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his special edition of GENESIS INTERNATIONAL Magazine is a compedium of His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulfatai Akorede Akamo, Agbodere 1, Olu of Itori Egbaland who celebrates his 50th Birthday Anniversary on October 1, 2010. Despite his very busy schedule, Kabiyesi was graciously magnanimous to spend some meaningful time with our editorial team. This interview with Kabiyesi was explosive, nothing was held back. From his growing up days in Ibadan, Abeokuta and Itori; His secondary education at African Church Grammar School, Abeokuta and sojourn at Hackney College, London, United Kingdom. Kabiyesi also shared with us how his stint at Nigeria Airways limited and his closeness to his father have rubbed positively on his travel agency establishment and haulage business. He also revealed the secret of his blissful marriage to Olori Faderera Akamo. This successful travel consultant, business mogul, philantropist and now a royal father is an icon of our time and a man of the people as evident in the comments on him by some renowned personalities such as Chief Tosin Fadare (FCA), Chief Yinka Shobayo, Chief Olayinka Ogunbekun and a host of others. From the editorial desk, we wish Kabiyesi Oba Abdulfatai Akorede Akamo, Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns.... Kade Pe Lori Ki Bata Pe Lese Igba Odun, Odun Kan.. Happy Reading!!!
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Igba Odun, Odun Kan!!! 50
Chief Adeyinka Shobayo Aare Fimogboye of Itori Egbaland
50 Many Happy Returns
Today 1st of October 2010 Some people give the gift of peace & tranquility to every life they touch. They are always who they really are. They are blessedly reliable, dependably good, predictable pleasant, loved and treasured by all who know them. You are one of those very rare people... We appreciate you. Happy Birthday, Kabiyesi
I am Abdulfatai Akorede Akamo, the Agbodere 1 of ItoriEgba Kingdom. I was born at about 12:10am on 1st of October 1960 right about the time Nigeria gained independence from the colonial masters. Story had it that the whole hospital was agog the minute I was born because everybody, including the doctors, nurses and patients alike, all wanted to know who the lucky independence boy was. My mum was subsequently nicknamed 'mama ominira' (mother of independence). I started my primary education at Ebenezer Anglican Pry School, Ibadan but certain things happened that changed the course of my life. I was kidnapped and when I was finally rescued, my parents relocated to Itori where I continued my primary education. Not long after, I was kidnapped again and thrown into a river in Itori and left for dead but providence will still not permit my death, I was found lifeless at the river bank by passersby after seven days. Rituals were performed and God restored my back to life. Yet again, my parents woke up one day to discover I was missing, they arranged a search party all to no avail. Again the ifa oracle was consulted and while enquiry was been made under a guava tree, the oracle revealed to them that they need not look further but to the top of the guava tree and there I was, lifeless on one of the branches of the guava tree. This event subsequently made my parents to relocate me once again to Abeokuta to live with my maternal grandmother who trades in herbs and herbal concoctions. L iving with her and helping her to sell her wares earned me the name, 'Fatai Olorieku'. If you visit Itoku market, you'll be surprised at how popular I am with that name even up till today. So that's the life I grew up with, living from hands to mouth without any hope for tomorrow but now, I have every cause to thank God. My mum was a petty trader, one day she saw me on one of her visits to Abeokuta and she was very sad because she knows there was no means for her to send me to the secondary school but as God in His infinite mercies would have it, one of my friends, Kola Omoyinmi, invited me to their house, they were richer and lived better. When I got there, I refused to go back to my grandmother's place, this prompted kola's mom to summon my mom to discuss my refusal to return to my grandmother's. Kola's mom eventually persuaded my mom to allow me live with them which my mom agreed to gladly accepted, convinced that living with the Omoyinmi's could improve my standard of living. Kola's mom eventually enrolled me in a secondary school, 'African Church Grammar School', this was the greatest thing anybody could have done for someone else's child. Knowing my limitations, I made sure that I participated in every school activities to develop myself academically and otherwise. I was involved in sports, debates etc.
