners’  Governor , Ogun state chapter ,Deinde Lateef wrote:  Akinkanju  Alaranbara  Ogbontarigi  ere ori Itage  Akin Ogungbe , Igbehin  yin a dara o, Orun  re rere o ,ki Oluwa se iku ni isimi, ki iwaju dara  ki ehin ma baje o.
Prince Jide Kosoko  another theatre artiste wrote in brief : Eeegun Agba  sunnre o.
On behalf of Ogun state Hon Commissioners  and the governor  Senator Ibikunkle  Amosun, Mrs Yewande  Amosan who came to represent them    wrote : May his soul rest in peace.
Ogungbe, according to family sources was   over 80years . According to Yemi ,  one of his  children, the father was rallied round by in his last days  by  his younger colleagues in the theatre   some Yoruba great artistes  carried the corpse to the mortuary .’’It was    Jide Kosoko, Dele Odule  and  Ebun Oloyede [aka  Ola Iya ] who took the corpse to the mortuary , In fact , they all took care of the old man before he died ‘’  
One of the tenants   that lives in the   late Ogunde’s house , Rahman Yusuf  Adesina  said he was by  his  bedside when the old man passed away. ’’I was there when the old man  peacefully passed away. We called one of his children ,Taiwo who was  present  , and few minutes he passed on . He wanted to talk but could not as he only opened his mouth but could not talk , until he passed on. I was   not afraid  of his corpse because he was a very nice man and was accommodating . He did not disturbed anybody and never   behaved like a landlord . May  his soul rest in perfect  peace.
A neighbour  in the vicinity, Oladele  Omooyebande described the  deceased as a man too young to   die, ‘’ it is too early for  the man to die. We are going to miss him, here was a man who would not despise anybody .If he wanted to eat he would call everybody to his table .He was close to everybody , and he explained  things to all not minding whether you are his son or not ‘’,
Omooyebande said  the deceased’s  name Akintola Christopher Ogungbe  connotes many things , ‘’he was a Christian , a Moslem and a traditionalist  as he bears the three names .He went to Mecca and came back  and we all believed he was also a Muslim.
Genesis of his acting career
According to his younger brother , Claudius Olaseinde Ogungbe,77,  ‘’  When we stopped  our education at Standard six , my mother left him with our grandmother  and he went to learn  carpentry  skill  but I veered into  tailoring .At a time he used to go and  watch Baba GT Onimole as an apprentice , he left in the year 1953, but Ayinla Olumegbon left in 1950.In 1953 he started his own group. We cannot remember his peers   now . The late Hubert Ogunde was his senior then but Ogunde started  from here , he was a teacher from this Abeokuta . His contemporaries are Ayinla Olumegbon, He was ranked among the Aderupoko, Papalolo,  Oyin Adejobi, Ade Love  and   many    others. They were many then but nobody was doing it for money ., the profession was out of interest.
  According to him , Ogungbe’s  first play was titled  A terrible Life , then his Group was called  Oluwa lo see musical Party later he changed it  to Oguns Concert Party and eventually  changed the name  to Ogungbe Travelling Theatre .
His brother corroborated Ogungbe’s  daughter assertion that  his role  as ‘’Baba Ibeji’’  was also a role play and was far from reality made him popular ,in the play  he used his  twin son for money making , he said ‘’ the man  that acted as  a twin used for  money  ritual later became a popular musician in lkeja , and the other that acted as  his twin brother is Oso Fadeyi[ the first  Fadeyi  Oloro] he was Taiye and in Ado Ekiti today. In real life the late Ogungbe had about three set of twins , one of his wives  had twins twice’’.  .
Talking about their upbringing  , he continued ‘’While I bear Claudius my deceased brother was  Christopher Akintola  Ogungbe, our family name is Ogungbe but we were born into a Christian home we went to United African Methodist Church at No 40,Eleja, John street, Ereko  Lagos , in Abeokuta here we go to  Anglican church., later one Alfa Shehu Jabaru, who was  his in law sent a lot of artistes to Mecca ,so my late brother also seized the opportunity and went to Mecca too.
