By Dave Baro- Thomas
Ecclesiastical proclamation of a man’s birth and destiny, most often than not, is a celestial mandate for unprecedented greatness and a rare call to serve humanity. In the scriptures, great kings and prophets who left remarkable imprint on the sands of time, came foretold and are long remembered for their prowess.
Ooni Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, was not of biblical application. But he did have a prophetic birth – destined for greatness. Today, Ooni Ogunwusi, from the stock of the Giesi Ruling House, fulfills his destiny as he receives the staff of office from the government as the 51st Ooni of Ife, on the throne of the legendary Oduduwa, progenitor of Yoruba.
Ooni Ogunwusi has a great pedigree, descending from Ooni Ojaja Orasigba who reigned from 1878 to 1880, as the 44th Ooni of Ife.
Ojaja Orasigba begat Adegosan Adewole Ogunwusi, who gave birth to Joseph Olagbaju Adewole Ogunwusi (Jnr), the father of Prince John Oluropo Ogunwusi, the father of Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi – the present Ooni of Ife. Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is, unarguably, a true 21st century monarch who is bringing grace, elegance, style and intellectualism to the premier throne of the Yoruba race.
Four decades and one year ago, on a Thursday, precisely at 1pm as prophesied, a child was born into the home of Prince John Oluropo and late Margaret Wuraola Ogunwusi, a
fourth generation descendant of Ooni Ojaja Orasigba, a direct lineage of the Giesi ruling house of Agbedegbede Quarters in Ile Ife. The young prince was christened by his grandfather as Adeyeye and his mother, called him Enitan, thus he was known and called Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.
From that moment of christening, it appeared the forces of destiny were activated and the spirits of his forbears seemed to summon all physical and celestial elements to respond positively to a prince predestined to lead a most vibrant race in the Nigerian polity the Yoruba.
The young Prince Adeyeye, as it were, can be described as being “smart from the womb”. From his very early days at Sobuola Memorial Nursery and Primary School, Ibadan, he exhibited sparks of brilliance and great leadership traits. And like a good wine, these traits grew stronger and sharper when he was a student at the prestigious Loyola College, Ibadan, in 1985.
His love for formal education knew no bounds, for indeed, a modern prince without sound education is simply a disaster waiting to happen in a kingdom bound for tragedy. His passion, doggedness and love for book keeping inspired him to read Accountancy at The Polytechnic, Ibadan. To the amazement of many, the young prince was not given to slothfulness or of youthful exuberance.
Neither did his princely garb deter him from venturing into some businesses at the Polytechnic where he exerted his creativity which gave birth to his entrepreneurial abilities. For the young prince, the gods have their place in the actualization of a destiny but the dogged pursuit is that of the subject to engage in vigorously hence he went after his passion with bull-like tenacity.
A fresh-faced young graduate but a tested entrepreneur by every measure, young Prince Adeyeye delved into Engineering where he garnered experience spanning over a decade with remarkable track records for a man of his age. Daring and visionary, Prince Adeyeye seemed to tell everybody around him by the dint of hard work, that impossibility was the language of the fearful sluggard.
The profile and prowess of Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the new Ooni of Ife, is in the public domain for all to examine and draw conclusions that, the people of Ife and the Yoruba race in general, truly have a king they can be proud of. A catalogue of his projects and achievements at the international arena, coupled with his impact at national, state and local government levels, belie the age of this colossus in humble frame.
From his budding days as a marketer extraordinaire, he ventured into trading and commodity marketing and his stint with Dangote Group as a major facilitator of their cement brand took the product far and wide, up-country thus launching him into business, amidst some other companies he traded with.
Profile of a builder…
His initiatives and efforts saw to the emergence of some outstanding companies such as the Sparkwest Steel Galvanizing Plant, the first and only steel galvanizing plant in Nigeria; the Amalgamated Mining and
Exploration Company Limited – a company he brokered for the Ondo State Government with strategic partnership and alliances from Canada. He also facilitated the biggest Lead and Aluminum recycling plant in Nigeria set up by the National Steel Company of India, in Ota, Ogun State. He, as well, has his fingers in agriculture and aided the revitalization of rice processing, for which he donated rice and tilling equipment to farmers in Oyo and Ogun States running into millions of naira.
However, the name Prince Adeyeye seems to be synonymous with Real Estate. His prowess and strides in this industry are simply awesome.
He said somewhere that as a merchant of Dangote cement, he was inspired to take the business to the next level, hence he ventured into building construction and real estate. He has undertaken multi billion naira housing/estate projects around the Lekki-Ajah and Yaba axis all in Lagos State. It is worth mentioning that his Essential Homes project, a real estate product has simply redefined housing projects in Nigeria.
The vision really is to provide affordable but fashionable homes for middle and low income earners and the rate of his success, in this genre of business, is amply phenomenal.
In the roll call on his projects and investments, the Prince’s incursion into the hospitality and tourism industry came with a bang and style. For curious bystanders, the transformation of Inagbe Island with his Inagbe Grand Resorts and Leisure in Lagos, has taken the community some notches upward with this being the first of its kind in West Africa. The Inagbe Resorts and Leisure centre will no doubt boost tourism, drive employment as about 300 indigenous youths have been employed already and it is indeed a veritable and strategic means to increase the nation’s GDP.
Ooni Adeyeye, the Ooni of Ife, today, has displayed untiring wisdom, business acumen and strength in building world-class corporate institutions. He has touched base with his people given his humanitarian activities which have transformed many lives both within and outside Ile Ife.
As the world stands still for the coronation of this great son of Africa, it is indeed the crowning of a successful businessman, a community leader, a philanthropist and a Nigerian who has lived well beyond his time. As he receives the staff of office as the Ooni of Ife today, the Yoruba race, globally, cannot but be proud of a monarch who, by all right and status, is truly a highly distinguished 21st century monarch by any measure or parameter.
His reign holds lots of prospects for our country as the traditional institution receives a king of uncommon birth, unusual successes and who is a great asset to our fatherland.
Kabiye si oo
Kade pe lori
Ki bata pe lese
Iru Kere a dabere oo!