Untold Story of Soun of Ogbomoso’s son who is Orji Uzor Kalu’s powerful aide | Prince Kunle Oyewunmi shares the story of his life with asabeafrika + He is the 21st son of the Soun

The Prince and his dad, The Soun of Ogbomoso, HRM Oba Oyewunmi
Prince Kunle Oyewunmi a graduate of Economics from University of Abuja and Business
from the University of Ilorin is one
of former Abia state Governor, Dr. Orji
Kalu’s powerful aides who
equally travel with him on his numerous business trips.

Prince Oyewunmi who is
the 21st son of the highly revered Soun of Ogbomoso
land in Osun state, South West Nigeria HRM Oba Oladunni Oyewunmi is
an experienced private and public sector expert who is said to be one of the
kitchen cabinet executives of the former governor and Chairman of The Sun Newspaper. Prince Oyewunmi who
is equally a former Senior Special Assistant to Oyo state Governor Adebayo Alao Akala on Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) is today the Business Development Manager of Slok
Phones, a newly invented indigenous telephone brand set to be launched into the
Nigerian market by Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
The ebony handsome Prince who was the best graduating student of the Economic
Department of University of Abuja (2002 session) is also influential in the Oyo
state political setting. He was in Lagos recently with his boss during a
condolence visit to the family of veteran journalist and author, Pastor Dimgba Igwe. Your soar away
number one African celebrity encounter blog asabeafrika cornered the Ogbomoso
born Prince and manager of Nigeria’s first indigenous telephone brand,
Slok-Toro phones at the occasion.  He
shared with us the story of his humble beginning from palace to politics and
business. Enjoy the excerpts.

The GDA with Prince Kunle Oyewunmi….’Our MDG Reforms under Governor Alao Akala’s regime brought fame and favor to Oyo state

What is my name!   
The ebony
colored Prince started by giving his full details to asabeafrika when we asked
him to introduce himself “My name is Prince Kunle Oyewunmi, I hail from
Ogbomoso. I come from a royal but equally humble background. I started my life
in Ogbomoso; I did my primary education in Ogbomosho, did my secondary school
education in Ibadan. I obtained my first degree in Economics from University of
Abuja in Abuja. I was the best graduating student in the department of
economics, University of Abuja during my graduation year of 2002. I got my
masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Ilorin in
Kwara state. So, all my life I have been opportune to grow in a very good set
up with the basic challenges of life that every mortal faces and to God be the
glory here I am today”.

The Prince with his boss, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu at an outing outside Nigeria

Growing up in the palace
further on his royal beginning the prince told us how it all started in the
palace “I can say one had lots of challenges to face because growing up in a
royal setting is more challenging; more so, growing up in a polygamous set up
is more, more and more challenging. So, this two factors, the family
background, the royal institution made life very challenging but that is what
has made me what I am today because in any situation I find myself I am always
able to surmount the challenges. When you grow up in the palace you understand
public administration, you meet people, and you interact with people and you
acquire diplomatic skill because when you even look at the basic necessity of
having the traditional institution you discover that it is actually to look at
the way of promoting your community right from conflict resolution to
socio-political and socio-economic advancement of your people. So, basically,
growing up in the palace has indeed impacted me with the skills and the
knowledge to face life challenges in all ramifications”.

The Ogbomoso born Prince inside his boss’ newly acquired Gulfstream jet

The other side of my father, the Soun
Oyewunmi went ahead to give this blog a hint of the character of his royalty father
“I hold my father Oba Oladunni Oyewunmi, the Soun of Ogbomoso in high esteem. He
is more or else my mentor because I looked at his life and I try to imbibe his
spirit and sense of leadership. His ideology to life, he is a very disciplined
man, he is a focused man, he is a hard working man and he is also someone that
is so concerned about the people’s welfare. Before he ascended the throne of
his forefathers, he was a well to do business man; a big time trader trading in
all sorts of commodities and basically if you ask people that know me, at the
tender age of ten, eleven, twelve I have also started to engage in one trade or
the other. I have started hustling so to speak. So, those are the things that I
have acquired from my father and being forthright as well. I love him, I adore
him and I celebrate him any where, any day, any time. We are 24 in the family
which means my father has 24 altogether and I am the 21st child in
the family, that is the honest truth and I can tell you that it is one united
family raised with love, affection and strong human ethics. My mum is one of
the last wives of the Kabiyesi. We call them Ayabas. That is the
traditional name we call them in Ogbomoso land, we call them Ayaba
that is Aya-Oba (The Oba’s wife) and not Olori. My mum is among
the last set of Ayabas

The Prince in a very relaxed mood

My father does not use rod but he
uses words on his children
Can Prince
Kunle Oyewunmi
recall some of the times his father ever used the rod on
him and the prince take a breath before he gave you a response “I can’t recall
him doing that. I only know that anytime we do anything wrong he will talk to
you in a very strong way and you will go back and think about your action and
re-appraise yourself so that you will avoid such mistakes in the future. The
way he even talks to you is more than him caning you.  Kabiyesi will talk to you in a an
emotional way that will touch you and you will have no option than to reflect on
what you have done and avoid such mistake in the nearest future”.

