Britain’s Daily Mail, in this report tells the unusual story of an aide of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, performing a ritual while boarding a plane to Canada on Tuesday.
It’s certainly not something most passengers have witnessed while boarding a plane.
But, in footage which has swiftly gone viral, one of Nigeria’s most powerful figureheads had his aide perform a spiritual ritual involving African rattles before taking his seat.
Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the 42-year-old millionaire ‘Ooni of Ife’ – who is the spiritual leader of the Yoruba people – was travelling with his high chiefs on a flight bound for Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, according to local reports.
Witnessed from the economy cabin aisle, the aide, dressed in traditional African clothing, can be seen wandering up and down and shaking the rattles above his head.
Once the formality was over, the Ooni proceeded to take his seat on the commercial carrier.
Ogunwusi is of very high status in his native country.
Revered among his community, he is the most powerful and influential monarch among the Yoruba people of southwest Nigeria – who are the country’s second biggest ethnic group after the Hausa-Fulani.
Together, the Yoruba predominate six southwestern Nigerian states, and number some 40 million.
The powers of the Yoruba kings and other traditional rulers were reduced under British colonial rule and their role is now largely ceremonial.
But they are still regarded as custodians of culture and still wield influence on their people in local matters.
Ogunwusi, from one of the ruling houses in the Ife kingdom, was installed as the 51st Ooni in December 2015, succeeding Okunade Sijuade, who ruled for 35 years until his death.
He’s the son of a retired radio and television broadcaster and was selected for his title from more than 20 candidates.
Born on October 17, 1974, Ogunwusi is one of Nigeria’s youngest traditional rulers.
Before becoming the Ooni, Ogunwusi – a trained accountant – made millions as an entrepreneur in real estate and marketing, and commodities from Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man.