OLOWU(s) – Past & Present


Name of King Period of Reign Ruling House
Oba Pawu 1855-1867 Otile ta
Oba Adefowope 1867-1872 Otile ta
Oba Aderinmoye Adesina 1873-1890 Otile ta
Oba Adepegba 1893-1905 Ayoloye
Oba Owokokade 1906-1918 Otile ta
Oba Adesunmbo Dosunmu 1918-1924 Amororo
Oba Adesunmbo Adesina 1924-1936 Otile ta
Oba Adelani Gbogboade 1938-1944 Otile ta
Oba Salami Gbadela Ajibola 1949-1972 Ayoloye
Oba Adebowale Oyegbade 1975-1980 Akinjobi
Oba Michael Oyelekan 29/4/87-8/5/87 Akinoso
Oba (Dr) Olawale Adisa Odeleye 1993-2003 Lagbedu
Oba (Dr) Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu 2006 (to date) Amororo



52 comments on “OLOWU(s) – Past & Present

  1. I noticed that there are usually gaps between the end of one Olowu’s rule and the next. Why is that? I am also particularly interested in who acted as olowu between 1980-1987. If i am correct did Chief Ohu Babatunde Akin-Olugbade act as Olowu during that time and if so why did he not get the official title? My final question is in regards to the newly appointed Aare Onokankafo of Owu Chief Bolu Akin-Olugbade since he is the second in in current Owu history to hold the title his father held it before becoming Balogun, where does this put him in terms of authorative power in the kingdom. I have heard and read that at times in yoruba history the Aare is higher than the Balogun and also Chief Bolu Akin-Olugbade is the only present Aare in all of Yoruba land. Thank you for your time and for this site.

    • Interregnum!
      A council usually of 6 Kingmakers select an incoming Olowu. Apart from the fact that they need time for their screening and deliberations after receiving a list of candidates from the eligible ruling house, these houses sometimes also take time to sort out internal rivalries & squabbles before they present their list. Other times (as happened the last time) there may be credibility issues amongst the kingmakers themselves. All these factors usually lead to a period of extended interregnum before a new Olowu emerges.
      Ps. The original traditional ‘Iwarefa’ of 6 Kingmakers has now undergone expansion to 9.

    • You are right abkut the gaps.. there are always fears that the olowu doesn’t live long, the life span of an olowu is ten year that is why many run in fear to become and olowu, the present olowu is one of the longest in history… and it took time before he was installed because olusegun Obasanjo was intrested but with all his efforts he couldn’t because his family where no from a rulinh house

      • so it would be impossible for obasanjo to become olowu since he doesn’t belong to any of the royal families right or could an exception be made. I am asking because as a young Owu man i always hear varying accounts and since i don’t currently live in Abeokuta it is harder to know of the customs. Thank you for reply to my answers. I asked another question on a different post about the position of the Aare Onokankafo (sorry if mispelt) in relation to the entire kingdom. I know he is under the Balogun and that in ancient times would relate to the army general on the battle field but reading about Yoruba history i have heard that at certain points the Aare title has been higher than balogun if i remember correctly wasn’t Sango an Aare in Oyo before taking the thrown. Even though he was a Prince though. Thank You!

        • Yes. Obasanjo is not royalty. Period!
          If his compound were to be elevated to royal status (after it may have been discovered that they had actually been such in previous dispensations before coming to Abeokuta), such ‘elevation’ would be technically possible. The immediate past Olowu experienced something of the sort!

          In Yorubaland, there is no unified chieftain title structure, just as there is no supremo monarch. Each is strictly only responsible for his domain and his surrogates. Therefore such titles as the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland are in reality abberations. If it was confered by the Aalafin, then it is only strictly valid in Oyo. Likewise, an Alake of Abeokuta cannot exist under the confederate city structure that Abeokuta is. The accurate designation is the Alake of Ake, Abeokuta, just as there is the Osile of Oke-Ona, Agura of Gbagura, and Olowu of Owu, all co-habitating within that same city as equals and responsible only for their individual domains. But there is protocol hierarchy, artificially introduced by the British at the turn of the last century (where a ‘first amongst equals’ was designated for the Alake)!

          Chief Bolu Akin-Olugbade is just another ‘Ologun’ chief under the ‘Balogunship’ of Obasanjo. That is the hierarchical structure in Owu Kingdom. I don’t know for sure if the Kakanfo is senior to a Balogun in other kingdoms.
          I hope your intrigues have been eased. Thanks for the challenge, Babatunde.