At the point of writing the School Certificate examinations, there was no money to pay the fees and at this point God showed up once again for me in Chief Olusegun Obasanjo whose daughter being my classmate persuaded her father to come to my aid. When we left secondary school, there was nothing to do again, help was not forthcoming from anywhere and this prompted my friend to come up with a suggestion that we move to Lagos. I initially was not favourably disposed to this suggestion, we knew nobody, nowhere to stay, no money on us, nothing but my friend insisted that we make the move because he was convinced that was what we needed to do at the time to forge ahead in life. After much persuasion, I agreed to follow him to Lagos without the knowledge of my mom and grandmother. Kola's mom was distraught at leaving her son to go to Lagos but I had no one to cry for me, my grandmother was aged and my mom didn't even know my whereabouts again. On arrival in Lagos, we stayed at Maryland and struggling commenced in earnest. On one of our forays into the unknown, we saw a white man whose car broke down on the streets late one night and we offered to help him push the car. I then noticed a dummy aeroplane on the dashboard of his car which caught my attention and I told the man of my attraction to the aeroplane and he said we should meet him in his office the following day. He happened to be the manager of Scandinavian Airlines with office in Victoria Island. The following morning we had to trek about 5hours all the way from Maryland to Victoria Island and by the time we got to the Scandinavian airlines office, he was already annoyed thinking we were unserious. We had to explain to him that we were new in Lagos and our financial plight, that cleared, he helped us secure employment with the airline and sent us for training in ticketing and reservations. Having shown our commitment to the airline, he recommended us for further training at the head office in Copenhagen. After our 2 months training, we both decided that we were not returning to Nigeria, so whilst our colleagues were packing their bags and baggage, we absconded from the hotel. Unfortunately, we knew nobody in Copenhagen and to complicate issues, the people don't speak English, so we were more or less stranded, no place to sleep, to get food to eat was an Herculean task, looking at all these indices, we knew we would die if we don't so something drastic and urgently too, we decided it was time to go back home. That in itself was another challenge, our flight tickets had expired so we got in touch with the head office of Scandinavian airlines, they in turn confirmed with the Lagos office and again the man helped us raise flight tickets to come back home to Nigeria. We couldn't go to the office, the shame was too much and when we later summoned the courage to resume back at work, it was not easy facing our
My wife is the angel that God sent into my life when I thought all was lost. In the process of setting up my company in 1995, I ran into the hands of swindlers and I was duped of all the money that I came home with from London, I was left with virtually nothing, reduced to zero level. It was during this period of great distress that I met my wife. I was homeless, she took me in and we started living together, she became my pillar of strength. She encouraged me to continue with my dream project, so the two of us started working together, she was the secretary while I was the director. She stays in the office whilst I go out in search of business. We had nothing in the office save for the 2 chairs and a table that we took from her house. She stood by me through the thick and thin and God honoured our perseverance. That was the way we operated till 1996 when we got the 1996 Olympic contingent business. Unfortunately, we didn't have any child and you know how it is in this part of the world particularly when your people think you are blessed and your wife is not giving you a child, they will come with all sorts of advice but I remained steadfast believing that if God had kept us together through the worst times of our lives, He also will perfect the demands of the relationship and thank God today, after 14 years of marriage, God gave us a bouncing baby boy in December 2009. my wife was, is and will remain a jewel to me and each day I cant help but thank God for giving my own rib bone.
