Preserver of the Yoruba culture. Traditional and political leader. Successful businessman. Discover the many sides of the Ooni of Ife.
The Ife dynasty dates back many centuries. Ile-Ife is known as the cradle of Yoruba civilization, so the traditional ruler of the town, the Ooni, is a revered Oba in Yoruba Land. Because the Ooni is descended from the founder of the Yoruba race, Oduduwa, the Ooni is known as Arole Oduduwa and is the head of the Yoruba Nation.
The current Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijwuade, was born on January 1 1930, and was crowned the Ooni of Ile-Ife on December 6 1980 after the death of Oba Adesoji Aderemi. Upon his ascension to the throne, Oba Sijuwade took the regal name Olubuse II. His coronation was attended by many eminent personalities, including the then Emir of Kano, the Oba of Benin, Amayanabo of Opobo and Olu of Warri, as well as representatives of the Queen of England.
Oba Sijuwade was born into the Ogboru ruling house, and is the grandson of the Ooni Sijuwade Adelekan Olubuse I. He attended Abeokuta Grammar School, Ogun State and Oduduwa College in Ile-Ife. Upon leaving secondary school he worked in his father’s business, then moved to the Nigerian Tribune.
He left Nigeria for Northampton College, UK, to study business management. Upon his return, he worked as a manager in Leventis, and then as the sales director of National Motor. An astute businessman, he formed a company to distribute Soviet-built vehicles in Nigeria, and thus laid the foundation of his business empire.
Oba Sijuwade, a Christian, has many duties that come with his position as the apex traditional ruler in the Yoruba land. Besides ensuring the preservation and propagation of Yoruba culture around the world, he also oversees the selection of chiefs, and acts as a mediator in both traditional and political matters, putting his position as an elder to use by dispensing advice and finding solutions to disputes.
It is his combined success as business, political and traditional leader that has made Oba Sijuwade perhaps the most respected Yoruba personality in the world.
Sep 28, 2014 0