Despite his age , Ogungbe  was still acting and directing till he died .’’ He acted as Agba Awo ‘’,
Had 50 Children and 20 wives
Yemi   ,  one of the   children of the late Ogungbe said ‘’my  father had over 50 children , with about 20 wives .  I am in number eighth  position  in the family and we know one  another .Today  many of us are also into acting , I  also act and produce Yoruba films like my dad.  The reason why he  had so many wives and children is  that in those days no parents would allow their wards or children to go on stage and be acting and my father needed them so he went out having them as wives and having children  in order to assist them on stage. Corroborating Yemi’s point,   Taiwo Ogungbe one of  the  children said he was not born when her father started acting .She said  ‘’ I am over 50years , I had not been born when my father started acting. I  used  performed with him on stage too  while I acted as ‘’Baba Ibeji’s wife  in the play where he used one of his twins for juju and was caught  but it is not in real life as many people thought . It was  just a play to teach morals .’’
  According to Taiwo , she was not on the payroll of the old man  ‘’but he used to give me feeding allowance but not salary , for I am one of his children , so he needed not to be giving me money at all..Some of  his wives I know are   Erelu, Iya Ibadan, Mummy Temmy, Iya Oshogbo, Funke , Afusat, Iya Aduke   and many others .
Asked whether they know one another  Taiwo replied to the affirmative  ,’’Yes of course . But while  some are married and  now in their respective matrimonial homes , some are outside the country  , aside from the ones at home now the rest are scattered all over the country .But because  I am living in the town  that made  me to  be the first to be called when  my father died .
Ogungbe’s Struggling days
Latoni  Ogungbe,  the deceased’s  younger brother [half brother] who also doubled as   his driver for over 20 years said the road to stardom was not easy as many thought .He recounted  series of  difficulties they encountered while working with him.  His words ’’I am now in my 60s.We are from the same father , our  father had over 30 children , but Ogungbe my late brother  had over  40 children . I  worked with him and was driving  Bedford lorry in the 60s, we  also  used  Austin lorry  , after that  I can not recollect other    types  of vehicles  we used  . Whenever we reached a town  we would drive round the town and be shouting ,announcing on top of our voices  ‘’ This  is  Ogungbe’s night  [La le oni Ogungbe] , come and watch Ogungbe’s play,’’ some would sit on top of the vehicle  driving about and announcing  the programme  for the night in the town halls , schools and other places, we would  be announcing  with our megaphones’’
‘’We have visited  many towns and had bad and good experiences. From Abeokuta we would go to  Owo, Akure, Ilesha, Oyo, Ibadan, Ede. One day  I decided to leave them at  Igbara Oke in Ondo state when  the suffering then was so much. At times we would spend days without food , for there was no money to buy food and  no money to spend .No  water to drink   . Many times we  would be begging for food ,  begging for knickers , shirts  to wear .  in fact I did not  inform anybody when I ran back from   Igbara Oke , and came back to Abeokuta . Not that we were not making some money but it was not enough  to pay the bills
Close shave with death
They had cheated death many times , according to the Driver , ‘’One day we were coming from Ilesha but on getting to  the round about our vehicle somersaulted and  it faced where we were coming from again! We had an accident  and landed  in a ditch, for days   we were eating from the food our brothers took along.
Another episode  was  when I went to paste  our posters in Sokoto, in the Northern area  announcing our play . I was mixing the starch , and pasting these posters  on the walls when  suddenly  some Hausa men came  to me and asked in their  language whether  it was cholera that I  brought for them , but I did not understand what they were saying  yet I kept on  nodding my head  and saying yes , yes,  yes. They beat me up to the extent that I  fell into a coma  and was rescued by  the Yoruba living there. They   took  me to  one of the mosques there and  hide me  for they were ready to kill me .Later I spent three months in the hospital. The Yoruba people  in Sokoto came out to protest and   threatened to return  to their towns .It was a serious issue.  When Ogungbe camsse the play was  cancelled  .’’
According to his younger brother, Claudius , his brother   once escaped assassination ‘’One evening we were in a town I would not like to mention when some armed men with guns came to invite him that the monarch of the  town wanted to see him , but we told them that  it is a taboo for us to go out at night in our town .We insisted that we would not go with them. The following day  we went to see the monarch who denied sending  for us, I will not mention the  town to avoid embarrassment ,but it was close to death ‘’
Lost prominent children and wife
Yemi said the late Ogungbe was not a happy man before his demise as some of his children died  before his own demise  .He said ‘’ I remember that my older brother Layi Ogungbe,  Idowu Ogungbe ,  Mowumi Ogungbe, and  one of his wives Erelu  ,   died before his eyes , these  are some of the problems  he had .He was not also happy with  the pirates who did not let him enjoy the fruit of his labour, he however added that ‘’ in the end the state government honoured him by giving him a house , this showed that he was appreciated by the state government  for his good works’’.
