Nothing Will Happen If My Husband Marries Another Wife – Olori Elegushi

Olori Sekinat Elegushi is the wife of Oba Saheed Elegushi of Ikate land in Lagos. In this interview with Punch’s ‘Nonye Ben-Nwankwo, she talks about life as a queen and the role she plays in her husband’s kingdom. Interesting read:

As a young girl, did you ever imagine you would marry an Oba?
No, I never imagined I would marry an Oba. Besides, I didn’t marry my husband as an Oba. He was an upwardly mobile, charming young man, with great prospects and aspirations when I met him. Those were some of the qualities I saw and admired in him back then. He was a prince then, but he didn’t wear it as a badge of pride. He was just a man, brimming with a bright future and great dreams. And if I have to be honest here, I was less-thrilled about that aspect of him being a prince when we met, and I wasn’t that keen on falling in love with him. But fate has a way of playing tricks with our emotions, and my husband made it easier for me to fall in love with him. With time, I was able to overcome my initial reservations about him. I took my time to study his person and I discovered I loved him enough to want to spend the rest of my life with him. Even after we got married, I never envisaged that my husband would be entrusted with the role of a king. But God is always supreme with making His plans for us come to fruition, and He is the sole decider of who becomes a king.

You are regarded as one of the youngest queens in Lagos, how is your relationship with other prominent queens who may be older than you?
My relationship with other queens is cordial. With some, it is close-knit, while with others, it is cordial. I enjoy a daughter-mother relationship with other queens who are older than I am. They show me love and care, genuinely from their hearts.

Does being a prominent Oba’s wife come with its challenges?
Being the wife of an Oba does come with its challenges. Marriage itself comes with its baggage of challenges. No union is perfect anywhere in the world. Most women find marriage an insurmountable challenge in itself, without the additional pressures that being an Oba’s wife must bring. However, I believe that there is no challenge that is insurmountable. There were some challenges at the initial stage when my husband became a king. But, with a lot of patience and perseverance, I was able to overcome those challenges.

When my husband became king, initially it was strange not having access to the man I married whenever I wanted. There is a Yoruba saying ‘Kabiyesi ni oko Ilu’ ( the king is the husband of kingdom). I realised that he is there not just for his immediate family but the kingdom as a whole, realising this helped me to understand my role better as an Olori. I can only support him, pray for him to be a better king and assist my people in anyway I can.

Has anything really changed about you now that you are a queen?
I don’t think anything has changed about me. One secret that has kept me going is that I try not to lose my identity as God’s creature. It is very important to be conscious of this fact, because it helps to keep you in check and prevent you from derailing. If anything were to change about me, it would be that I have become more people-oriented and more passionate about humanity. Although I am not yet there, I want to be more involved in promoting more worthy causes and contributing to building a more peaceful society.

Do you influence some of the Oba’s royal decisions?
No, I don’t influence the Oba’s decision. The Ikate kingdom, like any other royal house, is associated with strong traditional values, and airing one’s personal views might be unwise. Besides, the Oba has able chiefs, who play active roles in advisory capacity and decision-making process within the palace. Most of them are his uncles, and they play more of a fatherly role in his life. My husband grew up under their tutelages and so, he gets along with them very well. He seeks their counsels and heeds their advice as well. Of course, there are times when