I was furious when Orlando Owoh abandoned school for music –Late musician’s mother

100-year-old Mrs Morenike Owomoyela is the mother of the late popular musician, Chief Oladipupo Owomoyela, better known as Orlando Owoh. The centenarian speaks to Peter Dada who visited her in her Owo country home, Ondo State. She spoke about her life, family, and youth days, among other things.

How old are you now?

I am over 100 years old.

What date exactly were you born?

I don’t really know the exact date that I was born but I will be over 100 years because my first son (Orlando) was over 70 years when he died 12 years ago.

At what point did you notice that Orlando would be a musician?

He had been exhibiting the traits of an entertainer right from when he was very young. Even people around us did tell me about his talents.  It was later that he got a link with someone in the entertainment line whom he moved about with before he created his own band.

Where were you during the period?

It was here in Owo before we later moved to Lagos and then relocated back to Owo. After a while he (Orlando) moved with his band back to Lagos where he made up his mind to settle.

What was your reaction when he chose music over education?

Initially, I was very furious. I asked him why he would take such a decision because I could not understand why he would abandon school and be singing about.  But later people came to appeal to me to let him pursue his dreams, that he could also make it in life through music. After much thought, I stopped discouraging and I allowed him.

Was Chief  Orlando very stubborn when he was a young child?

Not really; he was not a troublemaker, he did not fight about. When he was young, he moved with those who were much older than him. They liked him a lot and they did take him out.

How did you feel when he later became famous all over the world as a result of his music?

I was always overwhelmed with joy. There was a particular time I went to watch him performing for the first time, I still could not describe the kind of joy I felt inside of me when I saw the crowd that had come to watch him. Up till now, anytime people see me, the same love they have for Orlando is the same they do show to me. Some even go to the extent of giving me money.

Since the demise of Orlando, do his lovers still extend the same gesture to you?

Since the death of Orlando, some of his friends are still taking care of me, particularly, his friend, ‘Die-the-Matter’ ( a former NURTW Chairman in Ondo State, Chief Obayoriade Oladutele), who has never left me for once. He does everything for me. He has never let me lack anything. Even my contribution in the church, ‘Die-the-Matter’ has always been paying it. Also, his friend Apata, the monarch of Ipe-Akoko, has always been doing the same thing. He brings me food and money every time, as well as ‘Ade-the-Tailor’ in Akure, a friend of Orlando.

At over 100 years, you’re still healthy and walking unaided. What is the secret behind this?

It’s God’s grace which I cannot even explain myself. I do everything by myself. I don’t have any ailment associated with old age. I don’t take drugs or herbs. I don’t have any terminal disease. I believe it is God’s grace.

What do you pray to God to grant you?

What I am asking from God is to grant me a peaceful death. I shouldn’t be sick before I die; when it is time, I just want to go inside my room, sleep and go. I wish to die in my sleep. I don’t want to give my children any trouble when the time comes.

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