Prince Kunle Oyewunmi on a foreign tour

Life as Governor Adebayo Alao Akala’s
Giving this
blog a profile of his work experience, Prince Oyewunmi told us the story of how
family business prepared him for a greater challenge in life “I actually
started my work life in the private sector through the family business from
where I moved to National Sport Lottery and while I was working at the National
Sport Lottery a political appointment came and I was appointed as the Special Assistant
to the Governor of Oyo state under the regime of the then Governor Adebayo
Alao Akala
 to oversea the
Millennium Development Goals Projects in Oyo state. And to the glory of God
that gave me the basic understanding of the public sector and we were able to
impact lives because most of the projects we did were community based projects
that impacted lives at the grass root. We had a lot of programs, water
development programs, rural agricultural programs, human capacity building
programs and so many other programs under the Millennium Development Goals
initiatives; so, it certainly afforded me the opportunity to see how
government’s policy can touch the lives of ordinary people at the grass root
level and presently I work with His Excellency, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, the
former Governor of Abia state who is also a public sector person. He was a
governor for straight 8 years and till date he does both politics and business.
So, people simply refer to me as a man of many parts; straight from the palace
to the private sector and to the public sector. So, it is an all inclusive
privilege to hold such a profile”.

Prince Oyewunmi in a relaxed mood

Akala didn’t employ me because of the
Ogbomoso factor
During his
era as Senior Special Assistant to the former Oyo state governor Adebayo Alao
Akala, there were wild rumors that Prince Kunle Oyewunmi was only chosen
because the Governor hails from his home state and probably because his father
is the paramount ruler of the governor’s town. But the Prince disagrees and
gave you his own reason for the appointment 
“Really, the secret was just having the passion for what I do, having
the commitment to impact lives; having the passion to do what you supposed to
do that is different from the normal way Nigerians do things. I went to Oyo state
government with a brilliant concept coupled with an energetic zeal to work.
Gone are the days that people say political appointments are just for jamboree
seeking individuals. If you know the right thing to do and you have the right
skill you will definitely make a change and create the necessary impact and
that is what we have been able to do and we thank God that while we were in
Government, Oyo state recorded a tremendous success in the area of MDGs. Under
Oyo MDGs, we were able to implement water, health and youth empowerment
projects and Oyo state was rated among the best in terms of project performance
by the Nigeria Governor’s Forum. 
We did a presentation to the NGF in Oyo state,
they commended us that we are one of the best and if not the best performing
state in terms of MDG. As a mater of fact after the Alao Akala regime, the
Director General of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum actually called me and
approached the new Governor of Oyo state and the new Governor was ready to give
me an appointment but I declined for personal reasons. I didn’t take up the
appointment. That wouldn’t have come if I have not made impact and added value
at the time I was serving the state government”.  

Prince Kunle Oyewunmi

The Alao Akala I know
 A lot of people have different views
about the person of former Governor Alao Akala of Oyo state and that has led to
many views about his person in the public domain; some which are not too good.
We wanted the Prince to define his former boss in all honesty and he did but
mostly in parables “Well, I think everybody is entitled to his way of life;
nobody is perfect. I am somebody who is of the opinion that you should not
judge a person by mere appearance. Everybody has his way of life, if you look
at the people carrying out one reform or the other in the country today and
even in the public sector; I don’t want to mention names, some smokes, and some
drink alcohol. So, you should not define a man by his appearance.  To my own best understanding, I think our
government under Otunba Alao Akala’s regime did its best, gave it best and it
can only just do its best. So, it is left for the people to judge”. 

Prince Kunle Oyewunmi with boss, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu with former Oyo state Governor, Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja

 Prince Kunle Oyewunmi’s 2015 ambition
Due to his
influence in certain quarters in the Oyo state politics, the name of the
Ogbomoso prince is being branded as a possible candidate for the position of
deputy governor come 2015 but when we asked him to defend this opinion he
laughed and reacted like this “I am just hearing this from you now. If you say
so, well…but to the best of my knowledge none of them have approached me on
that ground but in terms of invitation to political activity, I can confirm to
you that some eminent people have extended invitations to me that I should come
and play active role in our electoral processes and all that but time will tell”. 

