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Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo: The Exceptional King Of Ondo Kingdom



Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo: The Exceptional King Of Ondo Kingdom
Kabiyesi Alayeluwa Of Ondo Kingdom, Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo


Toyin Falola

Since time immemorial, wonderful things have been spoken about people who have excelled in different areas of life. Some observant individuals, however, might have noticed that this set of people has reduced in number, as it seems that the zeal to become outstanding is continually waning. Nonetheless, some great people would not drop the ball and succumb to the pressure of conforming to mediocrity. Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo, is one of the exceptional individuals who, by their way of life and commitment to personal development, have made significant contributions to the course of humanity. We would have the honor of rubbing minds with His Imperial Majesty during the Toyin Falola Interviews on July 25, 2021.

Our people have a saying that if you desire to walk on mild and comforting grounds, you must first make an effort to wet the ground before you take your first step. No doubt, we all desire to have a smooth conversation with Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, so I think we should make some efforts to understand how his life has evolved and how much we can all learn from his exemplary life. I believe this will give us all a comforting and interesting sojourn with the king.

His Kingdom and his People

If anyone here is familiar with royalty among the Yoruba, they would know that a king does not exist without a kingdom and his people—the same way we would not all be here if His Imperial Majesty had refused to grace this Interview with his regal presence. In the same manner, His Imperial Majesty is well recognized because there is a kingdom in Ondo and a people standing firmly behind him.
As a historian, I believe it is worthwhile to begin with a brief overview of how the Ondo kingdom and its people came to be, before delving into details about the king. Like every other great kingdom in Yorubaland, the Ondo kingdom traces its mythological origin to many centuries ago when Princess Pupupu established it. The existence of this kingdom for centuries and how it continues to wax strong is fascinating. This tells the story of a resilient kingdom that has lived through tides to establish its magnificence in our hearts today.

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There is a fascinating myth. According to one legend, before the establishment of the Ondo kingdom, giving birth to twins or even sighting them was an abomination in the court of Oduduwa in Ile-Ife. In a twist of event, one of Oduduwa’s favourite wives gave birth to a set of twins. Rather than order their killing as was the tradition, Oduduwa dispatched his favoured wife and her twin children on a journey from Ile-Ife to nowhere. Not a few servants, guides and at least three chiefs were put on the entourage. This exiled band moved southward of Ile-Ife until it settled in Èpè (in present day Ondo Kingdom), where it stayed for some years, before finally proceeding to Ondo. The initial resistance of the people indigenous to this new location, the Ìdòko and Ìfòré, was swiftly overcome, and Ondo became a permanent feature of this location. Púpùpuú became the first Òsemàwé (from ‘ese omo re’ – the name by which the set of twins was called).

As a strong woman and former wife of Oduduwa who had tasted power in her old kingdom, and a visionary who was not willing to be dissuaded—an enviable character we have seen in the lives of Ondo indigenes both at home and abroad—Princess Púpùpuú became the first ruler of the Ondo Kingdom. Following her rule and death, her descendants took over the throne, and despite the turmoil that rocked old empires across Nigeria, the genealogy of the Ondo kingdom was firmly built till it got to the turn of Kabiyesi Alayeluwa Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo.

For the people of Ondo, there is no better way to describe a resilient people with the love of industry, education, and peace without referring to the citizens of His Imperial Majesty. The support shown to His Imperial Majesty and other previous kings has earned and accelerated the coveted development and growth of the kingdom today. I know if I could get into the mind of Kabiyesi right now, I am certain he is continually grateful to his people and his kingdom.

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A Peep into the Educational Qualifications of His Imperial Majesty

In Ibadan, where I had some of my training and education, we believe that a mind that knows is a mind that is free. To know and consequently be free to lead your people aright, you have to, at least, be formally educated or versed in the traditional workings of your people. For His Imperial Majesty, Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo, these things are not just present; they have been mastered all through the years by diligently giving himself to study and practice long before he became a revered king.

Starting as a young and ambitious man in 1974, he gained admission to the University of Ife, where he was a federal government scholar and graduated as a medical doctor, with two degrees—one in Health Science, and the other a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. He later went to the United Kingdom for his post-graduate training at the University of Liverpool, where he was trained as a reproductive health professional. This great feat did not end there. Kabiyesi diligently worked till he became a certified professional in healthcare quality and a consultant to the Liverpool Associate of Tropical Health. Today, his outstanding performance both at home and abroad has earned him a lot of respect, accolades, and awards in different spheres of life. Notable of mention is the Nigeria Merit Award in Human Medicine, an Award of Excellence by the National Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria, the Service of Humanity Award by Rotary International District, and many other desirable awards that our time would not permit us to exhaust.