The late Ogungbe had over 30  beaded crowns , many beaded walking sticks and other art works used for his  work. According to  Claudius Ogungbe ,the late Ogungbe loved art works that he did not joke with them, he spent fortune on these art works
Bayo Sodunke , one of those trained  by the late artiste said ‘’ I am from Abeokuta ,  I was with Baba Ogungbe since my primary school days ,  that was when there was no  video film then. It was  only  television stage plays  then. We would travel to  Ede, Ibadan, Oshogbo , Iwo,  doing shows .I remembered one day while on our way the brake  of the vehicle failed  while the driver wanted to jump down the late Ogungbe advised him not to , until the Bedford lorry eventually stop on its own’’
Comrade Victor Asaolu who is  the  National president of ANTP said they wanted a  team to form a committee for the burial ,’’ the burial is for everybody  to participate , the family cannot handle it alone without  the support of the state government  while the ANTP too has a role to play, so I implored all to cooperate and join hands to give the fallen hero a befitting burial’’.
Dr  Akinsola Sofoluwe  , described Ogungbe as a genius, he said ‘’ I  joined  the  NTA  on  Jan 2,   1976,as a producer with WNBS ,his group was one of those I  firstly  handled, with  Baba Sala, Oyin Adejobi,  Ajimajasan , Aderupoko and Papalolo were members , it is a pity that he is dead ,What one needs is  discipline , and he had it , and was focussed .He was not after money. You  don’t need to aim at money ,money, money , money always .Ogungbe was among the first to start the stage theatre.
The  burial rites ,according to the family will take place from February 6,7 and 8, 2013.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Olowo of Owo is called many names;Socrates ,Solon or Solomon

Olowo of Owo reading the Holy Bible

Olowo of Owo

Interview with the Olowo of Owo
   ‘ my Father had many wives,  grandfather 300 and  left five virgins behind  
The Olowo of Owo Oba  David Victor Folagbade Olateru  Olagbegi[CFR]    in this interview speaks about his life as    a staunch Christian .He speaks with Taiwo Abiodun 

How  do  you combine  your   traditional roles with your  Christian faith
They are   of  two different  things : your religion is your religion and your  Custom is  your Custom. And when it comes   to Traditional Religion or traditional oaths  the out  way out there  is that  you have in the town a Chief Priest , it is not the Traditional ruler that is in charge. The Traditional ruler has his own functions and the chief priest has his own functions   too. Now,   one must be mindful of  the fact  now that Nigeria is a secular  state and everyone is entitled to  practise his own religion. And   in a town or city you have all sorts of people  ;  you  have   the Christians ,  you  have  the Moslems, you have the Animists, you have the traditional Religious people , so on and so forth. And what the law says is that   everyone can practise his own faith ,  and  I should too.  I think the whole town knows that I am a Christian  and a practising Christian , and as such I practise my own religion, and I cannot stop people who are practising  it , and as long  as  I practise my own religion., and I cannot stop people who are not Christians to be practising Christianity by force , No!. Even our own Lord Jesus Christ did not force  anybody  to become Christian  by force but we pray to  the Lord  to touch  their hearts,  to draw  them closer  to Himself so that they can have a change of heart .I know that it is only God  that is worth worshipping  and I think  that  is an important thing for everyone.
Well, if some people   still believe that they still need to do   some worship  , alright I cannot stop them but they know what I believe. I believe in God .  The Lord is enough   for us to wash   off our sins , and I think that is superior Lord now. I wish the Christians   can put their faith in Him so that   at all times they can know that they must have faith and see that they  practise it and have tremendous faith .