benefactor, so when I saw a Nigeria Airways advert, I applied and got the job as a cabin crew. I worked for about 2 years with Nigeria Airways and having saved enough, I relocated to London. In London, I attended Hackney College (ticketing and Reservations) and later Milverton College (Economics). On graduating I registered my own business, Great Expectations Travels Agency. The name was inspired on my belief that I know what my people, friends and family, expect from me. Having achieved my set goal, in 1994, I decided to come back home to Nigeria where I then established the 'Great Expectations Group', it was a conglomerate sort of that includes a travel agency, fashion outfit, salon, car hire
services and Haulage (because my dad was a transporter, on a lighter mood, I knew my father expected that I would be a conductor, you know how it is, your father a driver, you the conductor, so I had to do something on that line for him to see). We also had a supermarket (this also was because my mother was a petty trader). In 1996, Great Expectations Travels, won the contract to write the flight tickets for the Nigeria football Supporters Club to Atlanta Olympics and that was the big breakthrough and from there the company has continued to grow bigger with richer and well placed clientele.
Kabiyesi with Amb Folake Marcus-Bello
Kabiyesi With His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Deputy Governor Alhaja Salmot Badru and Chief Tony Ojeshina (former Commissioner for Environment, Ogun State)
Kabiyesi with KSA & His wife Hon Riskat Adegeye
Kabiyesi with Chief Adewale Sarander (Taiyese of ItoriLand) and friends
Kabiyesi with Sen Jubril Martins Kuye Federal Minister of Commerce
Kabiyesi With Prince Bola Ajibola
I have never dreamt of being a king in my life but providence has a way of charting a man's course in life; As far back as 1996, the king of Ogba, Lagos recognized my contributions to the society and the exploits of Great Expectations Travel which was then domiciled in his kingdom and decided to honour me with the chieftancy title of 'Asalu of Ogbaland' which literally means 'Mr Dependable of Ogbaland'. I was later conferred with the title of 'Taiyese of Agege'; 'Bobawoga of Ikeja'; 'Oluoba of Egbeda'; funny enough I didn't know that all these chieftancy titles and their inherent responsibilities were preparing me for the big one. In 2003, my stepfather called me that I had to see him urgently and when I eventually did, he told me I should go and prepare myself to become the next king of Itori kingdom. I was dumbfounded because it had never crossed my mind that I would be king one day. Not that I was unqualified but I had elder brothers in our lineage who could be kings and moreover I was just beginning to enjoy my business life, it was a big dilemma for me. I told him to give me sometime to
make consultations and think about it. I called all my friends and royal fathers for advice and taking polls, the ayes were more than the nays, so I accepted the offer and was officially enthroned by the late Paramount ruler of Egba, HRM (Dr) Oyebade Lipede in February 2004.
The nomenclature is one laced with a great meaning and derives from legends about my ancestors. Legends have it that my ancestors were great warriors and whenever there is any war, they have this great pot of concoctions (Agbo in Yoruba) that they bath in and which turns them to great pythons (Eere in Yoruba). Its said that if you go to our ancestral home now, that's Isheri-Ile in Oyo State, you can still the path marks on the ground left by the great pythons of those days. Honestly, though modernization has its good sides, it has actually robbed us of a lot of our tradition and culture, boundary adjustments and haphazard creation of states have not helped matters as well.
One of the things I had to consider before ascending the throne was the business climate of Itoriland, it was difficult to reconcile leaving Lagos with a booming business climate to come and settle in this small town but something told me that I could do something and that could be the reason God is bringing me here to serve. So on being crowned, I sat down to map strategies because on closer look, I discovered that Itori has all the necessary ingredients for speedy development, all that was needed was a bit of creativity, ingenuity and will power to change things, thus we set out to harness this potentials. For instance, the Headquarters of Ewekoro local Government is situated in Itori, so we could easily approach the government for assistance. The West African Portland Cement factory is located close by and since its inception it had never recognized Itori as one of its host communities and thus Itori had never benefited from any compensations or largesse from WAPCO which was not normal afterall the community also suffers from the fallouts of their activities, so I approached my paramount ruler, the Alake of Egbaland and explained my plight to him, how my people have been suffering in silence. With his assistance, we made representations to WAPCO and they agreed to include in the list of their host communities but unfortunately some of the communities that have been benefiting from the compensations tried to oppose the move, I don't understand why our people are just like that; funny enough, majority of this people are resident in Itoriland, its unbelievable. But thank God, today Itoriland is officially recognized as an host community for WAPCO and that has really aided our steady growth. Then came the issue of Baales (coronet kings), I discovered that about 70% of the 66man list submitted to me by the Egba Traditional Council of Chiefs were dead which is an anomaly. It simply means that we are being shortchanged by the government because the salaries of these dead Baales get returned to the government each month unutilized, so I had to find replacements for the dead bales and you know what that means in our society, again God has been faithful to us in that regard and the community is enjoying the benefits today. So far so Good.