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Recognizing Excellence in an Exemplary Man

Within the spheres of those who are learned in the technicalities and operation of the law, you will often hear that evidence is the end of an argument. Though this is not in any way an argument, I still feel proud to flaunt the pieces of evidence of His Imperial Majesty’s excellent contributions over the years.

Let me start by stating that Kabiyesi is a recipient of one of the highest honors in Nigeria—the National Honor of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR). His friends and associates confirm that that the Kabiyesi has led a decent life. Aside from this, different pieces of evidence speak volumes of his excellent contributions. They include the African Leader of Integrity Award; the Continental Distinguished Leadership Award by African Youth Society; Grand Commander of Peace and Security of Niger (HCPSN) by the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC); a distinguished member of 50 selected outstanding traditional rulers in Nigeria, among others.

As a thinker, what I find interesting here is not so much the number of awards but how they all recognize what His Royal Majesty stands for. If you look through, you will see a recognition of Kabiyesi’s integrity, leadership, love for peace, and, more importantly, as a keeper of Yoruba traditional heritage. From all this, I do not think anyone needs a seer to tell them that meeting and speaking with a man of this caliber would have a profound futuristic impact on their lives.

His Majesty’s Contributions to the Things that Matter

Many people make contributions to their society, but only a few people do so to the things that matter. Interestingly, it takes a lot of resources and courage to identify what you can contribute to make a great impact on your society. In this regard, Kabiyesi has made a name for himself. He has not only contributed to his society, but he has also contributed to the things that matter to advance growth and development in the Ondo kingdom.

Through the Kiladejo Crown Foundation, a non-profit, non-political, and non-governmental foundation started by His Royal Majesty, there have been many contributions in health care, child education, freedom, and rehabilitation of prisoners, and more significantly, economic empowerment.

What intrigues me the most is that the major indices of societal development, health, education and economy, have been captured by this Foundation. This demonstrates Kabiyesi’s foresight and genuine desire to elevate his people and contribute immensely to their success.

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Leading a Life that Challenges all of us
I remember the stories of people who reached a particular point in their career and achievements in life and then decided to retire and drop the ball at that point. Unfortunately, this people often begin to lose form and deteriorate because eventually, a mind that has stopped learning will start to die. For Kabiyesi the Òsemàwé, one would think that after his academic, humanitarian, and royal achievements, he should take a break and retire, but that is not the case. It seems that he has wholeheartedly adopted the mantra of “not retiring because he is not tired.” Instead, his life reveals a drive and yearn for more and greater success and a continued desire to live a life that defies the status quo and challenges every one of us to listen to him on July 25.

One of the ways he challenges us is his involvement in ensuring that the least of his people get the best healthcare, education, and sensitization. I learned that through the Ondo City Vision Committee, His Majesty has been working round the clock to accelerate growth and development in his kingdom and for his people. He has paved the way for many people to have a reason to aspire for more, even when faced with life’s difficulties.

On July 25, we have the privilege of having a lifetime conversation with His Imperial Majesty, Oba Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom. Without a doubt, everyone who joins us, just like me, is looking forward to this conversation with His Majesty and the opportunity to peep through his magnifying lenses of life achievements.

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Sunday, July 25, 2021
5:00 PM Nigeria
4:00 PM GMT
11:00 AM Austin CST
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Poisoning And Witchcraft Accusations In Africa



Witch Burning, Impunity And Abuses Linked to Witchcraft Beliefs In Benue State
Dr. Leo Igwe

By Leo Igwe

A recent incident in Malawi illustrates the link between witchcraft accusations and poisoning. A lot has been said about how allegations of witchcraft manifest in various African communities, but enough attention has not been paid to how these accusations lead to the poisoning of the accused. It has been reported that two women, Tilise Kapaya, 55, and Stelia Kapaya, 64, have died after being accused of witchcraft in Malawi. The two women were not beaten to death or lynched. They took some poisonous concoctions following the allegations. The two sisters took the harmful substance because they could not bear the shame and stigma of being accused. The Police Spokesperson, Jacob Khembo, said the women went to a funeral in a nearby village, and while at the event people accused them of witchcraft. Some attendees started calling them witches. In response to this disturbing and embarrassing development, Tilise and Steila went home and took some local concoctions believed could cleanse them of witchcraft. They started vomiting and died before they could get some medical help.

