The amazing things that happened to me when I became Oba – Oluwo of Iwo
Can you share with us a bit of your early days?
I was born into a royal family. My father was an insurance broker and growing up, I didn’t know too much about royalty. But I know in Iwo, no prince or princess attached that title to his or her name. But my father attached that title to his name. We were living in Ibadan at that time in an upscale area and he was doing great, he has all these cushions that you put your legs on and his name was boldly written: ‘Prince Kolawole Adeyemi Akanbi, famously called Prince Kola Akanbi.’ I didn’t really know much about kingship, that if your father is a prince, you can also be a prince. Growing up, at the age of three, I was already telling them I’m the Oluwo of Iwo and people started making fun of me.
After my education in Nigeria, I travelled overseas where I lived in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which helped me to learn a lot about different people and cultures. Our culture is one of the best ever seen, especially the Yoruba culture.Did you ever think you would become the Oluwo?
Yes, a long time ago because of all the signs from my parents. But I forgot about it because of struggles in life. But then before I came to the throne, I got signs, direct signs to me personally from Allah, telling me that it was time for me to get up and go lead my people. When I came back, I told everybody I was going to become king. There was a transformation that happened the day I was enthroned; it was like I was given another soul. I last visited Iwo in 1981. Before I became the king, when I spoke Yoruba, people would think I was from the East, South-East or from the South-South. But the day I became king, people who knew me were amazed with the kind of Yoruba I was speaking and they asked, ‘where did you learn this Yoruba?’ because it became very deep. I can tell stories of the old. I use Yoruba history of the past to resolve issues.