The dandy monarch, who turned 48 last Saturday, has married five Oloris in one month, an unrivaled feat so far in Nigeria.
By Ovwe Medeme
That the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi (Ọjájá II), is the most talked about monarch in Nigeria at the moment is never in doubt.
Since 6 September, when he married his first Olori, Mariam Anako, nine months after Silekunola Naomi, his ex-wife, confirmed that her three-year marriage to the monarch had ended, he has made headlines.
His union to Olori Mariam is the monarch’s third publicly known marriage since he ascended the throne in October 2015.
Before he was crowned Ooni, he married Adebukola Bombata in 2008.
In 1994, he welcomed a daughter, Adeola Ogunwusi, with his ex-lover, Omolara Olatunbosun, during a short-lived romance.
Before that time, he last made the news in December 2021 when his now-divorced wife, Naomi Silekunola, an evangelist, announced their divorce.
His other ex-wife, Olori Wuroala Zaynab Otiti-Obanor, in March 2016 broke the news of their divorce in a similar manner.
Nonetheless, the dandy monarch, who turned 48 last Saturday, appears to have gotten his groove back as he has married five Oloris in one month, an unrivaled feat in Nigeria.
The Ooni of Ife married Princess Ronke Ademiluyi on Thursday.
She is the fifth bride the Ooni has married in quick succession after his divorce from Olori Naomi Silekunola.
A few hours later, the Ooni married Elizabeth Opeoluwa Akinmuda in Magodo, Lagos.
About a month later, on the 9th of October to be precise, the traditional ruler got married to Olori Tobi Phillips.
Days after his marriage to Olori Philips, Ooni Ọjájá II took Princess Ashley Adegoke as his wife on the 14th of October.
Before we delve into the profile of the traditional ruler’s wives, let’s check out the Ooni’s profile and background before he became a monarch.
Born on the 17th of October 1974, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi is the third of seven children of Prince John Oluropo Ogunwusi and Princess Margaret Wuraola Sidikatu Abegbe Ogunwusi.
He attended Subuola Memorial Nursery and Primary School in Ibadan before proceeding to Loyola College in Ibadan between 1985 and 1991.
He later proceeded to St Peter’s Secondary School, Ile Ife, Osun State, and The Polytechnic of Ibadan, where he studied accountancy.
Oba Ogunwusi is a chartered accountant. He is also an associate accounting technician.
He is a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the Global Real Estate Institute.
Aside from being a Chartered Accountant, the Ooni is a real estate magnate and a businessman.
He’s into Engineering Procurement and Construction both in Nigeria and across the borders.
Prior to his appointment as the new Ooni, he served as the Managing Director of Howard Roark Gardens Limited, undertaking a multi-million naira Jacob Mews Estate project in Yaba and the Lakeview real estate development in Lekki.
On the 26th of October, 2015, he emerged victorious out of 21 contenders for the stool.
He was crowned as the 51st Ooni on the 7th of December 2015 at Enuwa Square, Ile-Ife. Adeyeye is from the royal House of Giesi of the Oranmiyan Dynasty.
Below, in no particular order, are a breakdown of all you should know about the new Oloris.
Olori Mariam Ogunwusi nee Anako
Olori Mariam is from the Ebira ethnic group in Kogi State. Before marrying the royal father, she worked at Nestoil Limited, an engineering procurement, construction, and commissioning company in the oil and gas sector.
Using the available information, Olori Mariam lost her father at a young age. She was raised in the home of the former inspector general of police Mohammed Abubakar.
Not much is known about her parents except that her mother is a retired police officer and an active politician.
Said to be in her 30s, Olori Mariam has five other sisters.
Elizabeth Opeoluwa Akinmuda
Shortly after his marriage to Mariam, the Ooni married Elizabeth Akinmuda in Magodo, Lagos.
His chiefs represented him. She was later announced as his wife.
Ms Phillips is a native of Okitipupa in Ondo State. She worked for the Ooni for over six years before becoming his wife.
According to available information, the new queen is a fashion entrepreneur and a model.
She is a graduate of Marine Science from the University of Lagos. A former beauty queen, In 2012, she was crowned the winner of the World Miss University Africa (WMUA) beauty pageant.
She is the owner of QTP Luxury Fashion, a fashion outfit. She is also a skillful 3D artist.
Princess Ashley Adegoke
Like his previous marriage, the Ooni was absent at the ceremony. His chiefs, guards, and staff were there to represent him.
Olori Afolashade is from the Lafogido ruling House of Ile-Ife. She is a chartered accountant with a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Greenwich.
She currently runs her business in the United Kingdom.
Olori Afolashade also runs an NGO, the Ashley Adegoke Foundation, which focuses on less privileged children and widows.
Princess Ronke Ademiluyi
Born into the royal family, Olori Ronke is the great-granddaughter of the late Ooni Ajagun Ademiluyi.
She is a law graduate of West London University. In 2011 she founded Africa Fashion Week London, rated as one of the UK’S most significant annual fashion events that promote and nurture African and African-inspired design talent.
In 2014 she set up a sister platform in Nigeria, Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, to enable her to reach out to young African designers from all over the continent who can’t afford the logistics of traveling to London to showcase.
In 2017, alongside the Ooni of Ife, she co-founded the QMA international initiative. The initiative campaigns for the rights of women and girls in Nigeria and Africa.
She also founded Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a not-for-profit company that supports the education of less privileged girls in Nigeria and Africa.
She has produced over 20 fashion shows, including the Mayor of London’s Africa on the Square event during every Black History Month in London.
She produced The AFWL Business Fashion Forum, with special guest speakers that included the Mayor of London’s Office, the Department of Trade South Africa, and The V&A Museum.
She co-founded Fashion Future Online Courses in partnership with Henleys Business School UK & Parsons Design School New York.
She set up the AFWL Mentoring scheme for Black fashion students in the UK in partnership with Northampton University in The UK.
She co-authored the African fashion book The Eyes of Originality & Creativity. She also produced the Ingenious documentary fabrics of Nigeria’.
She is the creator and producer of ‘Queen Moremi The Musical, a theatre drama over 30,000 people have watched.
She published a book, ‘The authentic story of the legendary Queen Moremi’, which is being used as part of the curriculum for history & literature in secondary schools in Nigeria.
She is also the author of the book, ‘MAN Maltreated Abused & Neglected’, having supported victims of modern-day slavery and trafficking, a cause close to her heart. The book is based on the true story of one of the survivors.
Olori-in-waiting, Temitope Adesegun
Princess Temitope Adesegun is the next in line. According to news reports, she is set to wed the traditional leader any day from now.
Princess Adesegun has vast experience working in both the public and private sectors. She is also a humanitarian.
Princess Adesegun is said to be a divorcee based in Lagos.
During the Babatunde Fashola administration, she worked as the Personal Assistant to the late Secretary to the State Government, Princess Aderenle Adeniran-Ogunsanya.
Before that, she bagged diplomas in Linguistics and Data Processing from the University of Lagos in 1998 and 2000, respectively, and a bachelor’s in Business Administration from the same university.
She also has experience with the media as she was the anchor and host of the Lagos State Ministry of Health Public Health Advocacy Program, ‘Health-Wise’ aired for four years.
She is a certified alumnus of several universities, including the University of Oxford, United Kingdom; INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France; University of Cambridge, Judge Business School, United Kingdom; and Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the United States.
She recently teamed up with the Ooni to set up the Hopes Alive Initiative, which provides amenities to underserved communities.