Currently serving as the Soun Of Ogbomoso is Oba Jimoh Oladunni Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III. The monarch who turned 91 on May 27th, 2017 has spent over 42 years on the throne as the leader of Ogbomoso city in Oyo State, south-western Nigeria.
Ogbomoso is a city founded in the mid 17th century with a 2006 census population of 645,000.
Jimoh was born as a prince but ascended the throne after his father, Oba Bello Afolabi Oyewumi Ajagungbade II on October 24, 1973. His mother was Ayaba Seliat Olatundun Oyewumi.
The Nigerian King did his elementary education at St. Patrick Primary School, Oke Padre, Ibadan from 1932-1938. After that he attended the Ogbomoso People’s Institute (Later changed to Ogbomoso Grammar School).
Jimoh may have been born into a prominent royal family but he was not born with the silver spoon in his mouth.
For lack of financial assistance, he dropped out of school and ventured into business.
First he traveled to Jos in 1944 and started trading textile materials. From his 50 pound savings, Jimoh diverted into another business. In partnership with the United Africa Company of Nigeria (UAC), he bought and sold bicycles.
From a casual window shopping at G.B Ollivant, Oladunni met a Scottish friend Mr Smith who later became his business partner. Mr Smith was an expatriate who was working as the manager for G.B ollivant.
By 1950, Jimoh’s business success was evident. 8 years later, his business expanded into real estates and properties. He set up the famous Terminus Hotel and El-Duniya Hotel in Jos.
He was appointed as a distributor for the French-owned trading firm CFAO in 1954. This position took him on several trips around the world; an opportunity he used to explore and weigh business expansion ideas.
Let’s take a look at some life lessons from the Soun of Ogbomoso:
1. God First
In one of his interviews, Jimoh said he has no regrets whatsoever in the course of his administration as the Soun Of Ogbomoso. He never fails to attribute his leadership and business successes to God.
He considers himself blessed for setting the record of longevity in the leadership of his people.
“At the time I became a king 42 years ago, only aged people were made kings. But the aged people would spend three years or thereabout on the throne and would join their ancestors.”
Jimoh was not the only son but he was the chosen one. An unbelievable 90 out of the 94 decision makers favored his candidacy to be king.
His majesty says it is always good to be content at every given level of one’s success.
“I do pray to Almighty Allah and I believe in God. I don’t have two fathers. It is only Almighty Allah, who keeps me up till today. I have my regular meals. I am contented. I don’t rush to have the whole world. The contentment is there.”
3. Dedication And Hardwork Pays
To be in a leadership position is a tough job especially for genuine leaders.
“It is true that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. It is a delicate position and at the same time, it is a good position if you know how to rule your kingdom and do what you are supposed to do.”
The Soun of Ogbomoso had visions of profound transformations in his kingdom. On his coronation, he took up the electricity challenge and fixed it. He also made sure that the people had their own law courts and police station in order to create a prompt and efficient criminal justice system at the grassroots.
4. Education is a Force of Positive Transformation
Jimoh believed in the power of change. He valued education. From 3 schools in Ogbomoso, the Nigerian king has increased the number to 150 schools.
“One of the things I had in mind for Ogbomoso [was] educational transformation… education was my first priority. I pursued how we would have many primary and secondary schools and the Lord crowned my efforts with success. Now, we have many primary and secondary schools.”
See Also: 5 Richest Kings In Africa
5. Discipline Is Good For Success
In the words of his daughter, Princess Oyefunke Oworu who is a former Commissioner for Trade and Investment in Oyo State, the Soun of Ogbomoso is a “transparent and straightforward person”.
“I will say that he is a disciplinarian. “
“You might feel upset as a child, asking why he had been hard on you, but growing up, we discovered that he meant well for us”.
6. Keep the peace
“If you are occupying a stool as a king and you promote the culture of your subjects, it will not be a delicate position any longer. Then, it will be an enjoyable and peaceful reign for you.”
His daughter testifies that peace of mind is something her father has a lot of. He bears no grudges and “has no crises within him”.
7. Stay Humble
The Soun of Ogbomoso is often characterized as a humble personality regardless of his prominence across the nation. He is known for his saying that “Promotion comes from God.”
8. Government and the People Must Do Their Part
The Soun who is recognized by the government believes that the progress of a nation is not solely dependent on the government.
“I must say that the people in every kingdom must not think government will do everything for them. The people must also play their own part and government will also play its own part.”
While he admonishes the government to be true to their leadership call, he urged the people to assist and support them.
9. Your Gifts Will Make A Way For You
Being an example himself, the Soun of Ogbomoso dropped out of school for circumstances beyond his control. However he did not idle away his time. He explored and developed his business skills.
10. Give As Much As You Were Never Given
The Yoruba king who did not complete his education saw the need to make education available for his people. Likewise he educated all of his children to higher levels.
The Soun of Ogbomoso has a 343 years old tortoise called Alagba in his palace. The tortoise is the oldest living tortoise in the world. Thus has become one of the tourist attractions in Oyo State.