          • And the Olugbade’s are from Agbole Laara from Oke Ago Owu. Agbole Laara is the original custodian of the Owu Crown. From Otileta royal house there are many families that are entitled to the crown likewise other families from the other royal houses. The question i would like you to answer is why has it been Otileta royal house that has produced the Olowu of Owu than other royal houses. If you can go more into this you will find out why Olugbade’s are from the royal family sir .

  2. hello sir, i am ademola
    born and leave in lagos, but am from the aderinmoye compound of the owu kingdom and i was very little wen i was taken to our house in oke- agoowu and have not being there since i dont even know anybody from there pls how can i be integrated into my people.

    • Ademola. I suggest you come over to Abeokuta.
      You may use the Omo Olowu festival on the 9th of October as a good excuse for this. Then, i promise you things will start to happen and you will be able to re-discover your home, kith and kin at Aderinmoye compound.
      The festival often offers excellent opportunities for such re-union as most people will find their way home then.
      I believe the Palace is also very happy to be assistance over such issues.
      What a happy re-union i am already for-seeing for you! Wish you luck.

    • Thats a further lead that will yield fruits when you discover the Aderinmoye compound. beleive me, they’ll be happy to rediscover you!

  3. Pls my name is adeola olowu but I was born and brought up in ikorodu,pls can u tell me how olowu migrated to ikorodu cos I’m an indigine of ikorodu and I want to knw wen next omo olowu festival will come 10q

    • 10q 2 4 10quing me! (oh! how i love modern shortcode language).

      Ok Adeola, i missed out your enquiry about the next Odun Omo Olowu in my previous response. It usually takes place at Abeokuta in October @the Gateway Secondary School grounds, Ita-Iyalode.

      It is stated on page33 of the programme of the last edition that the 2012 Odun Omo Olowu shall be on the 25th October 2012, after a week long activities starting on Monday 20th…but wait a minute, it appears that the Printer’s Devil is once more at work here because the dates do not match the days on the 2012 calendar.

      I guess i shall keep you updated when the conflicts are resolved, but at any rate, prepare your mind for an Octoberfest!

  4. Adeola.
    To the best of my knowledge, the fact that your surname is Olowu does not necessarily mean you are descended from an Olowu, but it may reasonably indicate that you could be of Owu origin.

    Owu like the Israelites can be found virtually anywhere and everywhere on the face of the planet, primarily because just like the Israelites of old, they have lost their ancestral home, and are thus dispersed all over…Ikorodu inclusive.

    While it is a fact that the concentrated settlements of the Owu in Ijebuland are Omu and Owu-Ikija, the Owu can be found to some degree or the other in virtually all settlements of the Ijebus, reason being the proximity of Ijebuland to Orile-Owu (Owu-Ipole) which was the epicenter of the dispersal. It is also reported that the then Olowu made his exit from the besieged city through one of its southern gates, which may have led to an outflow of refugees towards the southerly located Ijebulands.

    Perhaps if you furnished more details about your family background, we may be able to come up with some kind of trace!
    Thanks…and don’t forget to subscribe for free email alerts of new articles. The form is towards the top of the sidebar to your right.

  5. thanks for the conpiled geneology of kings; but, I’m not new to this list. I’ve seen this on Wikipedia and other sites.

    Can you please post a complete list from Olowu: the grand-daughter of Oduduwa to present.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Haba!! Olumide.

      Where on earth do you want to get that from? A complete list of Olowus from Iyunade till present… which spans close to 1,000 years! Even the Egyptians may not have such an archive for the Pharaohs despite their hieroglyphics art of recording details .

      Let me intimate you with the magnitude of your request: Our ancestors relied on oral dissemination of history largely through ‘oriki’ renditions, ‘odu ifa’ and moonlight tales of folklores. These narrations are updated with each successive generation. You may imagine how long these will get after the passage of centuries and how cumbersome they would get for anybody to memorise and recite accurately without having to cut corners and shed or modify some of it!

      That aside, in the case of Owu, there are presently 16 known beaded-crowned Olowus spread even outside of Nigeria. Which of these 16 genealogy would you want to trace from Iyunade, the first princess of Oodua?