 Though you  are a staunch Christian but don’t you think that you  do partake in rituals by way of giving them money to do it
Well, em... ideally ,  I don’t   think . ...  If one can avoid it  I  don’t even think  one should even give money  for people  to go  and worship  anything , you are the one  who is  also  directing   that they should worship  . So in organizations that we have today , we have Local Council, State Council,  and Federal government.  In most of the organised  local government areas  I think they know what festival s are  and they ought  to reasonably     to support  their festivals   and if they support it and  bring out money  then the chief Priest can get money directly from them in pursuit of his calling , that can be avoided.  Its only if  there is no money coming from such areas at all and you are the father  of all, then you have no choice but to give money for it  and if  that is a sin  then we pray that God should forgive us our sins .
There is this rumour making the rounds that you don’t want the  popular town’s festival the  Igogo festival again and you are trying to abolish it since you have become a staunch Christian
No, I   cannot stop it because it is the way of life for many years and each one has his own belief.And  I am sure my own people know my own belief  but as I said, I cannot force   them . I can only show them  the way  by  example  , they know what I do ,for example I don’t miss my Holy Ghost service and my church here, all things being equal I have to practise it.
You plaited your hair during the Igogo festival  and left  your head  open , and when you go to church you also leave it open while some believe  that  should not be as a royal father
Yes, but  during  the  Igogo festival  you don’t wear cap. Did you see anyone wearing cap during the   Igogo   festival?, That is our tradition and belief. You are not supposed to wear cap. For church too  , No ,you are not supposed to wear  your cap in the church .I don’t wear cap in the church
But other obas   do wear cap to the church and don’t remove them during service
Well,  that is the  other Obas .I know  my own God  does not  allow it , so I don’t do it.
How do you manage your kingdom as   so many people with different opinion and ideas   
Yes, that is why you pray to God all the time to give us wisdom to be able to interact and do what is right in the sight of God all the time. It is a  good prayer everyday , morning to start because you meet sorts of things  everyday , its only God that can direct you
How do you react to rumour  as  people  talk about you when you were not in the town
I don’t react. May be I travelled by then, may be I went abroad  and it could be for a purpose. I   also have my calendar and know when  the date of Igogo festival.
 I remember it was when I was ill and was hospitalised .Yes,  I  thank God .When I came out my people also came to see me when I was outside the town and  when I  came back too they also came   to see me .I was then well and was able .
Why did they give you names like Solon, Socrates or Solomon
[Prolonged laughter]I thank you for that, it is God and the Lord’s doing .It is true that I am a lawyer , a royal father and a devout Christian . I think one should get closer to the almighty , if you are close to God He will lead you and give you all what you want in life. My names are David Victor Folagbade Olateru Olagbegi , I cherished the name and I thank God for that .Calling me Solon, Socrates and Solomon , may be it is the way I administer  the town ,But believe it that God is the wisest , the Omnipresent , Omnipotent and Omniscience. He is all in all.
What does the sword  attached on your skirt mean and the feathers on your head
[Prolonged laughter]That was how I met it ,  we call it Uda Omalore.  Olowo uses it when   he comes  out .It is a symbol  of authority .
The feather on my head ? that is  Urere Okin.  Olowo is the only person who has the authority to use it .These days many wear it and   it is exclusively   meant for Olowo. But things have changed now  from the olden days  and this is different from the olden days ,and people can do all sorts of things .If you have your money  now you can do what you like , you can buy  all sorts of things.
As a Christian you  have been   to Jerusalem
Oh yes,  I have been there . I also sent my wife there too .It’s   important   to see things for yourself . I saw these things[ Biblical story  evidences] and I was convinced that they are real .Its not rumour. God  is real .The Holy Bible is not  a story book, it is real .I wish we all visit the place and be more convinced .   Jesus Christ is real .It is great to be there and believe in God   and Jesus Christ is the Lord.
 You also sent  many  to Mecca
Yes, I have done that too, I  have also sent people to Jerusalem too because at times  I sometimes   have some slots  from the state for the local government  and I make people go there  to go and see things for themselves. I think the most important thing   is that we are   all children of God   but we have our own different  beliefs, the Christian belief is different from  Moslem belief  but they still have their  belief and faith
Are all your  chiefs  have the right to observe the  Igogo  festival
Yes, they can .All Olowo’s chiefs can perform Igogo festival   but   they cannot force them  to do it. If one is faithful to his  oath  you will try to do what the Oba is doing  in the town, If you are a chief you will try to do what Oba is doing in the town .If you are a chief you are supposed to be doing what Oba is doing in the town., the say when you are in Rome  you behave like the Romans , if you are here and performing  the  festival  you have to obey all the rules , if the  oba is doing festival you have to join too .
