The men and women that sweated in the old days to birth Nigeria can’t have much to complain about. This isn’t because the country is an ideal nation, but because it contains—among its nearly 300 million people—some folks who would give their lives and luck to see a better future.
Adejare Adegbenro, Otunba Laje of Owu Kingdom in Ogun State, is quietly changing lives on a regular basis. In the past few years, his foundation, Otunba Adejare Adegbenro Foundation (OAAF), has done more than is captured by the media.
Having executed one of his numerous humanitarian projects, he leaves it to others to report. Like Walt Whitman, “knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of things, while they discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself.”
Just this year, Adegbenro’s OAAF conducted a free ophthalmological session at Olowu Palace, Oke Ago Owu, Abeokuta. The gig, which Otunba Adegbenro later called on his peers to emulate, benefitted no fewer than 5,000 residents of Abeokuta.
Otunba Adejare Adegbenro has also been a palliative presence since the COVID-19 pandemic. OAAF has taken to constructing essential infrastructure, delivering free healthcare services, feeding the underprivileged, etc. So far, the efforts of the Foundation have reached Alake, Olowu, Ifo and Ewekoro Local Government Areas of Ogun State. This is excluding the significant moves Adegbenro is making in education, health and financial assistance to disadvantaged Nigerians—all intended to bring about the central objective of poverty eradication.
Although all these are laudable, they aren’t much of a surprise. Otunba Adegbenro is, after all, the product of two very prominent families. His paternal grandfather is the late Chief Dauda Adegbenro, former Premier of the old Western Region. His maternal grandfather, on the other hand, is the late Pa Alfred Rewane, the pro-democracy crusader and financier of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).
Otunba Adegbenro has built on the accomplishments and reputation of his grandfathers. Aside from OAAF, Adegbenro is currently the chairman of Balmoral International Limited, a company with deep roots in international trade and importation.
Back home, Adegbenro’s status significantly advanced when he was installed as the first Otunba Laje of Owu, Ogun State, by Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu Amororo II, the traditional ruler of Owu Kingdom.
Even then, he isn’t making too much noise. He continues to uphold the legacy of his grandfathers, the integrity of his father (Chief Niyi Adegbenro), and his own philosophy.