Prince Oyewunmi is equally close to the Accord Party founder and former
Governor Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja and he spoke about the
relationship with pride and gusto “Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja is a
father, a political mentor and a very consummate politician. He is someone I
think has done a lot of good in terms of political discretion and to me, he is
just a worthy political mentor. Yes, a lot of young people are close to
Governor Ladoja and i can say you are right, I am one of them. He is a great
man, a diplomat and business man of repute. He is a spring of political
knowledge. I am proud of his political wits and achievements both in Oyo state
and Nigeria as a whole.  I have respect
for Governor
Alao Akala
as my former boss but Senator Rasheed Ladoja is like a
father. He gives elderly advice and I cherish his business acumen. He is a
straight forward man”.

The Prince Kunle Oyewunmi with the GDA

My relationship with  Orji Uzor Kalu
 Coming to his relationship with his present
boss and former Governor of Abia state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, the Ogbomosho
Prince went ahead to describe and define the famous politician-businessman;
hear him “If you know Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu very well, you
will know he is a completely detribalized Nigerian; he says it all the time that his face is the face of a true
Nigerian because he doesn’t consider tribe as anything, he takes you the way
you are. He employs his team based on competence; weather you are from Ghana,
weather you are from Kabba, weather you are from Cotonu or Igbo, Hausa or Tiv,
he doesn’t care. What he cares for is your level of competence. As far as you
can do the job; so, Dr. Kalu is less concerned about your sect, your origin, your
religion or your tribe. I am a Muslim, he is a Christian. I am a Yoruba man, he
is an Igbo man and to be honest with you, I have a very close relationship with
him. He is one of the closest people I have benefitted a lot from in terms of
leadership and strategy. Despite my 3 years official working relationship with
him, I have been a close confidant and associate of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu with a
relationship spanning 10 years.  I met
him through my senior brother and my father and since then we have maintained
that intimacy. Officially I have been working with him for 3 years after I left
the Alao Akala regime in Oyo state
but informally I have been with him for over 10 years”.  

Prince Kunle Oyewunmi with some relatives

The real definition of the OUK
Prince Kunle
Oyewunmi told this blog the real thing that differentiates Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu
from other successful people in the society “At least I know a couple of
successful politician and business men but I will just define Orji Uzor Kalu by
using just a word-humility. That is his strength. Every other business man,
rich man and politician of his caliber lacks that gift of humility. He is very,
very humble, down to earth and accessible. So, humility is his second nature”.
Does the prince thinks his principal is equally good for presidency as some
Igbo youths are now campaigning? He takes in his breath; adjust his seat before
giving you a reply which from all indications comes from his heart “I will say Orji
is beyond the Igbo aspiration. For every young aspiring Nigerian
we should look up to him because he is the only Nigerian leader that is ready
to take Nigeria and give it back to Nigerians. Of course he has his own
challenges arising from his politics. If he hasn’t gone into politics he would
have been established bigger than what you see now because he is a very
innovative person. He would have been at the same level with the richest
international men in the word because he has the capacity to achieve success.
So, when you look at Orji Uzor Kalu’s credentials from
when he started his private business and grew it into an empire of
international repute, you will see tenacity, focus, innovation, discipline,
forthrightness all at work. So, you have to celebrate him because he has
recorded a lot of achievements both in the private and the public sector and he
is still not relenting on his achievements, he is still working hard for
greater achievement. So I can tell you that we have a leader in Dr.
Orji Uzor Kalu”.

My Role Model
Prince Oyewunmi told asabeafrika his own brand of role
model and why they are “Apart from my father, Orji Uzor Kalu is my role
model and the reason is due to his business acumen. I want to dwell more on his
business acumen. I think a lot of students of managements need to study the
entity called Orji Uzor Kalu, if you understudy his business accomplishment
over the years and if you listen to him and if you are ready to learn, you will
learn business from him and that is one area that I have so much learned from
him. I hope to keep learning from his school of business philosophy any day
weather I am still under his employment or I have left.  I will make recourse for business
opportunities, ideas and guidance from the Orji Uzor Kalu business school” Prince
who is happily married with children living abroad says his
decision to re-join politics will be based on the decision of his new company, Slok-Toro Technology where he is
helping to bring lots of innovation to their businesses.