Last year people were worried that the festival was held in October instead of  September , why
The Olowo has the right to change it when the people who are in charge  fixed   the date , then the  Olowo has the right to say  ok, the  date is not convenient for him ,  and you can deduct  17 days from it or you  add 17days   to the date that they fixed  and you have to do it on time ,  the Olowo has the right .
What are the  festivals we have here
 We have several festivals , we have the ulabi, yam festival .Igogo is linked to yam festival for example people have been eating yam but I did not ,  and I can only eat yam after the Igogo festival. Igogo is celebration of love. In Igogo , we pray and pray and pray. We pray for the Olowo, Owo  town , state government  ,federal government  and for everyone who comes and lives here in Owo. Igogo is celebration of love .
Last year you celebrated your 70TH birthday, how is it to be 70?
We thank God for that. When you are 70, you are 70,[laughs]. When you look back and it is like yesterday, and  when one is at that age you must continue to pray  to God. You should   continue to do good to people because nobody knows when the time comes. As a  Christian  you can claim what age you want  in the Bible .In the Book of Genesis  look at Chapter six  beginning from verses 1 to 3, especially verse three, it says I am supposed to live  for 120years  but in the Book of Psalms which many read most of the time that is Psalm   90 verse 10  which many people read all the time , it says man will have three scores and ten, after that one might find it difficult .Yet there is another passage  in the Bible that says   it  is a curse not to  live  up to 100, so it depends  on which one you want .
Did you take after your late father in playing table tennis and having many wives?
I play table tennis and lawn tennis but I  have not played    for about  one year now. But I am quite optimistic that  I would soon start playing it now , I am just resting now . All my children play table tennis, it flows in the family.
You know  Obas in the past had so many wives .Well, my father had so many, in fact my grand father  had up to 300 wives, I was told that by the time he passed on to   join  his ancestors  five of his wives were virgins , that showed probably that  he had enough .
My grandfather didn’t come to the throne  at my age even  my father  also   came when he was 30 years .I came to the throne when I was 58, I am now over 70 you can’t expect me to have  many wives at this age, I will have to chose which way I will like to go. My father has been very   good in other aspects. He knew how to manage his   wives , he had the wisdom of being able to interact with  plenty of them . I don’t think I can try it .I tried it   at a younger age , it didn’t work[laughs]
Has your legal background assisted you in governing the town
Yes, I think it has really helped   me  a lot , because once you are a lawyer  you think like a lawyer .
And there are things other people do that you can not afford to do it because you know  it is wrong and others will think as an Oba you can do it , but you know it is wrong .You put yourself under checks and balances , I  think it is good  . The work of a lawyer is different from that of a Traditional ruler.
They know you are humble and generous  but some could take it to be weak
It is alright .They can think what they like . I don’t think  there is anything  wrong for anyone to be humble. I don’t think it is wrong for anyone  to be patient . I don’t think  it  is  also wrong for anyone to look   before he leaps , so these are cautions and all the things we have learnt in our own religion that you should go that way and I tried to follow  the commandments  of  what  I am supposed to do at all times  I don’t think there is any wrong in that.
You are a silent philanthropist
I do it and I don’t have to make noise ,If God blesses you , you too should extend  the blessings to the needy .I believe one should be kind enough to help his fellowmen. God  loves a cheerful giver, and as the father , traditional ruler and a practising Christian , I think it is part of my duty to assist  the needy  and must not go on pages of newspapers announcing it , God does not like that .I am a quiet man and I don’t like announcing something like  this. I  am praying to  God to give me strength to be able to do more .
How do you react to your detractors as you don’t take a pound of flesh
No, one is not supposed to. One should just continue to do good. My favourite passage in the Bible is the Book of Job Chapter 28 verse 28 that says you try to  depart from evil and fear God, and depart from evil ,anything that is evil depart from it.
How is your best day looks like
I think the best day is to try and be grateful to God everyday .Take life as it come and   is for you to thread slowly and wisely and you will not regret. I pray to God  always , He is God, kind and loving , that is how my best day looks like everyday
 What is the secret behind your looking young
Well if one is living well and you are not abusing your body ., do exercise  then always pray to the Almighty always , you will look young of course .