Witchcraft accusation is a form of death sentence. The accused are often attacked and killed. As this case has illustrated, the accused poison themselves or are poisoned. Alleged witches are forced to drink poisonous concoctions, which lead to their death or health damage. The belief is that this concoction removes, or disables witchcraft powers. The concoction supposedly cleanses suspected witchcraft. The taking of this substance is an exoneration process to establish the guilt and innocence of the accused. Some local medicine men or women administer the concoctions. The recipe for preparing these concoctions is known in many communities. As in this case, alleged witches do not wait to be given the concoctions, they prepare and take the substance themselves. 

In many cases, family members pressure the accused to take these substances, to cleanse themselves, to free and exonerate themselves. The belief is that if they took the concoction and died, then they were witches. The concoction could make them vomit, and the belief is that the vomiting helps expunge witchcraft particles and powers. Sometimes, the concoction makes suspected witches hallucinate and begin to make utterances often mistaken as confessions. Most often those forced to take this concoction are elderly women and men who can barely resist the process. Poor people in rural communities, widows, and aging persons living alone with limited social support are usually the target.

This form of witch-hunting is pervasive in the villages. It is difficult to know the number of alleged witches who poison themselves, or are poisoned each year. They would be in their tens of thousands because these poisonous concoctions form part of the witch-hunting accessories. In witch hunting, the motivation is to eliminate the suspected witches, to murder and get rid of them. Cases of alleged witches who were poisoned have been reported not only in Malawi but also in Nigeria, Liberia, and Gambia.

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches condemns the poisoning of these two women in Malawi and calls for an end to the process of administering concoctions to alleged witches anywhere in the region. There is no link between witchcraft imaginaries and these concoctions. The administration of these concoctions is rooted in superstition-based socializations. As is usually the case, these women could not have taken these health-damaging concoctions without the involvement of family members. The police should investigate and ensure that those implicated in the murder of these women are brought to justice. The government should sanction the community head in the Ntcheu district where this incident occurred. The authorities should punish any person, traditional healer, or witch hunter who recommends or administers any harmful substance to suspected witches.
Dr. Igwe directs the Advocacy for Alleged Witches.

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Self-esteem Of The Male Child, A Tool for Peaceful Marriage



The Futility Of A Marital Chase
Dr. Hope Nwawolo

By Hope Nwawolo

Self-esteem determines how much you value yourself and believe in your ability to succeed. If you feel confident in being yourself around others, then you likely have high self-esteem. Having high self-esteem is related to increased happiness, relationship satisfaction, and resilience in the face of adversity. Some men went through bullying in childhood or adolescence, grew into men with deflated self-esteem. 

In more recent times, the society is veering off the mindset of training only the girl child. This is because the disturbing experiences of ladies, who were trained to be submissive to their untrained husbands, have changed the dynamics of child training. Eyes have opened to realize that if you train your girl child to be an angel in marriage, she might end up with a male child who grew into a monster in the same marriage because he was not trained. 

Training has different dimensions and the common one being offered the male child is that of having a caring heart and respect for his wife in future. This is highly commendable but not all encompassing. One aspect of training that is silently being ignored is that of development of self-esteem in the male child.

Nowadays, the girl child is encouraged to look at herself as one who is wonderfully made and should not be trampled by anyone, particularly, the opposite sex. This is helping to build the confidence and self-esteem of many girls who can now stand their ground on who they want to be as they grow older. These girls grow into ladies with confidence, taking on different challenges they come across as they aspire to reach the zenith of their careers. Observably, many successful ladies are able to balance their careers with demands of the home, and succeed. Now, women have their voices and demand to be heard, instead of only being seen as it was the case in the past. 

Unfortunately this new trend seems to be breeding a counter reaction in some men. There is the growing tendency for these men to become uncomfortable in the face of the obvious confidence of their wives. Unknowingly, some of the men sabotage their marriages because they fail to value themselves as persons to match their wives’ self-esteem. This is the crux of the article, and for the need to inculcate high self-esteem in the male child to balance the training of the girl child, if and when they come together for marriage, instead of seeing her as a threat because of her self-esteem. 

Expectedly, a woman with dignity and high self-esteem, will stand out anywhere and anytime. This has nothing to do with pride and does not even give the woman the right to attempt to usurp authority from the man. In fact, such  a woman may go an extra mile to clothe herself with humility, particularly, in the presence of her husband, at home or functions. Unfortunately, many men cannot just manage the success of their wives. They would rather see them as threats. Some expect the women to be seen and not heard, forgetting that silence in dignity can attract attention from those around. Of course, men with high self-esteem, are proud to have such women as their wives.

Furthermore, it is unnecessary, particularly in the present economic hardship where the woman is almost sharing responsibilities with the man. For such a woman with financial independence, the man must be ready to witness some temper flings. And if the general admonition to women is that they should study the men and know when to talk to them, the man should also understand that the woman might be on the wrong side of her temper, due to pressure at home or work, sometimes, rather than seeing her when she is in a bad mood, as insulting him, because of his low self-esteem. 

