Photos of the Palatial Homes of the Last 3 Modern Ooni of Ife
The palace of the Ooni of Ife has always been one of the main landmarks in Ile Ife. It is also a sacred place occupied by the paramount ruler of not only Ile Ife but also that of Yoruba land.
As it is the tradition, the palace is always renovated upon the emergency of a new king. This is the standard practice for the Yoruba people. Palaces in Yoruba land do not only have aesthetic and practical uses, but also spiritual motives.
The history of the Ile Ife palace is quite long and interesting. The Ooni’s palace is situated at Enuwa on the territory of Ile-Ife as far back as 500 BC. It accommodates both the Ooni , his wives and children, it is the traditional residence of the royal family. The palace is also a meeting place for Yoruba leaders and a place where decisions are made, feuds are settled.
His Royal Highness Late Sir Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi I Ooni Of Ife (KCMG)
Alayeluwa Ooni Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi I was the first modern and literate Ooni of Ife to have ruled. Oba Aderemi was born on November 15, 1889. He reigned for 50 uninterrupted years as the number one Yoruba ruler between 1930 and July 1980. He was a quintessential Yoruba monarch.
Aderemi was a member of the Oshinkola ruling house of Ife. He succeeded Ooni Ademiluyi Ajagun who died on the June 24, 1930 and built the first storey building in Ile-Ife in.
Because of his education and exposure, he desired a more befitting home better than the mud house occupied by his predecessor, though a story building, thus he laid the foundation of his home on August 16, 1937.
Ooni Aderemi was once the governor of the western region of Nigeria before independence. he was the first black African governor.
Ooni Okunade Sijuwade
Ooni Okunade Sijuwade was born on January 1, 1930, to the royal family of the Ogbooru ruling house. He ascended the throne of the highly coveted Ooni of Ile-Ife on December 6, 1980.
He reigned for an uninterrupted period of 35 years until his passing on to glory on July 28, 2015.
Ooni Olubuse was a well-travelled man and a successful businessman that had his hand in many businesses. He was known for his flamboyancy and this reflects in his choice of a home.
Rather than move into the home of the late Ooni Aderemi, Ooni Olubuse II decided to make for himself a residence he thinks befits his status. His house, which still stands in the palace, is a beauty to behold. It is a tourists’ attraction in the ancient palace. It speaks style and class of the late quintessential monarch while he was alive. It is a bungalow with well laid artificial green tuft.
Ooni Adeyeye Ogunwusi
Rather than waste resources erecting another building as his residence on attaining the throne, Ooni Ogunwusi decided to renovate the existing now old-fashioned home of late Ooni Adesoji Aderemi.
The house was initially built with baked clay and turned around and renovated and then painted in all white and gold colour with a touch of purple which depicts royalty. The old palace was transformed into a work of architectural art.
On why he decided to live in Ooni Aderemi’s home, Ooni Ogunwusi noted that:
“Built 80 years ago by Alayeluwa Ooni of Ife Oba Adesoji Aderemi, this structure stands as my home and a monument from decades past.
With structures older than 400 years still standing in the palace, we have successfully been able to blend tradition and modernity; in line with my advocation for the passing knowledge to the new generation and generation yet unborn, we are in the process of securing special recognitions for several monuments around the nation. This will protect the history around them and allow their stories to be told for years to come; in hindsight protecting our culture and traditions.
As a nation, we need to show respect and value for heritages laid down by our heroes past. The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain”