Prince Bolu Akin-Olugbade has many feathers to his cap; from academic honours to social decorations and traditional titles, he has shown himself to be a man of many parts but one adornment he wears like a badge of honour is his traditional title of Aare Ona Kakanfo of Owu Kingdom.
Besides the fact that the title has a rich history dated back to pre-colonial days, he takes pride in being decorated as the generalissimo of the entire Owu people who are found in almost all the part of Yoruba land. One will know that the millionaire businessman relishes the title with the manner he talks about it.
Buoyed by huge financial worth and aristocratic deportment, Prince Akin-Olugbade, with the title, positions himself at a royal pedestal and lives it to its fullest. Not a few people confused him for the successor of Chief M.K.O. Abiola who was the immediate past of Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba Land upon his demise.
The installation of Chief Gani Adams as the latest Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba Land set the record straight as people now know that the Akin-Olugbade’s type of Aare is far less in cultural value, geographical influence and territorial power to Chief Adams. As a matter of cultural fact, Akin-Olugbade must kowtow to Adams whenever an occasion where both of them meet presents itself.
By tradition, Aare Adams is above any other traditional chiefs and accorded respect worthy of Field Marshal. Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba is an authority on his own while Aare of Owu is even below Balogun of Owu (a title presently held by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo), who installed Aare Akin-Olugbade before being taken to Olowu of Owu for traditional blessings.
In contrast, only Alaafin installs the de facto Aare Ona Kakanfo; and only to Alaafin does he pay homage. Consequently, Aare Adams’s sphere of influence covers the entire Yorubaland unlike Aare Akin-Olugbade, whose only area of superior influence is in the amount of money he has.
While Aare Adams is perceived to be a traditionally powerful warrior for whom the wellbeing and protection of the Yoruba race is paramount, Aare Akin-Olugbade is seen more as ceremonial chief honoured for his philanthropic feats.
The well connected and high-network Owu-born Akin-Olugbade came to social limelight when he bought his first Rolls Royce in 1984. He is so much in love with the British symbol of fine taste that he has a fleet of them numbering up to three.