Itori land is a part of the great Egba kingdom. It is common knowledge that all Yoruba people migrated from the old Oyo Empire and continued to spread to all parts of the south west of Nigeria and some other parts of West Africa. Itorians initially settled in Itori-Egba but when the then Alake of Egbaland, thought in his wisdom that it was time to resettle all the families and clans, he called the family heads to go out in search of greener pastures and my great grandfather resettled in this land, Itori-Ewekoro. We still celebrate the same festivals as obtained in Egba, like the Egungun festivals, Sango, Ogun etc. though we try to
modernize it, I still apply wisdom from above to know how to blend this traditional beliefs with modern day demands. As a king, you need wisdom just like king Solomon asked of God. I cant say because I'm a muslim or Christian abandon our tradition, don't forget that as a king, we are the custodian of our culture.
In the evenings, in the seclusion of my bedroom, I listen to inspirational music like this particular one by Jim Reeves, 'this world is not my home', it sends deep meaning to me and each time I listen to it, I can't help but feel inspired to know more about God. We brought nothing to this world and we can't take anything with us when we depart. My quiet times also help me to put life in proper perspective. At the end of each day, I meditate on the events of the day, I ask myself, 'have I done anything positive today?' Have I by any of my actions influenced a life positively or have I encouraged anybody, then I can thank God and where I have erred, I can ask for His forgiveness. Its one of the things that gives me the drive to live the next day better than I did yesterday I am a staunch believer in God. Though nobody has ever seen God face-to-face but there is this feeling you get that makes you know that there is somebody called God. Take for instance, today I have attended to several people, if I am to dole out cash, you can imagine how much I would have spent yet my salary is just a stipend of about thirty six thousand naira only (US$250 Equivalent) but God in His infinite mercies continues to provide for me miraculously.
I feel nostalgic about my secondary schools days at African Church Grammar School, Abeokuta popularly known as 'Afrograms' but unfortunately we don't get to meet one another regularly as I'd have loved. l've seen school old student who relate with themselves long after they left school. Take for instance Baptist Boys High School(BBHS) Abeokuta, they keep aiding themselves even if they are not the same graduating set. Nobody can operate as an island. We all meet for a purpose and its camaraderie which should be promoted. Human relationship is a great gem and should be well nurtured.
I am a sportsman, I remember my secondary school days, I set and broke records in athletics at will and this also contributed to my popularity and was also one of the reasons I'm a member of the Nigeria Football supporters club which eventually was one of my success stories in life. I love reading as well and listening to music.