      Presently we don’t even know the accurate succession of the numerous widespread Owu settlements who are scattered like the Israelites’, and can only use logic and comparisons to map a progression. So anybody or historian who claim they can give you the kind of list of successive Olowus as you ask is taking you on a fantasy trip to planet Jupiter!!!

  6. there was a topic concerning the origin of Owu. I know that Owu originates from Owu local govt in Eastern Kwara state. That place is now annexed by the Ogbonna people. I have proofs to my claims.

    -Owu once conquered Oyo during the time of Alaafin Ajaka before they were defeated by Sango.

    -Owu was a calvary army which wouldn’t perform in forest area(like Ife)

    -The contest to the crown of Owu which makes the theme of ASUKUNGBADE and ASOROGBOYE; was with the Onikoyi. Ikoyo is in present day Northern Oyo: close to Ogbomoso; and once allied with Ilorin against Oyo.

    -Finally, Owu’s once shared boundry with Tapa.

  7. as an Ijesa person, I would naturally like warfare lol. I deal with military history. I would want to know the military size of Owu, Ife, Ijebu and Egba forces that fought during the Owu war. Also, giving the number of soldiers from Oyo in Owu would also be appreciated.

  8. Sir, I would like to confirm if the Osupori family who are kingmaker where actually a royal family at orile Owu, I was told that the one of the last three Olowu of Orile Owu was from Osupori family.

    • It is not impossible that an Osupori may have ascended the throne, but granted that all Owu people are somewhat interrelated due to their former disposition to intra-marriage, that fact does not make Osupori as an entity a royal family.

      It is actually instituted as, and had always been an Iwarefa family since the time of Asunkungbade.

  9. I’m particularly interested to find out the history of the Akin-Olugbade family. I have heard a lot but it would be great to have a detailed history and trace their lineage from the 1st generation to the current one.

    • Oluwatobi. I will try to forward your request to the Akin Olugbades and hope they will come up with their genealogy for us to share.
      I believe they may have stemmed from the Alebiosu royal compound of Owu Abeokuta where the Ajibola lineage also sprang from.
      Meanwhile let’s await their report of their history for corroboration of this.

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  12. I will like to know more about Oba Adepegba. 1983-1903. I saw somewhere that he abdicated the thrown. Is this true and why has it not got to the turn of the Adepegba family to produce the Olowu in recent times

  13. Why is it that the last Olowu from Otile ta ruling family was Oba Adelani Gboboade1938-1944.Since then no one from that ruling family as been crowned Olowu. My late father told me that we are from Oke Gunya, before we were all taken to Agbole Labuta. I mean my Great grand father.

  14. Pls my name azeez adeshina I was told that am from owu family of adeshina I was born in lagos in ajegunle I was our compand. Is oke gunya in abeokuta how can I find my family of adeshina

  15. My mother is from Ile- Alafin in Owu,, she is nee Alayode, which means that we are from the Ayoloye Ruling House. As a young man in Owu, Abeokuta, I knew then that the Adepegbas are our cousin.

  16. I am an Owu decendant but born in Ilobu but base on my oriki and historical background i am an owu decendant. I wish to unite with my people at OWU, how can can i go about.

  17. i am omo alade lowu, omo ajilala oso, omo aji fi ojo gbogbo da bi egbin, omo asunkungbade, omo ajibosin. This is little out of my oriki, i want to re unit with people, pls help me out.

    • I am Adewale Olamiposi. Son of the current Omoninu of Otileta ruling house in Owu Kingdom. We might be related

  18. You can see from the olowu owu lineage that the last kabiyesi from the Otileta ruling family was oba Adelani Gboboade. This was from 1938-1944. After the death of the Kabiyesi, history showed that his mother decided to take the remaining children to her father’s house. Note that previously she lost her son oba Adesunmbo Adesina in 1924. Since the death of oba Adelano Gboboade in 1944, you will all more that no kabiyesi has come from the lineage of Otileta.

    Our Oriki as my late grand ma use to praise me with, to calm me down
    Omo Ajibosin, omo asunkun gbade. Omo aro, aro omuti omo enimuti loti npa omo dara nloko omo dapa ntesi. Omo ofon belori omo gbari kainkain mogI, omo osinku alaamu niyewu. Omo omuda mimu do be Ana re lori tege omo eni ba Funmi loom laalupa.

  19. Hi my surname is Olowu. My family tell me that at some point, they gave up the title to Owu, and that is how they were no longer part of the ruling family. Could this be true?

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