How does it feel being a king?
I have always lived like a king. When one is born into a royal family, one would be taught, right from the onset, on how to live and behave like royalty. One would be advised to stay away from trouble, and to shun alcohol and smoking. One would also be told not to mingle with bad friends. Those things have been part of me since I was a kid. I have been taught how to behave properly. Right from birth, one’s future would be checked out in a traditional way, so they can know the kind of person one would turn out to be. Because of that, I was not really surprised when ifa (oracle) picked me to become the king.
Some people believe that royalty should be entertained instead of being entertainers. Was your family in support when you wanted to venture into the entertainment industry?
When I wanted to get into the entertainment industry, I was told that I could not act with other people. That was why I always did my own productions. People who have been following my career would know that I rarely appeared in the movies of others, except the ones I produced. And I only made movies once in a while.
I am passionate about the entertainment industry and that is why I got into it in the first place.
As a king, would you still be able to act and produce movies?
No, I would not be able to do that. However, I have about nine unreleased movies and I plan to put them out as time goes on.
When some people become kings, they distance themselves from old friends and colleagues. Do you see that happening to you?
I don’t believe in that. I cannot distance myself from childhood friends simply because I am now a king. I still talk to all my friends. However, there are some things I might not be able to do anymore.
What are some of the things you would no longer be able to do as a king?
A lot of people don’t really know me. I have never been an outgoing person that keeps a lot of friends and attends parties. Many people have a different impression of me, perhaps because of the way I dress. However, there are some clothes I would no longer be able to wear because of my status as a traditional ruler.
What is your vision for Uba land?
I want to see progress in the land in all ramifications. Work would start in full force soon. This is a great land that has lots of potential, and is practically flowing with milk and honey. Already, I have been making some moves. A former Governor of Ogun State, Olabisi Onabanjo, had constructed good roads for us, so we don’t really have a problem in that area, though there are some parts that are not so good. I am currently meeting with a lot of people that want to invest in the community. I have a lot of positive plans and many activities are ongoing.
Do you have plans to develop your people in the area of entertainment?
Yes, I do. I would have meetings with the heads of various associations and guilds in the film industry, both English and Yoruba. Any of them that wants land to build film sets or things like that would be assisted. It is something I have in mind.
It is believed that one would have to spend a lot of money to become a king in Nigeria. Was that your experience?
I did not spend money. My parents, maternal and paternal, were royalty. It was actually after I came back from the United States of America that the people came to me and asked me to become king. I did not have to spend money. Rather, it is the town that is spending money.
Some people also shy away from becoming kings because they feel it involves a lot of fetish practices. Did you have to do that?
There is nothing like making sacrifices if one wants to become a king. Certain rituals would just be performed and I believe that is normal. Nobody is killed to perform such rituals. In Yorubaland, we have culture and tradition, and those are the things we adhere to in the kingship process. We didn’t have to hurt anybody in any way, so I don’t see anything wrong in keeping one’s culture and tradition.
You have tattoos on your body. Didn’t the kingmakers frown at that?
(Laughs). Tattoos have been around for a very long time. Our mothers often had tattoos (lali) on their bodies. They just were not called tattoos at that time. Some people drew lizards, gourds and other items on their bodies. It was done for fashion then, just like it is now. There is nothing new under the sun. Many of the things that are done now were in existence in the days of our forefathers.
Kings usually have many queens. Do you intend to marry more wives?
(Laughs). I don’t like plenty women. I am okay with just one woman in my life. I cannot love two people at the same time. I don’t share my love, so it would be quite difficult for me to have two wives.
How would your new position impact on your fashion sense?
I can no longer dress the way I used to. Several fashion houses have reached out to me saying they want to be designing my clothes. We are still having discussions on that.