3 5 1 2
My dream was to see a very bubbling Itoriland, its not yet uhuru but hitherto God has helped us and Itoriland can now boast of the following Veetee Rice Company this is the largest Ofada Rice factory in Africa Polytechnic with over 3000 resident students this was made possible by my Chinese friends. When they asked what I wanted as a gift, I told them I would prefer they build a school for my community,. Initially, I intended it to be a secondary school but on completion, we saw that the design was very beautiful and could compete with any higher institution in nigeria, so I donated the buildings to the Ogun State government and it was subsequently turned to the ICT Polytechnic. Increased economic activity as a result of the influx of students, businesses sprung up everywhere and the houses that were once upon a time left uninhabited soon became insufficient to accommodate people. The cost of rent increased and residents now get good value for their properties and businesses are booming. A waste-to-wealth initiative One of the biggest polythene manufacturing companies are here located A church with over 15000 worshippers at a time A town hall (under-construction) that could rival any of its kind in any part of this country in amenities, finesse and architectural design. A well equipped General Hospital for Itori Community
Kabiyesiâ€™s Lifestyle is one of style blended with class and a rich touch of culture
Egusi Soup IINGREDIENTS 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds 1 1/2 pounds cubed beef stew meat 1/2 cup peanut oil 2 large tomatoes, chopped 1 small onion, chopped 2 habanero peppers, seeded and minced 18 ounces tomato sauce 3 tablespoons tomato paste 1 1/2 cups water 2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 pound fresh spinach, washed and chopped
DIRECTIONS 1. Place pumpkin seeds in a blender and blend for 30 to 40 seconds or until mixture is a powdery paste. Set aside. 2. Wash beef and cut into bite-size cubes. Season with salt. In large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add beef and saute for 3 to 5 minutes or until brown but not cooked through. 3. Place tomatoes, onions, and pepper in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth. Add tomato mixture to meat, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until meat is tender. 4. Add tomato sauce, water, and shrimp and simmer for 10 minutes. 5. Add spinach and ground pumpkin seeds and continue to simmer 10 minutes more.
Kabiyesi says, â€˜he feels very happy to reign in the midst of very loving and supportive people who share his vision and drive for the upliftment and betterment of Itori Community and in recognition of their immense contributions to the socio-cultural advancement of Itoriland, the Kabiyesi is honouring these illustrious sons and daugthers of Egbaland with Chieftancy Titles
CHIEF TOSIN FADARE (FCA) Apesin of Itori Egbaland Born on December 3rd, 1962 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Chief Fadare is a Chartered Accountant and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) with a rich background in Audit, Taxation and Consultancy. He has his professional training with Adesina Bamgbelu & Co. (A Firm of Chartered Accountants). His experience covers a series of management position in reputable companies like Marathon group Nig. Ltd., Skymit Limited and AA Oil Company Limited, where he worked as the financial controller before joining SECUPHONE WEST AFRICA LTD; as the pioneer Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. Chief Fadare is also a senior partner of Tosin Fadare & Co. (a firm of Chartered Accountants).He is also on board of Zealett Inc. Nig. Ltd; a shipping Agent. Apart from his academic endeavor, he has attended several international courses and seminars both in Nigeria and Overseas with enviable records. Chief Fadare belongs to many non-professional bodies,amongst are: Member, Mace Club of Nigeria, Grand Patron- Joint Minds Club, Ogun State Polytechnic Chapter, Abeokuta. He is married with Children.
CHIEF (ENGR) OLAYINKA OGUNBEKUN Agoro of Itori Egbaland Chief Olayinka Ogunbekun is the ceo of Ibrolink Nig. Ltd; a firm located in Ibese, Ogun state with specialization in mechanical engineering services. Amiable, highly educated and a goal getter, Chief Ogunbeku is a very successful son of Itori who has made his mark in engineering. He is married with children.
CHIEF ADEYINKA SHOBAYO Aare Fimogboye of Itori Egbaland Young, dynamic and intelligent Chief Shobayo is an insurance broker with a difference and a career that span over 15years. He graduated from the Nnamdi Azikwe University with honours in chemistry Mathematics in 1995. He is married to chief (mrs) Olayinka Shobayo and blessed with three lovely children, Godspower, Prosper and Favour. He is a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and a Rotarian. His hobbies include traveling and solving mathematical problems.
Hon. RISKAT ADEGEYE Lika of Itori Egbaland Honorable Rsikat Adegeye is the wife of popular juju meastro King Sunny Ade. Sheâ€™s a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Amuwo-Odofin Constituency
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