Since 3years ago, when his son became the Ooni of Ife, the Baba Oba of Ile Ife, Prince Oluropo Ogunwusi has kept a low-key profile.
The 77 year old Man is the father of the reigning Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
Many thought that with his son becoming an Oba his lifestyle would change, but City People saw that nothing has changed about the modest life of this elder statesman, who has had a distinguished career in broadcasting. He still lives in the modest bungalow he built a few years ago in the heart of the town Ile Ife. The only difference is that the building has just been repainted.
Though Papa Ogunwusi is the biological father of the Ooni, by tradition his son, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi is now the father of all, which include his biological father.
See excerpts from his recent chat with citypeople:
About 3 years ago, when Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi was trying to become king you practically had to relocate to Ile-Ife from your Ibadan base. How have you found the relocation over the last 3 years?
I have adjusted. In life, nothing is static. Before now, I had set a target for myself, that I will return back home after a few years, that I don’t want to become a Baba Ibadan, you know how it is, people will start calling you Baba of wherever you are based. Home sweet home.
I had planned to return home to do my own bit, to really uplift the standard of my people. Gods time is always the best. And His ways are not our ways. Since 2015, you cannot believe it, I have not had a single night in Ibadan and I never prepared for this change overnight like that.
Since it came, I took up the challenge. This small structure of a house. I built several years ago was inspired by the Holy Spirit. I built it whilst I was in active service. I just felt why should I be coming to Ife to do one thing or the other and be staying in a hotel.
God has helped me to build a small structure (a house) in Ibadan, I said to myself: Why not come home, in Ile-Ife to do likewise. Now, it stands to my own advantage. I give glory to God.
You should have been the next Ooni after Oba Okunade Sijuwade passed on. Why didn’t you want to be the next Ooni? Why did you step down for Oba Adeyeye. After all, you are still young?
Many people have been asking me that same question. Each time they ask I smile. If you want to excel in any field or any endeavour, let God decide for you. Am I the anointed person? The parameter is not a question of age, it is not this, it is not that. The only requirement is that yes, you are from the ruling house and by that you are qualified. Like it happened, 42 candidates showed interest but the lords anointed is only one person. Like it happened in the time of King David, in the scriptures. King David was not among the favoured ones.
Before we gave birth to Kabiyeesi who happens to be my father now, there was a prediction. We were told that God was going to bless us with a son and we were told the exact time of his delivery, and furthermore, we were told that the Glory of God upon his life will be global. I have already 4-2 boys, 2 girls. And all our children were given birth to either very early in the morning, maybe between 4 am and 6 am, or at times between 8 pm and 10 pm. But his own was a special one. When I heard this, lo & behold there is no point for me, Dada oleja sugbon oni aburo ton gboju. I have omo toh gboju ninu awon omo mi. So, I praise God for our choice. We thank God.
You are a very simple and modest man. How did that aspect of you develop?
Let me start by thanking God who has made me who I am. If you know the way of the Lord. If you know God right from your youth then you will know that it is good to be simple. You need God to be able to battle with the unseen problems of life. Even with the people you see, it goes beyond what you see. According to the scriptures you are not wresting with Flesh and Blood, you are wrestling with principalities and powers. You are wrestling with rulers of darkness, unseen forces. If you are even able to withstand them at daytime what of nighttime when you are fast asleep? Many of them fly at night perpetrating evil here and there. I used to tell my children since they were kids that the Almighty hates the haughty. If you are so proud and you do gra,gra,gra, where will it lead you to? It won’t lead you anywhere.
That road even if it’s paved in gold will lead to destruction. It is good to be humane. If you bring yourself down God will lift you up. I thank God for everything.
How have you found your new role as the Baba Oba?
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. We thank God. God has been faithful.
During Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi’s transition period, your family went through a lot of challenges but you never showed it for once. You kept on saying please pray for us. Where did you get the inner strength to wade through all those trials and tribulations?
I thank the Almighty father. He is the unseen Jehovah. He knows us. You cannot wrestle with life. It’s not possible. There is more to life. You cannot wrestle with unseen forces of evil.
Do you have specific roles you play as Baba Oba (the Kings father)?
There are divine roles. There are traditional roles. Both are mixed together. The sum total of it all is to serve as a helping hand. People have turned my house into a mini-palace. People come at will. They come with different requests. They come with things like, oh, I just heard this. I thought I should let you know. And it needs divine wisdom to be able to really attend to all these souls because take it or leave it according to the word of God in Daniel 2:21, that the Almighty God changes Times and Seasons. He removeth kings and he sets up kings because there should be continuity. And the Almighty God giveth wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those that seeketh understanding to be able to deal with people, you need that wisdom of God. Some people will come and talk to you anyhow.
These are people who I can easily describe as suffering from verbal diarrhoea. One needs Wisdom and Patience to be able to listen to the people, to be able to tell them and what to tell them can only emanate from the Almighty God. I like what the word of God tells us about wisdom in the Bible, in Job 28 vs 28, that the fear of God is wisdom and to really hate the evil that is Understanding. Just fear God. I won’t plan any evil against you or against anybody. Let anybody come with any bias mind or with any spurious demand, God is there. If you fear God, it means you have Wisdom. If you hate evil, then it means you have understanding. Wisdom comes from God. In everything you do, even to run your own home, you need Wisdom, Understanding and Patience, whether you are the husband or the wife.