A man with low-esteem, often finds it hard to believe that he is lovable or worthy of being respected, particularly, if he sees the woman as one who is independent to some extent and capable of taking care of herself, and sometimes, the children . Such mindset can suffocate a relationship, as it may become almost impossible to please him. Understandably, the behaviour may not even be reflective of his character but symptoms of an internal struggle, and can indeed be a cause for concern, if left unaddressed. Unfortunately, there are cases of such marriages that went sour.

However, this can be checked in adolescence or teenage years before it gets full-blown in adulthood, especially in marriage. It takes an intentional stance by parents to ensure regular self-expression by the male child, as a way of building his self-esteem to go through the rigours of life. He needs to understand that marriage should be that of partnership and not absolute subjugation of the woman, no matter her level in career and society. The man remains the head of the woman, and the home!

 Nwawolo, PhD, writes via   

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Mohbad: When Love And Light Are Not Enough



Dele Jegede In Conversation With Prince Yemisi Shyllon
Prof. Toyin Falola

By Toyin Falola

    I did not want to write about Mohbad until a student of the University of Babcock contacted me, asking me to lend my voice to it. The seventeen-year-old student emailed me in sentences that come with anguish and pain. I was moved by them. Nothing I write can restore the damaged emotions of this teenager, but I am glad to run this errand. The purpose of old age is to restore the broken fabric of society.

A sea of shimmering lights dotting the darkness of an evening sky is not a common sight anywhere in the world. In Lagos, Nigeria, it holds even more significance. It seems only a few months since a peaceful demonstration of young Nigerians was interrupted at the Lekki Tollgate in October 2020. As though the tragedy that would follow was scripted, solemn protesters who held out candlelights in their numbers in memory of fallen comrades were dispersed by live rounds and coercive military actions.

This time around, on the evening of September 21, 2023, the collegiate crowd, candle lights, and stars you saw were not to mourn the youths who had fallen to SARS’ brute force. This was the candlelight procession in honour of Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, a young Afrobeat singer in his prime whose death and the events leading up to it have been controversial.

But these two nights have more than one thing in common. Just like in 2020, the concerned fans of the late music artiste had chosen Muri Okunola as their rendezvous, a park along Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos, which is only a few minutes from the venue of the 2020 #EndSARS demonstration. Also, the candlelight procession featured youths, some with their placards with the inscription: “JusticeforMohbad,” bringing back memories from that fateful night. Just like three years ago, the candlelight procession for Mohbad ended with police action, the police dispersing “unruly protesters” off the scene. At least, the singular observation that some ill-trained, trigger-happy policemen did not kill Mohbad brings some solace. Nevertheless, murder is murder regardless of who pulls the trigger is an aphorism that admits very few exceptions.

At this point, one would imagine how a solemn event like a candlelight procession could have transformed into a protest that would warrant a dispersal of the “unruly crowd” by men of the Nigeria Police. In the defence of the Police Force, dispersing the procession was in the interest of ensuring the safety of lives and properties. For one thing, an exodus of young people with dread, tattoos, exuding palpable deviance is enough danger to the lives and properties in the surrounding communities; talk more of a rampant exodus of youths bearing weapons of mass destruction like naked fire and placards.

This is why the police had to think up their best initiative to nip the danger in the bud—quench the fire, whether candle lights or flickers of agitation. This is not unusual, especially in a country like ours where the primary security company has an unyielding aversion to demonstrations and an uncanny penchant for forceful responses to demonstrations, no matter how peaceful. Pardon me for this segue; it was necessary.

But will the young, towering late musician ever get justice? Would the enemies, frenemies, and evil conspirators he talked about before his death be brought to book? If anything, Ilerioluwa would take solace in the candlelight procession organized to send his soul home to his maker, as this symbolizes what he stood for. Shortly after announcing his departure from his former record label, Marlian Music, Mohbad announced his label titled “Imolenization.” In the Yoruba language, Imole means light or illumination. So, despite having had his light snuffed out in his prime, his soul would journey to the heavens buoyed on by an array of lights and love.

To many young Nigerians, Mohbad was a leading voice on the street. His songs, K.P.K., Feel Good, Peace, and Ronaldo 

(,vid:wB9Vym8SWmU,st:0), are not merely hits but have become street anthems. For many whose lives revolved around the trenches and suburbs of Lagos, Mohbad was also an emblem of hope. Like most of his contemporaries, Mohbad’s discography showcases deviance, survival, internet fraud, high life, and the never-say-die hustling spirit of the average Nigerian youth.

