Tradition won’t allow me to have kids on the throne –Falowo, 24-year-old Ondo regent
Twenty-four-year-old Moyinoluwa Falowo was installed as Regent of Ibulesoro Kingdom in the Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State after the death of her father, Oba Joseph Falowo. She tells OLUFEMI OLANIYI how she has been balancing her Christian faith with traditional beliefs
What were you doing before you were asked to become the regent?
I was working in a biotechnology and molecular-based research laboratory. I completed the mandatory one-year programme with the National Youth Service Corps. I was also preparing for postgraduate studies.
What are your qualifications?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the Ondo State University of Science and Technology.
Since you became regent in 2019, what have been your challenges?
Funding for projects. I have a lot of ideas that are not implemented because of financial constraint.
What is the most interesting thing about being a regent, especially as a female?
My people give me honour and respect because of the throne I sit on. They regard me as the leader of the community and do not consider my age or gender. I’m considered a father, though a female. As a regent, I have been able to know more about my community than I did before ascending the throne. I have personally grown and developed to meet up with my responsibilities and be a well-rounded leader.
Did you know you could be called upon to become a regent after your dad’s passing?
I knew before my father passed on. He told me after his installation, though I didn’t take it seriously because I never thought I’d agree.
How did you feel after your dad passed on and it became clear that what he said would come to pass?
I was not happy about it. I was initially confused about the decision to take. I saw it as a great responsibility that was going to interrupt my personal plans and change my life. I prayed about it, got the peace of God and had the support of friends and family.
As a regent, have you done anything to facilitate development in your town?
I have facilitated development and I am still facilitating development in my community. As an individual who is passionate about community development and problem-solving, I think about new projects to do for my people. I establish partnerships with individuals, non-governmental organisations and government agencies on ideas and projects to better the lives of my people. Through partnerships, we have organised several women and youth empowerment programmes, medical outreach and activated agency banking. We have government presence through the renovation of our public primary and secondary schools. I undergo personal development programmes to facilitate development. For instance, I recently started training in data analytics to help create and analyse community-based data so we can make decisions based on facts and clear statistics as a community.
What is the relationship between the Federal University of Technology, Akure and Ibulesoro?
Ibulesoro is the community that donated the greater percentage of the landmass on which the university is situated. We donated 472 hectares to be precise. We are proud to have contributed that immensely and cheerfully to the existence and growth of the foremost university of technology in West Africa. We have been a responsible and caring host community. We also have workers and students of the university living among us. The relationship between us and the institution is cordial.
However, our expectations as a host community have not been adequately met over the years, in terms of developmental projects, employment opportunities and university policies that should favour us.
I hope that the present university management will look into this, so the relationship we share can be further strengthened and mutually fulfilling for both sides. The university is progressing rapidly and we want to be carried along in this progress. The true meaning of growth is when surrounding communities are positively affected