Polygamy is part of our culture – Olori Ronke Ademiluyi-Ogunwusi

Wife of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye-Ogunwusi; Olori Ronke Ademiluyi has affirmed that Polygamy is part of the African culture.

She said this in a recent interview which has gone viral.


Olori Ronke Ademiluyi was born into royalty, her great-grandfather was Ooni Ademiluyi, so finding herself in the palace as a wife of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye-Ogunwusi is back to base.


In the interview by Tunde Ayanda, the soft spoken beauty who studied Law but chose fashion above all other things discussed her role in the palace, polygamy and how she became a wife to the Ooni of Ife.


When asked about her marriage with Kabiyesi, she said;

Polygamy is part of the African culture. If you look at all the Oonis, from Ooni Oduduwa, they all had many wives, even my great grandfather, Ooni Ademiluyi had 47 wives. It comes with the throne and its part of the throne, polygamy is an African culture and part of the throne of Ile-Ife. My husband’s predecessor, Ooni Olubuse had 11 wives, that›s the culture.

I can tell you I fell in love with him because of our culture, for the upliftment of our culture.

Polygamy is part of our culture - Olori Ronke Ademiluyi-Ogunwusi

On how it feels to be an Olori and why she studied law, she says; 

“My great grandfather was Ooni Ajagun Ademiluyi, he was the 48th Ooni of Ife, so I’ve always been used to royalty, and I’m a blue-blood. I’ve always known everything about the palace and royalty. Now that I’m married to the 51st Ooni of Ife, for me it’s just normal because it’s something I’ve always been used to. Waking up with duties, doing my work as well, doing my cultural duties, bringing everything together is just something I do effortlessly, because I’ve been used to it from a tender age. When His Majesty ascended the throne in 2015 I had that opportunity to be a part of the whole thing, so I’m kind of grown with him and he is being someone like a mentor, he mentors me a lot.”


“Fashion wasn’t lucrative when I was growing up, so I wasn’t allowed to study fashion. Fashion then was frowned at. They see it as the lowest for those who are not intelligent, unlike now where African fashion is now a huge thing. I’m in love with western designs but I look into Africa for inspiration. They call it ethnic fashion, tribal fashion, African fashion, there is no name they haven’t given it, but the bottom line is that it is African. Africa has like 3000 tribes and each tribe has its own unique fashion culture. No matter how close your borders are, when you see kente on someone you know maybe this person is from Ghana. In Nigeria, we have about 500 ethnic groups and we have our different fashion. Regarding African fashion, I think we are still scratching the surface, we haven’t started yet. My mum’s sister that I stayed with was a retired Judge, so I used to go to court with her, it was from there that the inspiration came to study Law, but I never practised, after studying Law, I went straight into fashion.”


And on what she is doing to protect the Yoruba culture and it’s values; “In March this year, myself and another Olori set up a conference of Oloris where we had almost 200 Oloris in the Southwest coming together to the palace to celebrate Women History Month and then we talked about different things, our special guest was the wife of the Governor, Her Excellency Ngozi Adeleke. We talked about things within our different communities, the similarities within our culture, how we can support each other and work together. But most of all, Ile-Ife is the cradle of the black race, you know I talked about 90 million people who are Afro-Brazilians and see themselves as Yorubas. The Yoruba people across the world are almost 300 million, so what His Majesty is trying to do is to position Ile-Ife as the spiritual home of all the Yorubas. Christians go to Jerusalem on pilgrimage, Muslims go to Mecca on pilgrimage, we want the Yoruba people across the world, in Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean, South America to come to Ife and see it as their own spiritual home and that is why we are trying to position Ile-Ife as the spiritual home of the Yorubas and my husband is doing a great job. The Olojo Festival is there where we have millions of people in attendance to see their prestigious, ancient ‘Aare crown’ that comes out once in a year.

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