Oba Adedokun Abolarin is the Orangun of Oke-lla, Osun State and the proprietor of Abolarin College. He tells BOLA BAMIGBOLA why he established a school for indigent children.
Social justice and I also had the intention of going into politics because of the politicians of my time that I grew up knowing – people like the Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Akinloye, Chief Richard Akinjide and Adeoye Adisa were all lawyers. In terms of public service, I knew I was prepared for it but I didn’t know that I would eventually be involved in public service as a king. With due respect, lawyers are well-trained to participate in public service as well as protecting the rights of the people. A well-trained lawyer cannot tolerate poverty. These were the reasons I decided to study Law. Before Law, I did Political Science. I am a scholar of International Relations. I had my master’s degree in the field from Obafemi Awolowo University. So, with the totality of my experience in the classroom, I’m thankful to God.
With what I am doing here, I can’t afford to keep many wives. If I do, I don’t think I will be able to do what I am doing. Each of them (wives) will be struggling to have their share of the empire.
My inspiration comes from within. When people around are poor and we are doing nothing about it. What I am doing is to use education to fight poverty. This is not an immediate thing but a long-term projection that in the next 50 to 60 years when those in that environment see these children, their lives won’t be the same again. I know the importance of education and instead of establishing a school for the children of the rich, I did for the poor and that was how we started Abolarin School in 2014.
I teach history because of its importance. I also use this opportunity to call for the return of history to the school curriculum. Our children should know where we are coming from and historical moments in the country. History can be used to foster national development. I also teach government. I am a political scientist and a lawyer. I can’t acquire all this knowledge and not use it to influence people regarded as our tomorrow leaders.
That is the preparation we have been giving them here. We taught them about hard work, for them to lean on one another and for them to be creative and productive while in school. There won’t be a problem with their higher education.