Mohbad’s music career took a different turn when he joined his former record label, Marlian Music. On the back of the label’s popularity, Mohbad’s stock rose exponentially, even attaining stardom with two successful albums and an E.P. Without dwelling much on what may have gone wrong between the musical art and his label, it was clear that his departure was not well received. In most departures of this kind, bad blood and legal skirmishes are not uncommon.

However, when bad blood brews into assaults and unending threats to life, and parties take laws into their hands rather than ply the legal route, the assailing party would be said to have crossed the line. As the elders would say, a fight is already set in motion when the handshake goes beyond the elbow. Mohbad, upon leaving Marlian Music in 2022, premised his departure on the failure of the label management to remit his music royalties and other entitlements. Months later, the late musician had severally released materials on how his ex-boss, Afeez Fashola, had been after his life. This leads to the question, what more would tilt the suspicion of the police towards a suspect than the declaration of a deceased person before his death?

The events surrounding the death of Mohbad raise many questions. First, could there be any connection between the frenemies he lamented and his death? Why was his burial hurried, even by his kin? Are the police doing a good job of arresting and interrogating prime and remote suspects? Was the government of Lagos right to have exhumed his remains to conduct an autopsy? Going by the Coroner’s System Law of Lagos State, “a report of death shall be made to the office of the Coroner and be subject to post-mortem examination where there is reasonable cause to believe that the cause of death was violent, unnatural, or suspicious”.

Matter-of-factly, even in this cruel world, the death of a 27-year-old is presumably unnatural except where the circumstances reveal otherwise. In Mohbad’s case, the circumstances seem to agree that a post-mortem examination is more than necessary. It becomes even more suspicious when the allegations of hostility, threats to his life, trespass on his person, and unending battles, as lamented by the late musician, are put into context.

Admittedly, the law books teach that suspicion and subjective opinion are not a sufficient basis for proof of facts. Hence, the need for empirical examination will further drive us to the point of certainty, at least for the sake of the deceased, whose life may have been cut short by unnatural forces. Maybe this would also provide context or answers as to why his burial was hurried.

When an unnatural or suspicious death occurs, the police ordinarily conduct a post-mortem examination, interrogate close associates, and scour through correspondence, recent contacts, and perceived enemies. This information becomes even more relevant if the deceased claims to have been bullied, threatened, or attacked.

Mohbad’s death has provoked commentaries and opinions from different quarters. While some have been more cautious in pointing fingers, others have thrown caution to the wind and have demanded the arrest of individuals like Afeez Fashola and Samuel Balogun. One salient issue that must be addressed before this momentum dies down is the need to redefine lost values in light of the infiltration of foreign values. In foreign climes like the United States, it is not unusual for bad blood of this kind to brew into assassinations. A case in mind is that of Tupac Shakur, who was murdered exactly 27 years ago in Nevada, United States 1996. Six months later, Christopher Wallace, Notorious B.I.G., was murdered similarly.

While Mohbad may not have died from gun violence, his death was no less violent, given the circumstances that culminated in his untimely demise. When viewed in light of his industry, we begin to see the impact of foreign elements in the Nigerian music world. A look through the boards shows artists with criminal histories ranging from assault, internet fraud, marijuana abuse, and sexual violence to homicide. It would seem that Nigerian pop artists have not only taken music inspiration from the West but have also taught their dark penchant for vices.

The cause of death might have been speculative, and the range of agitation could also have been built on unsubstantiated emotional outbursts on circumstantial evidence, a little bit shy of mathematical accuracy. Even at that, they have established the undisputed need to chase the issue to the root and also raised a disturbing concern that a lot has been overlooked in our complacency. Unfortunately, the police, in their usual brutes, have dispersed away such voices that would keep them on their toes like in the EndSARS period.

It begs the question that the current continuous show of love and a thousand sessions of candlelight will not fill the societal lacuna that might have occasioned his death or brought about the ugly incidences that built momentum before it. An enabling system has nourished the powers that have pressured Mohbad for months before his death and have continuously caused the demise of many of our fallen heroes, even if they are social stimulators like Mohbad.

To the young Babcock student, let me close as an elder: When someone else dies with similar circumstances, the same love and light will fall along with them. We have seen it continuously in recent history. We have seen brutality on helpless individuals and the government being continuously inconsiderate, but we have not seen an end to the circle. The love and lights are insufficient, but the nation has been too sleepy to fill the void they could not cover. May your fate be different, and may you live past 100 years. Amen. I will come to your campus and speak with you in person, sharing my story of survival as a teenager in the bush.

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