By Oladapo Sofowora
Drawing a quote from Former United States of America USA President, Barrack Obama who said; “Our Destiny is not written for us but by us”. This quote aptly captures that a man’s destiny is in his hands. It’s quite obvious that destiny played a pivotal role in Obama’s emergence as the first black man to be President of USA. In the same vein, so is highly cerebral and delectable Princess Toyin Kolade, who on the 17th of July will be crowned as the Iyalaje Oodua (Head of Commerce and Trade) by the Oonirisha HIM, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi. For the astute philanthropist, destiny is also at work. What she never envisaged all her life came on a platter of gold.
On announcement from Kabiyesi’s camp that the head honcho of Fisolak Global Resource would be conferred with the highly revered title, few people raised eyebrows. The pronouncement further stirred controversies from some quarters, while most people saw it as a well-deserved honour. To the chagrin of naysayers, the King has made a pronouncement binded with authority and cannot be rescinded. In the days of yore, during the monarchy system of Government, anybody who dare question the authority of the King will have him or herself to blame.
Those who felt Princess Toyin Kolade was not worth the title, spewing gibberish that she lobbied for the title are probably not students of history. Like the popular saying that; In an attempt of looking at the future, we make recourse to history as history is an integral part of every human’s life.
The cordial relationship between Princess Toyin Kolade and Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi can be dated back over a decade ago when Kabiyesi was still a Prince and a business man, who runs a property firm in Lagos. Their relationship was so cordial that, Toyin always respected and treated him with dainty and regard. In her usual lifestyle, she was loyal, respectful and always checking up on the then Prince Adeyeye. When Oba Adeyeye emerged Ooni of Ife, Princess Toyin like many did not distance herself from the throne. In fact, she was frequent still and always supportive. When many were busy looking for all possible means to exploit the throne for personal gains, Iyalaje Oodua took up the Aje Festival as the sole promoter both home and diaspora. Despite her exposure, she never for once disconnected from her roots and heritage. When most of her peers renounced tradition claiming its diabolical; she familiarized herself with the Aje Diety by taking special interest in it. When detractors were supposed to be supportive of the vision and mission of the highly revered King, Princess Toyin was constantly doing everything humanly possible to make sure she contributes her own quota. She didn’t stop at that, she also supported the annual Olojo festival. She made herself an open book and was passed vote-of-confidence by Kabiyesi and the Palace at large. Those who know her pretty well will attest to the fact that; helping humanity and putting smile on the face of all sundry gives her fulfillment. She has never gotten tired of showing her milk of kindness.
What many don’t understand that a tree does not make a forest and a single stick of broom cannot sweep, it needs the effort of a bunch before it can sweep. No matter how wealthy Kabiyesi is, he alone cannot champion the cause and dreams for the Yoruba race; he needs people around who can key into his plans. In the midst of all that, Toyin Kolade was always making herself available for service to humanity devoid of personal gain. Why will you be angry at such a darling personality with a charming and enchanting demeanor? Even the holy bible in the book of Colossians 3:23-24 said; “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” She is simply getting rewarded for her stellar performance and this should never anger anyone.
Imagine someone who has devoted time, resources and energy; you expect that her kind gestures should not be replicated with love? Drawing an analogy from a political landscape, politician gives appointments to those who are loyal to them. Ooni is just human and a thorough breed Yoruba man who knows that; when people treat you with kind gestures, you, in turn, need to reciprocate. Kabiyesi might have thought of giving Princess Toyin Gold and Silver but she can afford it. As an elder, the only way to reward her years of unflinching and continuous support laced with loyalty was to give her what money cannot buy which is conferring her with one of the biggest titles in the history of Yoruba.
Many who cast aspersions and make disparaging statements are quick to forget that if you are open-minded in your dealings, good things will always come your way. For those who are not aware, despite being accosted with several traditional titles from different Kingdom’s across Yoruba land, Princess Toyin Kolade has never performed any chieftaincy title coronation rite. For those who averred that she lobbied for the title, if she was a fan of titles, she would have probably gotten over 20 titles to her credit to date. She prefers to play her role behind the scene. Which makes it more shocking and amazing when the Ooni of Ife made the announcement of her conferment.
For naysayers and detractors who raised eyebrows, it’s normal in human nature, most especially among the Yoruba race, who often gets paranoid at another Yoruba moving forward in life. Instead of getting angry, embrace and support her with love. Who God has blessed, no man can curse. The businesswoman is a moving train that cannot be stopped. For the Ilesha-born stylish woman, she is committed to intensifying her effort more. What she was doing previously will be doubled. It’s another challenge and an avenue for her to do more. All those who are angry should take the honour from the Ooni of Ife as fulfilling her date with destiny. Destiny cannot be changed but can be delayed and delay is not denial. Preparation is in top gear as the ancient city of Ile-Ife will witness a mammoth list of top personalities who will grace the occasion. Trust Princess Toyin when it comes to hosting top-class parties, she has a mastery of it. Those who attend will never forget in a hurry.